The Largest of All Cat Breeds

beautiful and fluffy tri colored tabby cat at home in owner's arms
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Household cats come in as many shapes and sizes as their wild cousins. Some cat breeds, like the Maine Coon, can measure past three feet long and weigh up to 18 pounds. But what attributes to these cats becoming so large? "There are many myths and legends about why they are so big. In general, their size just became that breed's standard look so they were continually bred to be bigger and bigger until they became that size," explains Dr. Laura Robinson, veterinary advisor at Pawp. "Some other theories are that larger cats are able to maintain heat better and because Maine Coons actually originated in the cold weather state of Maine. A cat that could hold its heat better, survived longer, and therefore had a better chance of reproducing and passing on those traits."

While some people may prefer smaller cat breeds, you can enjoy the companionship that a larger cat provides. These cats are often as unique as their caretakers and many of these breeds, such as the Ragdolls and Maine Coons, have sweet and friendly personalities that make people easily fall in love with them. Big house cats don't always realize their size, either. Expect your kitty to cuddle on the couch or sit on your lap. Additionally, cat breeds such as the Savannah, may have dog-like qualities like the need to go on leashed walks or on outdoor adventures. This is another reason that people are drawn to these breeds.

Once you've met one of these big beauties, you'll be glad to adopt them into your family.

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Maine Coon

Maine Coon
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The Maine Coon is one of the most popular breeds of big house cats. This is because they tend to be "friendly, dog-like, goofy, social, and more trainable than other cat breeds," says Dr. Robinson. Maine Coons have been named the official cat of Maine and are known for their size and their long-haired fur. They're truly colossal—measuring up to three feet in length and weighing between eight to 12 pounds (female) or 13 to 18 pounds (male).

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Long hair domestic Ragdoll cat -
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The charming Ragdoll was born in the 1960s by a woman named Ann Baker. According to The Cat Fanciers' Association, Baker found a free-roaming cat that had long white hair and bred her with other cats that had the desired sweetness traits for which the modern Ragdoll cat is adored. They measure up to 21 inches in length and weigh between 10 to 15 pounds (female) or 15 to 20 pounds (male).

03 of 10

Turkish Van

Turkish Van
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First brought into Europe by way of the Middle East, called the Turkish Van, these cats first came to America in the 1980s. They are very intelligent cats that will keep you on your toes, and they are another cat that actually loves water, so much so that they have been called "the Swimming Cat." They measure up to 17 inches in length and weigh between seven to 12 pounds (female) or nine to 20 pounds (male).

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Savannah Cat Sitting on a Bed
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Technically, the Savannah is a hybrid breed, crossed between a Serval and a domestic cat. They are athletic, active, and easy to train (in fact, they can jump up to eight feet in height), which means that daily exercise is a must for this breed. They measure up to 17 inches in height and weigh between 12 to 25 pounds, depending on how many generations removed the cat is to its wild Serval ancestor.

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Siberian cat
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The Siberians are sweet cats that were bred in Russia and even feature in children's fairy tales. Because they come from the cold conditions of the Siberian landscape, these cats have a thick triple coat that is water resistant. And if you want a cat that actually loves water, then the Siberian is the feline for you. They measure up to 18 inches in length and weigh between 10 to 15 pounds (female) or 15 to 20 pounds (male).

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beautiful and fluffy tri-colored RagaMuffin cat at home
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The lovingly named RagaMuffin are large, beautiful cats that come in a variety of coat colors, including tabby, all black or tortoiseshell. These sweeties love children and make a great pet for families. According to The Cat Fanciers' Association, these cats also don't require as much grooming from us as you would expect from their longhaired fur because their coats rarely, if ever, get tangled or matted. They measure up to 18 inches in length and weigh between eight to 13 pounds (female) or 14 to 20 pounds (male).

07 of 10

British Shorthair

Elegant British Short Hair cat sitting on top of a wicker stool
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The British Shorthair, compared to most shorthair breeds, is a compact and powerful in build. These cats are sweet and even-tempered, which makes them a good companion for children in the family. They measure up to 25 inches in length and weigh between seven to 12 pounds (female) or nine to 17 pounds (male).

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Norwegian Forest Cat

Norwegian Forest Cat
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The Norwegian Forest Cat is "sweet, loving, affectionate, devoted to owners, [and they] need to keep up with brushing and grooming," says Dr. Robinson. These feline companions love to be around their people and have a moderate activity level. Be prepared to play with them every day. They measure up to 18 inches in length and weigh between nine to 12 pounds (female) or 12 to 16 pounds (male).

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Chausie cat breed
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New to the brood, the Chausie was recognized by the International Cat Association (TICA) in May 2013. These are medium-to-large domestic cats that have been bred to resemble their wild jungle ancestors. According to TICA, Chausies don't do very well when left alone and are very sociable with their people. They measure up to 28 inches in length and weigh between eight to 13 pounds (female) or 11 to 16 pounds (male).

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ocicat cats
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The Ocicat owes its exotic look to spotted cats of the wild: ocelots, margays, leopards, and others. And while this cat looks wild, its temperament is anything but ferocious. They are fiercely loyal to their owners. They measure up to 18 inches in length and weigh between six to nine pounds (female) or 9 to 15 pounds (male).

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