Cats, after dogs, are among the most favorite pets. They come in many breeds, shapes, and sizes.
Some are ideal as lap cats due to their relatively small size; some cats can even fit inside the palm of your hand. Others can grow as large as a small dog.
The characteristics of the different cat breeds are well documented, but their size and dimensions are often not elaborated on.
We intend to have a closer look at the dimensions of different cat breeds; their height, length, and weight.
While doing so, we’ll focus on domestic cat breeds, in other words, cats who were meant to live with people and would make a good lap cat or, at least, its size is suitable as a house cat.
So, how tall is the average cat?
The average height of a cat is about 10 inches or 25 cm; however, there are quite a few outliers in both directions. The world’s smallest cat, the Singapura, measures only a mere 7 inches/17 cm tall, whereas the largest cat, the Main Coon, tops out at 13-16 inches or 33-40 cm.
The largest and smallest cat breeds
To set the stage, let’s look at both ends of the spectrum first. Which cat breeds are among the smallest and the largest?
What is the smallest cat?
The smallest cat breed known to man is a little fellow that originated in, coincidentally, one of the smallest countries in the world; Singapore.
The Singapura is the smallest cat breed. With its height between 6 and 8 inches (15-20cm), the Singapura is about half the size of the world’s largest cats. Together with its length of about 9-12 inches (23-30cm), excluding the tail, and a weight of about 4-8 lb (2-3.5kg), it easily fits in the palm of one’s hand.
The Singapura is a relatively rare cat breed, caused mainly by the fact that they are slow breeders, and the average litter size is only 2 or 3 kittens. Most breeders maintain a waiting list for interested owners to be.
What is the largest cat?
Like the saying that everything is bigger in the USA, the largest cat on our list is also native to the US, specifically from the state of Maine.
The largest cat or tallest breed is The Maine Coon. Their average height is 10 to 16 inches tall (25-40cm), and with a body length of 19, up to 32 inches (48-81cm), excluding their tail, they top other large cat breeds like the Savannah and British Shorthair. An adult Maine Coon weighs between 15 and 25 lb (7-11.3kg).
When measuring the length of a cat, we usually exclude the tail. All measurements in this article are also excluding the tail.
The reason for this is simple; it’s harder to measure a cat’s tail because they generally don’t hold it still and straight for easy measuring. Also, several cat breeds without tail (like the Pixie Bob or the Bobtail) would throw off the measurements.
For cats with tails, the tail usually measures about 1 foot in length (30 cm), about the same length as their body.
How do different breeds compare?
To give an overview of how the different breeds compare to each other, we have created the below table, listing the average cat heights (vertical), lengths excluding tail (horizontal), and weights for the most well-known cat breeds.
Keep in mind that these are based on averages. Outliers within the same breed are definitely possible and can be caused by factors—more on that below.
|Breed||Average height||Average length||Ideal weight|
|Abyssinian||8″-10″ | 20-25cm||12″-16″ | 30-41cm||8-12lb | 3.6-5.4 kg|
|American Bobtail||9”-10” | 23-25 cm||17”-19” | 43-48 cm||7-18 lb | 3.2-8.2 kg|
