Strongest Cats Breeds in the World, Ranked
Cats are known for always landing on their feet, but that doesn't mean every breed is athletically inclined. Just like a pug is no match for a German shepherd, a pampered Persian is more related to a potato than a well-muscled Maine coon.
Cats don't usually perform jobs like dogs do, but some owners prefer active, adventure-seeking cats to lazy lounge cats. For those who want a pet tiger but have to settle for something a bit more legal, these are the strongest cat breeds you can own.
Size: 6-14 pounds
Chartreux cats are one of the oldest and strongest cat breeds, with mentions of them dating back as far as the 1500s. They're usually medium to large in size, agile hunters and are extremely muscular.
They have a dense coat and a stocky build, but don't let their rounded features deceive you. They're capable of big leaps when they feel like it. The rest of the time, they'll be purring on top of your laptop.
Size: 8-13 pounds
Burmillas started out as an experiment. Breeders crossed chinchilla Persians with Burmese cats, and people went wild over the result: a Cream and silver cat with dramatic, built-in eyeliner and wild-looking grey stripes. Males are usually bigger than females, but all Burmillas are average in size.
Their build is elegant and athletic, and their soft, full coat completes the package. Burmillas come in several colors, but silver is the most popular. As pets, they're playful and gentle, well-suited for life with kids and other pets.
Size: 6-10 pounds
Korat cats are small but mighty. They have a strong build and a striking blue-grey coat with silver tips. Their heart-shaped faces have won over many in their native land of Thailand for over 900 years — they're even a symbol of good luck!
These cats have vibrant green or amber eyes that are alert and expressive, especially when they're stalking their owner's feet from under the bed. They do well with kids but only if they get plenty of attention, too. Otherwise, they're prone to jealousy.
Size: 8-13 pounds
Medium-sized Manx cats are stocky and strong. Hailing from the Isle of Man, these cats are lively entertainers with a sweet personality and piles of fur. They're active and playful, making them a favorite breed in Britain, where they originated.
They do require frequent brushing, but you don't have to worry about brushing their tail. A naturally occurring mutation shortened the tail of Manx cats through the generations. Today, it's almost completely gone. They don't mind being left alone, but they're perfectly friendly with people, too.
Size: 6-15 pounds
The Ocicat is a domestic cat breed that doesn't look domestic at all. It got its name for its resemblance to wild ocelots, but the similarities are only skin deep. Ocicats don't have any wild blood whatsoever, but their spotted coat could easily fool you.
In personality, they couldn't be further removed from their wild ancestors. They're very social, with puppy-like personalities. They love to lay on laps, and if you want to train them to do basic agility tricks, they'll happily comply given enough treats.
10. Somali Cat
Size: 8-12 pounds
Closely related to the more common Abyssinian cat, the Somali cat has a dense, semi-long coat with a thick ruff around its neck and a full tail. Each hair on a Somali cat is agouti, meaning it has bands of color from root to tip. This creates a shaded effect, which is only enhanced by the Somali's gorgeous eyes.
They're extremely strong cats that demand exercise and mental stimulation. They can be taught to walk on leashes with patience, and they strongly prefer having an enclosed outdoor cat run to lounging inside. If you have kids, think twice about this breed. They prefer to be the star of the show.
9. Egyptian Mau
Size: 8-12 pounds
The Egyptian Mau is long-bodied and lithe, with striking speckles and large, almond-shaped eyes. Their glossy coats are a joy to pet, but they might be too busy scaling your furniture for that. They adore climbing and thrive when given plenty of perches to explore.
The name Egyptian Mau is a bit redundant. The breed was brought to Italy from Egypt and dubbed the Egyptian Mau, but in Egyptian, Mau means cat. Whatever you call this breed, they're mild-mannered and amusing to watch.
Size: 6-10 pounds
The Abyssinian cat is no slouch. Their distinctive ticked coat, large pointed ears and lithe figures are designed for adventure and activity. This ancient breed, nicknamed the Aby, is beloved in the cat community.
They're very curious, and their friendliness toward people is almost unheard of. They're so loyal to their owners that they've been known to follow them from room to room like a dog. They have almost boundless energy, however, so they're not considered a low-maintenance cat breed. They're unlikely to lay on your lap, but they make up for that with round-the-clock playfulness and clown-like antics.
