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Is there a lazy cat breed?

Top 8 Heaviest / Fattest Cats

Cats were first domesticated as they learned to work as vermin killers in human settlements, but many cats have since grown lazy and complacent. Despite that, we continue to have an obsession with the heaviest and fattest cats around. They dominate our social media feeds and our Sunday comic strips, and the Guinness Book of World Records had to stop tracking the fattest cat in the world decades ago out of fear that owners would intentionally overfeed their pets for a shot at fame.

But the heaviest cats in the world become that way for a reason. Some breeds have habits that make them more prone to overeating or inactivity, while others have put on the pounds to become more effective predators in the wild. Whatever the reason the world’s heaviest cats are that way, they remain the same lovable companions they always are. Here are eight of the heaviest cats in the world.

#8: Savannah — Carrying the Weight of Its Wild Ancestors

The wild African cat known as the serval averages around 25 pounds in weight, and that’s roughly the maximum weight of the Savannah cat. Though a fully domesticated breed, most Savannahs have roughly 15% serval DNA in them. Older generations tend to be larger thanks to a greater amount of Serval DNA, so it’s possible that the Savannah won’t continue to rank among the world’s heaviest cats forever. But it would be disingenuous to call these cats fat. Savannah cats may be heavy, but their bodies are muscular and exceedingly long. The longest cat in the world is a Savannah. Arcturus Aldebaran Powers reached a towering height of 19 inches and weighed an impressive 30 pounds.

#7: Turkish Van — As Powerful as It is Heavy

An adult Turkish van can reach a weight of 15 pounds, but its beautiful and fluffy fur can conceal how large and powerful this breed of cat is. Their structure is stocky and muscular, and these cats are both powerful leapers and competent and comfortable swimmers. Turkish vans rarely stop moving — and while they’re loving cats who develop close bonds with their families, they have a lively and independent spirit as well. But putting on those pounds doesn’t happen overnight. The Turkish van takes between two to three years to reach its full adult size, but they maintain a kittenish clumsiness well into old age.

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Far from delicate and known for their rowdy demeanors, they can get along well with dogs and are often even compared to puppies in terms of personality.

#6: Sphynx — Hairless and Prone to Pot Bellies

As the world’s most recognized bald cat breed, the Sphynx stands out in a lineup. And while these cats aren’t necessarily any more prone to overeating than other breeds, the sphynx’s unique physiology can sometimes make finding the right nutritional balance difficult. Because they have high metabolisms, active personalities, and no fur to insulate them from the cold, these cats typically need to devour a lot more food in the average day than other breeds. But since these cats have no hair and are naturally lean, they often look underweight even when they’re right in the sweet spot for nutritional balance.

As a result, many owners tend to overfeed their sphynx cats or not notice when their grazing gets out of control. A pale potbelly might look cute on your little guy, but it’s also a sign that they may be becoming unhealthy. The average sphynx weighs only six to 12 pounds, but one of its largest members on record — a British cat named Boo — reached a hefty 24 pounds.

#5: Persian — Pop Culture’s Most Famous Fat Cat Breed

It’s long been theorized that comic strip cat Garfield belongs to the Persian breed. But while cartoonist Jim Davis has never provided a definitive answer, the breed does tend to share both Garfield’s laziness and his propensity for overeating. Genetics has a big part to play in that. Their squat and stocky bodies aren’t particularly equipped for jumping or climbing, serious activity tends to mat and soil their fur, and their flat noses result in them becoming easily exerted.

This inactivity can help contribute to obesity, and many Persians who are allowed to graze will do so out of boredom. While some Persians may require a specialized diet to offset health issues, it generally requires little more than measuring out meals, limiting treats, and making sure they get regular play that’s not overly strenuous.

#4: Domestic Shorthair — A Breed Regularly Breaking Fat Cat Records

Domestic shorthairs aren’t a breed so much as they’re a catchall category for any cats that don’t belong to a specific breed — and it’s estimated that they represent a shocking 95% of the total house cat population. And while domestic shorthairs don’t have any particular predisposition towards obesity, their population domination ensures that they also tend to dominate the lists of fattest cat winners and contenders. An Australian domestic shorthair named Himmy held the position of the fattest cat in the world with a weigh-in of 46.8 pounds until he died in 1986. Since then, a domestic shorthair named Meow the cat has become the fattest cat living with a bodyweight of 39.7 pounds. Meow the cat earned celebrity fame and numerous guest spots on Anderson Cooper, but he, unfortunately, passed on in 2012 due to complications with his obesity.

