10 Large Cat Breeds: The Next Best Thing to Owning a Tiger!

17 May 2019

If you love big, cuddly cats, one of these 10 breeds may make the perfect pet for you!

Have you always dreamed of having a pet tiger? While it's not quite legal to house a massive jungle mammal in your residence, a large cat could be the next best thing! In fact, there are many different large, domesticated cat breeds for you to choose from, so you'll be sure to find one that fits your personality and lifestyle.

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Here are 10 large cat breeds that you should check out:

1. Maine Coon

The Maine Coon is the biggest, most cuddly domesticated cat, says Dr. Mike Boling, a veterinarian at West Loop Veterinary Care in Chicago, Illinois. According to Dr. Boling, these cats can weigh around 25 pounds (11.3 kg). "For a cat, they're huge," he says. The Maine Coon is native to America and was first discovered in the state of Maine, as you may have guessed.

As is the case with many large cat breeds, one of the downsides to owning a Maine Coon is that they are more prone to heart disease because of their size. But the breed couldn't be more pleasant to be around! "They tend to be really gentle souls," says Dr. Boling. "They have these big heads and big feet, but they're very sweet-natured."

2. Burmese

According to Dr. Boling, Burmese cats tend to be tall, thin and "smooshy-faced." They're also known for being curious and super-involved. As such, you can expect a Burmese cat to be all over you and your property, with the most friendly intentions, of course. According to The International Cat Association (TICA), Burmese cats were bred from the Wong Mau, which was first brought over by a sailor in 1930.

3. Egyptian Mau

The Egyptian Mau was recently recognized and allowed to compete in shows, says Evelyn Mix, a co-owner of Bengalutopia, an in-home cattery. "They're pretty long and lean, but they can get pretty big," she says. As their name would suggest, this breed's origin can be traced back to Egypt. In fact, they even appear in ancient Egyptian artwork! According to TICA, the Egyptian Mau first came to the United States in 1956, when a Russian princess imported a few of the cats from Italy.

4. Savannah

A Savannah is "long and lean, like the Egyptian Mau," says Mix. These cats, who are known for being active and adventurous, first appeared in the 1980s, when a domestic feline gave birth to a kitten that was fathered by an African Serval, according to TICA.

5. Bengals

Bengals are known for being extremely intelligent and interactive. They tend to get along well with other animals, like dogs, and can be clicker-trained. They also love to climb, so be sure to have lots of vertical space if you decide to get one! According to TICA, these cats were originally bred by Jean Mill, who crossed a domestic cat with an Asian leopard cat in the early 1960s. Mill went on to breed the modern version of the Bengal in the early 1980s.

6. American Bobtail

American Bobtails "have a little, short tail and big, round eyes," says Mix. These cats, who were bred in the United States starting in the 1960s, are super playful, almost to the point of being childlike. They love to jump after things in midair and engage in games.

7. Ragdoll

Ragdolls, which were developed as a breed in California in the 1960s, just love to cuddle. In fact, they may collapse -- like a ragdoll -- into the arms of willing snugglers.

8. Siberian

As their name would suggest, these cats are native to Siberia. According to TICA, this breed was first referenced all the way back in 1000 A.D. These cats even made an appearance in the first cat show in the 1870s! The affectionate, attentive Siberian loves to follow people around the house.

9. Ragamuffin

Known for their long hair, Ragamuffins are Persian in ancestry and can weigh up to 20 pounds. They love to cuddle and sit on your lap!

10. Chausie

A Chausie can weigh up to a whopping 25 pounds! According to TICA, these cats have a wild jungle cat ancestry that can be traced back to ancient Egypt. Known for their athleticism, Chausies love to interact with people and are always up for some good-natured play.


Erin Chan Ding is a freelance journalist based in the Chicago area who writes features, profiles, business, travel, parenting and pet stories.

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