Big Cats That You Can Own As House Pets

By Michele Cooper

Some people keep exotic cats as pets, such as lions and tigers. However, for the average pet owner, it is near impossible to consider this, due to strict laws and restrictions. The good news is, there are plenty of larger cats you can keep as pets.

Domestic Cats

Larger domesticated breeds are the safest large cat to consider.

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Not many domestic cats are considered large, although there are a few on the larger side. The Maine Coon Cat is the biggest domestic breed. It has a hefty bone structure and male Coons average between 15 to 25 pounds. It is one of the most popular domestic cats in the world. Ragdolls are another breed considered big - although they top out at 20 pounds.

Hybrid Cats

Asian Leopards are sometimes bred with domestic cats.

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A hybrid is a cross between a domestic house cat and certain wild cats. Though not as large as their wild siblings, they are larger than your typical pet kitty. The Chausie is the hybrid of a jungle cat and typically weighs around 25 pounds. A Savannah is a hybrid of a Cerval, a wild African cat. Savannahs do not weigh a lot (about 15 pound), but they are very tall and look more like a wild cat. Hybrid cats, for the most part, can be kept as pets.

Leopard and Cerval

Leopards are stealthy, agile and are pros at climbing trees.

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Leopard cats range in size from 50 to 200 pounds depending on whether you have a male or female. Cervals are a bit smaller and can get as big as 45 pounds. Both cats are considered wild and you will need a license to own them in most areas. It is important to keep in mind that even with a smaller leopard or cerval, these cats are not domesticated and may not be the cuddly companion you envision.

Caracals, Lynx and Bobcats

Bobcats are on the smaller side, but they are larger than domestic cats.

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Caracals can be easily tamed and it is possible to keep them as pets. Male cats weigh between 29 and 40 pounds. They have long, tufted ears and are slender animals. Lynx look similar to Caracals, but are part of the Bobcat family (which are more common in North America). It is possible to keep all these cats as pets, although you won't find them at the local pet store. Most exotic and wild cats are purchased online.

Cougar

The Cougar is considered an ambush predator.

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Cougars are huge cats (75 to 200 pounds) and are also known as Mountain Lions and Pumas. They are the fourth largest cat. These cats are considered friendly with their owners and can be kept as pets. However, there is heavy regulation with interstate trade and ownership, so you will need to check your individual area for guidelines.