24 Medium-Sized Cat Breeds: Pictures, Characteristics & Facts


Every single cat out there is a keeper. However, while some folks pick the largest breeds to scare away local mice, others go for smaller kitties to get a cuteness overdose. But if you’re in the market for the golden middle, medium-sized felines will be a better choice. They are big enough to have a presence yet still like to be picked up and cuddled.

On top of that, these cats are healthy, easy to maintain, and don’t feel cramped in tiny apartments. And if you’re a bit lost and don’t know which kitty to pick, we’re here to help! Our experts put together a list of the best medium-sized breeds to date, ranked alphabetically. Take a look!

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How Are Medium-Sized Cats Classified?

Any feline that weighs 8–15 pounds and reaches 8–12 inches in height can be categorized as a medium-sized cat. The rules aren’t very strict here, as quite a few medium-sized breeds go slightly over the weight and height limits. Besides, females are usually smaller than males; technically, that puts some of the ladies in the small-sized category.

If we look at the definition of a large breed, we’ll see that cats that go over 16 pounds and 16 inches can be classified as big boys and girls. Dwarf breeds, in turn, rarely (if ever) go beyond 6–7 pounds or 7–8 inches. Again, this isn’t an exact science, but these numbers should give you a basic understanding of what a medium-sized cat is.

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The 24 Medium-Sized Cat Breeds

1. Abyssinian

Abyssinian cat walking in park
Image Credit: Oksana Bystritskaya, Shutterstock
Origin: Ethiopia, South East Asia
Lifespan: 9–15 years
Height: 10–14 inches
Weight: 8–12 pounds

Cute, cuddly, and oh-so-curious, Abyssinians are among the most sought-after cat breeds on the planet. They have an independent nature and love nothing more than to climb a tree/shelf or chase after prey. These cats are also friendly and affectionate and like to be around their favorite humans. The trademark tabby coat, slender body, and witty mind make the Aby an even better pick.

Just make sure the fur baby has a favorite toy or two to keep it busy while you’re away!


2. American Bobtail

American Bobtail
Image Credit: OrangeGroup, Shutterstock
Origin: United States
Lifespan: 13–18 years
Height: 8–10 inches
Weight: 7–16 pounds

Affectionate, caring, and loving, this bud is like an angel. For this reason, it’s often picked as a therapy cat. The American Bobtail is a near-perfect cat for a family with kids. And it doesn’t mind sharing the household with other pets. Easygoing and friendly, the Bobtail creates strong bonds that last for a lifetime. In some ways, it acts like a dog, but that makes it even more adorable!


3. American Shorthair

red american shorthair
Image Credit: Nynke van Holten, Shutterstock
Origin: United States
Lifespan: 10–16 years
Height: 9–11 inches
Weight: 6–12 pounds

Bred in the States, these felines rock a short coat. And despite the miniature size, American Shorthair kitties boast muscular bodies and have stamina and endurance for days. Agile, intelligent, and social, American Shorthair cats like to warm up to their human parents yet aren’t at all clingy. With that, they don’t always like to be picked up but rather prefer to cuddle up on their own terms.


4. Bengal Cat

bengal cat climbing a tree in the forest
Image Credit: Seregraff, Shutterstock
Origin: United States
Lifespan: 12–16 years
Height: 13–16 inches
Weight: 8–15 pounds

The sleek body, lush coat, and unique facial markings turn the Bengal cat into feline royalty. This little guy looks like a leopard yet has a sweet temperament and loves to be around humans. Lean, mean, and ready to rumble, the Bengal cat is incredibly flexible and agile. And just like the Abyssinian, it likes to stay active. So, make sure you have at least an hour or two per day to spend with this fur baby.


