page title icon Birman VS Ragdoll – Spot the Difference

by Linda Mathews Last Updated July 29, 2022

Two great breeds with their history and peculiarities are Birman and Ragdoll. These felines are similar in appearance, so some people still confuse them. But true cat enthusiasts are always ready to discuss the topic “Birman vs Ragdoll” because they have much to tell.
Let’s dive into the matter and discover the similar and distinctive features of both popular breeds. These felines can become your lovely pets with exceptional character and gorgeous looks to admire if you are willing to become the caring owner of the Birman or the Ragdoll cat.

A Quick Overview

Breed Birman Ragdoll
Lifespan 13-16 years 12-15 years
Average weight 10-13 pounds 8-11 pounds
Average height 8-10 inches 9-11 inches
Average length 15-18 inches 17-21 inches
Pet-friendly Yes Yes
Children-friendly Yes Yes
Communication-friendly Yes Yes
Trainability Moderate High
Lifestyle Moderate Moderate
Grooming Requires regular grooming (brushing once a week) Requires regular grooming (brushing once a week)

Breed History

What’s the difference between a Ragdoll and a Birman? If you pay attention to details, you will see the features that distinguish these breeds one from another easily. To understand all the feline’s specific qualities and their natures at all, it is necessary to dive into Birman and Ragdoll’s origin. Some secrets and habits will be unveiled this way.

Breed History

The Origins of the Birman

The Birman breed is about ancient legends. Despite the fact that these felines were first recognized in France in 1925, most experts state that the roots of Birman cats came from Myanmar. The ancient priests in the Burma temples adopted Birmans and considered them the gods’ animals.

Ancient people believe that their holy Kali goddess presented to these cats beautiful blue eyes like bright sapphires. A blue Birman cat was raised by these priests in the Burma temples as well. This pet was a true symbol of purity, eternity, and infinity according to the legend.

The Origins of the Birman
Then, adult male Birman cats appeared in families in Myanmar. Only in 1925, this breed was recognized by the French feline association. It is a pity but most Birman cats disappeared because of the Second World War. But in 1950, this breed managed to survive due to one caring French family. Their two purebred Birmans gave birth to kittens and continue the epic history of the felines with ancient roots.

The Origins of the Ragdoll

In comparison with the Birman cat breed, Ragdolls’ history begins not in ancient times but in the 20th century. The owner of the angora Persian she-cat Josephine, Ann Baker, discovered a new breed that was approved by the Cat Fanciers’ Association in the 1960s. According to the legend, her pet had a car accident and was injured. After that event, Josephine’s character turned out to be calmer, friendlier, and kinder. The litter of this legendary she-cat was also unique. All the kittens were indifferent to angora Persians.

It is worth noting that other Jozephines’ litters were also with the distinctive features trademarked by Ann Baker. This way the Ragdoll breed (Rag Doll breed name – for cats’ habit to go limp while laying in the owners’ hands) appeared. It became renowned in the 1980s when some kittens were transported from the USA (California) to Europe.

The Origins of the Ragdoll
Now, Ragdolls tend to become one of the most popular indoor cat pets for their easy-going character and playfulness that are suitable for a true family lifestyle. Perhaps these felines obtain moderate trainability properties, they can find a common language with other animals in the house. So, a Ragdoll kitten can become a great pet companion and a faithful friend for children.

Birman VS Ragdoll Similarities

A Ragdoll cat breed is similar to Birman when it comes to many aspects. While comparing two felines, you can see that their size, length, and height are almost identical. When the Birman cat can be a little bit heavier, Ragdolls are longer and higher a little. The same story is about their face shape. Most Birman and Ragdoll cats obtain a round-triangle head.

Birman VS Ragdoll SimilaritiesSpeaking about other similarities, it is worth noting:

  • The same level of playfulness, energy, and physical activities per day (moderate for both breeds);
  • Well-muscled bodies and well-built skeletons of Birman and Ragdoll cats;
  • Rather a long fur in comparison with other pets who have whiskers;
  • Easy-going nature when it comes to living with family members and other pet animals under one roof.

