10 Domesticated Cat Breeds That Are the Largest

Large main coon cat with gray and white fur standing on couch arm rest

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

For those who have dreamed of having a pet tiger, they certainly appear beautiful, powerful, and striking while looking cute and cuddly. But these big cats are not domesticated and clearly not suited for life outside of the native environment, zoos, or sanctuaries. The next best choice for exotic cat lovers is a larger breed of house cat. Domestic cats make great pets due to their manageable size and relatively low maintenance.

These 10 domesticated beauties bring much joy to cat lovers in a slightly larger feline package.

Tip

If you prefer your cat to not bring you daily presents like dead mice or birds, then keep them indoors around the clock. Larger cat breeds tend to be better hunters than smaller breeds. If your larger house cat roams outside, be sure to add bells to their collar to make sure they can’t sneak up on neighborhood prey.

Breed Characteristics

Larger cat breeds tend to have more confidence. Most cats are curious, but larger cats usually have more powerful jumping abilities and can get into a little more trouble. Larger felines are athletic and active. Many bond strongly with their human owners and vocalize with mews, squeaks, and purrs when they need you.

  • 01 of 10

    Maine Coon

    A brown tabby Maine Coon cat with pointed ears laying on wood floor and looking past camera.

    Alexandra Jursova / Getty Images 

    The strong, shaggy Maine coon is a well-proportioned large domesticated cat. There are many stories of how this breed developed. Some believe they originated in America as a cross between a house cat and a raccoon, although that myth has been scientifically debunked. That raccoon myth was one explanation for the Maine coon’s long, smooth coat and voluminous tail. This unique and affectionate breed is a great family pet known for being a gentle giant in the domesticated cat world.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 10 to 16 inches
    Weight: 10 to 18 pounds
    Coat and Color: Long, double coat with more than 75 color combinations and green, gold, or copper eyes

    Life Expectancy: 9 to 15 years

  • 02 of 10

    Ragdoll

    A white fluffy cat with grey markings on its tail, ears, and face sitting on a white cat tree.

    Anne-Sophie Bost / Getty Images

    The ragdoll earned its name because of its docile, cuddly, and affectionate nature. Ragdolls collapse into their favorite person’s arms when picked up, just like a rag doll. Their history is shrouded in mystery, and there are many claims of how they came to be, including CIA experiments. This tremendous family-friendly breed gained popularity in the U.S. in the 1990s, and the Cat Fancier’s Association recognized it in 2000.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 9 to 11 inches
    Weight: 10 to 20 pounds
    Coat and Color: Medium-length and silky plush coat; light-colored body with a darker face, legs, tail, and ears; coat patterns include bicolor, van, mitted, and colorpoint; coat colors include seal, blue, chocolate, lilac, red, and cream; blue eyes

    Life Expectancy: 13 to 15 years

  • 03 of 10

    Norwegian Forest Cat

    A large, fluffy cat with orange and white markings in front of a solid black background.

    Naomi Rahim / Getty Images

    Imagine a wild, long-haired barn cat with wide yellow eyes and a muscular body, and you'd see an encyclopedia entry for a Norwegian forest cat. These large, sturdy cats were first bred in Norway by breeders who crossed domestic cats with wild forest cats. Since the breed was domesticated, it has become a perfectly friendly, playful, and intelligent breed. The Norwegian forest cat is perfect as a loyal pet to stay by your side.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 9 to 12 inches
    Weight: 13 to 20 pounds
    Coat and Color: Unique double coat that includes a dense undercoat and a long, silky smooth overcoat; colors vary greatly, every color and pattern is possible

    Life Expectancy: 14 to 16 years

  • 04 of 10

    Persian

    A flat-faced orange Persian cat staring at the camera laying on a plush chair.

