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Close up of a Maine coon tabby cat

Are you looking for a larger furry friend to take up the perfect amount of space in your home? Perhaps a pet with the personality of a cat but the size of a small dog? There are many types of domestic cats that can fit the bill, with some of the largest recorded cats even reaching up to 48 inches in length, and weighing over 30 pounds!

Read on to learn more about everything you need to know about some of the most popular  largest cat breeds, plus tips to create a perfect home base for large-sized cats.

👉🚨Large domestic cat breed basics

  • You’ll want to have plenty of room. This may seem like a no-brainer, but these kitties are “a lot of cat”, and they’ll need plenty of room to exercise and play. You might even find that their energetic personalities get more pronounced as time goes on and they get to know you.
  • Your cat may need a special diet. Cats by nature are obligate carnivores, which means that they’ll need a high amount of protein, healthy fats, and a range of nutritional elements  to keep them healthy. As you’ll be investing in a large domestic cat breed, you might want to plan ahead for what they’ll be eating and how much to feed them.
  • Check your toys, furniture and cat stuff for safety info. Large cats might require different furniture or toys that are weighted for their needs. Large cat breeds generally weigh more pounds or are longer than others, which means that you should check every cat tree or toy your gentle giant might find their way into or onto, to avoid any accidents or malfunctions.

1. Maine coon

Maine coon cats are beloved as one of the oldest and largest cat breeds in the United States. They’re known for their sweet disposition, intelligence, and impressive size. A fun fact about this breed is that their type actually made the Guinness Book of World Records—via an entry for “Stewie,” (full name Mymains Steward Gilligan)—recorded to be the longest cat in the world in 2010. Stewie’s story was even picked up by the local Reno Gazette Journal, as he was able to dethrone the previous Guiness world record holder, Magic.

As the name suggests, this is a true American cat breed, having first originated in the state of Maine in the 19th century.

Maine coon cat with eyes closed

Facts about the Maine coon

  • Intelligence — High
  • Vocalization — Highly vocal
  • Life span — 12 to 15 years

2. Norwegian forest cats 

Norwegian forest cats are known for their sociable nature and ease of care, making them one of the most popular entries on our largest domestic cat list. While they’re not the biggest cat breed out there, they are a notable size—usually topping out in size somewhere between an average house cat and the chart-topping Maine coon.

Domesticated cats from this bloodline enjoy be​​ing curious and doing their own thing, making them a great choice for owners who may find themselves working or busy often.

Norwegian forest cat standing on cut wood.

Facts about the Norwegian Forest cat

  • Intelligence — High
  • Vocalization — Often
  • Life span — 15 to 17 years

3. Bengal cats

Bengal cats may trick the eye—but these furry friends are actually a form of domesticated cat. This breed type comes from a hybrid breed stemming from Asian leopard cats. They are then crossbred with a variety of most popular breeds, such as the spotted Egyptian Mau cat.

Despite their exotic roots, Bengals are considered to be domesticated after several generations of separation from the Asian leopard bloodline. They’re smart, playful and enjoy a good challenge, be it mental or physical. They are incredibly affectionate and enjoy any type of adventure they can tag along for. They’re the perfect big house cat for pet parents who want a big cat breed, but also the playful, energetic (and chaotic) spirit that can often come from the little guys.

Bengal cat lying on a cracked sidewalk

Facts about the Bengal cat

  • Intelligence — High
  • Vocalization — Often
  • Life span — 12 to 16 years

4. Savannah cats 

Savannah cats, as the name suggests, claim parts of their ancestry from the wild plains of the African Savannah. This is one of the world’s largest domestic cat breeds, and a Savannah was even recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the tallest domestic cat in the world. If you’ve got the space in your home, the Savannah is an incredible cat to call a furry family member.

These special cats are made by crossing one of the largest domestic cat breeds with African Servals—the wild cats are credited with giving this breed type their noticeable and unique fur pattern. Of all the large breeds, Savannahs are known for chattering rather than incessant mewing. They’d rather talk with you, rather than yell at you, which is a distinction that many pet parents can appreciate.