5. Birman

birman cat walking outdoors
Image Credit: Jeannette1980, Pixabay
Origin: Myanmar (Burma), France
Lifespan: 9–14 years
Height: 8–10 inches
Weight: 10–12 pounds

Adorable doesn’t even begin to describe these marvelous cats. The blue eyes, beautiful silky coat, and gentle nature can melt the coldest of hearts. Social, great around strangers, and always willing to join their owners in a fun activity, the Birman cats are often recommended as starter cats for families with kids. They are docile and peaceful, often caught cozied up on the carpet or the couch where it’s warm.


6. Bombay Cat

cute black bombay cat with bright yellow eyes
Image Credit: Anna Krivitskaya, Shutterstock
Origin: United States, Thailand
Lifespan: 12–16 years
Height: 11–13 inches
Weight: 8–15 pounds

Full of life—that’s the best way to describe the Bombay cat. It has more energy than the average feline yet doesn’t cause disturbance around the house. This cat likes to stay warm and take quick naps. Another great thing about this breed is how adaptive it is. As long as you give Bombay the attention it deserves, it won’t mind living in a small apartment surrounded by kids and other beasts.


7. British Shorthair

british shorthair
Image Credit: FotoMirta, Shutterstock
Origin: Great Britain
Lifespan: 15–20 years
Height: 12–14 inches
Weight: 7–17 pounds

Hailing from the UK, these crowd-pleasing cats can live for up to 20 years and often reach 17 pounds in weight. So, what kind of a pet will you get with the British Shorthair? Well, it’s a bit shy and doesn’t like to be picked up or curled up on your lap. But that doesn’t mean it’s not an affectionate cat, just not clingy! Besides, with early socialization, the British Shorthair can tolerate noisy kids and pet dogs.


8. Burmese

burmese cats lying on sofa
Image Credit: Sergey Neanderthalec, Shutterstock
Origin: Myanmar (Burma), Thailand
Lifespan: 10–16 years
Height: 9–13 inches
Weight: 8–15 pounds

As far as the most energetic and playful kitties go, the Burmese is right on top of the list. It likes to be petted, often snuggles up with its owners, and never forgets to show affection to people it holds dear to its heart. Much like the American Bobtail, the Burmese tends to act like a faithful, curious doggo. With that, make sure to give the cat some alone time; it has a shy and solitary side and appreciates long naps.


9. Chartreux

chartreux cat lying on grass
Image Credit: Davide Marson, Shutterstock
Origin: France, Syria
Lifespan: 11–15 years
Height: 8–11 inches
Weight: 8–14 pounds

This French guest boasts a blue-ash coat, exceptional hunting skills, and a tender, caring little heart. On top of that, it has the most amazing and heart-warming smile in the Feline Kingdom. To keep this feline stimulated, stock up on toys that can keep the cat entertained, such as laser pointers, feather wands, and charmers. More good news: this breed almost never gets vocal or destructive.


10. Cornish Rex

cornish rex sitting on bed
Image Credit: absolutimages, Shutterstock
Origin: England (Cornwall)
Lifespan: 11–15 years
Height: 8–12 inches
Weight: 6–10 pounds

The Cornish Rex has a unique appearance and personality. As an energetic breed, it likes to climb, chase, overcome obstacles, and solve mental puzzles. If you barely have time to interact with a pet, the Cornish Rex won’t be a great choice. But for active families, it’s a near-perfect fur baby. The silky coat, bat-like ears, and long neck sure will turn a lot of heads!


11. Exotic Shorthair

Calico Cornish Rex
Image Credit: Imageman, Shutterstock
Origin: United States
Lifespan: 8–15 years
Height: 10–12 inches
Weight: 10–12 pounds

Often dubbed the low-maintenance sibling of the Persian cat, the Exotic Shorthair is just as charming yet doesn’t have a lush coat. As for its personality, this kitty has a gentle, delicate, and affectionate temperament. Mostly quiet, the Exotic Shorthair likes to mind its own business, yet you’ll always find it joining fun activities and playing with kids. That makes it a great choice as a starter pet.


