If you are curious to find out what the largest cat breeds in the world are, or if you are considering buying a big cat, this article is for you!
The largest cat breed in the world is the Maine Coon, reaching up to 25 lbs in weight. Other big cat breeds include the Savannah, Chausie, Ragdoll, Ragamuffin, American Bobtail, Norwegian Forest Cat, Siberian, Bengal, Persian, Turkish Van, and British Shorthair.
In this article, take a closer look at the fascinating world of large cat breeds. Discover some often overlooked facts about these big cat breeds that live alongside humans.
Keep reading to find out which cat breed is the largest in the world!
Largest Cat Breeds in The World
If you love the idea of having a lion or tiger roaming inside your home and sleeping in your backyard, you will not be too far from making this dream a reality if you decide to bring one of these big house cats into your life.
Even though some of the cats on this list look like wild cats, you need not worry as they are all domestic cats!
Below is a list of the top 12 biggest domestic cat breeds in the world:
- Maine Coon
- American Bobtail
- Norwegian Forest Cat
- Turkish Van
- British Shorthair
Find out some fascinating facts about each of these big cat breeds, by reading on.
1. Maine Coon
The Maine Coon cat holds the title of the largest cat breed in the world.
On average, these majestic, gentle giants measure up 40 inches in length, when stretched out.
However, one Maine Coon cat named Stewie smashed this breed average to pieces when he grew to 48.5 inches long when stretched out! Needless to say, he is listed as the biggest cat in the Guinness World Records.
But, even when talking about “average” sizes for this particular cat breed, the Maine Coon would stand out in a group of ‘normal’ cats.
This is because the typical male Maine coon can easily reach 40 inches long, stand at approximately 10-16 inches tall, and weight 15-25 lbs!
By comparison, female Maine Coons are daintier, standing only 8-14 inches tall and weighing on average 8-12 lbs. But they do match their male counterparts in length, reaching up to 40 inches.
One might wonder why Maine Coons are so big since they do not resemble wild cats like some other breeds on this list.
Maine Coon cats are naturally big for two possible reasons:
- Legend claims these large cats might be direct descendants of the Norwegian Forest Cat.
- They mature slowly, which allows them to develop bigger muscles and bone structures.
Maine Coons take approximately 3 – 5 years to fully develop, compared to normal cats that reach full-size by 2 years old.
The Maine Coons’ average life expectancy is 12-15 years.
The Savannah cat breed is one of the biggest domestic cat breeds you will find.
It is hard to believe, but this tiger/serval lookalike is a cat you can have living inside your home, sleeping on your bed, and protecting you when you get up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night.
When thinking of getting a Savannah cat, one must take into consideration that they are not all the same.
This cat breed’s size and measurements vary significantly, depending on their generation:
Since this article is all about the largest cat breeds in the world, however, we will focus on the first generation of Savannah cats, which are known to produce the biggest Savannah domestic cats.
The first generations of the amazing African serval and domestic cat offspring usually weigh 12-20 lbs after reaching adulthood and vary between 14-18 inches tall.
They measure up to 20 inches in length.
In 2022, it was confirmed by the Guinness World Records that the tallest living domestic cat in the world is an F2 Savannah cat called Fenrir, who is 18.83 inches tall!
His owner, Dr. Will Powers, shares that sometimes people even think his cat is a small panther or puma!
The typical Savannah domestic cat can live up to 20 years (source 1,2,3).
Similar to the Savannah cat, the Chausie is a large cat breed that came into existence after the mating of a wild jungle cat with a domestic cat.
Chausie cats resemble wild felines, but they are very friendly, and calm, and usually do not mind being around kids or other animals.
These big house cats weigh, on average, 16 lbs.
While regular-sized cats reach their full size between 8 and 16 months of age, Chausie cats only stop growing at two or three years old.
Chausies usually stand 14 – 18 inches tall and can measure 16 – 22 inches in length.
Chausie cats have a typical lifespan of 12 to 16 years (source 1,2).
Ragdolls are dreamy looking cats that tend to relax in your arms when held.
This large cat breed is:
- Loves Human Company
Ragdolls are gorgeous, super fluffy and have the following average size measurements:
- Weight: 10 – 20 lbs
- Height: 9 – 11 inches
- Length: 17 – 21 inches
Ragdolls are big house cats, and their stunning floof only makes them look bigger!
The average lifespan of a Ragdoll cat is 13-18 years (source 1,2).
The Ragamuffin and Ragdoll are cousins, so they share a few similarities. For example, both are sweet-looking, fluffy and tend to flop when held by their owners!
Although these two cat breeds are similar in size, Ragamuffins tend to be smaller.
Ragamuffin cats usually grow to be:
- Height: 9 – 12 inches
- Length: 12 – 18 inches
- Weight: 8 to 20 lbs.
Ragamuffins are usually friendly and enjoy the company of humans.
Ragamuffins have a reputation for not being very streetwise, so it is recommended that owners always keep an eye on them.
Ragamuffins have a typical lifespan of 15 years (source 1,2).
6. American Bobtail
The American Bobtail cat is the perfect companion for families.
They enjoy human company and are affectionate. And the best part is, they are one of the biggest domestic cat breeds you can have!
