1 How big are the Big Cats

Table of overall head and body length (meters) of the cat family - in order of size.

Tiger2.20 3.30
Lion2.00 2.80
Cougar1.00 2.00
Leopard0.90 1.90
Jaguar1.00 1.80
Cheetah1.00 1.50
Snow Leopard1.00 1.30
Lynx0.80 1.30
Asian Golden Cat0.73 1.10
Serval0.67 1.00
Bobcat0.65 1.00
Clouded Leopard0.60 1.00
Ocelot0.55 1.00
African Golden Cat0.72 0.95
Chinese Desert Cat0.68 0.94
Caracal0.60 0.90
Fishing Cat0.72 0.86
Margay0.45 0.80
Jaguarundi0.60 0.77
Jungle Cat0.60 0.75
Wild Cat0.50 0.75
Pampas Cat0.56 0.70
Geoffrey's Cat0.45 0.70
Pallas Cat0.50 0.65
Bay Cat0.50 0.60
Iriomote Cat0.50 0.60
Andean Mountain Cat0.48 0.60
Leopard Cat0.44 0.60
Sand Cat0.45 0.57
Litle Spotted Cat0.40 0.55
Flat-headed Cat0.40 0.55
Marbled Cat0.45 0.53
Black-footed Cat0.40 0.50
Kodkod0.38 0.48
Rusty-Spotted Cat0.40 0.45
The male Siberian or Amur Tiger is the largest cat in the world - individuals have been measured at 3.2 meters in body length, excluding the tail. The power and strength of the animal is such that it is able to prey on guar bulls which can weigh in as much as 1000kg. Below the tiger the lion runs a close second in body size, with the other big cats being considerable smaller than these two felid ‘giants’. At the other end of the scale, the South American Kodkod and the Asian Rusty-spotted Cat are both of similar size - with a head and body length around 40cm and weighing a little over 1 kg.

Interestingly, the big cats also display the largest variation in body size - although the amur tiger is the largest cat in the world, another sub-species of tiger, the Sumatran, can be nearly 1 meter smaller than its northern relative.

Below is a graph showing the variation in body size of the largest cats.

To the right is a table giving the average weights of males for the 'heavy-weights of the wild cat species. Note that the jaguar ranked #5 in the body length table ranks #3 in body weight - a clear example of the animals powerful, muscular build.
Snow Leopard58
Clouded Leopard20