Extreme Pets: The Smallest, Tallest, Oldest and Fastest Dog and Cat Breeds

We all know that cats and dogs come in all shapes and sizes, but when you place a 6-inch-tall Chihuahua next to a nearly 3-foot-tall Irish Wolfhound, it becomes quite apparent just how dramatic those breed variations really are.

From the world’s oldest dog breed to the least hairy cat breed, we rounded up nine of the most extreme feline and canine breeds.

9 Extreme Pets

Chihuahua dog breed

Sally Anne Thompson, Animal Photography

Smallest Dog Breed — Chihuahua

Chihuahuas might be the tiniest dog breed, but they don’t act like it. Don’t be surprised when this feisty little dog tries to pick a fight with a Rottweiler at the dog park. Along with her spirited and fearless personality, the Chihuahua is exceedingly loyal to her favorite human.

Singapura cat breed

Helmi Flick, Animal Photography

Smallest Cat Breed — Singapura

The Singapura weighs a mere 5 to 8 pounds, but she has tons of energy. When the curious (and bossy) kitty isn’t supervising everything that’s going on in your home, you’ll find her chasing toys and leaping to high places.

Irish Wolfhound Dog Breed

Sally Anne Thompson, Animal Photography

Tallest Dog Breed — Irish Wolfhound

It’s hard to ignore the towering 30- to 35-inch-tall Irish Wolfhound — his giant size gives him quite a commanding appearance. Unfortunately, because the breed is so big, its lifespan is heartbreakingly short. The average life of the Irish Wolfhound is only 6 to 8 years.

Munchkin cat breed

Helmi Flick, Animal Photography

Cat Breed With the Shortest Legs — Munchkin

Don’t be fooled by the Munchkin’s signature stubby legs; he’s not a Dachshund in disguise. And if you’re expecting a slow or laid-back feline, think again. The energetic breed is a true extrovert who’s happy to play with other cats, dogs and kids.

Mastiff dog breed

Sally Anne Thompson, Animal Photography

Heaviest Dog Breed — Mastiff

Weighing in on average at a whopping 200 pounds, the Mastiff probably weighs more than you do. While he’s a massive and extremely powerful dog, he’s also a classic gentle giant who loves his family and will try his best to snuggle with you on the couch.

Sphynx cat breed

Vidar Skauen, Animal Photography

Least Hairy Cat Breed — Sphynx

With her wrinkly face, lemon-shaped eyes and huge ears, the Sphynx truly looks like she’s out of this world. Instead of having fur, the breed’s skin is covered in a fine down, like that of a peach. And though she is hairless, it doesn’t mean you’re off the hook for grooming her; the breed must be bathed frequently to prevent clogged pores from oily skin.

Greyhound dog breed

Sam Clark, Animal Photography

Fastest Dog Breed — Greyhound

It might not surprise you that a Greyhound can run up to 44 miles per hour, but did you know that he’d much rather curl up on the sofa than join you for a jog? If this speedy breed is going to race you to anything, it’s to the comfiest spot on the couch.

Egyptian Mau cat breed

Tetsu Yamazaki, Animal Photography

Fastest Cat Breed — Egyptian Mau

Considered the track star of the feline world, the Egyptian Mau can run up to 30 miles per hour. Not only is the breed incredibly speedy, but thanks to his long hind legs, he can also catapult himself to high places without a problem. So don’t be surprised when this agile feline leaps up on your shoulder — or that high shelf you thought was cat-proof.

Saluki Dog Breed

Alice van Kempen, Animal Photography

Oldest Dog Breed — Saluki

Lots of breeds claim to be thousands of years old, but analysis of the canine genome confirms that the Saluki is the world’s oldest dog. The elegant sighthound is believed to have originated in Egypt around 329 B.C.


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