These are the 18 Strongest Cat Breeds in the World

Written By Jill Taylor

Cats are best known for their flexibility and agile nature, but a lesser-known trait can be their incredible strength. Certain breeds make for the most robust and powerful cats, and we’ve listed 18 of the strongest feline breeds from across the world.

Maine Coon

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Maine Coons are known as gentle giants even though they can grow to a massive size. With males reaching up to 35 pounds, they have impressive strength thanks to their muscular bodies and their very thick fur which is also known for being water-resistant.

Norwegian Forest Cat

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The Norwegian Forest cat has adapted to cold climates thanks to its origins in Norway, which means it can withstand harsh temperatures with tenacity. It’s also known for its strong bones and muscular build, which surprisingly don’t impede its agile ability to climb.

Savannah Cat

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The Savannah cat is a hybrid of the African serval and domesticated cat. It’s known for having a long, lean body with muscle tone that can easily support its high levels of energy! The Spruce Pets tells us how ownership is regulated in some states and that some areas require a permit.

Bengal Cat

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Bengal cats, the result of breeding Asian leopard cats and domestic cats, have an athletic build with strong muscles. Their incredible strength means that they’re particularly adept at climbing and moving at high speeds, the perfect combination of strength and agility.

Siberian Cat

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The Russian-native Siberian cat has an incredibly thick coat that makes it adaptable to cold weather. Its muscular body also makes it one of the strongest cat breeds in the world, particularly skilled as a powerful hunting breed.


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Male cats of the Ragdoll breed can reach up to 20 pounds or more. They are known for their impressive muscular builds and large frames. Despite their incredible strength, Ragdoll cats tend to have very laid-back personalities, often making them the best of both worlds!

Egyptian Mau

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The Egyptian Mau is known for its lean build, with strong muscles that enable this particular breed to reach high speeds of 30 mph! The PDSA also says the Egyptian Mau has a talent for jumping incredibly high, propelled by its strong back legs.


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Originating from France, the Chartreux breed is known for its robust build. Its short fur makes its muscular body more prominent, which is why it’s known for being a strong climber and one of the most impressive breeds for hunting.

Turkish Van

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Many cat lovers may be surprised to learn that the Turkish Van loves swimming and being in the water. This means they’ve developed strong muscles to support their swimming tendencies. Thanks to their powerful build, they also make great jumpers and climbers.

British Shorthair

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The British Shorthair is a prime example of a quiet, peaceful breed hiding incredible strength. Thanks to their natural vigor, these powerful cats make excellent hunters and climbers. Their strong legs make this active breed one of the best movers.

American Shorthair

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The American Shorthair is a popular cat breed in the U.S., not only because of its stunning black and grey coat but also because of its robust nature. This medium—to large-sized cat breed is known for its muscular stature and athletic abilities.


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According to Purina, the Ocicat’s strong and muscular build can make it “surprisingly heavy” for its smaller size. Its sleek, spotted coat doesn’t slow down its athletic ability, and it’s known for being powerful as well as playful.


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Abyssinian cats have a reputation for their impressive climbing and jumping skills, thanks to their strong and active nature. One of the oldest cat breeds in the world, this lean animal comes with a muscular build perfectly paired with its very short coat for more agile movement.


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Despite the Manx cat breed either not having a tail or having a very short one, this doesn’t impede its balance thanks to its strong hind legs. The Manx cat is known for its muscular nature, and its strength is often showcased in its love for jumping and hunting.


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Sphynx cats are best recognized for their hairless appearance, which the BBC states is due to a mutation in the gene. A lesser-known fact about them, though, is that they’re surprisingly strong and agile, with high levels of energy.

Scottish Fold

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The Scottish Fold cat can often be mistaken for a lethargic breed thanks to its plump face and thick coat, but this cat is actually one of the strongest (with a muscular build hiding under all that fur)! They make for some of the best hunters and climbers among cats.


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Originating from Southeast Asia, the Burmese cat breed is another known for its impressively sturdy build. This medium-sized cat showcases a muscular form with an agile nature and is unimpeded thanks to its short coat. They’re also known for being very affectionate and strong.

Turkish Angora

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Lastly, the Turkish Angora is often labeled as more elegant than strong, but its muscular build says otherwise! One of the most energetic and sturdy breeds, the Turkish Angora makes short work of high climbs and jumps and is a prime example of graceful strength.

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