by Jette Eva Madsen.

We all talk about it, we tell each other about how wonderful a look this cat has. The judges say: "I prefer this cat because of the look". Exhibitors tell each other: "the cat has a wonderful type but I don't like the look".

So from this it should be clear what the look of a Norwegian Forest Cat is or should it? I believe the confusion is great. Look is a very arbitrary thing. The standard does not define how the look has to be it only mention that a NFC should have an alert look, and what is an alert look really?

Look is combined of a lot of things that all has to do with the head. Look depends on the length and broadness of the head. On the straightness of cheek-lines and profile. On the placement and shape of the eyes. On the broadness of the nose. On the size, shape, broadness, and placing of the ears. If the ears are tufted and how broad and long the tufts are. On the length, fullness and development of the collar.

But It does not end here. Look is also very much dependant on the colour of the head. A black cat has never the same bright look as a white cat. The reason is that the light does not reflect from the black coat in the same way as it is being reflected from coats of lighter colours. Also the tabby cats often has a more alert look than the non-tabby variants. Again it is an optical illusion because of the striped markings from the tabby pattern on the cheeks, around the eyes and on the forehead. Furthermore the cats with a white line on nose or a white blaze usually look even more wild / alert than the cats without white in the head.

The joker in this story about the look is that perhaps we prefer different looks? We get used to a certain kind of look because of the cats we have at home or because of the cats we see at every show. After some time there is a danger that we can grow into believing that is exactly the right look because we learn to like it.