#3: Ragamuffin — Naturally Large But Prone to Obesity

The ragamuffin isn’t the largest domestic breed, but they’re significantly larger than the average house cat. Whereas the average house cat tops out at around 10 pounds, female ragamuffins can reach 15 pounds, and males can easily clear 20 pounds without running the risk of obesity. But the actual weight of a ragamuffin can be deceptive thanks to its naturally large size and their voluminous coats.

Like the similarly long-haired Persian, the ragamuffin has a reputation for being lazy, and they’ll typically be perfectly content living most of their lives as a lap cat. Factor in the fact that ragamuffins are also prone to eating, and it can be incredibly challenging to keep a stubborn member of this breed from gaining weight. Since obesity can be harder to identify in these gigantic cats, it’s prudent to work with your veterinarian to come up with a nutritional plan for your ragamuffin.

#2: Norwegian Forest Cat — Large and Highly Active

The Norwegian Forest Cat — commonly and affectionately known as the “wegie” — is widely acknowledged as the second-largest cat breed around. Females can weigh between eight and 18 pounds, while males will typically average 12 to 20 pounds. But big doesn’t necessarily mean fat, as a large portion of a wegie’s weight can be attributed to their thick winter coat and their muscular frames. These are rugged cats rumored to have been brought to North America by early Viking explorers, and they require both a large amount of food and an active lifestyle to stay fit and healthy. As is the case with other large breeds, wegies are prone to unhealthy weight gain. This is especially true when dealing with Norwegian forest cats that are older, known to have existing health issues, or restricted to spaces too small for them to properly exercise.

#1: Maine Coon — The World’s Largest Domestic Breed

While house cats with the most absurdly record-setting weights tend to be traditional domestic shorthairs, the Maine Coon cat is recognized as the largest domestic breed on average — and that applies to both weight and length. Maine Coon cats hold the successive records for the longest cat in the world. Nevada local Stewie measured 48.5 inches long, while his English successor Ludo measured 46.6 inches. They weighed 33 pounds and 34 pounds respectively. From appearances and size alone, it should come as little surprise that the Maine Coon cat shares some ancestry with the Norwegian Forest Cat.

Summary Of The Top 8 Heaviest / Fattest Cats

RankCat BreedAverage Weight
1Maine CoonBetween 8 to 18 lbs, largest was 33 and 34 lbs
2Norwegian Forest CatBetween 8 to 20 lbs, can be 22
3RagamuffinBetween 15 to 20 lbs
4Domestic Shorthair6-15 lbs
5Persian8-15 lbs
6Sphynx6 – 12 lbs, record was 24 lbs
7Turkish VanUp to 15 lbs
8Savannah12-25 lbs, record was 30 lbs

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Exotic Shorthair: Cat Breed Profile, Characteristics & Care

Christina Donnelly is a small animal expert focusing on dogs and writer with over 12 years of experience in animal welfare. She has volunteered for shelters and organizations, including the ASPCA and Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary.

Updated on 07/08/22

An exotic shorthair cat sitting on a cat tree.

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The exotic shorthair cat has been called the «lazy» person’s Persian because it shares the Persian cat’s facial features but has a shorter coat that requires less grooming. Exotic shorthairs are soft, medium-sized cats that tend to develop strong bonds with their owners, get along with other pets and kids, and have sweet personalities. Although exotic shorthairs have relatively low energy levels and exercise needs, they’ll happily play with fishing pole feather teasers or similar toys for hours.

Breed Overview

Personality: Affectionate, loyal, easygoing, low-energy,

Weight: Up to 15 pounds

Length: Up to 30 inches

Coat Length: Short hair

Coat Colors: Black, white, golden, silver, smoke, bicolor, and Himalayan

Coat Patterns: Solid, pointed, tabby, and tortoiseshell

Eye Color: Gold, green, and blue

Lifespan: Up to 15 years

Hypoallergenic: No

Origin: United States

Exotic Shorthair Characteristics

Exotic shorthairs have lower energy levels than many other cats, so they can thrive in a variety of households and don’t require a lot of active interaction or stimulation. The exotic shorthair’s sweet, relaxed, and playful personality—as well as its low-maintenance grooming and exercise needs—make it the perfect pick for first-time cat owners and mellow families.