Nevertheless, it will be very surprising if the Ragdoll and Birman cat will be 100% of the same range of features and characteristics. It goes without saying that these breeds are not lacking in their distinctive features to take into consideration.

What is the Difference Between Ragdoll and Birman Cats?

What is the Difference Between Ragdoll and Birman Cats?Ragdoll and Birman’s personalities together with their physical features can vary. At the first sight, they are similar felines. But if we continue comparing these two cats, the distinctive traits become clear. Let’s take a closer look at the specific physical features and personality peculiarities of Birman and Ragdoll cat breeds.

Physical Features

The most visible differences in the context of the felines’ look are seen when it comes to their eyes, fur, tails, and profiles. While exploring the appearance of Birman and Ragdoll cat breeds, you might find all the unique points that distinguish one bewhiskered buddy from others.

Eyes

Birman vs Ragdoll disputes always start with the eyes of these felines. The color can be similar – light blue for both breeds. But the shape of felines’ eyes varies. A Ragdoll cat has huge oval eyes. At the same time, Birmans obtain round ones of medium size.

Eyes

Fur

Ragdoll cats are fluffier than Birmans. They have a rich undercoat, so this breed is hardly called a hypoallergenic one. At the same time, Birman cats obtain silky fur with almost zero undercoats. They shed less and require less grooming care.

So, are Birman cats hypoallergenic? Mostly yes. But it can be explained with almost no undercoat and a glossy Birman coat. Nevertheless, both breeds demonstrate medium-level shedding, so can cause allergies as other felines do. But note that hypoallergenic Ragdolls are a real rarity due to their bushy, soft, and plushy fur.
Additionally, we can compare the coat length of Birman and Ragdoll cats. The first breed is notable for its long-haired bodies. Ragdolls usually have medium-length coats. Nevertheless, the Ragdoll and Birman cat shedding characteristics are similar – they shed moderately.

Fur

Tail

An average Birman cat has a fluffy medium-length tail. When the Ragdoll obtains the same bushy one but a little bit longer. These furry cats are often compared with squirrels for their plushy tails.

Tail

Size

As can be seen, both feline breeds are of medium size. The average Birman or Ragdoll cat is about 10 inches in height and 17 inches in length. The main difference is between she-cats. If the adult male Ragdolls are about 11 inches in height and 21 inches in length, the females of this cat breed are usually 2-3 pounds lighter and 2-3 inches smaller.

Speaking about Birmans, she-cats and he-cats are almost of the same size. In comparison with the adult female Ragdolls who differ in physical features from the feline boys, Birman ladies are only 1 inch lower and shorter than their spouses and about 1 pound lighter than Birman gentlemen.

Profile

While continuing the Birman vs Ragdoll comparison, the profiles of these cats are also different. Most purebred Ragdoll cats have a curvy nose. Speaking about the profile of Birman felines, they have the distinctive feature of the Roman nose.

Profile

Coat Color and Patterns

The coloration of Birmans and Ragdolls varies as well. That is why it is worth focusing on these distinctive features too. Let’s take a closer look at the Ragdoll’s fur patterns and the Birman cat coat color to compare their specific coloring.

Birman & Ragdoll Coat Colors: Similarities

Either a Ragdoll’s or Birman’s coat can be notable for its darker color of the extremities. Usually, the top of the ears, tail, and paws have dark colorpoints. A seal point together with blue, chocolate, lilac, creamy, and red are met in litters of both breeds.

Birman & Ragdoll Coat Colors: Similarities
The following variations in the context of the colorpoints are possible for Ragdoll and Birman cats:

  • Lilac-point Ragdoll;
  • Blue-mitted Ragdoll;
  • Blue Birman cat;
  • Bluepoint Ragdoll;
  • Birman tabby mix;
  • Ragdoll snowshoe cat;
  • Seal mitted Ragdoll;
  • Silver mitted Ragdolls and Birmans;
  • Bicolor Birmans and Ragdolls, etc.

One more significant feature that is similar for Ragdolls and Birmans at once is tabby markings. But the nature of these colorpoints can be different.