Size: 8-15 pounds
The chatty Cathy of cats, the Siamese gets along well with almost everyone — except people who like peace and quiet. Siamese cats are clever and quirky, to say the least. They're hypoallergenic, a big point in their favor, and easy to train, but their personalities are an acquired taste. Really, you'll either love their temperament or hate it.
Siamese cats are boldly affectionate, demanding their owner's attention with gusto. They will meow, chirp or even yowl until they get it. For those who find their talkativeness endearing, it also comes with big, bright blue eyes and a perpetually inquisitive expression.
Size: 15-20 pounds
Also called Moscow longhairs, Siberian cats are the fluffiest of all fluffballs. They look like shag throw pillows, but underneath all that lustrous fur is an adventurous spirit and a powerful build. They're large cats that originated in the forest of Siberia more than 1,000 years ago. They were Russia's original mousers, and they'll still gladly help keep the rodent population down in the backyard.
They're avid jumpers and tree climbers, and they can handle cold temperatures much better than short-haired cats. They have very easy-going temperaments compared to some of the more demanding breeds mentioned. They also produce less Fel d1, a protein that causes cat allergies. They still produce dander, but they may cause fewer allergies than other long-haired breeds.
Size: 8-15 pounds
If you want a tiny leopard that can't kill you, we have news. The Bengal breed is one of the strongest cat breeds with the most incredible coats imaginable. They have spots that look almost exactly like that of an Asian leopard, which it's distantly related to. Bengals are affectionate and not even remotely aggressive, but their wild roots come out in other ways.
Bengals are highly intelligent, talkative and naturally athletic. They need every bit as much attention as a dog to keep them from becoming neurotic pests. They enjoy feline treadmills and are happiest if they have a jungle of cat shelves and trees to test their agility. Most cats hate water, but not Bengals. Bengals love water and will gladly splash in a shallow bath filled with toys.
Before you buy one, however, make sure the cat you're considering is at least an F4. This indicates the cat is at least four generations removed from wildcats, which is the bare minimum to be considered domestic.
Size: 13-26 pounds
If you saw a Chausie cat roaming the neighborhood, you'd probably do a double-take. With high cheekbones, sharply angled eyes and pointed ears with white tufts, they look like mini jungle cats, and they're nearly as strong as them. They're often large in size, especially males, and they remain active and curious even as they age.
Their bodies are naturally lean and well-suited to jumping and climbing. Don't be surprised to see your Chausie kitten run down the hall and leap to the top of the fridge in one bound. They love learning new tricks, and practicing agility with them is a good way to put their endless energy to good use. If you get a Chausie as a kitten, beware that their color and pattern are likely to change as they age.
3. Norwegian Forest Cat
Size: 12-16 pounds
Big, fluffy and lovable, Norwegian Forest cats make superb family pets. They're quiet, yet extremely snuggly and outgoing. They're heavy-bodied kitties that are prone to weight gain, but that's easily offset with frequent playtime. They'll play with just about anyone, eagerly engaging with those who give them the time of day.
The only downside? Their amazing hair needs daily care. Daily brushing is highly recommended to prevent uncomfortable matted hair, especially as kitty gets older and doesn't groom themselves as well as they used to. These cats give just as much as they get, however, offering a uniquely gentle, kid-friendly temperament without being overly demanding.
2. Maine Coon
Size: 9-18 pounds
Maine coons are truly massive meows. They have thick, shaggy fur that comes in over half a dozen colors and patterns. Known as gentle giants, Maine coons are wonderful playmates for kids of all ages. They're inquisitive to an extreme, and they're not going to sit on the sidelines during family time. Expect a Maine coon to be at the center of every get-together and Christmas tree-decorating party.
Maine coons are talkative, but in a pleasing way. They have sweet, mellow voices, and they engage their owners with endearing trills and chirps. They also entertain their companions with aquatic acts of comedy, eagerly hopping into the sink to fight the faucet for fun.
1. Savannah Cat
Size: 12-25 pounds
Savannah cats, like Bengals and Chausies, are a hybrid breed. A mix between a Siamese and a wild serval, Savannah cats are strong, tall and have Olympic-level agility. They're smart and affectionate with people they know well, but they're not ideal for first-time cat owners.
They're relatively rare, expensive and sometimes the subject of state ordinances restricting wild-domestic hybrids. They come in black, brown tabby, silver tabby and black smoke, with a piercing gaze. They constantly need new challenges and prefer to have time to hone their athletic abilities in the great outdoors. If you could jump 8 feet in the air from a standstill, you'd want space to move, too!