In this article, we’ll get to know the top five biggest cat breeds on Earth!
At the large end of the spectrum, you’ll find cats that have adapted to cold climates, necessitating big paws and massive tails. Others are distinctively tall and leggy.
Some of the largest cat breeds are domesticated cats little more than a few generations away from their wildcat roots. These exotic hybrids include the Cheetoh, Savannah, and Chausie.
How big is the world’s longest domesticated cat?
In the Guinness Book of World Records, the world’s largest cats are determined by length rather than weight.
Currently, the world’s longest living cat is a Maine Coon named Ludo, who measures 118.3 centimeters or 45.6 inches long. From nose tip to the end of his tail, Ludo is about as long as the average six-year-old human is tall. The longest cat ever was also a Maine Coon. Stewie measured 123.19 cm or 48.5 inches long.
How big is the world’s heaviest domesticated cat?
Although the world’s largest cat breeds are above average in weight, any cat can be obese. Therefore, the world records tend to go to overweight cats rather than exceptionally large breeds.
To discourage people from feeding their cats into obesity and disease for the sake of stardom, the world’s heaviest cats are no longer recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records. The heaviest cat on record died at age ten in 1986. At the time, Himmy weighed 21.3 kg or 46.8 lbs
Top 5 Largest Cat Breeds in the World
Adult Weight: 11-25 lbs
The true history of this fluffy American native is one cloaked in myth and legend. One tale asserts that the Maine Coon resulted from a cross between a raccoon and a domesticated cat, lending the breed its fluffy striped tail and its name.
Another more genetically plausible origin story involves a terrified Marie Antoinette. Fearing her ultimate demise at the hands of French Revolutionaries, she attempted to travel across the sea with her six favorite Turkish Angora cats. According to the legend, Marie never made it to the States, but at least some of her cats did. Once in New England, the Turkish Angoras bred with local cats and evolved into the Maine Coon.
Another hypothesis holds that the cat may have originated on ships managed by Captain Charles Coone, who traveled in the 1700s from Europe to New England, bringing longhaired European cats like the Norwegian Forest Cat.
This theory holds more weight – the similarity between these Northern European cats and the Maine Coon are striking and match up with the human history of the time.
Regardless of its background, the Maine Coon today is clearly made for harsh, cold environments.
The Maine Coon has the brawn to deal with cold, snowy conditions. Their thick, burly bodies are covered in a lush triple coat that’s thickest on the sides and bottom, protecting them from snow and ice. Their huge paws are like snowshoes, with tufts of fur between the toes and a tendency towards polydactylism. The Maine Coon’s thick, fluffy tail resembles those found on other animals who evolved for a cold climate.
Maine Coons are often referred to as gentle giants. They’re relaxed, intelligent, and retain a kittenish desire to play throughout their lives.
Adult Weight: 12-25 lbs
The first Savannah was born in 1986 as the result of breeding between an African serval and a Siamese cat. A true cross is given the filial number F1. Subsequent generations are labeled F2, F3, and so on. Members of the F1 and F2 generation are the largest, thanks to the influence of the serval genetics. These medium-sized wild cats weigh around 26 pounds as adults and some Savannahs reach a similarly high weight.
These cats are densely muscled and leggy, with short spotted coats and large, cupped round ears.
Their energetic personalities and powerful bodies that make them impressively athletic. Savannahs can jump up to eight feet straight in the air. It’s not uncommon for Savannah cats to splash in puddles, play fetch, and go for walks on a leash.
Norwegian Forest Cat
Adult Weight: 10-22 lbs
The Norwegian Forest cat is a large, fluffy feline with a long history.
It’s believed that this type of cat was brought to Norway by Vikings in 1000 AD. This fluffy, powerful feline has appeared in European folktales and other texts for hundreds of years. Norse legends describe a “fairy climber”, scaling rock faces like no other cat.
Indeed, the Norwegian Forest Cat does possess unusually strong claws and can climb trees and rocks with ease. Like other thick-coated, burly cats, this breed’s physique is adapted to cold Norwegian weather. They have a triangular head, almond-shaped eyes, and a fluffy lion-like scruff.
Adult Weight: 10-20 lbs
Like a ragdoll that dangles limply from your arms, the Ragdoll cat has an interesting tendency to melt when carried.
Ragdolls were first developed in 1963 when a white Angora cat was bred with cats bearing Siamese-style points. This breeding is apparent in today’s Ragdoll. They have thick, fluffy cream point coats.
Also like a ragdoll, this breed makes a soft, gentle companion. They’re known for affectionate personalities. Paired with their fluffy coat and tendency to almost ooze down through your arms, the Ragdoll could be considered the ideal cat to snuggle with.
Adult Weight: 10-20 lbs
This domestic – wildcat hybrid is made from the breeding of the Felis Chaus with domesticated breeds including the Abyssinian and Oriental Shorthair. Like many other domesticated – wild cat hybrids, the Chausie is a relatively new breed that was developed in the 1990s.
They’re lanky, muscular cats with exceptionally long legs. Their height is an impressive 14-18” at the shoulder.
In addition to a wild appearance, they retain the jungle cat’s passion for adventure. The Chausie personality is active, intelligent, and sociable, and they’re best suited to experienced, passionate owners who can dedicate time to an energetic and headstrong feline.
Their long, powerful bodies are contrasted by a strikingly short tail. Their coats are typically a tawny agouti, although some Chausies have a black or unique grizzled black coat.
About the author
Mallory Crusta is a writer and adventurecat enthusiast on a mission to make cats’ lives extraordinary. She’s one of the founders of Wildernesscat – a site for happy, healthy, and adventurous cats who are fueled by nature. Visit Wildernesscat for radically natural cat nutrition, home remedies, and lifestyle inspiration.