|American Curl||9”-12” | 23-30 cm||16”-21” | 41-53 cm||5-10 lb | 2.3-4.5 kg|
|American Shorthair||8”-10” | 20-25 cm||12”-15” | 30-38 cm||10-15 lb | 4.5-6.8 kg|
|American Wirehair||8”-10″ | 20-25 cm||11”-13” | 28-33 cm||8-15 lb | 3.6-6.8 kg|
|Balinese||8″-11″ | 20-28 cm||14”-18” | 36-46 cm||8-15 lb | 3.6-6.8 kg|
|Bengal||8”-10″ | 20-25 cm||14”-18” | 36-46 cm||8-15 lb | 3.6-6.8 kg|
|Birman||8”-10″ | 20-25 cm||15”-18″ | 38-46 cm||10-12 lb | 4.5-5.4 kg|
|Bombay||11”-14” | 28-36 cm||13”-20” | 33-56 cm||6-11 lb | 2.7-5 kg|
|British Shorthair||12”-14” | 30-46 cm||22”-25” | 56-64 cm||7-17 lb | 3.2-7.7 kg|
|Burmese||10”-12” | 25-30 cm||15”-18” | 38-46 cm||6-14 lb | 2.7-6.4 kg|
|Chartreux||9”-11” | 23-28 cm||15”-18” | 38-46 cm||9-11 lb | 4.1-5 kg|
|Cornish Rex||8”-12” | 20-30 cm||12”-17” | 30-43 cm||5-10 lb | 2.3-4.5 kg|
|Devon Rex||10”-12” | 25-30 cm||15”-18” | 38-46 cm||6-9 lb | 2.7-4.1 kg|
|Egyptian Mau||8”-10″ | 20-25 cm||12”-15” | 30-38 cm||8-12 lb | 3.6-5.4 kg|
|European Burmese||10”-12” | 25-30 cm||15”-18” | 38-46 cm||6-10 lb | 2.7-4.5 kg|
|Exotic Shorthair||10”-12” | 25-30 cm||16”-19” | 41-48 cm||10-12 lb | 4.5-5.4 kg|
|Havana Brown||9”-11″ | 23-28 cm||12”-15” | 30-38 cm||8-10 lb | 3.6-4.5 kg|
|Himalayan||10”-12” | 25-30 cm||17”-19” | 43-48 cm||7-12 lb | 3.2-5.4 kg|
|Japanese Bobtail||8”-9” | 20-23 cm||13”-15” | 33-38 cm||6-12 lb | 2.7-5.4 kg|
|Javanese||9”-12” | 23-30 cm||12”-16” | 30-41 cm||5-10 lb | 2.3-4.5 kg|
|Korat||10”-12” | 25-30 cm||15”-18” | 38-46 cm||6-10 lb | 2.7-4.5 kg|
|LaPerm||6”-10” | 15-25 cm||12”-16” | 30-41 cm||6-10 lb | 2.7-4.5 kg|
|Maine Coon||10”-16″ | 25-40 cm||19”-32” | 48-81 cm||15-25 lb | 7-11.3 kg|
|Manx||10”-12” | 25-30 cm||14”-16” | 36-41 cm||8-12 lb | 3.6-5.4 kg|
|Norwegian Forest Cat||9”-12” | 23-30 cm||12”-18” | 30-46 cm||13-20 lb | 5.9-9.1 kg|
|Ocicat||9”-11” | 23-28 cm||13”-16” | 33-41 cm||6-14 lb | 2.7-6.4 kg|
|Oriental||8”-10″ | 20-25 cm||12”-15” | 30-38 cm||5-10 lb | 2.3-4.5 kg|
|Oriental Shorthair||9”-11″ | 23-28 cm||11”-14” | 28-36 cm||9-14 lb | 4.1-6.4 kg|
|Persian||8”-10″ | 20-25 cm||14.5”-17.5” | 37-44 cm||7-12 lb | 3.2-5.4 kg|
|Peterbald||8”-12” | 20-30 cm||12”-17” | 30-43 cm||6-12 lb | 2.7-5.4 kg|
|Pixie-bob||9”-12” | 23-30 cm||13”-17” | 33-43 cm||8-14 lb | 3.6-6.4 kg|
|Ragamuffin||9”-12” | 23-28 cm||12”-18” | 30-46 cm||8-20 lb | 3.6-9.1 kg|
|Ragdoll||9”-11″ | 23-28 cm||17”-21” | 43-53 cm||8-20 lb | 3.6-9.1 kg|
|Russian Blue||8″-10″ | 20-25 cm||15″-18″ | 38-46 cm||8-15 lb | 3.6-6.8 kg|
|Savannah||13”-15” | 33-38 cm||20”-22” | 51-56 cm||12-25 lb | 5.4-11.3 kg|
|Scottish Fold||8”-10″ | 20-25 cm||14”-16” | 36-41 cm||9-13 lb | 4.1-5.9 kg|
|Selkirk Rex||9”-11” | 23-28 cm||12”-15” | 30-38 cm||9-16 lb | 4.1-7.3 kg|
|Siamese||8”-10″ | 20-25 cm||11.5”-14” | 29-36 cm||8-10 lb | 3.6-4.5 kg|
Siberian Forest Cat
|9”-11″ | 23-28 cm||15”-18” | 38-46 cm||10-20 lb | 4.5-9.1 kg|
|Singapura||6”-8” | 15-20 cm||9”-12” | 23-30 cm||4-8 lb | 1.8-3.6 kg|
|Somali||8”-10″ | 20-25 cm||11”-14” | 28-36 cm||9-12 lb | 4.1-5.4 kg|
|Sphynx||8”-10” | 20-25 cm||13”-15” | 33-38 cm||10-12 lb | 4.5-5.4 kg|
|Tonkinese||8”-10″ | 20-25 cm||12”-15” | 30-38 cm||6-12 lb | 2.7-5.4 kg|
|Toyger||9”-13” | 23-33 cm||20”-24” | 51-61 cm||10-15 lb | 4.5-6.8 kg|
|Turkish Angora||8”-10″ | 20-25 cm||14”-16” | 36-41 cm||5-10 lb | 2.3-4.5 kg|
|Turkish Van||9”-11″ | 23-28 cm||14”-17” | 36-43 cm||7-18 lb | 3.2-8.2 kg|
Looking for an overview of the average cat age per breed? See our table in this post
What determines a cat’s size?
