10 Stunning Large Cat Breeds

Large Cat

Are you looking for a cat as big as your heart? Do you want the insatiable love and activity that a giant, furry feline can bring to your life? Before you decide that bigger is better, read below for some helpful tips on what you should consider before acquiring one of these larger-than-life fur buddies. We’ve compiled a top 10 list of our favorite medium to large-sized breeds, including a cheat sheet filled with the important information you need to know before making a big decision.

Lifestyle

Many of our big cat breeds are very active. They need space to run and heights to climb. Other large cats are more sedentary and would be perfectly happy snoozing in your lap. You should definitely do your homework beforehand to determine the activity traits that would best fit your lifestyle.

Space

Regardless of a cat’s activity level, a large breed will get big. Really big. Savannah’s, for example, can reach up to 28 pounds in adulthood. By 12 months, most large breeds will reach their full size, and you’ll need to ensure you have the room to accommodate such a large animal. You can help your large cat get more excerises in smaller spaces. Check out our favorite cat trees for large cats or cat trees for Maine Coons

Family Dynamics

Some breeds are fine with young children, and may even become protective of their young human progeny. Others won’t take as kindly to high-pitched voices and tail pulling – and will let you know as much. As with any pet (but more so for pets that could easily outweigh a toddler), it’s important to know which ones will respond well to your family dynamic, and which ones would be better suited as the only “fur baby” in the house.

Budget

Pets are expensive, and cats are no exception – food, equipment, insurance, vet bills – it all adds up. Depending on the lineage and breeding, some large cats are costlier than others (a pure-bred Savannah can cost as much as $20,000). In addition, some breeds are prone to health problems and chronic physical ailments once they reach maturity, which could run your vet bills sky high. A pet is a long-term investment, not a passing hobby.

Behavior and Temperament

Large domestic cats have many tactical advantages over smaller cat breeds, including:

  • Strong constitutions*
  • Long life spans*
  • Excellent hunting instincts
  • Stable, friendly personalities
  • Loyalty, affection and devotion to their humans

*There are some exceptions that are breed-specific.

Top 10 Large Cat Breeds

1. Maine Coon

Cat Breed
Height (Avg)
Length (Avg)
Weight (Avg)
Maine Coon
10.0”-16.0″ (25-40 cm)
19.0”-32.0” (48-81 cm)
10-25 lb (5-11 kg)

Maine Coon cats are the largest breed of domestic cat and are one of the first native American cat breeds. First discovered in Maine, it quickly became the official state feline.  Distinguished by its long silky coat, the typical Maine Coon has an overall height of 10.0”-16.0″ and body length of 19.0”-32.0” (48-81 cm). On average, Maine Coons weigh between 10-25 lb (though some can get up to 35 lbs!) and have a typical lifespan of 9-15 years.

Maine Coons have been coined the “dogs of the cat world.” They’re incredibly intelligent, affable and family-friendly. According to the International Cat Association (TICA), they are known and adored for their intelligence, friendliness and good-natured goofiness. Some Maine Coons even play fetch!

Important to note:

Maine Coons come with some health concerns. They have a higher risk for polycystic kidney disease, hip dysplasia, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Because of their long glossy coats, Maine Coons need to be brushed regularly, and their tendency to shed is high. The good news? These cats love attention, so grooming them shouldn’t be an issue. 

Finally, as with many of the large cat breeds on our list, this breed could become overweight if they don’t receive a healthy diet and plenty of exercise.

2. Savannah

Savannah Cat

Cat Breed
Height (Avg)
Length (Avg)
Weight (Avg)
Savannah
13.0”-15.0” (33-38 cm)
20.0”-22.0” (51-56 cm)
12-25 lb (5-11 kg)

The Savannah cat is a mix between a domestic cat and a serval, and you can certainly see the family resemblance to its African cousin. The typical Savannah has an overall height of 13.0”-15.0” and body length of 20.0”-22.0”. On average, Savannahs weigh between 12-25 lb and have a typical lifespan of 12-20 years.

This gorgeous hybrid cat was accepted and registered by TICA in 2001. Because the Savannah is a relatively new breed (1986) there are very few health concerns. With their beautiful cheetah-like spots, expressive eyes marked with dark “tear” stains and sonar-like ears, Savannahs are certainly among the most photogenic of the cats on our list.

Known for their loyalty, they will follow their owners around the house and can even be trained to walk on a leash. 

Because of their size and agility, Savannahs are great jumpers. They’ve been known to jump on top of doors, refrigerators and high cabinets. Some Savannahs can leap as high as 8 feet from a standing position! Savannahs are also hydrophilic, meaning they love to play or even immerse themselves in water, so in most cases bathing them shouldn’t be an issue.

Important to note:

As a hybrid breed, Savannahs can still exhibit aggressive and wild tendencies. Some owners claim their Savannahs are social and friendly, while others say their pet will run and hide; a Savannah’s temperament will ultimately depend on its exposure to other people and pets as it grows up.

It should also be noted that Savannahs are very inquisitive, and can even learn how to open doors and cupboards. If you’re planning to have one live in your home, make sure you “Savannah-proof” your living space by taking extra precautions.  

