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15 Largest Cat Breeds That Might Surprise You

I don’t know about you, but I love a big cat. One of the many reasons that I chose to get my amazing Siberian cat Alexei is because I knew he would become very large. Perhaps I associate the larger size with him being cuddlier? If you have the same idea as me, then you’ll be happy to hear that you have a lot of options when it comes to large cat breeds.

Most cats reach full size by 12 months, but some breeds, such as Siberians and Maine Coons will keep growing until they are 2. Alas, your cat’s paw size will be proportionate to its size (I love a big paw), but if you have one of the long-haired, fluffy cat breeds, they will have fluffier paws which may appear to be larger.

Which you prefer is entirely down to you, but you’re spoiled for choice. Let’s not waste any more time; here are the top large domestic cat breeds.

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1. Maine Coon

maine coon
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These fluffy felines are really something special, and they’re the largest domestic cat breed in the world in terms of common cats. Known to be real gentle giants, they’re often referred to as the dogs of the cat world thanks to their unique Maine Coon personality.

So if you’re a self-proclaimed dog person but are looking to broaden your horizons, Maine Coons are perfect for transitioning to the other side.

Maine Coons are friendly, loveable, and very vocal. Their sizable bodies and heavy, double-layer long hair kept them well-protected against the brutal cold in Maine, the state they originated from. The large cat breed generally weighs between 15 and 20 pounds at maturity. Females are on the lower end of the spectrum, but some males can grow to 25 pounds.

With so much personality and love to give, you may soon find yourself leaning towards this breed. Maine Coons and dogs especially get along, so the largest cat breed also happens to be the best choice if you already have a dog. 

2. Norwegian Forest Cat

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Also known by its Norwegian name – Skogcatt – the Norwegian Forest Cat has been around for centuries. Very handy for ridding houses and farms of mice, they’ve only recently become popular in Europe and the States.

These fluffy felines are large cats with long fur. Norwegian cats tend to weigh between 12 and 16 pounds. However, as they are so furry, they can look quite a bit larger. They’re independent, alert, and very clever.

Norwegian Forest cats usually prefer their own space. This expensive cat breed loves a good chin scratch, though, and they love without being attention-seeking.

They’re also amazing climbers, and you’ll often find them sitting on the very tops of trees before hurtling down headfirst. For smaller homes, a cat climber and scratching post are handy.

3. Siberian

siberian
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My own feline friend, Alexei, is a Siberian, so I’m particularly partial to this amazing breed. With a thick, luxurious coat, stunning Siberian colors, and the Siberian’s affectionate personality, this giant cat breed is well-suited to any home.

A mature Siberian is at times referred to as the largest house cat because it can be even bigger than a Maine Coon at times. Typically the males are between 12 and 16 pounds, and females 9 to 12 pounds. As their bodies are more compact than Maine Coons they can appear smaller even if they weigh the same amount.

They’re laid-back but enjoy playing and are very attached to their humans. You’ll often find your Siberian cat following along behind you and cuddling up as soon as you take a seat.

As you may expect, this loving cat comes from Siberia in Russia, so they’re well suited to cold conditions. It’s an ancient breed thought to be ancestral to all modern long-haired cats. That’s quite the pedigree.

4. British Shorthair

magone british shorthair
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The British Shorthair cat is a medium to large-sized cat breed with large gold, orange, or copper color eyes, a short, broad nose, and a short to medium coat. Caring for these cats requires daily grooming, especially during seasonal changes.

These lovely kitties are highly intelligent; however, they are still happy to stay inside and play with toys and people. Get some wand-like toys and start a game with your British Shorthair cat; it can be great fun.

British shorthairs can weigh between 9 and 20 pounds – quite a broad range. Females will be at the lighter end of the scale.

This indoor cat breed has an easygoing personality and provides great companionship. While these cats love to play, they don’t require hourly attention.

5. Turkish Van

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Turkish Vans have mostly white bodies with colored heads and tails. They are similar to the Turkish Angora breed but are bigger-boned and larger. They also take longer to mature and may continue growing up to 5 years of age.

Originally from Turkey (you may have guessed this), it is said that Turkish Van was the breed of cat that Noah took on his ark. I don’t know if this is related, but Turkish Van cats like to swim, and their coats are water-resistant.

6. Chartreux

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The Chartreux cat is known as one of the most polite breeds – not a word normally associated with cats! This is one kitty that doesn’t like to complain and will be not just your friend but a friend to any guests as well.

The female Chartreux cat will weigh between 6 and 9 pounds. Males are quite a bit larger at between 10 and 14 pounds and can take up to 4 years to fully mature.

Their round eyes tend to come in shades between copper and gold, which beautifully offset their blue-gray coats.

This still rather rare cat breed is a great option for a busy person who lives on their own or a busy couple/family. It likes to play, but this desire generally comes in spurts. And these large house cats are quite good at entertaining themselves.

7. Ocicat

ocicat
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This playful cat breed loves attention. The Ocicat resembles a wild cat but is very playful and loving. They are a medium to large cat breed with a smooth coat. Their markings are distributed across their bodies – and each hair on their coat contains more than one color.

Males range in size from 9 to 15 pounds, and females from 6 to 9 pounds.

The Ocicat breed was created by crossing Siamese and Abyssinian cats together and then later breeding with an American domestic short hair. The breed was registered in 1966.

Ocicats love to play and will see most items in your home as potential toys. They are also friendly cats who like to welcome strangers. They don’t like being alone and do get bored easily, so a sibling is often a good idea.

