Cats are the second most common pet worldwide, only beaten by dogs. They are one of the smallest carnivorous mammals and one of the few that have been domesticated by humans. Cats were domesticated around 10,000 years ago, and while that may seem like a very long time ago, dogs were domesticated almost twice as long ago!
Although they are much more independent than dogs, domestic cats have practically become reliant on humans for food and shelter in today’s urbanized world.
Cats have evolved into many different breeds since they were domesticated. You can find cats that are so fluffy they look enormous or cats without any hair at all. There are cats of just about every color you can imagine, and they drastically range in size. Some breeds may be larger than small dogs, while the smallest breeds will fit in a shoe.
Recently, a new record has been officially recorded for the world’s tallest living domestic cat. We definitely wouldn’t blame you if you confuse this behemoth for a panther!
World’s Tallest Living Domestic Cat
Guinness Book of World Records 2023 has recorded a Michigan cat officially as the world’s tallest living domestic cat. It is a 2-year-old Savannah cat named Fenrir Antares Powers and is 18.83 inches tall. The cat also has a whopping weight of 38 pounds. Fenrir Antares Powers lives with his owner Dr. Will Powers, a physician who has nicknamed his furry pal Big Chungus for obvious reasons… referring to his enormous size and height. When asked about Fenrir, he exclaimed:
“Sometimes people see him and think he’s a small panther, a puma, or an ocelot.”
Despite his size, he is just a normal domestic! But how did “Big Chungus” get so massive? When asked about Fenrir’s diet and eating habits, Powers said:
“My degree before med school was in chemistry, and what I do as a physician all day long is biochemistry, so I made a diet for them I thought was superior to what I could get commercially.”
Cats of Fenrir’s breed, Savannah cats, are usually found in South Africa and are about 14-17 inches tall when in the wild. However, our big guy even exceeds wild Savannahs by over an inch! In a recent interview, Mr. Powers mentioned that the cat could stand on his hind legs and reach the kitchen counter and is often known to be a snack-stealer.
Prior to this, the record for the tallest living domestic cat was held by his brother, Arcturus, at 19.05 inches tall. So, it can be concluded that whatever Dr. Powers is feeding his cats is working. Unfortunately, Arcturus died in a house fire back in 2017.
As he belongs to a physician, Fenrir also plays the role of a therapy cat, providing comfort to long-term hospital patients and the terminally ill.
Average Size of Domestic Cats
Cats range in size drastically. The largest breed is the Maine Coon, and the smallest cat breed is the Singapura. On average, domestic adult cats weigh about 8-12 lbs, stand about 9-10 inches in height, and are about 18-20 inches long, not including the tail. They’re almost the size of a human baby and can easily fit in your lap.
Domestic cats are relatively small animals and don’t need an ample amount of space to thrive. Nevertheless, the size of a domestic cat may vary drastically depending on the cat’s breed. For example, the Maine Coon is more than double in size on average compared to the Singapura.
History of Savannah Cats
Savannah cats originated in Africa and were created by cross-breeding domestic cats with wild Servals. This cross-breeding is what gave Savannah cats their long legs and impressive height compared to other breeds. Servals can be as tall as 24 inches, while the average domestic cat is only 8-10 inches tall. So you can definitely see where Fenrir and his brother got their unusually tall genes. Savannah cats are a fairly new breed that was only officially recognized as a registered domestic cat breed in 2001. Savannah cats also have long ears and a distinct spotted pattern that is similar to their serval ancestors.
The first generation of Savannah cats is generally the largest as they have the most Serval DNA. As the cats continue to breed, the later generations will be smaller and look more and more like standard domestic cats.
Other Famous Domestic Cats
Fenrir belongs to an entire family of Guinness Book record-holding felines. As already mentioned, his brother Acturus is still the tallest cat ever recorded. Another one of his brothers, Altair Cagnus Powers, holds the record for the longest tail of a domestic cat ever at 17.58 inches. Sadly, he also perished in the same fire at Arcturus. No cat has broken either of Fenrir’s late brothers’ records.
With two record-holding cats in the house, Mr. Powers is more optimistic now than ever that they could do a lot of good with this record. He’s open to using his massive cats as therapy animals for the terminally ill. He is also welcome to any fundraising agency, particularly cat shelters, that would like to use his animals to raise funds for a good cause.
In an interview, he stated:
“I’m open to any particular cat shelter utilizing my cats for their own benefit. I would welcome any shelter wanting to do an event with one of them to raise funds. I look forward to all the good that Fenrir and Altair can do with their records.”
- Meet the World’s Largest Domestic Cat
- All About the Maine Coon Cat
- Discover the World’s Largest Tigers
The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/TRAVELARIUM
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- USA Today, Available here: https://eu.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2022/10/03/fenrir-tallest-living-domestic-cat-guinness/8167479001/
- MLive, Available here: https://www.mlive.com/life/2022/10/check-out-michigans-guinness-world-record-cats-the-tallest-and-the-longest-tail.html
- CNET, Available here: https://www.cnet.com/culture/meet-fenrir-the-worlds-tallest-domestic-cat/