Top 10 biggest cats
Among the representatives of the largest breeds of domestic cats there are long-legged, lean, short-haired beauties and shaggy lumps of a somewhat predatory appearance. The giants of the domesticated representatives of the cat world, whose weight reaches fifteen kilograms, or even more, include individuals of only a few breeds, and their prices sometimes go off scale. Pets weighing from 7 to 12 kg are not so rare, but they look no less impressive and respectable.
It is worth saying that cats, invariably included in the rating of the largest, are mainly distinguished by their physique – solid bones, powerful muscles, and not at all by how well they are fed by their adoring owners. Without exception, all mustachioed giants reach their peak only by 3-4 years, and it is at this age that their individual weight is established. Males are overwhelmingly much larger than females. Depending on the breed and litter, the difference in weight between them varies and can range from three to five to six kilograms.
Savannah, the largest domestic cat on the planet, is one of the rarest, most expensive, exotic and young breeds. Breeding work on its breeding began in the 80s of the last century and took place in stages. In fact, the savannah is a hybrid of a domestic cat and an African serval – a predatory mammal, a close relative of the lynx and caracal, but this beauty is more like a cheetah in its color. Her homeland is the United States, or rather, one of the farms in Pennsylvania, where, as a result of crossing a serval and a domestic Siamese cat, a female was born, who was named Savannah – it was she who became the ancestor of the new breed. Later, breeders connected Bengal cats, Egyptian Mau, Ocicats to the selection process. Officially, the breed standard was approved in 2001.
Savannah is a magnificent strong animal, whose weight reaches 15 kg, and sometimes exceeds this figure. The body length of a cat is about a meter, and the height at the withers is about half a meter. Distinctive features of her appearance are an elongated neck, a nobly set head, high slender limbs, thick hair, large ears.
Despite the fact that the look of the savannah is wild and, one might even say, unkind, she is not at all aggressive. This cat is quite sociable, friendly to children, devoted to the owner, perfectly, like a dog, understands commands and is ready to walk on a leash without whims. However, in urban conditions, the savannah experiences discomfort, as it needs an active lifestyle. She should be able to realize her instincts: climb to a height, hunt, jump, demonstrating the wonders of tightrope walking – from a place this pet may well “jump” 3,5 meters vertically. Savannahs are not at all afraid of water, on the contrary, they are not averse to making a swim for a fairly decent distance.
Not all savannahs are the same: their size and habits depend on the degree of relationship with their wild progenitor – the serval. The cats that are the least distant from the serval are designated F1 hybrids. These are the heirs of the first generation of mating animals – wild and domestic. They are the largest, rarest and, accordingly, expensive. The higher the number after F, the less serval blood the savannah has. Animals of the F7 hybrid, for example, are similar in their physique and size to an ordinary domestic cat. Savannah kittens can cost anywhere from $4 to $000.
In 2006, representatives of the LifestylePets company announced the emergence of a new breed of cats – Ashera. These animals appeared as a result of crossing a Bengal cat, an Asian leopard cat and a serval. Initially, the cost of a kitten in the cattery was 20 thousand dollars, but despite this, Ashera quickly gained popularity. Soon, however, it turned out that the DNA of these felines is identical to that of the savannas, so this breed is not recognized today as a separate one. However, these exotic species of cats remain in high demand, moreover, the cost of them has decreased significantly.
2. Maine Coon
The second place in the list of the largest cats is occupied by Maine Coons. About giant cats of the Maine Coon breed became known in the middle of the XNUMXth century, when they began to be shown at fairs held in the northeastern American state of Maine. Legends are still popular that Maine Coons appeared as a result of crossing domestic cats and wild animals, among which are called raccoon and lynx. From the raccoon, the Maine Coon allegedly inherited its tail with a distinctive color, and from the lynx – charming tassels on the ears. These showy versions are beautiful, but genetically they don’t stand up to scrutiny. Cynologists are sure that the breed was formed independently, as a result of natural evolution, but is intraspecific.
Maine Coons reach their maturity by the fourth year of life. At this age, their weight can be 12-15 kg. They have a large and long body, a powerful chest, well-developed muscles, thick, strong paws. In addition to their power, Maine Coons can also be proud of their luxurious thick coat. Another distinctive feature of the appearance of this animal is an incredibly fluffy tail, with which the cat wraps itself in the cold season.
Maine Coons have a great character – soft and accommodating. They are intelligent, smart, friendly, but do not tolerate familiarity. These cats love to live in pairs. Maine Coon males are excellent fathers, enthusiastically participating in the upbringing of their offspring along with females.
It is to the Maine Coon breed that the longest cat belongs. A male named Stew, a native of Nevada, is known for having a distance of 1,23 m from the tip of his nose to the tip of his tail.
Large, stately and elegant Chausie are young breeds of cats. They were bred in the USA in the 60s of the last century, and were registered only at the beginning of this century. The Chausie is a cross between an Abyssinian domestic cat and a wild reed cat, also known as the swamp lynx.
