Anyone who knows anything about cats knows that the Maine Coon is the largest mainstream domestic breed, and some specimens weigh in at more than 25lbs.
There are other, less well known, minority breeds that are made up of cats of excessive size, though, and here are a few of them.
The Bramble: Rough, Tangled But Not Prickly
With a coat as wiry as its plant namesake, the perfect Bramble has a large and well-muscled body with huge feet and toes.
Bred from the Russian brush-coated Peterbald and the Bengal, Brambles are agile, athletic and extremely physical. They love water, are extremely affectionate and have beautiful ticked coats with faint rosettes and spots.
A member of the Rare and Exotic Feline Registry (“REFR”), the breed was created in the United States and are enthusiastic hunters who never give up on their prey.
The Highland Lynx: Desert And Jungle Meet
A cross between the Desert Lynx and the Jungle Curl, this strong and stocky breed has the Jungle Curl’s signature curled ears and the Desert Lynx’s size, strength and bobbed tail.
The larger members of this breed also weigh in at approximately 25lbs, and they can be up to 3 feet in length, excluding their tail.
Bred to resemble bobcats but with no genetic link to these wild cats, Highland Lynxs take up to four years to fully mature and also carry a dominant gene for polydactylism.
Coat colors can include fawn, lilac and silver, and they come in three different patterns: marbled, spotted and ticked.
The Pantherette: Coming Soon
This stocky and muscular large breed has been created specifically to resemble the panther and is a cross between/genetic mix of the black Bengal, the wild Amur, the black Pixie-Bob and the Maine Coon.
With its short, pitch black fur and its leanly muscled, large – but not cobby – body, this specialty breed is sure to astonish cat fanciers in the years to come.
At the moment, the breed, although registered with the International Progressive Cat Breeders Alliance, is still classed as experimental, and Pantherette kittens are not yet available to the public.
The Safari: The Call Of The Wild
Unlike the other breeds described above, the Safari is indeed a cross between a domestic cat and a wild cat, the Geoffrey’s Cat, which prowls the southern plains and mountain ranges of South America.
Extremely rare, this hybrid breed has a chromosomal anomaly that manifests as extreme size and weight, and specimens weighing up to 25lbs have been bred.
Safari kittens retain the Geoffrey’s Cat’s coat pattern complete with its spots and rosettes, but the colors of their coats vary and are inherited from their domestic cat parent.
As cross-breeding programs increase in scale, there is no doubt that further large breeds will come into existence.
Whether or not these breeds, and those listed above, will ever be officially recognized by the CFA, though, still remains to be seen.