Top 10 Strongest Cats

Written by Rebecca
Updated: September 11, 2022
Image Credit Volodymyr Burdiak/Shutterstock.com
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Key Points

  • Some of the strongest cats listed here are exotic cat breeds coming from jungles but have been domesticated through breeding.
  • Many of the cats listed are forest cats that have been domesticated over time.
  • Some of the strongest cats on this list are wild cats such as the leopard and liger.

Although we don’t think of cats as being buff, they can be surprisingly strong. The large cat breeds that are strong tend to be muscular for climbing trees and hunting mice, while big cats have powerful jaws and more. Whether they’re types of strong cat breeds or powerful big cats, here is information on the top 10 strongest cats and what makes them stand out from the rest.

10. Second-Strongest Exotic Cat Breed: Chausie

Strongest cats - Chausie
The Chausie is one of the strongest cats and is an exotic cat breed kept as a pet.

Tania__Wild/Shutterstock.com

The Chausie is another exotic cat breed, being a hybrid between a lesser ratio of wild jungle cats crossed with a higher ratio of domestic cats, particularly the Abyssinian. What makes it one of the strong cat breeds, a very powerful cat, has to do with its physical strength.

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Believe it or not, it’s one of the few cat breeds that enjoy the water and actually prefers it. Owners must provide plenty of physical and mental stimulation to keep them happy.

They become completely fertile and totally domestic by the fourth generation, although it is the second generation that has the highest physical strength.

9. Strongest Exotic Cat Breed: Bengal

Strongest cats - Bengal
The Bengal is one of the strongest cats that is the most powerful cat in terms of stamina and physical strength.

Seregraff/Shutterstock.com

One of the strongest cats is an exotic hybrid that is the most powerful cat in terms of stamina and physical strength, the Bengal.

It was created as a cross predominantly between the Egyptian Mau along with other domestic cats, plus the Asian leopard cat. Because of its amazing stamina, it needs a lot of play and exercise to burn off excess energy and feel sufficiently stimulated.

The Asian leopard cat parent gives the wild coat, plus a more slender build and well-defined toe webbing, although it’s about the same size as a domestic cat. It is the second generation that has the highest stamina and physical strength, being tireless and athletic.

8. Second-Strongest Domestic Cat Breed: Norwegian Forest Cat

Strongest cats - norwegian forest cat
Norwegian Forest Cats are one of the strong cat breeds with lightning-fast mouse-chasing reflexes, heavy bones, and a muscular body.

iStock.com/Astrid860

As one of the “giant” or large cat breeds, the Norwegian Forest Cat has some similarities to the Maine Coon. Although it is relatively new in the United States, it is an old breed in Norway.

This is one of the strong cat breeds with lightning-fast mouse-chasing reflexes, heavy bones, a muscular body, and a heavy coat, with hind legs that are slightly higher than the front legs.

The breed’s origins are unknown, although found in Norwegian forests, this cat breed might have once been mousers for Vikings on their ships.

Additionally, there is an Norwegian myth that tells the tale of a large cat named skogkatt that was a fairy cat. The domesticated version of this breed may not be something of legends, but they’re still great pets!

7. Strongest Domestic Cat Breed: Maine Coon

Strongest cats - Maine Coon
The Maine Coon is the largest non-hybrid domestic cat and is definitely one of the strongest cats.

iStock.com/Frank Anschuetz

One of the “giant” or large cat breeds, the Maine Coon is a muscular cat that is second only to the savannah cat in terms of size. It is the largest non-hybrid domestic cat and is nicknamed America’s cat, originating in the state of Maine.

As one of the strong cat breeds, it was used for its expert vermin hunting ability and adapted to harsh, cold weather with a rugged build and hardy constitution. It can also outleap most dogs. Compared to the Norwegian Forest Cat, however, it has more stamina, playing more intensely and well past 15 minutes.

6. Fifth-Overall Strongest: Cougar

Strongest cats - Cougar
The Cougar, standing on a rock in the winter, is the fifth strongest cat in the world.

S.R. Maglione/Shutterstock.com

The cougar, also called mountain lion or puma, is the fourth largest cat in the world. It is also the second-heaviest big cat after the jaguar and the fifth strongest after the tiger, lion, jaguar, and leopard. This huge cat can weigh 75 to 200 pounds and has very powerful jaws.

Unlike other big cats, however, this ambush predator cannot roar, because it doesn’t have the specialized larynx to do so. Instead, it screams, hisses, and growls to warn attackers or threats.