Finally, if you’re thinking of acquiring a Savannah, you’ll have to check your state’s regulations about owning them. Because of their half-wild gene pool, Savannahs are outlawed in many places, including New York, Hawaii and Massachusetts.

3. Siberian

Siberian Cat

Cat Breed
Height (Avg)
Length (Avg)
Weight (Avg)
Siberian
9.0”-11.0″ (23-28 cm)
15.0”-18.0” (38-46 cm)
10-20 lb (5-9 kg)

The Siberian cat is a natural variety of domestic cat (also referred to as a landrace breed; one that adapts to its surroundings over time). Known as the national cat of Russia, this cat has a stocky build, strong hind legs, and a calm expression. The typical Siberian has an overall height of 9.0”-11.0″ and body length of 15.0”-18.0”. An average Siberian cat weighs between 10-20 lb and has a lifespan of 10-18 years.

Siberian cat owners claim their furry pals are very playful, affectionate and are good with other pets and children. Temperament-wise, Siberians are considered low-maintenance, but their fur is another matter entirely; you’ll need a good vacuum for when they shed their long, water-repellent coat. While there is no cat or dog that is truly hypoallergenic, the Siberian coat actually has lower dander qualities, making it a potentially safer breed for allergy sufferers.

Important to note:

While Siberians aren’t clingy, they are communal by nature. If you’re thinking of adopting one, why not adopt two? They can keep each other in check and entertain one another during the day. 

Siberians are also great jumpers, and while their antics can be entertaining, you might consider buying a cat tree with extra height to keep them entertained.

4. Norwegian Forest Cat

Norwegian Forest Cat

Cat Breed
Height (Avg)
Length (Avg)
Weight (Avg)
Norwegian Forest Cat
9.0”-12.0” (23-30 cm)
12.0”-18.0” (30-46 cm)
13-20 lb (6-9 kg)

Also known as the “Skogcatt”, the Norwegian Forest cat is a semi-long haired breed native to Norway. Similar to the Siberian, it has a hairy, rugged appearance and water-repellent fur. The typical Norwegian Forest cat has an overall height of 9.0”-12.0” and body length of 12.0”-18.0”. An average Norwegian Forest Cat weighs between 13-22 lb and has a typical lifespan of 14-16 years.

Another family-friendly breed, the Norwegian Forest cat is known for being healthy, strong, and affectionate. It’s generally adaptable, inquisitive and very good with children and other animals. It’s social and friendly – on its own terms, of course – but very happy to be independent as well. Norwegians don’t mind living indoors, so long as they’re properly stimulated. Investing in a proper cat tree and/or a scratching post would be advisable.

Important to note:

Norwegians are prone to kidney problems and require regular grooming to keep their thick coats under control. Bathing their water-resistant coat isn’t recommended and is rarely needed.

5. Ragdoll

Ragdoll

Cat Breed
Height (Avg)
Length (Avg)
Weight (Avg)
Ragdoll
9.0”-11.0″ (23-28 cm)
17.0”-21.0” (43-53 cm)
8-20 lb (4-9 kg)

These furry cuties are a large semi-long hair breed, with soft silky coats and bright blue eyes. They earned their name because of their habit of going limp when picked up. The typical Ragdoll has an overall height of 9.0”-11.0″ and body length of 17.0”-21.0”. They can weigh between 8-20 lb and have a typical lifespan of 12-15 years.

Quiet, cuddly and docile, these loveable fur buddies are a perfect addition to families with children. They have a sterling reputation for being lap cats, and they love being carried around like a baby! Unlike our other large breeds on this list, Ragdolls are quite happy to stay at ground (or couch) level, and won’t generally climb to the highest summit of your home.

When it comes to grooming, a Ragdoll’s coat doesn’t mat easily, thanks to the lack of an undercoat. Brushing it a few days per week will keep it healthy and tangle-free. If you don’t mind a feline pal following you from room to room, cuddling in your lap or flopping into your arms, then this is a perfect breed for your family.

Important to note:

While their bright blue eyes make Ragdolls distinctive from other breeds, they can also inhibit them from seeing well, and some cats have partial blindness as a result. Ragdolls can also be prone to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

6. Ragamuffin

Cat Breed
Height (Avg)
Length (Avg)
Weight (Avg)
Ragamuffin
9.0”-12.0” (23-28 cm)
12.0”-18.0” (30-46 cm)
8-20 lb (4-9 kg)

The Ragamuffin is a heavy and substantial variant of the Ragdoll cat. This muscular-bodied cat features a broad chest, head, and shoulders. The typical Ragamuffin has an overall height of 9.0”-12.0” and body length of 12.0”-18.0”. On average, Ragamuffins weigh between 8-20 lb and have a typical lifespan of 15-18 years.

Ragamuffins as the social conveners of the cat world. They’re known for loving everyone in the family, but their greatest strength can also be a weakness; Ragamuffins are so trusting, the CFA recommends they stay indoors to avoid having them wander off with a complete stranger.

Due to their thick, rabbit-like fur, Ragamuffins shed like crazy, so you should anticipate a bit of clean up. However, their fur doesn’t typically mat or clump, so frequent brushing shouldn’t be necessary.

