Unlike dogs, who clearly come in small, big, and medium-sized packages, you might think that cats are all generally the same size. But domestic cats do get quite large, and certain breeds are more prone to growth spurts than others.
From Guinness World Record holders to cats who play fetch and enjoy a swim, there’s a lot of love about big cats that grow to 15 pounds or more. One thing is for certain—these large cat breeds have larger-than-life personalities. Is a big cat right for you? We’ll help you decide!
The Norwegian Forest Cat, as you might guess, is built for harsh Scandinavian climates. A hardy cat with a thick coat and muscular build, they’ve been immortalized in Viking folklore as the Skoggkat. Owners describe their Wegies as playful and interactive. Interested? Be sure to have an extra comb on hand for the spring thaw, as the change in temperature means “shedding season” for the Wegie.
Interesting fact: Wegies love to climb trees, so plan your indoor plants accordingly!
This hybrid cat is a cross between a wild African Serval and a domesticated cat. Recently recognized by The International Cat Association (TICA) as a bonafide breed, this cat makes a bold fashion statement with their black spots and stripes! Interested in a Savannah? Pre-load your home with robust toys to safeguard your furniture from destruction! These cats combine curiosity, strength, and playfulness to add some character to your household.
Interesting fact: Savannahs sometimes show their affection by headbutting (you read that right!).
The Maine Coon is a gentle giant, known for their hunting prowess, athleticism, and (really) loud meow. The Maine Coon is the largest domesticated cat breed, with males growing to around 18 pounds. They frequently earn Guinness World Record accolades for biggest cat, tallest cat, longest cat…you get the picture. Maine Coon kittens are curious little creatures who will climb anything (trees, grandma’s legs, small children) and think nothing of jumping from the floor to the top of the fridge to find the perfect perch. All in a day’s work for the largest (and very affectionate) domesticated cat.
Interesting fact: The Maine Coon made their literary debut in 1861 with a cat character named Captain Jenks of the Horse Marines.
The Olympian of cats, the Chausie is large and athletic. Like many large cat breeds, some of their behaviors resemble that of dogs. (Don’t tell them we told you so!) Chausies are playful and very interactive, will follow you room to room, and even walk on leashes.
Interesting fact: The name Chausie comes from Felis chaus, the Latin name for “Jungle Cat.”
The Ragdoll is easily recognizable by their beautiful baby blue eyes. These cats are known for their epic lounging skills and affection toward their owners. High jumps? No thanks. They prefer to take their naps on the floor vice from a favorite perch and are often found stretching across their owner’s laps. As they grow in size, they can stretch clear off one lap and onto another.
Interesting fact: Ragdolls are known for their skill in the game of fetch.
Not to be confused with the Ragdoll, the Ragamuffin is a breed of its own—though the “rag” in Ragamuffin refers to the same general tendency to lay limp across their owner’s arms or laps. This gentle and sweet cat is a favorite for households with kids or other pets.
Interesting fact: Ragdolls are so trusting that they’re best as indoor cats only.
A Russian national treasure, the Siberian cats have starred in Russian fairy tales dating back hundreds of years. Like the Ragdoll, they can have blue eyes, and sometimes even feature eyes of different colors. They’re calm cats who do well with kids and have even been recommended as therapy cats.
Interesting fact: These cats are closet acrobats and have mastered the art of the somersault, especially when in pursuit of a favorite toy.
Bred to look like the American Coastal Red Bobcat, the Pixie-Bob has the bobtail and tufted ears of the Bob, but the personality of a domestic cat. Sharing lots of traits with their arch-nemesis (the dog), these cats are known for not minding a walk on a leash and their skill at a game of fetch. Oh, and they growl.
Interesting fact: The Pixie-Bob is the only breed where polydactyl (extra-toed) cats are accepted into competitions.
The Selkirk Rex is a Guinness World Record holder for the World’s Newest Cat Breed. That’s right, the Selkirk Rex became a breed recognized by the University of Veterinary Medicine in just 2013. “Rexed” breeds are known for tufted fur that makes them look like they’re having a perpetual bad hair day. What’s not to love?
Interesting fact: The Selkirk Rex is a combination of three breeds: the Persian, the British Shorthair, and the Exotic Shorthair.
The Turkish Van is easily recognizable by their unique color pattern, with a white body and color only on the face and tail (which is known as piebald). They’re considered a regional treasure in their native Middle East and are difficult to import. The first mating pair arrived in the United States only in 1982. Turkish Van coats are semi-long and lack an undercoat, which is great news for those who love big cats but not big hairballs.
Interesting fact: The Turkish Van loves to swim.
Have you fallen in love yet? We’ve compiled some great reads for you to learn more!
- 11 Surprising Facts about Maine Coon Cats
- 6 Facts Only Real Fans of the Ragdoll Cat Know
- The 8 Smartest Cat Breeds