Savannah cat sitting on a couch.

Facts about the Savannah cat

  • Intelligence — High
  • Vocalization — Variable and chittery
  • Life span — 12 to 20 years

5. Siberian cats 

The Siberian cat breed type is known to be strong, adaptable and incredibly smart. These affectionate cats love showering their owners with attention, and receiving it as well. They’re also versatile, appreciating opportunities for some alone time in the sun. They have a thick, luxurious coat and a unique look about them, often featuring sharp green eyes and a beautiful tawny tan color.

These sweet cats are happy to be a member of the family, and are up to joining you on any adventure you go on. They enjoy spending time together with children or other cats, making them great pets for parents who are wanting to expand their family.

Furry ginger Siberian cat

Facts about the Siberian cat

  • Intelligence — High
  • Vocalization — Often
  • Life span — 15 to 18 years

What do big domestic cats have in common?

Large cats, such as the Turkish Van, British shorthair and Savannah cat can have wild cats among their ancestors. This unique origin story is what many attribute unique breed elements to, such as their large size and lofty heights.

Common wild cats that can share genetics with big domestic house cats include:

  • Servals. These big wildcats live in the deserts of South Africa, and remain the only member of the genus Leptailurus.
  • Asian leopards. These cats are nocturnal hunters that live across terrains in many Asian countries, such as China, Pakistan and the Korean Peninsula.
  • African wildcats. Domestication of this breed is thought to have started about 10,000 years ago by many — a move which may have influenced many big cat breeds today.

What health problems are common in large domestic cats?

While large cats or hybrid cats can make great family pet breeds for you and your loved ones, they can be predisposed to certain health and weight conditions. Pet parents can prepare by acknowledging these possible health problems ahead of time, taking preventative steps to care for this special member of the family.

We’ve summarized possible large-cat medical concerns, as identified by the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) below:

  • Cancer.  Unfortunately, large cats (like many other cats) may be predisposed to cancer. Some breeds, such as Siamese cats, may be predisposed to certain types of cancer (in their case, adenocarcinoma). Your vet can assess your cat’s risk profile for cancer, evaluating them for cancers that can be caused by feline leukemia virus (FeLV) or other possible causes. Treatment is available, possibly ranging from chemo and radiation to surgery.
  • Hip dysplasia.  Large cats may experience hip or joint dysplasia, possibly as a result of their big stature, genetic profile and longer-than-average bones. This condition is thought to occur when the femoral head, or tip of the leg bone that meets the hip, doesn’t articulate properly in the hip joint, which can cause pain and mobility loss. Your vet can help your cat, intervening with physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medication or surgery if needed.
  • Diabetes. Diabetes in our furr-ends can look like it does in humans—occurring as a response to a lack of insulin or faulty release of insulin, which can be caused by weight-related insulin resistance.  While all cats can experience this, big cats might as a result of mismanaged diets for their size, or a genetic predisposition in the bloodline. Your vet can offer insight here, offering dietary recommendations for larger cats, lifestyle changes and medication if needed.


What are the largest domestic cat breeds?

Beyond what we’ve named on this list, other cats such as the American bobtail, Selkirk rex, Siamese cat and ragdoll cat are also considered large cat breeds. Both females and males across this breed are known to be intelligent cats that feature larger and longer features, large toe beans and a long history of origin. Many believe that these differences are a result of breeding, which would make sense for the more sophisticated Serval relative of the Savannah cat and similar breeds.

Who is the biggest cat in the Guinness World Records book?

While the Stewie takes the title for the world’s longest domestic cat as mentioned above, the current entry at the time of this publication is Fenrir Antares Powers—a Savannah cat that is acknowledged as the tallest living domestic cat by the International Cat Association.

Are Maine Coons from the state of Maine?

Yes! The state of Maine recognizes the Maine Coon as a native cat, and attributes their arrival in the United States to New English seamen when they first came to America.