If you’ve dreamed of having a pet leopard or panther, you’re not alone. They’re powerful, beautiful, and majestic. And while they appear cuddly, they’re seriously ferocious. These cats are not domesticated and shouldn’t be. They require a life filled with excitement, hunting, and lots of space. To get your fix of big cats, you instead should consider one of the following majestic beauties. The largest cat breeds have made the record books with their size—while still being the perfect family companion. They are the perfect big cats for pets.
15 of the largest house cat breeds
If you’re wondering if your cat is considered a big house cat, first take a look at their weight. On average, a mixed breed male cat weighs around 8 to 12 pounds. Anything beyond 10-12 pounds is considered large. Female cats tend to weigh less than their male counterparts.
But did you know that some cats can weigh up to 25 pounds? We’ll explore details about them below.
The Maine Coon is from—you guessed it—Maine. This cat was first discovered in North America in Maine and is the official feline of the state. It is one of the oldest domesticated cat breeds in North America.
Known for their intelligence, personable nature, and goofiness, they make a great companion. They enjoy being close to their companions but don’t like to be cuddled.
As one of the largest cat breeds, males can weigh up to 25 pounds and females can weigh up to 18 pounds.
If you’re looking for a large cat to cuddle with, the Ragdoll cat is the ideal breed. They love collapsing into the arms of their family.
In the 1960s, they were developed in California as one of the largest house cat breeds. These friendly, cuddly, smart cats are typically great with children and other animals in the home. They can weigh up to 20 pounds—both male and female!
The name probably gave it away with this cat breed—Siberian cats hail from Siberia. Their history dates back to 1000 A.D.
These powerful, intelligent cats are known to be “problem solvers.” A doorknob in the way? They’ll figure out how to get it open. Hidden snacks in the jar? They won’t be able to keep their paws off it until it’s open. That’s why training them with a hidden self-cleaning litter box would be a breeze. These clever cats would have no problem finding their way inside a litter box credenza.
Siberian cats are known for being playful as well as intelligent and like to be around people. Males can weigh up to 20 pounds, with females being slightly lighter.
Scottish Fold cats hail from Scotland and all cats of this breed can be traced back to one particular cat: Susie. She was a barn cat that happened to have flat ears, and gave birth to kittens that also developed the folded ears. This birth defect made Scottish Folds one of the most popular breeds in America and Europe.
These magical creatures are typically happy with a sweet disposition. But because Scottish Fold cats have genetic abnormalities, they also develop arthritis in their tails at an early age. The painful condition might make the feline less cuddly and deserves prompt veterinarian care.
The memory foam bed by Whisker is a great place for your Scottish Fold to get a little R&R. It provides them with a cozy space to sleep off any discomfort.
Male Scottish Fold cats can weigh up to 14 pounds and females can weigh up to 10 pounds.
Chartreauxs’ origins aren’t completely known. It’s believed they date back to the 13th century in what we now know as Syria. The first Chartreauxs that were brought to the United States arrived in California in the 1970s.
Chartreux cats are very similar to dogs in their devotion. They bond with one person within the home and follow them around. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t affectionate to everyone else in the home—they just prefer their person.
Male Chartreux cats can weigh up to 16 pounds, but females tend to be on the smaller size weighing 9 pounds or less.
Norwegian Forest Cat
Native to Norway, this social, sensitive cat is believed to have been brought to the region by Vikings around 1000 AD. You can find stories about this powerful feline within European folktales and other texts dating back hundreds of years.
These powerful cats possess unusually strong claws. They can climb rocks and trees with ease! But don’t let that fool you, they love to be inside as well! Norwegian Forest cats will need cat trees and towers, as well as scratching posts to ensure they are stimulated enough.
These gentle giants can tip the scales at up to 20 pounds.
The Turkish Van cat hails from the mountains of Turkey. In their home country, Turkish Vans are considered a treasure. The Van is a large cat that is often confused with its cousin, the Turkish Angora. But Vans outweigh their cousins.
It’s hard to believe that any cat breed has an affinity for water, but the Turkish Van does. Aside from enjoying a splash, they’re sturdy, playful, and active cats. With quite the muscular and athletic build, these felines make jumping a breeze.
It is not uncommon for male Turkish Vans to reach up to 20 pounds.
The history and origin of Birman cats are not well known. It is likely that they were transported to France from Burma and were bred with Siamese cats to produce the distinct Birman cats we know today.
They are a social cat that likes to interact with every part of the family, kids and animals included. Birmans also love attention from company. Male Birmans can reach up to 15 pounds.
