A stunning cat with long, flowing coat and shining green eyes with a band of gold encircling them; the Norwegian Forest Cat is a beauty to have and behold. Slow maturing, this cat takes five years to grow its magnificent coat; the breed has survived for centuries in the harsh northern climate of Norway. It is a study cat with water resistant guard hairs and a downy under coat. Twice a year they will go through a drastic coat change, losing their undercoat and guard hairs, but keeping the length. The hair on the tail remains long throughout, and can spread as far as twelve inches or more when fully fanned. A dense mane decorates their neck. Their inner ear can posses tufts of hair that grow to be three or four inches long. Every color and pattern are accepted, except those that are the result of hybridization: chocolate, sable, lilac, lavender, cinnamon, fawn, himalayan-type markings, or any of these with white.
Their head is an equilateral triangle, measured from the outside base of the ear to the chin. Ears are medium to large, rounded at the tip, and set as much on the side of the head as on the top. They are alert and heavily furnished, with lynx tips desired but not required. Eyes should be large and almond-shaped, well-opened and expressive. Acceptable colors are green, gold, green-gold, or copper; white cats or those with white may have blue or odd-eyes.
The body should be solidly muscled and well-balanced, with moderate length and substantial bone structure. Males should be large and imposing; females may be smaller and more refined. Legs should be medium with longer hind legs; paws are large, round and firm with heavy tufting.