Cats can be a seemingly unlimited variety of shapes and sizes. From cats that can fit in the palm of your hand to cats that can reach your counter without jumping, there are a wide array of heights of a cat, but how tall is the average cat?
The average adult cat is between 9 to 10 inches (23 to 25 cm) tall. The Savannah cat is the tallest breed of domestic cat, standing up to 17.1 inches tall or 43.4 cm. The shortest cat breed is the Munchkin cat, averaging five to seven inches in height (12.7 to 17.7 cm).
If you’d like to learn more about average cat heights, including the tallest and shortest breeds, explore the rest of this article.
What Is the Height of the Average Cat?
The average domestic cat is about 9.5 inches, or 24 centimeters, tall. This number is gathered from all domestic cat breeds worldwide, including feral, farm cats, and house cats. Cats that aren’t included in this average are wild yet related species, like lynx, lions, and jaguars. The average cat height varies by breed and gender, with females generally shorter than males of the same breed by one to two inches.
How Tall Is the Average Male Cat?
The average male cat stands at the higher end of the measurements. Most males cats are around ten inches (25 cm) in height. This number can vary greatly, however, depending on the breed and age of the cat. A male Savannah cat can easily measure 16-17 inches (40-43.4 cm) in height, taller than a beagle.
How Tall Is the Average Female Cat?
The average female cat measures around nine inches, or 23 cm, tall. Female cats tend to be smaller than males within all domestic cats’ breeds, usually measuring at least one to two inches shorter. Females are also usually two to five pounds lighter than their male counterparts. A female Savannah cat usually measures between 13 and 15 inches (33.1 – 38.1 cm) tall.
When Do Cats Reach Full Height?
Kittens age rapidly, gaining about one pound of weight a month and experiencing many growth spurts through their first year of life. At six months of age, they reach sexual maturity, and females go through their first heat (estrous cycle), but neither females or males are done growing at this point.
Cats reach adulthood at 12 months, and at this time, they are usually their maximum height. However, cats continue growing for about another year. This growth involves muscle development, healthy weight gain, and a slight broadening of the skeletal system. Your cat may grow another centimeter or two after they have turned one, but for the most part, they are at their maximum height.
How Tall Are Cats When They Stand Up?
If you’re wondering just how high your cat can reach when on his hind legs, you’ll have to consider the length of his front legs, back legs, and back. Let’s look at the Savannah cat, for instance. These cats can be nearly double the average house cat’s height, and when stretching out on their hind legs, they can reach significant distances.
A large Savannah cat can be 20 inches (50.8 cm) long, and its legs may be about 14 inches (35 cm) long. Add together their back length, from tail to neck, and the length of the front and back legs, and you can estimate how high they can reach.
If a cat with these measurements were to stand on its hind legs, it could paw something nearly 48 inches (121.5 cm) above it. That’s an ability to reach four feet off the ground without jumping! To put this measurement into perspective, the standard kitchen counter is 36 inches (91.44 cm) tall.
Obviously, the average house is not a Savannah cat, so to find out how tall your cat is on his hind legs, you’ll have to pull out the measuring tape and do some math.
The Tallest Breeds of Cats
There are some impressively tall (and large) breeds of cats globally, and we’re not even discussing the wild ones. If you are interested, the tallest recorded living cat is Hercules, a lion-tiger hybrid who measures 49 inches (1.25m) tall at the shoulder. But as far as domestic cats go, here are some of the tallest breeds:
Maine Coons are one of the largest cat breeds, though not always the tallest. They usually measure 10 to 16 inches (25.4 to 40.6 cm), which is impressive but not as impressive as their length. Male Maine Coons often measure 30 inches (76 cm) long, from the nose to their tail base. Their tail can easily add another 15 inches (38 cm) in length.
We’ve mentioned the Savannah cat multiple times in this article, and for a good reason. These cats are a cross between a domestic cat and a serval, a wild cat not in the domestic family. A serval is a medium-sized wild cat with markings similar to a cheetah. The serval is native to Africa and first mated with a domestic cat in 1987, which produced the world’s first (known) Savannah cat.
The Savannah cats most closely related to their serval ancestors are usually the largest, inheriting their height, diet, and independence. The tallest ever recorded Savannah cat was Arcturus Aldebaran Powers from Southfield, Michigan, who measured over 19 inches (48.26 cm) tall and could easily reach over the kitchen counter in his home.
Norweigan Forest Cat
The Norweigan Forest Cat is a gorgeous, thick-furred cat that is comfortable in low temperatures thanks to its burly coat and healthy size. These cats average 9 to 12 inches (22.8 to 30.5 cm) tall, which is not nearly as tall as the Savannah but is larger than the average domestic cat.
Like the Savannah, the Chausie is another hybrid cat; it is a mix of a domestic cat and a wild cat; the Jungle Cat. Chausies came after the Savannahs, with purposeful breeding in 1990, and are comparable in size. The average height of a Chausie is between 14 to 18 inches (35.5 to 45.7 cm).
The Bengal Cat is the third hybrid cat on this list, this time a mix between a domestic shorthair cat and an Asian Leopard cat. Bengals have been bred for longer than Savannahs, with purposeful breeding dating back to 1963. Bengals can reach up to 16 inches (40cm) tall.
What Is the Shortest Cat Breed?
While many breeds are tall and large, there are also a few notoriously tiny breeds. One of which is the Munchkin, a breed that takes the cake for the shortest cat. Munchkins have stubby little legs that only reach a few inches below their bodies and average just five to seven inches (12.7 to 17.7 cm) in height.
However, they are not overall the smallest breed as they still outweigh the Singapura, who is usually taller but can weigh just 2kg (4.4 lbs). Singapuras are around six to eight inches (15 to 20.3 cm) in height, making them an extremely small breed.
A cat’s height is measured from the top of its head to the bottom of its front feet. Cats can vary greatly in height, from the Munchkin cat, which measures five inches tall, to the Savannah cat that reaches up to 19 inches (48.3 cm). How tall your kitten will get will depend on its breed, litter size, and any developmental issues that may arise. However, you can expect that, on average, your cat will be between 9 to 10 inches tall or 23 to 25 centimeters.
- AKC: Beagle Dog Breed Information
- PetMD: At What Age Are Cats Fully Grown?
- Savannah Cat Association: Savannah cat Size ⋆ Savannah size compared to domestic cat
- Caesarstone: Standard Counter Height: Finding the Right Fit for You
- Guinness World Records: Largest wild cat
- Purina: 8 of the Biggest Domestic Cat Breeds
- CatTime: Maine Coon Cat Breed Information, Pictures, Characteristics & Facts
- Wikipedia: Serval
- Savannah Breed Section: Savannah Breed History – Savannah Cat Breed History – Savannah Cat History
- People: World’s Tallest Cat 2017
- PetGuide: Chausie Cat Breed Information and Pictures
- Daily Paws: Munchkin Cat Breed Information & Characteristics
Pam is a self-confessed cat lover and has experience of working with cats and owning cats for as long as she can remember. This website is where she gets to share her knowledge and interact with other cat lovers.