12. Korat

Domestic Korat cat laying on sofa
Image Credit: Gino Santa Maria, Shutterstock
Origin: Thailand
Lifespan: 10–15 years
Height: 9–14 inches
Weight: 6–10 pounds

Folks looking for a rare, exotic, and affectionate fur baby will find the Korat to be the whole package. This Thai feline is renowned for its exceptional hearing and sense of smell. It doesn’t like to be startled yet enjoys the company of children. In Thailand, the Korat is famous for its “piercing” gaze and silky coat. This pet’s eyes are blue at birth yet turn green once it reaches maturity.


13. Lykoi

Lykoi cat
Image Credit: Nynke van Holten, Shutterstock
Origin: United States (Vonore)
Lifespan: 12–15 years
Height: 8–10 inches
Weight: 8–13 pounds

The Lykoi is one of the youngest and rarest breeds. First discovered in Vonore (Tennessee), it has a slim body, thick coat, and amazing reflexes. Also, if you prove to be a trustworthy human, this kitty will warm up to you quickly and “demand” cuddles. Smart, energetic, and full of life, the Lykoi can be a wonderful pet in the right hands.


14. Manx

Manx Cat
Image Credit: PradaBrown, Shutterstock
Origin: Isle Of Man
Lifespan: 12–16 years
Height: 7–11 inches
Weight: 8–14 pounds

If you want to adopt a cat that curls up in your lap, follows you around, and puts fear in the hearts of local mice, go with the Manx. This cat tends to get vocal sometimes, but, for the most part, it’s a balanced, even-tempered pet that’s quick to adapt to new circumstances and learn new tricks. Oh, and the short tail doesn’t stop it from being a mighty climber!


15. Ocicat

male ocicat cat on orange background
Image Credit: Nynke vanHolten, Shutterstock
Origin: United States
Lifespan: 15–18 years
Height: 9–11 inches
Weight: 6–13 pounds

Looking for a domestic cat that looks like it belongs to the wilderness? We have a perfect pick for you! Now, the Ocicat has no family ties to any wild cats, yet it does have a confident and faithful personality. Outgoing and cheerful, the Ocicat is a joy to have around for a big, loving family. It likes to play games and socialize with strangers and doesn’t mind being picked up and cuddled.


16. Persian Cat

Dilute Calico Smoke Persian Cat
Image Credit: Linn Currie, Shutterstock
Origin: Iran
Lifespan: 12–17 years
Height: 10–15 inches
Weight: 9–13 pounds

The short muzzle, rounded ears, and luxurious coat turn the Persian into a rock star. It also has a noble, elegant demeanor. This feline isn’t cheap, though, and its fluffy fur requires frequent grooming. But the Persian compensates for that with a gentle, docile nature and a stunning appearance. If you need a one-of-a-kind companion, it doesn’t get better than this Iranian native.


17. Ragdoll Cat

ragdoll cat walking outdoor
Image Credit: Aaron Zimmermann, Shutterstock
Origin: United States (Riverside)
Lifespan: 13–18 years
Height: 9–11 inches
Weight: 9–17 pounds

The Ragdoll is the most popular cat breed in 2023. And it’s been on top of the list for four consecutive years! We bet it’s those gorgeous blue eyes, fluffy fur, and stunning color combo that made this possible. These cats are smart, playful, and friendly, yet don’t shed much. Next, Ragdolls will gladly get acquainted with little children or other fur babies in the family.


18. Russian Blue

russian blue cat sitting on rock
Image Credit: Review News, Shutterstock
Origin: Russia (Arkhangelsk)
Lifespan: 15–20 years
Height: 9–11 inches
Weight: 7–15 pounds

Originally from Arkhangelsk (Russian Federation), this cat has taken over the world with its striking green eyes and silver-blue coat. Plus, just like every single breed on today’s list, the Russian Blue is an equally smart, capable, and affectionate feline. It likes to spend time with adults and kids and takes very little effort in maintenance. Just make sure it gets its fair share of mental stimulation.


