For those who like their cats big

NICK BARNETT
Last updated 13:39 01/12/2011

I recently met the biggest cat I've ever seen: he weighed 12 kilograms but wasn't the least bit fat. That's because he was a Maine Coon, a breed of cat that's in proportion - huge in all respects, a massive, magnificent armful of cat.

Rooster
  Rooster the Maine Coon cross can't quite balance on the toilet seat.
I seldom say this, because I'm a man of mostly modest material demands, but I want one.

A Maine Coon lovers' group had a booth at the Pet Expo a couple of weekends ago, and this was where the meeting happened. The woman attending the booth lifted out of a cage a ginger, longhaired lion of a cat for people to gape at and stroke. His lower jaw was heavier than you usually see in a domestic cat, adding to his lionlike looks, and his paws were the size of coffee mugs.

The longest cat in the world, as recognised by Guinness, is a Maine Coon measuring 123 centimetres from nose to tail. Measure it out sometime - it's about the length of a dog leash - and try to imagine that space being taken up by one cat.

Imagine one in your house, spilling off a chair or pinning you to the couch on a cold evening. It's puss galore, and some people wouldn't have it any other way. They like their cats on the giant side.

Cirion
   Cirion is 11kg of fluggy Norwegian Forest Cat goodness.
Maine Coons aren't the only big breed of domestic cat. Norwegian Forest Cats and Siberian Forest Cats are similarly longhaired and almost as vast, though to my eyes their faces are more moggy-like than leonine. Bengal cats are sizable too, and slender with it. Ragdolls can get big, and that soft ragdoll coat is a miracle in itself.

Non-purebred cats can grow to quite a size too. One reason I fell for our Merrick when meeting him at the SPCA years ago was his mass - tall, long and heavy. He maxed out at 7.3 kilos but with age and illness he's now below 6kg with his big bones holding much less flesh than before. At his biggest, he'd make quite a thump when jumping on the bed (and often landing bruisingly on one's legs). I kind of miss that.

Thanks to all the blog readers who sent these pictures of their own much-loved giant cats...

Meet the venerable Obi, 12 years old. Owner Mike says Obi is one of the top Maine Coon bloodlines imported from Sweden, and that many of the breed now in New Zealand could well be his grand- or great-grand or even great-great-grandkids. Obi is still as numble as a kitten, Mike says.

Obi

Pixie's name is a little ironic.

Pixie

Charlie is a young Maine Coon who shares a home with a couple of King Charles Cavalier spaniels, including Scally Wag, pictured here. For such a big cat, Charlie has a tiny meow, I'm told.

Charlie

At 6.4kg, bicolour Seal Ragdoll Johnny is not the biggest of his breed, but he towers over Layla the kitten.

Johnny

Sleepy Big Boy is a Maine Coon/Persian.

Big Boo

This big guy is Findlay, weighing in at 8kg. He was a cat-door-busting, windowsill-leaping clown. RIP Findlay.

Findlay

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64 comments
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kater   #1   01:46 pm Dec 01 2011

ooooh, I love big cats too! Rather oddly, my current cat is a small and very delicately boned tonkinese, but there's just something so reassuringly good about hefting a big cat in your arms. I've got a friend with a massive Rag Doll boy, who last I heard was already over 10kg. Now there's a cat!

Deborah Barnes   #2   01:48 pm Dec 01 2011

I love this post!! And how ironic, I am the author of a new heartfelt and inspirational book called The Chronicles of Zee & Zoey - A Journey of the Extraordinarily Ordinary. It is about my Maine Coon, a Bengal, and a Ragdoll!!! http//www.zeezoey.com

CatMadSpinster   #3   01:54 pm Dec 01 2011

What an awesome article and collection of photos. My cats are my kids. I have a Maine Coon, Lucy, coming up to 3yrs old, currently weighing in @ 7.5kg. She is an awesome speciman. I always wanted a Maine Coon, known about them for years...I have 2 other cats as well, both moggies. I love all my kids equally for their personalities etc... I also have seen huge moggies, especially males.... They are ALL gorgeous.

Sydneysider   #4   01:55 pm Dec 01 2011

I love the look on Charlie's face!

Phoebe1   #5   01:58 pm Dec 01 2011

Obi, Thou art majestic and very beautiful!

Annah   #6   02:05 pm Dec 01 2011

Now why would you want such a massive cat? Thats gotta hurt when they launch themselves at you!!

Johnny is gorgeous though, lovely colourings both coat and eyes. Looks like he's quite spoilt too, look at that luxurious cushion he is sitting on!

Jordan   #7   02:07 pm Dec 01 2011

If you like big cats checkout "Savannah" I really wanted one but ERMA isnt allowing the breed in NZ :(

Jess   #8   02:13 pm Dec 01 2011

I have a Ginger Maine Coon, and he is awesome. He is such a brat though, but that's part of their personality. I think he's currently at around 9kg and is 3-4 years old. Need to get his tummy shaved every WINTER though because he's obsessed with running in the rain, rolling through mud and swimming in the creek after eels, and HATES having his tummy brushed, so only one option left for him!

Megan Griffiths   #9   02:14 pm Dec 01 2011

My mothers childhood cat was a Maine Coon called Smokey. I've always loved the photos of her, and would one day love to own my own.

Gwynn   #10   02:15 pm Dec 01 2011

We used to have a Maine Coon moggie of sorts, he was a massive cat with paws like a lions. Had the biggest heart in the world when it came to loving people, so much so that on more than one occasion people in our suburb had to walk him back to our place and knock on the door for us to close him inside while they got back home. They'd stopped to give him some attention outside our house and he had followed them home.

He spent his last week of life at home, curled up on my pillow, where he happily got fed and loved while the vets tried to figure out what was going on with him. Finally, the procedure that they hoped would show them ended up being what got him. RIP McGuyver. I'll always remember his big purrs, big heart, big feet and bit meow.


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