Cat Extremes

Caitlin Dempsey


The head a shoulders of a longhaired white cat with yellow eyes staring at the camera.

Compared to dogs, there isn’t as much variation in the size and features of domestic cats. Deliberate cat breeding is only something that became popular towards the beginning of the 20th century. Prior to the end of the 19th century, cats were mostly kept outdoors and weren’t valued as indoor pets.

With the growth of popularity of cats as an indoor and leisure pet, cat breeding started to also take off. The first cat fancier, or cat registry organization that tracks cat breeds, was the National Cat Club. The National Cat Club was established in England in 1887.

With increased breeding of cats, more diversity began to show up. Cat breeds today have more variation in size, physical appearance, and temperament.

Largest Cat Breed

The Maine Coon cat is the largest cat breed.

Coons from Maine are recognized for their huge size and sociability. Maine Coons are one of the most popular cat breeds in the United States.

Maine Coons range in weight from 18 to 25 pounds. In contrast, the typical weight range for a domestic shorthair cat is 6 to 12 pounds. These large cats range between 10 and 16 in (25 and 41 cm) in height.

The breed originated in the U.S. state of Maine.

Three Maine Coon cats (silver, dark gray tabby, and orange tabby) in various poses.
Maine coon cats come in a range of colors and coat patterns. Photo: © cynoclub /

Smallest Cat Breed

The Singapura cat is recognized as the smallest domestic cat breed. Females average around 4 to 6 pounds in weight and males weigh around 6 to 8 pounds. Singapura cats average about 6 to 8 inches in height.

Singapura’s have a ticked coat pattern with dark brown fur color. The eyes of a Singapura are noticeably larger than the typical domestic shorthair cat.

An image of a small domestic cat with brown ticked fur and large eyes looking slightly up.
A Singapura cat. Photo: © Chris Brignell /

The breed originated from Singapore (the Malaysian term for Singapore is Singapura). Singapura’s are also known as “drain cats” due to their habit of living in drains and gutters.

Smallest Cat

The smallest ever recorded domestic cat was a a male blue point Himalayan-Persian named Tinker Toy. Tinker Toy, fully grown, measured only 7 cm (2.75 in) tall and 19 cm (7.5 in) long. Tinker Toy was the runt of a litter of six kittens and lived to only six years old.

Longest Cat

The official Guinness World Record for the longest domestic cat was also a Maine Coon. A Maine Coon measured 48.5 in (123 cm) from the tip of his nose to the tip of his tail to earn the record. Mymains Stewart Gilligan, better known as Stewie, was measured on August 28, 2010 and still holds the record for the longest measured domestic cat ever. Stewie sadly passed away in 2013.

Longest Living Cat

The average lifespan of a domestic cat is 12 to 18 years. The longest ever living cat that is documented was called Creme Puff.  Creme Puff was born on August 3, 1967 and lived for 38 years and 3 days, passing away on August 6, 2005.


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About the author
Caitlin Dempsey
Caitlin Dempsey holds both a master's in Geography from UCLA and a Master of Library and Information Science. She is the editor of and an avid researcher of geography and feline topics. A lifelong cat owner, Caitlin currently has three rescued cats: an orange tabby, a gray tabby, and a black cat.