Top 8 Tallest Cats

Written by Rebecca Bales
Updated: May 5, 2023
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Key Points

  • A few cat breeds on this list include Siberian Cats, Highlanders, and Norwegian Forest Cats.
  • The cats on this list are all considered domesticated cat breeds including British Shorthairs.
  • Ragdolls and Maine Coon Cats are considered to be tall cats but are also some of the more commonly known breeds.
The Main Coon is the tallest cat breed in the world!

How tall can a cat actually get? In the wild, the lion is the tallest big cat, reaching nearly 4 feet tall from its paws to its shoulders. However, you don’t need to go into the wild to see big cats at all. Instead of going to a zoo or another animal exhibit, you might just need to make a visit to a reputable breeder to make one of them your next furry friend.
In this guide, we’ll go over the largest domestic cats and all of the others that trail along behind them. Will you be surprised to learn what animals rank the tallest? Read on below to learn about the biggest cat breed and all of the big cats you can bring home.

#8 Siberian Cats

Tallest cats - Siberian cat
One of the tallest cats, a Siberian cat, playing in the snow.

©iStock.com/marieclaudelemay

The Siberian cat is ever the lap cat, adoring the affection of its owners. They stand about 9-11 inches tall, and they are extremely healthy. After all, its genetics have had centuries to work out any possible concerns in Russia, though they come at quite a high price.

Often, they top the charts at 7-17 pounds, making it less than half of the size of the top big cats on this list.

Siberian cats are also known as Siberian Forest cats or even Moscow Longhairs. They are medium to large and semi-longhair. Males are typically 15 to 20 pounds and females are only a little smaller. They are very strong, alert, and adventurous felines with stunning coats and very curious eyes.

Developmentally, these cats remain kittens until they are about five years old, and they are extremely fluffy and thigh. Since their genetics are meant to protect them from the cold temperatures in Russia, their coat is fairly oily and will need regular grooming.

#7 Ragdolls

Tallest cats - Ragdoll

The Ragdoll is one of the tallest cats and are highly sociable with nearly anyone and they are extremely intelligent.

©iStock.com/Julia Gomina

The Ragdoll is quite a large cat breed in weight, reaching about 9-11 inches in height (like the Siberian cat). Much like other breeds on this list, they are highly sociable with nearly anyone and they are extremely intelligent. With a lifespan of 13-18 years, they are generally healthy but are at risk for urinary tract issues and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

These large domestic cats were originally conceived in the 1960s by a breeder named Ann Baker who wanted to create a cat breed with non-aggressive traits. It wasn’t until 1965 that the ragdoll breed was considered purebred. In both 2019 and 2020, it was even named the most popular breed by the Cat Fanciers’ Association.

Clearly, the Ragdoll cat has a lot of girth at 20 pounds when they are an adult. However, they carry a lot of muscle mass on their frame, giving them a more svelte look than other cats with the same weight.

#6 Norwegian Forest Cats

Tallest cats - Norwegian Forest Cat

Female Norwegian Forest Cat sitting outdoors. These tall cats are incredibly social and affectionate.

©iStock.com/undefined undefined

The Norwegian Forest Cat stands 9-12 inches tall, and it is beloved by many for the way it bonds with owners of all ages. They are incredibly social and affectionate, made only more lovable by their thick coat. In total, this large cat breed often tips the scales at 23+ pounds when fully grown. Most Norwegian Forest cats live to be 14-16 years old, though they are at risk for hip dysplasia, cardiomyopathy, glycogen storage disease type 4, and patella luxation.

Unlike many other cats on this list, there were no known breeders involved in the creation of this tall cat. Instead, the Norwegian forest cat is believed to be the result of natural breeding and it has potentially existed for centuries. It almost went extinct in the 1940s, but advocates for the breed stepped in.

This cat is also known as the Skogkatt, and they were originally kept as pets and as a way to manage pests aboard boats of Danish and Norwegian sailors. Though they were once rare in Scandinavia, breeding programs in the 1930s and 1970s helped to increase both their popularity and population.

#5 Highlanders

Tallest cats - Highlanders
Highlander cats, one of the tallest cats, are incredibly playful and sweet.

©DigitalDirt / CC BY-SA 4.0 – License

Though these large domestic cats have yet to be formally recognized as a breed, the Highlander is one of the newest pets with a whole lot to love, reaching 24 pounds and standing 10-16 inches when fully grown. Other cats that stand about the same height include the Turkish Van and the Ragamuffin. The breed only goes back to 2004 when breeders were trying to make a cat that had the largess of a Scottish wild cat with the domesticity of a house cat. The genetics come from a variety of domestic cats, though none of them are from pedigree breeds.