Important to note:

Like Ragdolls, Ragamuffin cats crave attention, so if you’re planning to work long hours away from home, you might want to consider a more independent breed. As we’ve mentioned, Ragamuffins aren’t very “street smart”, so it’s best to keep them indoors.

6. Chausie

Chausie

Cat Breed
Height (Avg)
Length (Avg)
Weight (Avg)
Chausie
Height of 14”-18” (35-45 cm)
25.0”-28.0” (64-72 cm)
10-25 lb (5-12 kg)

These athletic, muscular cats have long bodies and deep chests, which serve them well when jumping and running – two things Chausies love to do. Males can weigh between 15 and 25 lbs., and females between 10 and 20 lbs. Their overall height ranges between 9.0”-11.0″.

The Chausie’s name is derived from the Latin word for “Jungle Cat”, which offers a clue to its energy level. If you love the great outdoors, a Chausie will gladly join you on the open road. These hybrids have plenty of energy, and are both intelligent and athletic – the markers of a feline BFF. 

They’re described as affectionate and playful, but assertive. Chausies tend to develop strong bonds with their humans and need lots of mental and physical stimulation, so only owners with endurance need apply.

Important to note:

Because of their need for stimulation and interaction with their owners, leaving Chausies alone for long periods is not advised.

8. British Shorthair

British Shorthair

Cat Breed
Height (Avg)
Length (Avg)
Weight (Avg)
British Shorthair
12.0”-14.0” (30-46 cm)
22.0”-25.0” (56-64 cm)
7-17 lb (3-8 kg)

British Shorthair cats are a large breed of British domestic cats with broad and sturdy bodies. Typically, British Shorthairs have an overall height of 12.0”-14.0” and body length of 22.0”-25.0”. An average British Shorthair can weigh between 7-17 lb and has a typical lifespan of 15-20 years.

If you’re more of the sedentary, relaxed type, consider the British Shorthair. Calm and easygoing, they’re more suited to owners who work or are away during the day because they don’t require too much attention. For that reason, however, you might consider getting a second cat to keep each other company. 

Important to note:

British Shorthairs have a predisposition for weight gain, so it’s important to carefully monitor their diet. They’re also not too fond of getting picked up, so your best bet is to stick to petting.

9. Turkish Van

Turkish Van

Cat Breed
Height (Avg)
Length (Avg)
Weight (Avg)
Turkish Van
9.0”-11.0″ (23-28 cm)
14.0”-17.0” (36-43 cm)
7-18 lb (3-8 kg)

The Turkish Van is a rare and ancient breed of cat that developed in central and southwest Asia and was then brought to England. As the name suggests, this semi-long-haired breed was named for Lake Van, the largest lake in eastern Turkey. The typical Turkish Van has an overall height of 9.0”-11.0″ and body length of 14.0”-17.0”. By and large, they weigh between 7-18 lb and have a typical lifespan of 12-18 years.

One of the oldest known domesticated cats on the planet, “Vans” bond very well with humans, and have a playful, strong personality. One of their most interesting quirks is perhaps their fascination with water, a trait that has evolved naturally over time. In fact, your Van might want to take a dip with you in the pool! According to tradition, the Van was a successful ratter on Noah’s Ark and is considered a regional treasure, though its popularity as a breed hasn’t yet peaked in the US.

A strong, sturdy, independent cat, Turkish Vans are great family pets, but would probably suit families with older children, as their ancient hunting traits wouldn’t mesh well with toddlers or babies.

Important to note:

As far as health issues go, they have a gene abnormality that makes them prone to deafness. Like Maine Coons, Turkish Vans are at risk of having hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and without proper nutrition and exercise can become obese. In addition, because Vans don’t have an undercoat, it’s important to brush them regularly as their silky fur can get tangled.

10. American Bobtail

American Bobtail

Cat Breed
Height (Avg)
Length (Avg)
Weight (Avg)
American Bobtail
8.0”-10.0” (20-25 cm)
12.0”-15.0” (30-38 cm)
7-16 lb (3-7 kg)

The American Bobtail is a medium-sized, muscular cat weighing between 7 and 16 pounds. His somewhat shaggy coat may be long or medium in length and can be any color or pattern.

The combination of its distinctive tail – which is short and stubby, hence the name – with other physical characteristics results in a cat with an uncanny resemblance to the bobtail wildcat.

American Bobtails love to play games with their owners, so much so that these powerful cats sometimes behave like dogs! The “Class Clown” on our big cat list, these friendly, short-tailed cats make great family pets. Sociable with humans and other pets alike, Bobtails love to have fun, but don’t require your undivided attention. 

To keep an American Bobtail’s coat in top shape, the CFA recommends an occasional bath and light brushing.

Important to note:

American Bobtails are prone to hip dysplasia and some are born without tails (known as “rumpies”). Unfortunately, rumpies can’t breed due to health problems associated with a shortened spine.

Lucie Wilkins

Lucie is a qualified RVN (Registered Veterinary Nurse) with over 10 years experience working with cats. She has had a cat companion or two in the house for as long as she can remember. Read more about Lucie here.

Leave a Reply