savannah cat sitting on bed

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

The average domestic cat, when measured from paw to shoulder, typically stands between 9 to 10 inches tall. However, cat height varies by breed: the towering Maine Coon can reach up to 16 inches, while the petite Munchkin may stand below 7 inches. Factors like age, nutrition, and genetics influence a cat’s height, with males generally being taller than females.

Introduction: Curiosity About the Average Cat Height

Every cat parent has found themselves wondering at some point, “How tall is the average cat?” Especially when comparing different cat breeds or watching a kitten grow into a large cat.

This article aims to dive deep into the world of cat height, offering insights into how tall cats are standing and what the average height of a domestic cat might be. Cats come in all shapes and sizes, and as a cat owner, it can be fascinating to find out how tall your cat is compared to the average.

Defining Cat Height and Length: Full Height vs. Average Cat Length

When we talk about the height of a cat, what exactly do we mean? It’s essential to differentiate between a cat’s full height and its length. The cat’s height is measured from the paw to the shoulder when the cat is standing on all fours. This measurement is different from the average cat length, which spans from the tip of the nose to the tail’s end.

A house cat might be 18 inches long but only stand 10 inches tall at the shoulder. It’s important to measure your cat correctly, especially if you’re comparing it to the average height of a domestic cat.

Factors that Influence the Average Height of a Cat

The height of a domestic cat doesn’t just magically happen. Several factors come into play:

  • Breed of Cats: Different cat breeds have different genetic blueprints. A Maine Coon cat might grow larger than the average domestic cat, while some breeds might be the smallest cat in stature. The breed of cats plays a significant role in determining how tall a cat can be.
  • Age of the Cat: A kitten will, of course, be smaller in height than an adult cat. As cats grow, they reach their full height over time. It’s worth noting that some cats continue growing for longer periods than others, with large breed cats reaching their full height later than smaller breeds.
  • Nutrition: Just as with humans, the food a cat eats can influence how tall they grow. Proper nutrition during the kitten phase is crucial. An adequately fed cat may grow up to its potential height, while malnutrition can stunt growth.

Domestic Cat Dimensions: How Tall Are Cats Typically?

For the curious cat parent out there, let’s dive into the specifics. The average domestic cat, when measured from the paw to the shoulder, usually stands between 9 to 10 inches tall. However, this can vary based on several factors, especially the breed of cats.

  • Male Cat vs. Female Cat: Typically, male cats are larger than female cats. The average male cat is around 10 to 12 inches in height, while the average female cat might stand a bit shorter at 9 to 11 inches.
  • Large Cat Breeds: Some domestic cat breeds are known for their towering stature. The Maine Coon, one of the largest cat breeds, can reach up to 16 inches tall at the shoulder. On the flip side, some breeds, like the Munchkin, are the shortest cat breed and may not grow taller than 7 to 8 inches.
  • Average Weight vs. Height: It’s worth noting that a cat’s weight doesn’t always correlate with its height. Some cats are tall and slim, while others might be shorter but weigh more due to their build or muscle mass.

So, while the average height of a domestic cat might give you a ballpark figure, the exact height varies by breed and other factors. Whether your cat is stretching its full length on a sunny windowsill or standing tall and alert, every cat is unique in its size and stature.

Different Cat Breeds and Their Statures: From the Shortest Cat Breed to the Tallest Breed of Cat

Cats come in all shapes and sizes, and the vast variety of breeds contributes significantly to these variations. Let’s delve into some notable breeds and their average heights:

  • Short-haired Breeds:
    • American Shorthair: This breed of cats is an average size, typically standing about 10 inches tall at the shoulder.
    • British Shorthair: Slightly larger than the average domestic cat, they range between 11 to 12 inches in height.
    • Siamese: These cats are generally around 10 inches tall, with their sleek bodies and elegant postures.
  • Long-haired Breeds:
    • Maine Coon: Often touted as the tallest domestic cat breed, an adult Maine Coon cat can stand up to 16 inches tall or even more.
    • Persian: With their fluffy coats, these cats tend to be around 10 inches tall at the shoulder.
    • Ragdoll: Known for their gentle demeanor, they are also one of the larger cat breeds, often reaching 15 inches in height.
  • Unique Breeds:
    • Savannah Cats: A cross between a domestic cat and a serval, a Savannah cat can be 20 inches tall, making it one of the largest cat hybrids.
    • Munchkin: On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Munchkin, as the shortest cat breed, often stands less than 7 inches tall due to its short legs.

