They say that bigger is better but when it comes to cats, bigger is not only better, it’s beautiful! What are some of the more robust felines, the cats that may have their canine counterparts rethinking that game of chase? In this fun article we’re going to be detailing 7 of the largest cat breeds that have won the hearts of cat lovers all over the world.
1. The Maine Coon – Adorably Dog-like
This furry feline may very well be the largest of all the cat breeds. Although, there is some speculation as to its origins, according to Cattime, it’s thought this native New Englander may have first been brought to North America by the Vikings long before Christopher Columbus“sailed the ocean blue.” Another theory is a descendant of the Maine Coon could have been sent ahead to America by Marie Antoinette, who had hoped to escape her doomed future there. Regardless of its sketchy past this beautiful bundle of abundance has been a popular pet for many decades.
Maine Coon Fast Facts
● Weight is from 9 to 18 pounds (some larger than 20 pounds)
● Long and thick, albeit a shaggy coat that comes in a variety of colors and patterns
● A well-proportioned body that is muscular with a broad chest
● Described as dog-like in nature due to its easy-going and adaptable personality and love of playing fetch
● Excellent mouser and catches rodents with ease and enthusiasm
● Extremely smart
● Exhibits “kittenish” behavior well into adulthood.
● Life expectancy is between 9 and 15 years
2. The Savannah – Not a Lap Cat
This breed is a newbie on the cat-breed-block. According to PetMD the first Savannah was brought into existence on April of 1986 when breeder, Judee Frank, paired her eight-pound female Sealpoint Siamese to a thirty-pound male Serval owned by Suzy Wood. The result was a stunning kitten with unique markings. It was named “Savannah” for its African heritage and became the first generation (F1) of this breed. As time went on more breeders were attracted to the qualities this cat possesses and by 2001 the Savannah was officially recognized by The International Cat Association (TICA) as a New Advanced Breed Class.
Savannah Fast Facts
● Weight is between 14 and 25 pounds
● Lean muscular build, a short, thick tail, a long neck and long legs, which makes it appear to be very tall.
● Comes in a variety of colors with bold spots and dots
● Is very curious, active and assertive and for these reasons it needs a lot of interaction with it humans or other cats
● It is also loyal and loves to follow the human it has bonded with around the house; however, it is not a cat that wants to spend a lot of time on your lap
● Loves to play in water and can be easily trained to walk on a leash
● Can live between 17 and 20 years with 15 being the average lifespan.
3. The Chausie – Jungle Cat
Pronounced “chow-see” this cat has its origins steeped in the wilds of jungle life. Although, jungle cats (Felis chaus) were revered in ancient Egypt, the Chausie only just originated in the 1960s with a wild species of feline found in the Far and Middle East being bred with Domestic Shorthairs. The Chausie went on to gain registry status by The International Cat Association(TICA) in 1995, and are currently working their way into Championship status.
Chausie Fast Facts
● Weight is up to 25 pounds
● Wild in appearance with a long slender body and tufted ears
● They tend to get destructive if bored
● Can be dangerous if left to roam outside as it is fearless
● If a Chausie gets away outdoors, it will most likely not return
● Not recommended for young children or first-time cat owners
● Affectionate towards its pet parents
● Average lifespan is 12 to 14 years-old
4. The Ragdoll – Cuddly & Loving
The Ragdoll breed was founded in the 1960s by one woman, Ann Baker of Riverside, California. She selected very specific felines to begin the Ragdoll line; those with beautiful long coats and seal points, placid personalities and large size. With a careful and specific breeding program the Ragdoll was finally recognized in 2000 as its own distinct breed.
● Weight is approximately 15 pounds with some reaching around 20 pounds
● Long fluffy, white coat needs to be groomed weekly.
● Retains the dark point markings on the tail, ears and around its eyes
● Loves to flop into anyone’s arms
● Docile but loves to play and interact with its family members
● Intelligent and can learn tricks
● The Ragdoll can live from 12 to 17 years
5. The Norwegian Forest – Big & Burly
This big burly breed is another feline with a mysterious past. Some speculate that the Norwegian Forest cat may be a descendant of the large black and white cats the Vikings used on their ships to keep the rodent population under control. Other sources say this breed was brought to Scandinavia by the Crusaders. However, either way this breed most likely roamed the forests of Norway, breeding with feral and barn cats to produce this shaggy dandy we know and love today.
● Weight is from 13 to 22 plus pounds!
● The long double-layered coat repels water
● Thick fur on its ears and feet keep it warm in the colder months
● They are gentle and patient and great for first-time cat owners
● Very intelligent and enjoys climbing
● Adapt well to change and are not prone to stress
● Lifespan is from 14 to 16 years
6. The Siberian – Warmhearted
This cat is a Russian through-and-through hailing from the subarctic forest region of Taiga, Siberia. It has been known in this region for around 1,000 years and has even been featured in some Russian folklore. Siberians were first imported to the United States in 1990 and were recognized by The International Cat Association in 1996 and the Cat Fanciers Association in 2006. Since then it has been gaining popularity as a hypoallergenic cat.
Siberian Fast Facts
● Weight 11 to 17 plus pounds
● Has a long triple-coat with a thick ruff of hair around its neck
● Has a sweet expression to match its sweet disposition
● Affection cat that adores being around its humans
● This breed is active and playful and will respond to toys
● Loves to talk in soft chirrs, chirps and mews
● Lifespan is 11 to 15 years
7. The Ragamuffin – A Huggable Lug
It may make sense to you that the Ragamuffin is indeed related to the Ragdoll; they look quite similar. This is due to the fact that the Ragdoll breed was strictly controlled by its founder (Ann Baker) so a new group formed to create the Ragamuffin. According to Cattime, they out-crossed to Persians, Himalayans and domestic long haired cats, to increase the size and to bring about other changes in appearance that would differentiate the Ragamuffin from the Ragdoll. In February of 2011, the Ragamuffin was given its officially nod by the Cat Fanciers Association.
Ragamuffin Fact Facts
● Weight is from 10 to 15 pounds, some exceeding 20 pounds
● Full cheeks with almond-shaped eyes
● Rabbit soft fur that is very dense
● Kittens are born pure white and develop their color patterns as they age
● Should be kept indoors as it is not a “street smart” cat
● Loves to snuggle up on your lap or be held like a baby
● Playful and puppy-like personality
● Lifespan is from 12 to 16 years
Big House Cats Are “Mighty” Special
With the world seemingly trying to reduce all our pets down to micro-minis that can fit into a pocket, it’s nice to know some of these feline breeds are still retaining their nature-intended size. If you are interested in finding your next purrfect pal, be sure to research out a reputable breeder or rescue organization. Big cats are “mighty” special so make your relationship with your new furry pal one that will last their lifetime.