When most people think of big cats, their mind goes straight to lions, tigers, leopards, and the other ferocious feline predators of the wild. While those beasts definitely fall under the description of “big cats”, it’s the domesticated big cats we’ll be talking about today. Part of the reason people get a cat as opposed to a dog is due to the cat’s relative small size when compared to a canine, but there are cat lovers out there that just need to get the most bang for their buck, and have a cat that’s just “big boned”, with more of them to love.
All obese cat jokes aside, these kittens aren’t so much fat as they are just large for cats, with some of the healthy ones reaching upwards of 25 pounds or more, and the average weight of these big cats hovering around 15 pounds. But why would someone go out of their way to bring a bigger cat into their home? These larger breeds tend to have some advantages over their more diminutive counterparts: they live longer, they’re friendlier, they get along well with humans, and they’re good hunters. If you’re considering getting a cat, this course on cat adoption and ownership will walk you through the process of finding your new furry family member.
The Biggest Breeds of Cats
The following breeds of cats are the biggest of the big, which isn’t really that big when you think about it, especially compared to some of the more overfed, obese cats that are around. Though cats aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, if you happen to rent your house or apartment, and can only have cats, but you prefer dogs, a bigger cat may be right up your alley – they’re roughly the same size as smaller dog breeds, and they have a similar temperament. If you’re a dog-lover through and through, and you think all this cat business is for the birds (what are you doing reading this cat article?), and are thinking of getting a dog, this course on planning for a dog, and this article on how to train your dog will make this process go as smoothly as possible
- Savannah Cat: Taking the title of largest domesticated cat breed, the Savannah cat is a bit controversial, as it is a recently created cat breed, crossed between a domestic breed, most commonly the Siamese, with a wild African cat called the Serval. Though not recognized as a breed in the U.K., here in the U.S., the Savannah cat is a legitimate breed. Almost the height and weight of a medium-size dog, this cat can reach up to 30 lbs., but averages about 20, and is further dog-like in that it’s friendly, likes water, and can even be walked on a leash.
- Maine Coon: The largest cat breed that has no wild ancestry, the Maine Coon, aka the American Longhair, can reach up to 25 lbs. for males and 15 lbs. for females. It’s one of the oldest breeds in America, and is gentle in disposition, with a long coat, making it perfect for colder climates, and has above average intelligence. If you’re already a cat owner, or any other kind of pet owner, this course on first aid for pets is something you might need to check out.
- Norwegian Forest Cat: Another longhaired breed, but this time from Scandinavia, the Forest cat is similar to the Maine Coon, with a long outer coat, and a thick undercoat, making it a particularly hearty breed of feline. These cats can get quite long, and reach a weight of about 15 lbs. for females and about 20 lbs. for males.
- Ragdoll: Another longhaired behemoth, the Ragdoll is a mellow cat with a calm and kind temperament. They get their name from the fact that they basically go limp when you try to pick them up, and as a result, make a great pet for those who like to just sit on their couch and pet their cat (or provide companionship for a Bond villain). These soft-coated kittens can reach a size of 15 lbs. for females and 15-20 lbs. for the males of the species.
- Siberian: These thick-coated beasts hail from the chilly climes of Russia, and make a great pet for the allergy sufferers out there that insist on still owning a pet, as they produce less of the protein that triggers reactions from those allergic to them. These guys are not only big, but sturdy, too, and can reach upwards of 17 lbs. or more for males, and 8-12 lbs. for females.
- Chausie: Descended from jungle cats, the Chausie is agile and attractive, much like its wild ancestors. The Chausie that you take home must be four generations beyond its jungle cat origins for domestic use, and those that are far enough separated from their descendants are just fine to handle. Males average out at about 15 lbs., but can reach upwards of 22 lbs., with females weighing in anywhere from 8-15 lbs.
- American Bobtail: These guys are on the smaller side of the big cat scale, and are a great choice for homes with children or other pets. Some of these cats have short tails, and others no tail at all, and can get up to 11 lbs. for females, and 16 lbs. for males.
- Ragamuffin: Our final big domesticated cat is related to the Ragdoll breed, and shares many of the traits of that mellow cat. They, too are sturdily built, and may reach weights of up to 15 lbs. for females, and 20 lbs. for males.
Good luck with finding the perfect big cat, and make sure to hit the gym before you make a decision, so you don’t throw out your back when picking up your new feline companion. And for those non-cat-lovers out there who live with someone that’s thinking of getting a big cat, don’t fret, because you’ll probably end up loving the cat like it’s one of the family. When that moment happens, check out this course on how to make a film to honor your pet, and you can give them the homage they deserve.