Chausies are built athletically, they have a long body, and the height at the withers can reach 40 cm, which puts them in third place in our ranking of the largest cats. The weight of an adult male reaches 14,5 kg. These amazing cats have a completely wild appearance. Their coloring, predatory look, hunting habits make you wonder if you should be afraid of them. But upon closer acquaintance, it turns out that the chausie is the sweetest creature: affectionate, gentle, peaceful, loving to purr, and quite loudly.
From their predatory ancestors, these cats inherited a passion for hunting, a love of water and a desire to conquer heights. They like to stock up, often dragging food left unattended from the kitchen. They should be fed with raw meat and fish, quail eggs, cereals are contraindicated for them.
Chausie is a very rare cat breed, as it is quite difficult to breed them. Chausies are most popular in their homeland – in the USA, there are several nurseries in Europe. In the post-Soviet space, chausie are considered a rarity. The cost of a kitten of this breed can reach $ 10.
4. Siberian and Neva Masquerade cats
The Siberian cat is the pride of Russian breeders and the first domestic breed recognized by all international felinological organizations. The name of the breed, which began to be bred in the late 80s of the last century, is symbolic, since animals distributed throughout Russia, and not just Siberia, took part in the selection. For breeding, the largest, strongest animals with heavy bones and thick long hair were selected. The result turned out to be excellent: the Siberian cat looks like a real taiga inhabitant: hardy, powerful, big, severe. The average weight of adult males is 10 kg, but 12 kg Siberians are not at all uncommon.
Siberian cats have a strong nervous system and high intelligence. They are calm, reasonable, patient with children, and attached to the owner like dogs. These cats are fearless and excellent hunters.
The Siberian cat rightfully occupies the fourth place in our rating of big cats, and to it we will add the Neva Masquerade, which is considered to be its subspecies. Breeders of the Kotofey club bred this magnificent breed under the guidance of felinologist Olga Mironova and presented it at her cat show in 1988. The Neva masquerade cat owes its name to the Neva River, on which St. Petersburg stands, and the color of the muzzle, similar to a carnival mask.
Today Siberian cats are bred in the USA, Canada, Great Britain, Germany, Spain, Italy, Finland and other countries. The number of nurseries located around the world is more than three hundred.
5. Ragdoll and ragamuffin
The top five in the ranking of the largest cats in the world is closed by ragdolls, along with their charming subspecies – ragamuffins. Ragamuffin, which means “ragamuffin” in English, is the creation of the creative American breeder Ann Baker, also known as the founder of the Ragdoll breed. Actually, ragamuffins are ragdolls crossed with yard outbred cats. Their appearance is very similar to that of ragdolls, but these delightful creatures have a richer palette of colors. Ragamuffins can be longhaired or shorthaired.
Representatives of this breed have an elongated, strong, muscular body, by the age of four, the age of their full maturity, they can gain weight up to 10 kg. By nature, ragamuffins are similar to ragdolls: they are just as gentle, affectionate, in need of love and attention of the owner, and, despite their impressive size, completely defenseless against the aggression of other animals.
The breed was introduced in 1994, but Ann Baker’s numerous detractors for a long time prevented the official recognition of the ragamuffins. Only in 2003 these cats received a separate status from ragdolls and were recognized by international cynological organizations.
6 Norwegian Forest Cat
Luxurious Norwegian forest cats are the pride of all Scandinavia, where they are considered native animals. Presumably, their ancient ancestors are the long-haired representatives of the cat tribe brought to these harsh northern lands. As a result of natural selection and adaptation to the Scandinavian climate, they became the founders of a special population of cats – large, strong, distinguished by endurance and very thick hair. At the beginning of the last century, the Norwegian authorities provided official protection to native wild cats, obliging foresters and rangers in nature reserves to repel poachers who massively caught these beauties and took them out of the country. In the 30s, breeders began systematic breeding of Norwegian Forest cats in order to avoid the extinction of animals, and at the same time preserve their original beauty. Officially, the breed “Norwegian Forest Cat” was recognized only in 1977.
The Norwegian Forest Cat looks powerful yet elegant. He has a strong elongated body, the hind limbs are noticeably longer than the front ones, which is more typical for a lynx than for a domestic cat. This proportion allows this animal to descend from a height head down in a spiral, like a squirrel, which is not typical of most pets. The weight of an adult male can reach 10 kg, but visually, thanks to its luxurious wool, it “pulls” a whole pood.
The character of the Norwegian is as magnificent as his appearance. He is an excellent and loyal companion, very inquisitive, sociable, but not annoying. The cat is extremely friendly and always ready to be friends with other pets.
