Cats With Long Legs

Picture of an Abyssinian Cat

The average adult cat stands between nine and 10 inches tall. Their legs typically measure  eight to 10 inches tall. Cats reach their full height at about one year of age, but can continue growing in muscles and weight for another year after that.

The longer a cat’s legs, the faster they can run. In fact, cats with longer legs tend to run up to 20 percent faster than cats without longer legs. Long-legged cats evolved from breeding domestic cats with wild cats, who usually have longer legs. Long-legged cats may be more prone to fractures and sprains as they are more active.

The legs of cats are different from the legs of other mammals. As other mammals get larger, their posture changes, with their legs straightening a bit, becoming stiffer to better support their weight. In cats, however, the legs remain curved so that they can crouch – even the largest cats in the wild remain in a crouching position. It is thought that this might have evolved from the cat’s need for stalking and pouncing on prey.

There are some domestic breeds of cat that have longer legs. We will look more closely at 10 of these longer-legged cat breeds here.

Abyssinian

Picture of an Abyssinian

The Abyssinian is a medium-sized cat with long, slender legs. Also called the Aby, this cat is muscular, with short, reddish fur that doesn’t shed as often as fur of other breeds. While Abys are quite active, they are also very loving and affectionate, enjoying both people and other animals. These cats are considered to be low-maintenance, requiring little work from owners. Just make sure you have set up high perches around your home for them to climb and jump on. Play with your Aby each day, too, as they love playtime and spending time with you. Having another cat for your Aby to socialize with might be a good idea as well.

  • Height: 8 to 10 inches
  • Weight: 8 to 12 lbs.
  • Maximum age: 13 years

Arabian Mau

Picture of an Arabian Mau

This natural breed of cat is medium-sized with long legs and big ears. It is one of the few breeds that can be considered “natural,” having come into being without human intervention. Their coat is generally reddish orange and white, black, and tabby. These long-legged cats love to jump and enjoy being indoors and outdoors. They are independent and low-maintenance, loving other pets and children. You should know that they do have a high-pitched meow which they will use to let you know when they want something.

  • Height: 8 to 10 inches
  • Weight: 9 to 16 lbs.
  • Maximum age: 14 years

Bengal

The Bengal is a large, popular breed of long-legged cat that appears wild and exotic. The result of crossing an Egyptian Mau with a wild Asian Leopard Cat, these muscular cats are known to be loving and affectionate, forming close bonds with the humans around them. Bengals typically sport a reddish-brown coat with leopard-like stripes and spots. They are very active and athletic, loving to jump and play. They are not high-maintenance, other than the fact that they do require stimulation and room to play. Bengals are not for everyone, as they require a steep investment of $4000 to $10,000.

  • Height: 8 to 10 inches
  • Weight: 15 lb.
  • Maximum age: 15 years

Chausie

Picture of a Chausie Cat

The Chausie is rare, which could explain why you might not have heard of the breed before. Derived from a cross between an Abyssinian and a Jungle Cat of south-central Asia, these medium- to large-sized cats have a long body with long legs, and love to climb and hunt (watch out, birds in the neighborhood!) They may be tabby, black with ticked tabby, red, or solid black. Chausies are affectionate and get along well with other pets and kids. They are considered to be low-maintenance, but do need room to play, jump and climb.

  • Height: 14 to 18 inches
  • Weight: 15 to 30 lbs.
  • Maximum age: 14 years

Egyptian Mau

Picture of a Egyptian Mau

With hind legs longer than its front legs, the Egyptian Mau is the fastest domestic cat breed known, running as fast as 30 miles per hour. Another fairly rare breed, in Egypt, this breed was used for duck hunting. The Egyptian Mau sports spots on the body and tabby stripes on the face, and their short coat is usually light grey/greyish brown, with darker stripes and spots. Besides being fast, the Egyptian Mau is known to be affectionate, playful and energetic. They love to play with their owners and need space to climb and jump.

  • Height: 8 to 10 inches
  • Weight: 7 to 9 lbs.
  • Maximum age: 20 years

Oriental Shorthair

Picture of a Oriental Shorthair

This cat is quite striking, with its long body, long neck, long tail, long face and very long legs. Originating from Siamese, the breed was developed in England in the 1950s. Its coat is short and glossy, and can come in 600 colors, patterns and coat length combinations. This breed has a sleek look, with a wedge-shaped head. The Oriental Shorthair is affectionate and vocal, as well as being playful and active. If they are given perches and cat trees to jump and climb on, they will be happy.

  • Height: 8 to 10 inches
  • Weight: 6 to 12 lbs.
  • Maximum age: 15 years

Savannah

Picture of a Savannah Cat

The Savannah breed is a medium-sized cat with long legs. The world’s tallest domestic cat is a Savannah, standing 19 inches tall, from Michigan. Savannahs typically have black or dark brown spots on their bodies and are long and slender cats. Savannahs are active and playful, loving to run and exercise. They are usually not lap cats, but do like kids and other pets. (Beware if you have smaller pets like fish, birds or hamsters, however, as they might become prey for this hunting breed).  The Savannah is quite expensive, with a price tag of $10,000 to $25,000.

  • Height: 12 to 14 inches
  • Weight: 20 to 30 lbs.
  • Maximum age: 20 years

Serengeti

Picture of a Serengeti Cat

This newer breed was created by crossing an Oriental shorthair with a Bengal. Breeders are attempting to create a breed that looks like a wild Serval but doesn’t use any wild cats in the breeding process. The Serengeti is a medium-sized cat with very long legs. They are active and agile, loving to run, climb and play. They are loving and affectionate, and can be quite vocal.

  • Height: 8 to 10 inches
  • Weight: 8 to 15 lbs.
  • Maximum age: 10 years

Turkish Angora

Picture of a Turkish Angora cat

The Turkish Angora is a medium-sized cat with a long, slender body and long legs. Their hind legs are taller than their front legs. Their longhaired coat can come in many colors, but white Turkish Angoras are the most popular. These cats are affectionate to owners, may attach themselves to one human and protect them, and love to run and play. They need perches and cat trees around the house to jump and climb on.  Turkish Angoras need daily brushing from their owners.

  • Height: 8 to 10 inches
  • Weight: 7 to 14 lbs.
  • Maximum age: 14 years

Turkish Van

Picture of a Turkish Van cat

This medium-sized cat is from Turkey originally, and is white with color (usually orange or brown) on the tail and head. Their legs are long and muscular, with hind legs slightly longer than front legs (making this breed a fast runner). They are longhaired in the winter and short-haired in the summer. These smart, social cats are affectionate and require stimulation from their owners. They also love water and have been known to jump in the shower with their owners.

  • Height: 9 to 11 inches
  • Weight: 7 to 20 lbs.
  • Maximum age: 17 years

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