Cats of the American bobtail breed are fluffy “miniature” tigers that can measure:
- Height: 10 – 14 inches
- Length: 12 to 20 inches
- Weight: 7 – 18 lbs
American Bobtail cats typically live to be 12 – 15 years (source 1).
7. Norwegian Forest Cat
It is not surprising that the Norwegian Forest Cat appears on this list, considering some folktales suggest it may be the ancestor of the Maine Coon cat!
Read more about the origins of the Maine Coon cat, here.
The Norwegian Forest cat is a natural breed that developed over time on its own (without human intervention) from domestic cats originating in Northern Europe.
These cats are heavily boned, heavily coated cats that naturally adapted to living in cold climates.
When fully grown, this big house cat has the following dimensions:
- Height: 9-12 inches
- Length: 12 to 18 inches
- Weight: 9 – 16 lbs
Norwegian Forest Cats are:
- Good With Families and Children
The average lifespan of a Norwegian Forest cat is 10 – 12 years (source 1,2,3).
Siberian cats are one of the largest domestic cat breeds in the world.
These cuties are smart, friendly, and playful, and thrive with companionship, as they are naturally communal.
If you are looking for a big house cat that will look and act like a kitten for a long time, a Siberian is ideal since these cats mature slowly. They take up to five years to reach adulthood!
When fully grown, Siberians have the following size measurements:
- Length: 18+ inches
- Height: 10 – 12 inches
- Weight: 12 – 15 lbs
Siberian cats have an average life span 0f 10-18 years (source 1,2).
The Bengal is a mix of domestic cats with Asian leopard cats – a relatively small but wild species native to Southeast Asia.
It is simply amazing how much Bengal domestic cats look like wild felines!
Even though the mixing of the breed started more than 120 years ago, it was not until Jean Sugden Mill crossed domestic cat breeds with Asian leopard cats that the Bengal species was actually created.
She wanted to create a breed that combined a domestic house cat’s temperament with the exotic look of the Asian leopard cat.
The typical Bengal Cat has the following size measurements, once fully grown:
- Height: 8 – 10 inches
- Length: 14 – 18 inches
- Weight: 8 – 15 lbs
Bengal cats have an average lifespan of 9 – 15 years (source 1,2).
The Persian cat, whose history can be traced back to the deserts of Persia and Iran, has been treasured for hundreds, if not thousands of years.
It is thought that the Persian cat is currently the most widely-owned purebred cat type in the United States.
The Persian cat breed ranges in size from medium to large.
This cat breed has some distinguishing features, including its round flat face, and thick long hair.
Their coats can come in many different colors including:
- Solid Colors
- Silver and Golden Hues
- Smoke and Shaded Hues
- Tabby Patterns
The Persian cat is one of the biggest domestic cats breeds you can get, especially when compared to most domestic cats.
Persian cats have the following average sizing, once fully grown:
- Weight: 12 lbs
- Height: 8 – 10 Inches
- Length: 14 – 17
The typical life expectancy of a Persian cat is 10-18 years (source 1).
11. Turkish Van
Turkish Van cats are incredibly unique and full of personality, and one of the earliest cat breeds still in existence.
When two women passing through the Lake Van region noticed cats swimming in the lake, they were so fascinated by them, that they started a breeding program for the Turkish Van and took two of the cats with them to England.
The Turkish Van cat breed distinguishes itself from many other cats thanks to the mix of their semi-long hair and the striking patterns in their fur.
These large cats are both intelligent and independent. They are also energetic, playful, smart, and love to climb trees.
In comparison to most other house cat breeds, the Turkish Van cat is medium to large in size.
The average size of a fully grown Turkish Van cat is as follows:
- Height: 9 – 11 inches
- Length: 17 inches
- Weight: Up to 20 lbs
Their higher-than-average weight has been attributed to the Turkish Van cat being naturally muscular.
Cats of the Turkish Van breed have an average lifespan of 12-18 years (source 1,2,3).
12. British Shorthair
These cats look like Teddy bears, thanks to their round face, big eyes, and dense, furry coat. But unfortunately, they do not particularly enjoy being held!
British Shorthair cats have very thick fur.
Even though they probably will not sit on your lap, they do enjoy being around when their owners are home.
Despite being ranked last on the list, the charmingly plump British Shorthair cat stands out as one of the largest domestic cat breeds, due to the following physical measurements:
- Height: 12 – 14 inches
- Length: 12 – 16 inches.
- Weight: 8 – 18 lbs
British Shorthairs usually live between 12 – 16 years (source 1,2).
The World’s Longest Cat Tail
Did you know that the longest tail in a living domestic cat belongs to a Maine Coon called Altair?
His remarkably long, beautiful, bushy tail measures 40.83 cm (16.07 in)!
This Maine Coon cat’s owner is Dr. Will Powers, the same person who also owns the tallest living cat in the world! (source 1).
When it comes to the top 12 largest cat breeds in the world, there is a wide variety of options to choose from.
From the majestic, fluffy, and amazing Maine Coon to the wild-looking Savannah cat, the largest domestic cat breeds in the world come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
No matter the breed, we all love big house cats!