Primarily breed and genetics determine a cat’s size. Apart from these two hereditary factors, a cat’s size can vary between the upper and lower boundaries for their specific breed by, for example, its gender, living environment, age, health, and diet.
Below are several aspects of cat size. Don’t worry too much if your cat doesn’t perfectly match the above range of sizes given in the table. As long as it’s healthy, there should be little reason for concern.
If you have concerns and want to verify if your cat has a healthy size, you can always consult your vet.
Males versus females
Looking at the different measurements like height, length and weight, the males are usually in the higher end of the range versus females being smaller and lighter, towards the lower end.
As a general rule, female cats are about 1-3 inches smaller and about 1 to 3 pounds lighter than their male counterparts.
It’s no secret that cats age fast in the first year of their life. In their growth cycle, kittens undergo several growth spurts, especially during the first year.
So, when do cats reach their full size?
Kittens reach sexual maturity after six months, and due to their high growth rate in the first year, they will have reached their adult size after 12 months.
For the next couple of months, they will continue to grow at a slower pace. However, this growth is more focused on muscle development and strengthening bones and joints and hence, takes place on the inside rather than externally.
The size of a specific cat breed has very little to no correlation with its diet. Meaning to say that if you want your kitten Maine Coon to remain small by underfeeding it, that will not work.
Neither will a small breed of cat grow larger by feeding it excessive amounts.
Underfeeding animals is cruel and will seriously impact their health, development, and ultimately, their chance of survival. Overfeeding will result in obesity which is just as unhealthy for cats as it is for humans.
Although there is obviously some correlation to the availability of good and nutritious food in the right quantities and growth, the bottom line is that malnutrition will cause cats to grow up weaker and less healthy, not necessarily smaller, and vice-versa for small cats that over-eat.
Pregnancy and nursing
On the other hand, the nutrition cats get from their mother during the first couple of months or even the first year is essential in supporting their growth.
Firstly, before breeding, the mother-to-be should be well fed and healthy not to risk giving birth to underweight kittens. Pregnant cats must receive good nutrition with a high fat component to store plenty of energy to stay healthy during the pregnancy.
After giving birth, during the nursing period, the mother needs a variety of nutritional elements containing high energy and high protein and sufficient calcium and vitamins intake to give her litter all the nutrients they need to grow up healthy and strong.
Spaying and neutering
It was once believed that early neutering of cats (before seven months of age) would impact their growth negatively and that, as a result, neutered kittens (or puppies for that matter) would be smaller than their un-neutered counterparts.
According to research done by several sources referenced here, early age neutering has no negative impact on a cat’s growth.
It may, however, slow down a cat’s metabolic rate, which, in turn, may cause them to gain weight.
Other environmental factors that impact kitten growth
Several other environmental factors can influence a kitten’s development. For example, lousy hygiene will weaken the health of the mother and kittens, cause disease and impact growth, and a range of other health issues.
Also, stress and fear when cats grow up in an abusive household can cause hormonal imbalance, disturbing growth.
Does a kitten’s paw size determine how large it will grow?
Many believe that one can estimate their adult size by looking at how large a puppy’s paws are with dogs. The jury is still out on whether or not paw size in puppies is an early indicator of a dog’s adult size.
For cats, however, there is no verified scientific evidence that the size of a kitten’s paws is an accurate predictor of the cat’s size as an adult.
A kitten with large paws may end up being larger as an adult compared to the rest of the litter or not, or they may have extra fur on their paws or extra toes that make their paws look larger. None of this significantly impacts their growth or their size as an adult cat.
How to measure your cat?
In case you want to measure your feline to compare how she measures up compared to the dimensions in the table above, follow the guidelines below to get the most reliable measurements;
- The height of your cat is measured while it’s standing up on all four paws. Measure the distance between the floor and the base of their neck (that is, excluding the head). This measures how tall your cat is.
- The length of your cat is measured from nose to tail base
- Any standard scale can measure your cat’s weight. If you’re having trouble getting your cat to stand still on the scale, try putting them in a cardboard box first. Most cats enjoy this and will quietly lie down. Don’t forget to subtract the weight of the box from your measurement.