    FluxFactory / Getty Images

    The most striking attribute of the Persian cat is its face. This long-haired cat has a round, often flat face and a distinctly short muzzle, giving it a squished face look. Its long hair gives it a larger appearance. In actuality, it is one of the smallest of the larger breeds. Unlike most larger cats, this cat is content lounging around all day and is not as active or alert as the bigger kitties.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 8 to 10 inches
    Weight: 7 to 12 pounds
    Coat and Color: Long coat in solid (white, black, cream), tabby, calico, bicolor, silver and gold, shaded, and smoke

    Life Expectancy: 10 to 17 years

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Chausie

    Chausie cat

    Satyendra Kumar Tiwari / Getty Images

    An exotic-looking breed, the chausie is a large, extremely active, and intelligent cat. Its history dates back to the ancient Egyptians. The chausie got its name from the Latin name “felis chaus,” meaning “jungle cat.” People likely gave it this name because of its natural hunting skills and regal demeanor combined with its large-and-in-charge appearance. The ancient breed was bred with house cats centuries ago and brought to America, where they became popular as some of the giant domesticated cats.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 14 to 18 inches
    Weight: 15 to 20 pounds
    Coat and Color: Short coat, commonly black or brown with a tabby pattern

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 years

  • 06 of 10

    Siberian

    A fluffy brown cat with black and white markings laying on a wood floor.

    CasarsaGuru / Getty Images

    This unique Siberian cat breed is large, sturdy, and intelligent. It had to be, growing up in an exceptionally unforgiving climate with painfully short summers and long, harsh winters. The breed was domesticated and brought indoors, away from the elements, where its true colors could emerge. Siberian cats are notably affectionate and playful, making great house pets.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 9 to 11 inches
    Weight: 10 to 20 pounds
    Coat and Color: Semi-longhaired, triple-coat that varies from coarse to soft; comes in a wide variety of colors

    Life Expectancy: 10 to 18 years

  • 07 of 10

    Savannah

    A jaguar-like house cat with black spots and big eyes on a couch.

    Pierre Adan / Getty Images

    The Savannah cat is a cross between a domestic cat and a serval, a medium-sized African wild cat with distinctly large ears. Its exotic, leopard-like appearance makes the Savannah a commonly desired pet among big cat enthusiasts. Savannah cats are classified by the amount of each breed they contain to inform owners of how genuinely wild they are. For example, F1 and F2 generations are usually the largest and have more genes from the African serval.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 10 to 17 inches
    Weight: 12 to 25 pounds
    Coat and Color: Short to medium length coat; black, brown spotted tabby, black silver spotted tabby, and black smoke with a solid or tabby pattern

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 20 years

  • 08 of 10

    American Bobtail

    An orange cat with a short, bobbed tail laying on a washing machine.

    asasirov / Getty Images

    A distinctly short, stubby bobbed tail is what makes this domesticated house cat stand apart from all of the other breeds. It also has long hind legs and an alert hunting gaze—attributes consistent with a bobcat. The first American bobtails are believed to originate from one cat, Yodie, found abandoned at a motel in Arizona by a vacationing couple. Experts believe Yodie was left at the motel by someone from a nearby Native American reservation who possibly mated a wild bobcat with a domestic cat.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 9 to 10 inches
    Weight: 7 to 16 pounds
    Coat and Color: Can come in any color or pattern; shaggy coat

    Life Expectancy: 13 to 15 years


    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Ragamuffin

    A close-up of a ragamuffin cat.

    sergeyskleznev / Getty Images

    The ragamuffin is closely related to another larger breed, the ragdoll. The ragamuffin is large, lovable, and mellow. Ragamuffin cats are known for their docile nature and thick, luscious coat. Their personality is quite similar to the ragdoll, but their faces typically have a friendly overall expression with larger, rounder eyes.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 9 to 12 inches
    Weight: 8 to 20 pounds
    Coat and Color: Long and silky coat; white, black, blue, red, lavender, cinnamon, chestnut, platinum, and chocolate colors

    Life Expectancy: Up to 18 years

  • 10 of 10

    Bengal

    Bengal cat sitting upright

    itsabreeze photography / Getty Images

    At first glance, it’s hard to believe the Bengal is a domesticated cat and not wild. With an athletic body and a unique, patterned coat, the Bengal cat breed looks like it's straight out of the jungle. Bengal owners say this breed is as loving and friendly as other domestic cats. They’re people-oriented cats that love to play and climb all day.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 8 to 10 inches
    Weight: 15 to 18 pounds
    Coat or Color: Short, dense coat; colors include brown tabby, seal sepia tabby, seal mink tabby, seal lynx point, black silver tabby, and other combinations with spotted or marbled patterns

    Life Expectancy: 10 to 16 years

Breeds to Avoid

Whether you have a big cat or a little cat, all domesticated cats can acclimate to the size of their owner's home. But, if you want to avoid having a bigger cat, some breeds are smaller than others. Smaller kitty breeds include the short-legged munchkin, the Singapura, and the Devon rex.