They are high energy and highly intelligent, so they need lots of stimuli. They don’t have any special exercise needs, and unlike many other cat breeds, they like water, so watch out if you’re having a bath.

8. American Bobtail

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With a short tail, tufted ears and toes, and a slightly short neck, the American Bobtail cat breed screams cuddle me.

The American bobtail was a feral cat that was not bred until the 1960s. Males are generally between 14 and 20 pounds, and females 9 to 15 pounds.

This playful breed is great with families and gets on well with strangers. Many compare its personality with that of a golden retriever dog, so it’s no surprise these cats get along with golden retrievers. This is a devoted and loyal breed that also often enjoys going out on walks.

This intelligent cat breed loves puzzles or playing fetch. He is also a curious kitty who is quite easygoing, so they’re well suited to travel and outdoor adventures.

9. Savannah Cats

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This exquisite feline is the most expensive domestic cat in the world. The Savannah cat is a hybrid of the African Serval cat and the domestic Persian. Their stunning coats are marked with black spots, and their ears are tall and pointed.

Males range from 14 to 20 pounds and are between 16 and 18 inches long. Females are between 10 and 13 pounds. They are renowned as being the largest breed of cat in terms of height, with the tallest cat in the world being a Savannah.

Savannahs are so costly due to their breeding. It takes luck – and often a number of years – to mate a serval and a domesticated cat.

They bond with only a few people and are known to be very loyal. They’re very inquisitive and have an impressive ability to jump – even onto fridges and high walls, partly because they’re the tallest cat breed around. They have quite a strong hunting instinct, so if you keep birds or fish, your Savannah cat will likely eye them daily.

Because of this hunting instinct, it’s important to look at your country and city’s ownership laws before you decide to invest in this feline. Some areas have restrictive laws because these tall cat breeds can threaten native species.

10. Ragamuffin

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This often large and long-bodied cat is as cute as its name. Its soft and silky coat can become quite long and fluffy. This cat breed likes to be held like a baby and is known for its docile nature and its sweet, big eyes. Females can weigh between 10 and 15 pounds, and males can weigh as much as 20 pounds.

Ragamuffin cats are known for behaving more like a puppy than a kitten. They love to play fetch, learn new tricks and even go out for a walk. Ragamuffins are very much lap cats and will be at their happiest close to their favorite people.

11. Ragdoll

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Playful and friendly, with stunning blue eyes and various coat colors, the Ragdoll cat is a famously fun pet. Their most fascinating feature is their tendency to lie limp when you pick them up (as opposed to most cats, who squirm out of your hold as soon as they can). They can weigh anything between 10 and 20 pounds.

One of the largest cat breeds, Ragdoll cats are loyal and often greet their humans at the door. They’re also great with dogs and children, making them perfect family cats.

With a sweet and gentle temperament, Ragdolls are super relaxed with strangers and will seek a bit of love from everyone. This is one of the friendliest, most expensive cat breeds.

12. Bengal

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Bengal cats are one of the newer cat breeds, a combination of the Asian leopard cat and a US domestic cat. These affectionate cats are energetic and playful.

They tend to weigh between 8 and 15 pounds and can range in height from 13 to 16 inches.

A distinctive feature of their thick and lustrous coat is the pearl or gold dusting or glitter effect. This is one of the many features of the lovely Bengal cat that contributes to its extreme cuteness.

The breed is also known for its black-rimmed and almond-shaped eyes and distinctive whisker pads. Add to this their thick tail that often finishes in a black tapered tip, and you have one seriously cute cat.

Tip: Check out these cool Bengal cat names for inspiration.

13. Selkirk Rex Cats

lifeonwhite selkirk rex
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Selkirk Rex cats are simply lovable little fur babies, adored for their plush tousled coats and exquisite, smooshy flat faces. In addition to their adorable curly coats, their whiskers curl, too; how cute!

With big round eyes and an almost smiling expression, these felines love to be cuddled and will follow you around for attention. They can weigh up to 16 pounds.

Nicknamed ‘cats in sheep’s clothing,’ Selkirk rex cats may need occasional brushing – at least two or three times a week. Unlike many other flat-faced cats, the Selkirk Rex cat is not prone to tear duct issues.

They’re easily entertained with a flashlight beam or a fishing pole toy. Although not particularly active, this big house cat with pointy ears is really social. They’ll love to sit on your lap and let you feel their curly-qs as the sun goes down.

14. Persian

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Persian cats are affectionate, docile, and gentle kitties. This breed has a quiet demeanor, and they’ll plop down on any soft surface and simply pose for your appreciation. These elegant cats are not very active, which makes them the perfect indoor pet.

You’ll have to give Persian cats daily grooming (at least once a day), and they enjoy being pampered. Try to find a comb or a cat brush that’s appropriate for the length of your Persian Cat’s coat. You’ll find, with these bundles of joys, the more you groom the cat, the more lovable they’ll become toward you.

Persians usually weigh between 7 and 12 pounds and measure between 10 and 15 inches.

Although affectionate, Persian cats are discriminative and reserve their attention for family and a few trusted guests.

This beautiful flat-faced cat breed does get along with children and other household pets; however, they aren’t fans of loud environments but rather serene homes where little changes.

15. Chausie

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Chausies are a hybrid breed with lots of energy who love heading outdoors. They can weigh up to 15 pounds.

The name Chausie comes from the Latin “felis chaus,” which means jungle cat. The Chausie is an exotic-looking cat breed with quite a regal appearance, fitting for one of the biggest cat breeds.

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