Some time in the last 4,000 years, the Skogkatt, or forest cat, emerged from the Norwegian forests and became a domestic pet. Legend has it that Norwegian Forest Cats traveled the world centuries ago, accompanying the Vikings on sea voyages to protect grain stores from ship rats; when the Vikings touched down on North American shores, some of the cats stayed behind.
Fast forward to modern times. The breed enjoyed great popularity in European cat shows, but didn’t make its documented American debut until 1979. Cat enthusiasts soon fell in love with the breed for its long yet easy-care coat, sweet personality and devoted demeanor. The Cat Fanciers Association accepted the breed for registration in 1987, and the Norwegian Forest Cat was accepted for full championship status in 1993.