Reliable weight data for wild tigers are difficult to find

People are interested in the weight of tigers. They are the biggest cat on the planet after all. I have a page on the weight of all the wild cat species ranked in descending order which you can access by clicking here. I also have a page on the average weight of the tiger in pounds. It is a comprehensive page which you can access by clicking here. This page provides some insights.

Bengal tiger size and weight
Bengal tiger size and weight. Image: PoC (MikeB).

Mel and Fiona Sunquist in their excellent book Wild Cats of the World, published in 2002, make the point that it is difficult to find accurate information about the weights of tigers because the guys who hunted tigers didn't carry scales! They could measure the length of the tiger and the height to the shoulder, all that kind of stuff, but how were they going to weigh the animal? That presents a problem but we do have some data on this.

They say that the heaviest Bengal tiger on record with a male that weighed 258.2 kg. They say that the weight is not unlikely and cite another exceptionally large male tiger that was captured during a study in Nepal which weighed 227 kg.

The Siberian tiger is heavier generally than the Bengal tiger because it lives in a colder climate and through evolution animals become bigger in colder climates because it aids in their survival.  Siberian tigers vary considerably in size and there are few reliable weights of wild Siberian tigers. Many of the weights are guesstimates it. One male tiger from Manchuria was quoted as being "certainly not less than 300 kg".

Some experts believe that Siberian tigers in the past were bigger, reaching weights of almost 364 kg. Using information that's more recent the average weight for adult males was 221 kg and a male Siberian tiger in Prague zoo weighed 260 kg.

Bengal tiger
Bengal tiger. Picture: Pixabay.

In a study in the Russian Far East a young adult male weighed 175 kg and three adult females weighed from between 114  to 130 kilograms. The weights are similar to those obtained from captive tigers in Nepal.

The tigers in Sumatra and other Indonesian islands are smaller and darker than those living further north. The fur is shorter and less dense. Male tigers in this region weigh only 100 to 140 kg as reported in my reference book. Adult females in tropical areas weigh from between 75-110 kg which is about the weight of a large leopard or jaguar.

Adult male tigers in Nepal and India typically weigh 180-258 kg and adult females weigh 100-160 kg. To convert kilograms to pounds multiply the kilogram number by 2.205.

P.S. the world's largest cat is or was (unsurprisingly) a Siberian tiger - click here to see this monster cat.


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