In North America, cats reign supreme. There are about 73 million domesticated cats on the continent alone which is 10 million more than that of dogs.
If you think 73 million is a big number, it is just a small portion compared to the 500 million domestic cats in the world.
Currently, there are about 40 recognized domestic cat breeds all over the world and 10 of them are so large that you wouldn’t even have to think about owning a lion or a tiger as a pet.
Countdown to the Largest Cat Breeds
If you’re thinking about owning a large cat, you need not look far. Here are 10 large cat breeds that are sure to rule your home.
1. Norwegian Forest (12-16 pounds)
Having similar appearance to other long-haired cats, this breed has existed for about a thousand years and has been a popular character in Norwegian mythology. It is widely believed that Norwegian Forest cats traveled on the ships of the Vikings in order to keep mice at bay.
Another similarity between Norwegian Forest cats and other long-haired breeds is that they have thick insulating coats. Norwegian Forests have waterproof coats that give them a certain advantage during winter.
However, what makes them stand out from the others is that Norwegian Forests have almond-shaped cat eyes and triangular heads that are unique to their breed.
2. Pixiebob (8-17 pounds)
This breed of cat may appear wild due to its resemblance to the Bobcat but it’s actually anything but. As far as domestic cat standards go, Pixiebobs are a quite big breed weighing around an average of 8 to 17 pounds.
With Pixiebobs, there are a lot of fun things you can expect. They are highly active felines and in some ways are similar to dogs as they too have a propensity for learning tricks. Besides the fact that they like to play fetch, they even love to go on walks while tied to a leash.
What’s more is that Pixiebobs are more likely to become polydactyl; meaning they could have up to seven toes on a single paw.
Pixiebobs make loving pets and they get along with other animals quite fine too.
3. Bengal Cats (8-15 Pounds)
Another wild-looking cat is the Bengal and interestingly enough, it actually has wild roots.
Back in the 1960s, Jean Mill first tried to breed a domestic cat with a wild Asian leopard cat. The breeding produced much success so much that in the 80s, the modern version of Bengal cats was finally brought into the world.
Just like Pixiebobs, Bengals are known to be able to get along well with other pets. They are highly intelligent creatures and are exceptional climbers. This means that when you get a Bengal cat, you should make sure that your feline pet has enough climbing space to satisfy its needs.
4. British Shorthair (9-18 pounds)
British Shorthair cats are one of the most independent breeds out there and it probably is due to the fact that they were actually bred for work prior to becoming a full-fledged housecat. One of the largest short-haired cats weighing up to 18 pounds, the British Shorthair was formerly used to control the rodent population, especially in alleys and barns.
This breed is quite popular in the market most probably because of their big round eyes, even temper, and sweet character. Not only that, British Shorthair cats make exceptional house pets and their ability to get along with children is truly remarkable.
Often, called the “British Blue,” cats of this breed often have blue-colored fur but can also come in a variety of colors. However, British Shorthairs also tend to be clumsy and shy with a slight dislike to being held.
5. Turkish Van (7-20 pounds)
If you’re looking for a unique large housecat, then you need not look far because the Turkish Van is definitely the one for you. Weighing up to 20 pounds, this large cat is known for its athletic abilities, bravery, and intelligence. Living an active lifestyle, it loves to jump around and even go swimming (a unique trait for cats).
Originating from Central and Southwest Asia, the Turkish Van is also quite the attention seeker often in a talkative mood especially when it feels neglected. Not only that, you’ll also often find it sitting atop the highest shelves looking down on its owners like the king that it is. But despite its high and mighty disposition, Turkish Vans are also known to develop strong bonds with their owners.
6. Ragamuffin (8-20 pounds)
Another cat known for its eyes, the Ragamuffin appears similar to the Ragdoll cat in more ways than one which isn’t actually surprising since they both have Persian ancestry. This incredible feline comes in a wide range of colors and is sweet and mild-tempered making it great pets for families with little kids.
Its fun and easygoing personality make it able to tolerate handling and playtime better than most cats. Not only that; Ragamuffins are also quite intelligent, being able to learn tricks and play fetch with their owners.
Compared to other cat breeds, the Ragamuffin takes longer to mature. They reach adulthood only sometime after four years.
7. Ragdoll (8-20 pounds)
Ragdolls are all about their owners. In fact, they are so people-oriented that they would gladly be with humans all the time, playing with them, and winning them over with their awesome personalities. Not only that, these superstars are also quite friendly with other pets making them ideal to have if you want more animals in your home.
While these beautiful cats look very similar to their cousins, the Ragamuffins, they have slightly oval-shaped eyes (usually of a blue color) compared to the large round of the latter breed. Ragdolls are known for following people around and going limp when picked up by people.
8. Maine Coon (9- 25 pounds)
The Maine Coon is the definition of a big cat. Weighing up to 25 pounds, this gentle giant is known for its playful and friendly personality. It is so great with other animals that you can even mix it with dogs and there won’t be any problem.
Maine Coons are famous for the fluffy ruffs around their necks which make them look like little lions. For a time, people believed that myth that Maine Coons originated from the union between a domestic cat and a raccoon.
This cat breed is more accustomed to the cold climate due to its beautiful thick coats. Not only that, some Maine Coons can even weigh up to 35 pounds making them truly one of the largest domesticated cats in the world.
Furthermore, their love for humans, nature, and their long-tails make them among the most popular cat breeds around. Their independence means that they will not spend much time pestering you for attention and instead will be mostly looking for ways to entertain itself.
Maine Coons are native to America and were named after the state they were discovered in.
9. Chausie (15-25 pounds)
If you don’t know much about cats, you might think Chausies belong in the wild but they’re actually sweet domesticated animals. Tall and long, these cats are well known for their love of running and jumping which, given their wild ancestry, isn’t at all surprising. Their Latin name, Felis chaus, literally translates to “jungle cat.”
If you want a clingy, affectionate, and jungle-looking cat, then you might just love the Chausie.
They are known to hate being alone and are quite the attention whores. They are quite rare as far as domesticated cats go and with that, it should be expected that their prices lean towards the higher side as well. Fortunately, their beauty and elegance coupled with their loving qualities make their price worth it.
First domesticated by the ancient Egyptians, the Chausies have quite a long history. In fact, they were so revered by the people of Ancient Egypt that mummified remains of jungle cats were found in Egyptian tombs with their owners.
10. Savannah (up to 30 pounds)
Having first appeared in the 80s, the Savannah cat is no doubt the largest cat breed around; able to weigh as much as 30 pounds when full-grown. These cats are not just heavy, they are also known to be tall and long. You might even mistake them for a Serval, the wild cats from which they had come from.
Domestic cats and wild Servals were basically crossed to produce this stunning creature. When it comes to athleticism and wit, only a few can match the glorious Savannah. But aside from their physical build, Savannahs are among the most loyal of cats and would often go around following their owners.
Unfortunately, this breed wouldn’t do so well sitting on laps. The Savannah is adventurous and highly active. In fact, this cat may even play with water if it’s in the mood. This breed is relatively new and is still fairly uncommon in the U.K. today and is still not recognized by the Cat Fancier’s Association.
When you opt to have this cat as a pet, make sure to give it lots of attention and interactions between you and your family as well as with other cats.