If you are searching for a cat with a wild appearance, the Ocicat fits the bill. This cat’s similar appearance to the ocelot is where it gets its name from—but don’t worry, they’re completely domestic.
As a descendant from Siamese cats, they appreciate human attention—so much so that they can act out if neglected or ignored. They have an outgoing and cheerful personality, as long as they have enough playtime and companionship.
Ocicats can grow up to 15 pounds.
Another cat with a wild, exotic appearance is the Savannah cat. Recently, some generations of this house cat have come under scrutiny because they might not be considered domesticated. A Savannah cat is the cross of a domestic cat and a serval—an African wild cat.
These cats are incredibly muscular and have powerful bodies. They can jump eight feet in the air! With such energetic personalities, you’ll need to ensure plenty of stimulation for this breed.
Taking the crown in our list of the largest cat breeds, it is not uncommon for an adult Savannah to weigh up to 25 pounds.
The British Shorthair's origin is quite complex. It is believed British Shorthairs were brought by the Romans to Britain in the 1st century. But after two world wars, the breed suffered neglect. Since then, shorthairs were bred with other domestic cats post-war to save the breed—often with Persians and Russian Blues. Today's cats are descendants of those crosses.
British Shorthair cats are docile, yet outgoing and friendly. They are an ideal family cat. Curling up in their pet parent’s lap is ideal. But they do not like being alone all day: They need frequent attention and love.
These attention-loving felines can weigh up to 18 pounds.
The Selkirk Rex is one of very few cat breeds that have wavy fur. And this cat, unlike others on the list, does not come from noble beginnings. Instead, this breed originated in an animal shelter in Montana. A fuzzy Selkirk Rex kitten was discovered in 1987 and became the “mother cat” to all Selkirk Rex descendants.
This gentle giant is a cuddly, affectionate ball of curly fur. They love their family, kids, and guests! But they are no couch potatoes—they love to play games and keep busy.
Selkirk Rex cats can weigh up to 16 pounds.
We all know the distinct face of the Persian cat. Their long hair and flat, squashed muzzle make them striking felines. They originate from Mesopotamia (present-day Iran) and won over an Italian nobleman in the 1600s. He brought them to Europe where they went on to become Queen Victoria’s favorite.
This cat is the lazy potato of the bunch. They are perfectly content lounging the day away. They are not as alert or need to be stimulated as much as other breeds. And like other breeds on the list, Persians fall on the smaller side, weighing at most 14 pounds.
These lazy love bugs are perfect for companions who work long hours or travel frequently. They can be left alone—with a helping hand of course. Like all cats, they like a clean place to use the bathroom, so a self-cleaning litter box is a must. And for the days when you’re stuck in the office, stay on top of their feeding schedule with a Feeder-Robot. With all their needs met, will they even know you’re gone?
One more wild and exotic-looking cat makes the list! The Bengal cat was originally a cross between an Asian Leopard and domestic cat, which is why the descendants have such distinct markings.
Because of their wild ancestry, Bengals have an incredibly active temperament. But they’re also loving and friendly. They love to play and climb.
And Bengals are one of the largest cat breeds on the list, weighing up to 22 pounds.
The Ragamuffin is a descendant of another cat on the list, the Ragdoll. This is why these two cats are incredibly similar. Because of a disagreement between Ragdoll breeders on which direction to take the breed, they decided to create two separate breeds—which is where the Ragamuffins’ origin began.
Ragamuffins are lovable, mellow cats known for their docile nature. They have such loving personalities that they often become the shadow of their companions. They love to love their humans!
Like the Ragdoll, Ragamuffin cats can weigh up to 20 pounds.
The largest house cat breeds need your love
The bigger the better? These large breeds of domestic cats sure make us think so! But who are we kidding, we love breeds of all sizes!
Cats of all shapes and sizes deserve the best love and care that you can provide them. This includes a clean place to go when nature calls. Help tame their urges to go wherever they see fit and instead provide them with a fresh, private, self-cleaning litter box: the Litter-Robot.
Both Maine Coons and Siberians are some of the largest domesticated cats in the world. Maine Coon cats are typically bigger than Siberians, with males weighing up to 25 pounds.
The Maine Coon, Siberian, and Ragdoll are among the largest domestic cat species. Unlike certain other large breeds, these are fully domestic—not a hybrid between a domestic cat and a wild cat, such as the Bengal or Savannah cat.
Yes. Siberian cats are friendly and lovable. They are also loyal companions but are not clingy.
Cover photo by Sergei Wing on Unsplash