There are several domestic cat breeds that feature the larger specimens of the cat world. Large domestic cats are typically characterized by a male weight of 12 lbs or more. Females tend to be smaller, but still considerably larger and heavier than those of medium sized breeds.
Notable Large Cat Breeds
|Breed||CFA Recognized||Average Weight||Description|
| British Shorthair ||Yes|| Males: 15 to 22 lbs |
Females: 12 to 15 lbs
|A solidly built rounded cat with a plush shorthaired coat.|
| American Shorthair ||Yes|| Males: 12 to 15 lbs |
Females: 8 to 12 lbs
|Similar to the British shorthair in constitution, but features a less compact frame. The American Shorthair is longer than it is tall in comparison to the relatively proportional Brit.|
| Ragamuffin ||Yes|| Males: 15 to 20 lbs |
Females 10 to 15 lbs
|An exceedingly large longhaired cat that features a surprisingly non-matting coat.|
| Ragdoll ||Yes|| Males: 15 to over 20lbs |
Females: 15 lbs
|Derived from the Persian and Siamese breed, this mildly longhaired cat requires minimal grooming.|
| Maine Coon ||Yes|| Males: 15 to 25 lbs |
Females: 10 to 15 lbs
|Known for its hunting ability, this longhaired cat is particularly adapted to cold climates.|
| Norwegian Forest Cat ||Yes|| Males: 15 to 20 lbs |
Females: 8 to 12 lbs
|A derivative of the Siberian and Turkish Angora, this breed is similar to the Maine Coone in its adaptation to winter climates.|
|American Bobtail||Yes|| Males: 12 to 16 lbs |
Females: 7-11 lbs
|Similar to the American Shorthair in height and build, but possesses a bobbed tail. The CFA reports that "In this breed, no two tails are the same". However, the average tail length is approximately 4 inches.|
| Chausie ||No|| Males: 10 to 22lbs |
Females: 8 to 15
|Crossbred with jungle cats, the Chausie was created as a safer version of the wildcat. Certain generations of Chausie males are infertile. These cats exhibit almost Cheetah-like agility.|
| Siberian ||Yes|| Males: 10 to 20lbs |
Females: 8 to 12 lbs
|Appears very similar to the Norwegian Forest Cat. Many of these cats boast a hypoallergenic coat.|
| Savannah Cats ||No|| Males: 20lbs |
Females: 10 to 15lbs.
|A Cross between a serval and a domestic cat. Distinguished by its lithe, athletic build and spotted coat. This breed is extremely varied in size with earlier generations being larger.|
You can visit the official site of the Cat Fancier's Association for full profiles and even detailed show standards for the aforementioned breeds.
Non-CFA Recognized Breeds
The Chausie and Savannah are also notably large breeds. In fact, the Savannah cat is a veritable giant that can often reach a weight of 28 pounds. Unfortunately, due to their heritage, none of these breeds have been recognized by the CFA. However, the cats have been granted a place within The International Cat Association's show circuit under the subcategory of "Advanced New Breeds".
Maturation and Size
Many large cat breeds can reach extremely heavy weights of over 25 pounds, though such weights are limited to precise genetic lines. However, most of large cat breeds take several years to achieve maturation. The typical time needed to reach full stature is between 3 to 5 years for almost every large sized breed. Judges do take maturation time into account during competitions.
Considering Large Domestic Cats
Health and Behaviour
Large domestic cats seem to have the advantage over smaller cat breeds. In general, all of the above breeds are characterized by:
- Robust constitutions*
- Stalwart frames
- Excellent hunting mechanisms
- Stable and friendly personalities.
- Focused on human companionship
*Kidney and heart diseases have been reported in Norwegian Forest Cats who also possess amongst the shortest life spans of the larger breeds.
In these ways, many large cat breeds almost mimic the reputations of canines. Breeders have often compared felines such as the British Shorthair to man's best friend when it comes to the protective and dog-like loyalties of these cats. The American Shorthair is famed for its amicable nature and hunting abilities.
Buyers who are looking to purchase a cat in lieu of a dog may do well to investigate the similarities between the larger-sized cats and their canine competitors.
If you are planning on choosing a large, domestic cat breed, be sure you know what you are getting into. Larger cats need more room, space to move and tend to be a bit more active. Caring for a cat is a lifetime commitment, and it is important to understand the behavior patterns and physical needs you may face with your new pet.