An exotic shorthair kitten

Exotic Shorthair Care

Unlike Persians, exotic shorthairs are extremely easy to groom. While Persians require daily brushing and combing, you can expect to comb an exotic shorthair’s coat once or twice per week with a steel comb. Mats, knots, and tangles are uncommon in the exotic shorthair. The exotic shorthair sheds seasonally, so it needs additional grooming and bathing to remove dead hair and skin cells during this time.

Because exotic shorthairs have flatter faces, their eyes tend to tear and stain the surrounding fur. You can prevent staining by washing your exotic’s face daily with a soft, dry cloth. If your cat’s eyes are red, crusty, or have excessive discharge, make an appointment with your veterinarian to investigate the possibility of an eye infection.

As with every breed, you should examine your cat’s ears weekly. You can clean away waxy build-up and debris with a soft, cotton cloth. Avoid using a cotton swab, as they can damage the delicate, inner-ear structures. If your cat’s ears are red, inflamed, or smell funny, see your veterinarian. These may be signs of infection.

The exotic shorthair has a fairly low energy level and doesn’t require a lot of exercises. It is content to play an occasional low-key game with toys, and then lounge or cuddle for hours.

Common Health Problems

Ethical breeders take steps to ensure they’re producing healthy cats, but there’s no guarantee that your exotic shorthair will not develop a health condition at some point. Some health problems that are common among exotic shorthairs include:

Polycystic kidney disease: Otherwise known as PKD, this condition is characterized by enlarged kidneys and improper kidney function. Cysts are typically seen in affected cats by 12 months of age, but kidney failure can occur years later. There are DNA tests that can identify PKD, so ask your cat’s breeder for proof that the mother and father have been cleared.

Respiratory issues: Because exotic shorthairs have flattened faces, they can have difficulty breathing—especially in hot, humid weather. Your exotic shorthair should always be kept in a climate-controlled environment.

If you’re concerned about your exotic shorthair’s health, talk to your veterinarian about ways you can help your cat live a long, happy, healthy life.


Aside from their drastically different coats, the exotic shorthair and Persian are bred to the same standards. Exotic shorthairs have flattened faces, small ears, and short legs. Unlike the Persian, though the exotic’s coat is short, dense, and plush.

Diet and Nutrition

Your cat’s diet and nutritional needs will depend largely on its age, sex, size, and activity levels. If you’re unsure how much or how often to feed your exotic shorthair, your veterinarian can help you develop a healthy, balanced diet for him. You can also consult the feeding guides developed by your preferred cat food brand.

Overfeeding your cat can lead to obesity, which causes health problems. Leaving food out at all times can encourage too much snacking, so providing the appropriate amount of food at scheduled times during the day can help manage a cat’s weight.

Where to Adopt or Buy an Exotic Shorthair

Although it may be extremely difficult to find an exotic shorthair kitten at your local shelter or rescue group, you may be able to find an adult exotic. Reach out to your local shelter, rescue groups, or even your veterinarian to see if there are any adoptable exotic shorthairs in your area.

If you choose to work with a breeder, look for one that has performed—and has proof of—all health certifications. Avoid breeders that always have litters available, have multiple litters on the premises, or allow you to pay for your cat over the internet. These are all signs of a potentially unethical breeder.

Exotic Shorthair Overview

Exotic shorthairs make perfect pets for people who love Persians but don’t want the commitment of high-maintenance grooming. These cats are also easygoing and low energy, so they don’t demand constant attention or frequent interactive activities—they are content to cuddle.

Like any pet, it’s important to do your research and ensure an exotic shorthair is the right pick for your family’s lifestyle. The exotic shorthair has a loving, loyal, and calm personality, making it an enjoyable companion for just about everyone who doesn’t need an energetic playmate.


  • Low-maintenance grooming
  • Looks a lot like a Persian cat
  • Doesn’t need a lot of exercise


  • Prone to respiratory and kidney problems
  • Doesn’t have the long, luxurious coat of a Persian
  • May not be energetic or fun enough for kids
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