19. Scottish Fold

scottish fold cat sitting on the mirror
Image Credit: dien, Shutterstock
Origin: Scotland
Lifespan: 11–15 years
Height: 8–10 inches
Weight: 9–13 pounds

Named after its adorable folded ears, this Scottish cat has big, expressive eyes, a dense (and short) coat, and a laid-back, quiet personality. You won’t have to put much effort into making this furry bud happy. It doesn’t like to be left alone, though; instead, this feline adores challenging and puzzling games. Loyal and all-around sweet, the Scottish Fold deserves all the praise it gets.


20. Selkirk Rex

selkirk rex cat on brown background
Image Credit: mdmmikle, Shutterstock
Origin: United States (Montana)
Lifespan: 10–16 years
Height: 9–11 inches
Weight: 6–16 pounds

Curly cats aren’t that common, but that’s what makes them special. And Selkirk has curls for days! You’ll only have to comb the coat once a week, though. Add big, pretty eyes, a round head, and pointy ears, and you’ll see why Selkirk is a keeper. With that, it’s also a friendly and social feline that adapts quickly and thrives in the company of humans (both adults and kids).


21. Siamese Cat

cat siamese
Image Credit: Andreas Lischka, Pixabay
Origin: Thailand
Lifespan: 14–20 years
Height: 8–12 inches
Weight: 8–14 pounds

The wide ears, almond-shaped eyes, and stunning color combination (black and white) make the Siamese an easily recognizable breed. If you adopt this cat, you’ll get yourself an inquisitive pet with a lovely voice and a gentle heart. Grooming is easy, but the Siamese relies heavily on mental stimulation (through various games) to stay in its element. Leaving this bud alone for a long time is not a good idea.


22. Somali

a portrait of ruddy somali cat
Image Credit: Nataliya Kuznetsova, Shutterstock
Origin: United States
Lifespan: 12–14 years
Height: 7–11 inches
Weight: 6–10 pounds

Very few felines are as beautiful as the Somali. It has a silky red coat with a bushy tail (that requires regular grooming), a cute pair of ears, and a big, witty brain. More importantly, it doesn’t take much to make the Somali happy. This is an inquisitive, quick-to-adapt, and affectionate cat that likes to be at the center of attention. And it’s believed that this breed originated from the Abyssinians.


23. Sphynx Cat

sphynx cat sitting in autumn leaves
Image Credit: jurra8, Shutterstock
Origin: Canada
Lifespan: 9–15 years
Height: 8–10 inches
Weight: 6–14 pounds

First bred in Canada back in 1966, today, the Sphynx Cat is one of America’s sweethearts. You get a tall, slender body, big, pointy ears, and, above all, a witty, playful, and mischievous personality. Also, in contrast to other cats, the Sphynx has a hairless body and wrinkly skin. Regular baths (once a month), lots of physical and mental stimulation, and occasional treats: that’s all this furry friend needs.


24. Tonkinese

Tonkinese cat
Image Credit: dezy, Shutterstock
Origin: US, Canada, Thailand
Lifespan: 12–16 years
Height: 7–10 inches
Weight: 6–12 pounds

So, what’s so special about the Tonkinese? This cat has a personality to die for: it’s all about enjoying life and acting a fool with its human parents. The Tonkinese adores spending time with the owners and shouldn’t be neglected for a long time. Cat people dreaming of a lap pet that quickly warms up to kids and other fur babies will hit the gold mine with this one!

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Conclusion

Cats come in all shapes and sizes, and if you would like to adopt a medium-sized breed, there are more than enough domestic and foreign felines to pick from. Fans of exotic kitties will find Abyssinians, Birmans, Burmese, and Persian cats to be right up their alley. As for Ragdolls, Ocicats, and Bengals, they are born and bred in the States.

More importantly, all these cats have different personalities, but if you treat them right, you’ll get a fun, sweet-tempered, and rewarding fur baby for the whole family. So, go over the list once again, pay extra attention to the cute pictures and the metrics, and find your perfect medium-sized cat to welcome home!


Featured Image Credit: OrangeGroup, Shutterstock



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