In the second half of the last century, King Olav V of Norway granted the Norwegian Forest Cat the status of a national breed. In Western and Northern Europe, this charming animal has plenty of fans, in the USA they are not very popular, and in Russia there are only a few catteries where you can buy a guaranteed purebred Norwegian Forest cat kitten. They operate in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
7 British Shorthair
The British Shorthair cat is one of the oldest and largest English breeds. The ancient ancestors of these animals are presumably cats brought to Britain by Roman legionnaires before our era. Over the centuries, they have interbred not only with each other, but also with native wild cats. The British Shorthair became known as a breed in 1871, when it was presented at the London Cat Show, after which it became extremely popular. However, at the beginning of the 50th century, the fashion for these cats passed, and by the XNUMXs, their population had declined significantly. To preserve the breed, breeders began to cross a few representatives of the British Shorthair with Persian cats, as a result of which today these cats look a little different than a century and a half ago.
The Briton is a large, but rather compact in his constitution, strong man, who, thanks to his superbly sculpted muscles and unusual plush coat, looks even more powerful than he really is. On average, adult cats weigh up to 9 kg, but some pets weigh up to 12 kg. This is usually due to the fact that representatives of this breed are prone to obesity, because they become inactive with age. By their nature, British shorthair cats are calm and independent, they are selective towards others, and strangers are not allowed to approach at all.
There is an opinion that the illustrations for the book “Alice in Wonderland”, created by the English artist John Tenniel, depict exactly the British Shorthair cat. Today, the Briton is a recognizable “face” of the Whiskas brand.
The breed known today as the pixie bob was originally formed by crossing a domestic cat and a bobcat, a wild lynx, in natural conditions. Due to the fact that these animals have the same karyotype, their offspring turned out to be fertile. In the 80s of the last century, American felinologists, having caught three wild individuals in the forest, began to breed them, trying to preserve the original appearance of the animal. In 1998, the new breed received the right to participate in the championships of the world’s largest felinological organization TICA.
Outwardly, the pixie bob resembles a small lynx with a short tail. He has a powerful body, strong paws, a wild, slightly gloomy look. The weight of an adult pet is 7-9 kg. Despite its harsh and formidable appearance, the pixie bob is a fairly peaceful, calm creature. He is not aggressive, extremely rarely releases claws, and will not bite a person at full strength. In their behavior and devotion, these cats are like dogs. Pixiebobs do not meow, but growl when playing with each other. Their purring is not like the songs of domestic cats – it is very loud and heavy. These animals do not welcome other pets, but they also do not enter into conflicts with the four-legged brethren – they simply keep their distance.
Pixibobs give small offspring – usually 2-3 kittens in a litter. This rare breed is recognized as a national treasure of the United States. An official permit is required to take cats out of the country.
The ancestors of the Turkish Van are aboriginal semi-longhair cats who have lived in the area adjacent to Lake Van, located in Turkey, from time immemorial. This breed was discovered to the modern world by the British journalist Laura Lushington, a great lover of cats. From her trips to this region of Turkey in the 50s of the last century, she several times brought charming kittens, from which the breeding of the Turkish Van cat breed began in Europe. To date, the Turkish van is recognized by all leading felinological international organizations.
An adult Turkish Van cat can weigh up to 9 kg. His body is muscular, long, with a wide powerful chest. These pets are very fond of water fun and swim well. They are very active, sociable, overly inquisitive and emotional. They have a highly developed hunting instinct. In childhood and adolescence, these cats can even show some aggressiveness, biting and scratching their owners. However, with age, their character becomes softer.
In Turkey, native Van cats (they are called van kedisi here) are very revered, they are one of the symbols of the country and are listed in the Red Book. They are credited with the gift of bringing happiness and good luck, these animals are even allowed to enter the mosque. Turkish Vans can only be taken out of the country with official permission.
Chartreuse, or Carthusian, as well as a medieval cat, is considered a French breed. However, historians in the field of felinology are sure that the progenitors of the Chartreuse are cats brought to France from the East during the Crusades. In the 1928th century, they were described as stocky animals with a gray-ash color with a blue tint. Initially, these big cats lived at the main monastery of the Carthusian order of Grand Chartreuse, but over time they bred in other regions of the country. After the First World War, French breeders began to systematically breed the breed, and in XNUMX the Chartreuse already took part in exhibitions. Today, chartreuse kennels are located mainly in France and the United States.
Chartreuse resemble British shorthair cats in their appearance, but they have a different constitution and lack the pronounced plushness of wool characteristic of the British. When looking at their dense, knocked down, compact body and shortish limbs, it may seem that these pets are lightweight, however, when you lift the Chartreuse in your arms, you will immediately realize how deceptive this impression is. Adult chartreuse are distinguished by significant muscle mass and can weigh up to 7 kg. They are very balanced and measured, one might even say phlegmatic. They seem to enjoy watching rather than acting. Chartreuse meow very rarely, and their voice is so quiet that it looks like a whisper.
It is difficult to find purebred Chartreuse in Russia. Often, even catteries called “Chartreuse” sell shorthair blue cats of the British breed, European shorthair cats of blue color or hybrids of these breeds. You can buy a guaranteed purebred kitten in clubs that are members of the international felinological organization FIFe.
More cats not ranked
In addition to the breeds listed above, the following representatives of the mustachioed-striped can boast of large sizes: