10 Biggest Domestic Cat Breeds, Larger Than Your Average Feline

Posted by Christy Caplan
red maine coon cat lying down outdoors

Some cat breeds can weigh 15 pounds or more! The bigger the better, right? We love the larger domestic cat breeds that really stand out like the Maine Coon. Many of these cat breeds have exotic ancestors.

Do your homework before you bring home a Persian or another of these ten cat breeds! Some are fairly high maintenance and need an experienced cat owner.

1. Maine Coon

Maine Coon
Samson the Maine Coon cat has become a NYC celebrity because of his unusual proportions. Photo by Splurt Zillionz via The Dodo.

The Maine Coon is an American breed of cat which is well-adapted for working in the cold winters and fluctuating seasons of the New England region. It is called a Maine Coon because it was first recognized in the state of Maine and is now the official state cat. It was also famously the pet of Marie Antoinette in France before it was established here in America.

While its true ancestral origins are unknown, it bears resemblance to the Norwegian forest cat, suggesting it was brought to North America by way of the English sailers, the Norsemen, who were famous for having this breed of cat on board their ships.

2. Persian 

Persian Cat
relark/Flickr

The Persian cat sits on the throne of its household. This breed holds the distinction of being one of the breeds favored by royalty. And it's easy to understand why. With beautiful luxurious coats and regal personalities, Persians are pretty much royalty in feline form.

Persians may be gorgeous and seem like the perfect cats, but make sure you're ready for everything that comes with this breed. These kitties require a lot of extra care. But, if you're ready to pamper your cat a bit, you'll be rewarded with a loyal feline friend.

3. Bengal 

Bengal Cat
Hugh Bell/Flickr

The Bengal cat is the closest you can get to a pet leopard.

The Bengal cat breed is the result of a cross between a domestic cat and an Asian leopard cat. This heritage gives them the look of a wild cat but the temperament of a house cat. Cat enthusiasts have been trying to create such a hybrid since the 1800s, but the offspring of these experiments were usually sterile. It wasn't until 1983 that a viable breed was created.

According to VetStreet.com, Jean S. Mill began the Bengal breeding program in 1963, and Bengals today descend from cats bred by her in the early 1980s.

4. Norwegian Forest Cat

Wegies

Large, friendly, and with a beautiful and thick coat, it's no wonder that the Norwegian Forest Cat is such a popular breed today. These cats make great pets and their thick, long coats mean they're well-suited to colder areas. Be prepared, though, since these coats will shed and your cat will need plenty of brushing.

If you add a Norwegian Forest Cat to your home, you'll have something of a living legend in your house. This very old breed from Norway appears in traditional Norwegian fairy tales and legends. They have a history that could perhaps go back thousands of years.

5. Ragdoll

Ragdoll Cat
WJ van den Eijkhof/Flickr

If you're looking for a cuddly, affectionate, and incredibly laid-back cat, you'll find it in the Ragdoll. This unique breed is known for its dog-like behaviors and lackadaisical attitude. Whereas many other cats are known for being highly particular and even sometimes "snobby," the Ragdoll is anything but.

Thanks to its great attitude and friendly nature, this cat breed is a popular choice for families, since Ragdolls and kids often get along well. Read on to find out what's so interesting and unique about this very special cat breed.

6. American Bobtail

American Bobtail cat
Cat Breed Selector

American Bobtail cats are a relatively new breed.

Becoming popular in the 1960s, the American Bobtail cat is a domestic cat most known for its nubby tail that makes it look like its a wild bobcat! They make great companions and are active cats in the sense that they love playing games with their owners. American Bobtails are easy-going and are as devoted as they are social.

These cats were bred to look like a domestic version of the wild bobcat, and were developed by breeding cats with genetically short tails. American Bobtails are relatively big cats and can be many different colors and patterns, according to the Cat Fanciers' Association.

7. Siberian

Care.com tells us, these cats have been around since 1000 A.D.

"Hailing from Siberia, this breed was first referenced all the way back in 1000 A.D., according to TICA. Powerful, intelligent and entertaining best describe the Siberian, which frequently takes problem-solving (like opening doors) into their own paws. Their semi-long coat is thick in the winter to withstand the elements and becomes shorter and lighter in the warmer months."

8. Serval

Serval

There's something exciting about having an unusual pet, and if you love cats, you might be tempted to add a special breed of cat to your home. The serval cat is strikingly beautiful, athletic, and highly intelligent. But this African wild cat requires a large commitment from its two-legged parents. You must create a secure outdoor enclosure for this exotic cat. They also need a warm environment year-round, too.

African serval cats are small, slender cats with long legs, a lean body, a short tail, and a small head. Their scientific name is Leptailurus serval. Many are attracted to their adorable, large ears but living with this exotic pet may bring some challenges.

9. British Shorthair

cat in baby carriage

Good Housekeeping tells us this breed is very calm and easy-going!  In the interview, experts say this breed is suitable for a working individual because they don't require much attention.

10. Siamese

Flame Point Siamese

The Siamese cat is a living work of art. With large ears, sleek coats, and stunning eyes, it's no wonder that this breed is so popular. Siamese cats are known for their air of distinction and their discerning attitudes. These cats know that they're royalty, and they aren't afraid to show it!

That said, these cats aren't afraid to voice their thoughts - loudly. These kitties have a serious set of lungs, and they're always happy to talk for long periods. The beautiful Siamese cat breed has its quirks, but they're endearing traits and are just another reason why this breed is so popular.

Which of these large cat breeds is your fave? Great resources if you enjoy these larger cat breeds are the Cat Fancier's Association and The International Cat Association.  If you're interested in a cuddle with Ragdoll cats, the Savannah cat, a Ragamuffin cat, the African Serval these are the organizations that can give you breeders and resources. Also, some of these gentle giants might be found on the Guinness World Records for the largest cats.

Do you agree with this list?  Please let us know what you think in the comments.

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10 Biggest Domestic Cat Breeds, Larger Than Your Average Feline