5. Strongest Climber and Fighter: Leopard

Strongest cats - Leopard
The Leopard is one of the strongest wild cats in terms of climbing ability.

Michael Wick/Shutterstock.com

The leopard is one of the big cats that is a living member of the Panthera genus. It is one of the strongest wild cats in terms of climbing ability.

With a geographic range including sub-Saharan Africa and several areas of Asia, many people are used to seeing images of leopards in trees. Indeed, it is the most powerful cat for climbing because compared to the stocky jaguar with its strong jaws, the leopard’s sleek body and climbing skills make it the best climber.

Muscular, long hind legs allow it to carry prey twice its weight up a tree and jump up to seven times its own body weight.

The leopard also has a very powerful bite force and is the strongest fighter. It doesn’t matter if its opponent is another one of the big cats with stronger jaws, heavier weight, larger size, or more physical strength, the leopard is not only an experienced fighter and hunter but has greater agility.

Hence, it is possible for it to kill another big cat due to its strength in fighting.

4. Strongest Jaws: Jaguar

Strongest cats - Jaguar
Jaguar in wildlife park of Yucatan in Mexico. The jaguar is one of the strongest wild cats in terms of its jaws, with a bite so powerful it can break turtle shells.

iStock.com/Patryk_Kosmider

The jaguar is a type of big cat species and the only native American living member of the Panthera genus. This spotted cat is not only the largest cat species in the Americas but the third-largest in the world. Plus, it is one of the big cats that can kill a tiger.

But it made it on this list because it’s one of the strongest wild cats in terms of its jaws, with a bite so powerful it can break turtle shells, pierce the skin and skull of cayman and drag the alligatorid out of the water and onto land. While a lion’s bite force is 650psi and a tiger’s is 1,050psi, the jaguar has a larger mouth to deliver a bite force of 2,000psi. Compare it to the Kangal which has the strongest bite force of any dog breed at a force of 743psi.

3. Second-Overall Strongest: Lion

Strongest cats - Lion
The lion, one of the strongest cats, is truly the king of the jungle.

nwdph/Shutterstock.com

Called the king of the jungle, the lion’s many habitats actually exclude tropical rainforests as well as very arid deserts. One of the big cats, the lion is a member of the genus Panthera and second only to the tiger in terms of size and strength. The lion’s bite force is 650 psi.

In captivity, the tiger is likely to win against the lion. In the wild, however, lions attack in packs and have that as an advantage. Also, both can roar at a volume of 114 decibels, which is 5 times that of a gas-powered lawnmower, but the lion’s roar is a more powerful warning since it can be heard up to 5 miles away.

2. Strongest Hybrid Big Cat: Liger

Strongest cats - Liger
The liger, a cross between a male lion and a female tiger, is the strongest hybrid cat.

iStock.com/yod67

The liger is actually the largest of the big cats, although it is a hybrid resulting from crossing a male lion with a female tiger and does not occur naturally in the wild. It has the strength of a lion and the size and speed of a tiger. Male ligers are sterile, however, meaning only female ligers can reproduce with lions or tigers.

1. Overall Strongest: Tiger

Strongest cats - Tiger
The tiger, with its powerful jaws, muscular legs and sharp claws, is the strongest cat.

iStock.com/Byrdyak

The tiger is a famous member of the big cat family as well as one of the “big five” game animals. It’s the strongest wild cat in terms of strength and size. The largest cat is also a member of the Panthera genus and beats the lion in terms of strength, speed, aggression, fighting skills, and coordination. Its large size is a factor that makes it the strongest cat in the world.

Other physical features that contribute to its overall strength include powerful jaws, sharp teeth, muscular legs, sharp claws, strong eyesight, and strong survival skills, which utilize its stripes serving as camouflage. The strongest, largest, and heaviest of all the tiger species is the Bengal Tiger, while the Siberian Tiger can kill Russian brown bears as well as any other of the big cats.

As you can see, the strongest cats include big cats as well as strong cat breeds. The different types of power in terms of strength, bite, and other factors determine the strongest wild cats or domestic strongest cats.

According to our research, the Top 10 Strongest Cats are:

To summarize, here is our list of the top strongest cats:

RankStrongest Cats
10.Tiger
9.Liger
8.Lion
7.Jaguar
6.Leopard
5.Cougar
4.Maine Coon
3.Norwegian Forest Cat
2.Bengal
1.Chausie

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About the Author

My name is Rebecca and I've been a Professional Freelancer for almost a decade. I write SEO content and graphic design. When I'm not working, I'm obsessing over cats and pet rats.

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