It’s fascinating to see how different cat breeds have such varied heights. From the small cats to the tall cats, each breed brings its unique charm and stature to the feline world.

munchkin cat sitting outside

House Cat Height: Comparing the Average Cat to Common Objects

Ever wondered how the average cat stacks up against everyday items in your home? Let’s paint a clearer picture:

  • Books: If you stack a few hardcover books, the average domestic cat would be about as tall as three of them when the cat is standing.
  • Shoe Boxes: A house cat might be roughly as tall as two shoe boxes placed on top of each other.
  • Bottled Water: When a cat stands next to a 1-liter bottled water, the bottle might just edge out, especially with smaller breeds. However, larger breeds like the Maine Coon might tower over it.
  • Yardstick or Ruler: Measure up your cat against a yardstick or a ruler. Cats average around 9 to 16 inches, so they might reach about halfway or even more.

Using common household objects helps cat owners visualize the average height of a cat more easily. So, next time you want to find out how tall cats are, just look around your house for some handy comparisons!

Growth Stages: How Tall is a Cat from Kitten to Adult?

Watching a kitten grow into an adult cat is one of the joys of being a cat parent. But how does this growth process work in terms of height?

  • Kittens: When born, kittens are tiny! During the initial weeks, they might measure just a few inches from paw to shoulder. As they approach the age of six months, kittens can grow up to half the height of an adult cat, reaching about 5 to 8 inches tall.
  • Teenage Cats: Between six months to a year, cats are in their “teenage” phase. They’ll grow rapidly during this period, with some cats approaching their full height by the time they turn one.
  • Adult Cats: By the age of one, most cats have reached their full height, though some larger breeds might continue growing for another year or two. An average adult cat is between 9 to 10 inches tall at the shoulder, but as we’ve seen, some breeds can be much taller.
  • Senior Cats: Just like us, cats might lose a bit of height as they age, especially if they develop issues with their spine or joints. It’s essential to keep them comfortable and monitor any changes in their posture or height.

Remember, each cat grows at its own pace. Factors like nutrition, genetics, and overall health play significant roles in determining how tall a cat will become. As a cat owner, you get a front-row seat to this incredible transformation.


From the tiniest kitten to the tallest breed of cat, the world of feline heights is vast and varied. Cats come in all shapes and sizes, with each breed and individual cat offering its own unique charm. The average domestic cat height might provide a general idea, but as many cat owners know, every feline is special in its own way.

Whether you’re the proud parent of a towering Maine Coon or a petite Munchkin, understanding the average height of a cat and how various factors influence it can enhance your appreciation for these beloved companions. The next time you find yourself wondering, “How tall is a cat?”, you’ll have the knowledge at your fingertips.

Hey there, fellow pet enthusiasts! We hope you found our deep dive into cat heights both informative and fascinating. If you’ve ever measured your own feline friend, or if you have insights or fun stories related to cat sizes, we’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below, and if you found this article enlightening, don’t hesitate to share it with your friends on social media!

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Written by Tom Cashman

I have grown up with pets for almost fifty years. My family has strong ties to the animal shelter community in Chicago. Currently I have two cats: an orange tabby named Zelda, and a gray mixed named Zander. Like all of my pets, they were adopted from a local animal shelter. Pet Zone represents my passion for sharing with the pet community.

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How Tall is the Average Cat?

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One Comment

  1. I’ve always wondered about this. My cat seems so small compared to other cats. She was found on a construction site and about to be taken to the pound to be put down. I offered to take her and we have been best buddies ever since! I guess she is just a small cat 🙂