Even though the Highlander looks as intimidating as a wild cat, don’t be fooled – they are incredibly playful and sweet. They aren’t loud but they like to engage in physical games to use their muscles. Typically, this breed lives to be 10-15 years old.

#4 British Shorthairs

Tallest cats - British Shorthair
British shorthair is one of the tallest cat breed with a fairly modest personality.

©iStock.com/NiseriN

Ranging from 12-14 inches tall, the British shorthair can’t get quite as tall as the Highlander cat. However, even their shortest tall cats have a couple of inches on the last breed. Known for living 15-20 years, these tall cats are incredibly healthy. The most common health issues that may arise are issues in the urinary tract and kidneys. They also are susceptible to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Perhaps one of the main reasons that people seem to love the British shorthair is their flexibility with where they live. They’ll play just as much as they will laze around, and they won’t be very mischievous when their owner is away at work. Overall, the British shorthair is a large cat breed with a fairly modest personality.

#3 Bengals

bengal cat walking on limb
The Bengal is one of the tallest cat breeds with dog-like tendencies.

©iStock.com/Seregraff

Standing 13-16 inches tall, the Bengal cat has a rather sleek and exotic look about them. While many of the other tall cats on this list are quite girthy, the same is not true of the Bengal; it usually only weighs 8-15 pounds. They are a hybrid cat breed that combines domestic cat breeds with the Asian leopard cat, though most people simply compare them to the average size of a house cat.

As wild as these large domestic cats may look, they are fairly friendly and gregarious, maintaining their playful stride with their high energy levels. They bond deeply with their owners over their long lifespan of 12-16 years. However, they are prone to lymphoma, ear infections, and stomach issues.

#2 Savannahs

savannah-cat-walking-outside-on-leash
A blend of domestic cat and serval genes, the Savannah cat is a popular exotic breed that is also one of the tallest cats.

©Lindasj22/Shutterstock.com

The Savannah cat is almost the tallest domestic breed in the world, but it has quite an impressive lineage to back it up. Their breeding comes originally from Servals in Africa, measuring anywhere from 17 to 24 inches tall. Both of these animals show off beautiful black spots, though the Savannah cat’s markings predominantly depend on how many generations it is away from the Serval. They are still changing in their overall height, but they are slowly becoming more like the size that the average domestic cat is instead.

As it is nearly the biggest cat breed, the largest Savannah cat stood at 17 inches tall, measuring from their toes to their shoulders, and it weighed 20 pounds. However, it is still not the largest domestic cat. That position is claimed by…

#1 Maine Coon Cats

Tallest cats - Maine Coon Cat
Maine coon cat in a garden plot. The Maine Coon cat is quite a majestic sight as the largest domestic cat breed.

©iStock.com/TRAVELARIUM

The Maine Coon cat is quite a majestic sight as the largest domestic cat breed. Like many others on this list, the Maine Coon cat is a hybrid, standing at up to over 16 inches. Their hefty build gives them a little extra weight between 18 and 25 pounds, and they can cost over $1,500 with some breeders. It is the official State Cat of Maine, and there are many stories that suggest what its origins might’ve been. One rumor, though unsubstantiated, claimed that these cats were made from raccoons.

The Maine Coon cat is extremely affectionate, intelligent, and sociable. They like to spend time with their families, but you must take great care of their coat to prevent the accumulation of fur everywhere. With the right care, they can live out their lives as the biggest cat breed for 10-13 wonderful years with their family.

List of Tallest Cats

Here is a list of the top 8 tallest cats:

RankCat BreedsHeight in Inches
8.Siberian Cats 9-11
7.Ragdolls9-12
6.Norwegian Forest Cats9-12
5.Highlanders10-16
4.British Shorthairs12-14
3.Bengals13-16
2.Savannahs10-16.5
1.Maine Coon Cats10 – 16.5

The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/Tylinek


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About the Author

Rebecca is an experienced Professional Freelancer with nearly a decade of expertise in writing SEO Content, Digital Illustrations, and Graphic Design. When not engrossed in her creative endeavors, Rebecca dedicates her time to cycling and filming her nature adventures. When not focused on her passion for creating and crafting optimized materials, she harbors a deep fascination and love for cats, jumping spiders, and pet rats.

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