Birman VS Ragdoll Colorpoints: Differences

An average Ragdoll cat has no white gloves and spots on his or her coat. The mutation sometimes can take place. For example, a Birman Ragdoll mix can bring extraordinary patterns to the litter. Some gene mutation gives birth to kittens with rare colorpoints like a white Ragdoll cat or a black Birman cat.

Birman VS Ragdoll Colorpoints: Differences
Additionally, in comparison with Birmans, Ragdolls obtain lighter colorpoints in the form of the white band that starts from the white chin, goes to the belly, and ends with the mittens on the paws.

Birman cats are notable for symmetrical markings together with the mitted coat but no lighter band on the body (for example, a dark belly and a colored chin). They can have rare colorpoints on their silky hair as well. For example, smokey and silver patterns are possible.

Birman VS Ragdoll Shedding

These medium and long-haired breeds perform the same – medium-level shedding. But in the context of allergic reactions, Birmans are better pets. They have almost zero undercoats, so they do not shed profusely. That is why these are likely to be called hypoallergenic companion cats.

Birman VS Ragdoll Shedding

Ragdoll VS Birman Cat Grooming

Birmans have a thinner coat but the frequency of grooming procedures is the same as Ragdolls require. It is recommended to brush your cats at least once a week. This way the fur will be silk and knot-free. Visit a professional groomer every three months or even more often like owners of many cats of other breeds.

Ragdoll VS Birman Cat Grooming

Birman VS Ragdoll Cat Temperament

What about Birman vs Ragdoll personality? Both breeds are tolerant of other pets and children. That is why Birmans and Ragdolls are very good cats for a family lifestyle. But there are some differences in their characters and behaviors. Ragdolls like chilling and are not so playful and energetic. But they can perform dog-like tricks. Birmans are also very smart but obtain a lower level of trainability.

Birman VS Ragdoll Cat Temperament
If the vocalization background for you is critical, you should note that Ragdoll cats love talking, meowing, and being rather noisy with their parents. Birmans are calmer and medium-level vocalizing like other cats.
Both breeds are great cat companions with no aggression. You will find a pet that is 100% affectionate and loving. Especially when it comes to the Ragdoll and Birman female feline companions. She-cats are very kind and murr-purr bewhiskered ladies.

Ragdoll and Birman Cat Health

It is not recommended to adopt Birman and Ragdoll rescue cats without genetic testing. It can be explained by numerous genetic-based health issues that can be excluded or detected timely (at a young age – up to three years) for proper treatment.
For example, the sharpest healthcare problems Birmans are prone to are:

  • Pre-heart failure conditions (like feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy);
  • Kidney disease;
  • Feline infectious peritonitis.

As the representative of the genetically diverse breed, each Birman requires regular veterinary guidance. Visit your vet at least once a month to avoid serious health problems.
Speaking about Ragdolls, these felines are relatively inbred. So, the weak spot in their health profile is urinary issues like possible bladder stones. Monthly veterinary advice is a must for owners of the Ragdoll cat to exclude the risk of kidney problems and heart disease.

FAQ

Is the Ragdoll or Birman Cat a Better Pet?

It depends on your lifestyle and expectations from the feline you are going to adopt. One cat differs from another bewhiskered buddy. These are separate-standing breeds with their peculiarities to take into account.
For example, Ragdolls have a dog-like personality and are rather noisy cats. Birmans are calm but are trained worse. While Birmans obtain more white markings, Ragdolls are notable with their V-mask on the face and interesting color mixes from the body to extremities.

Can Birmans and Ragdolls Be Kept Together?

Both breeds are tolerant of animals, kids, and cat parents. There are many examples of faithful friendship between Ragdoll and Birman felines. Explore Instagram, TikTok, and other social media to find funny stories about two cats of these breeds who live under one roof. But it is recommended to adopt bewhiskered buddies together. Two rescue cats or ones from the breeder adopted at the same time will make friends faster.

Bottom Line

A Ragdoll like a Birman is a medium-sized cat with beautiful blue eyes and silky creamy, chocolate, or white fur. These felines are similar to each other in the context of physical features and temperament. But there are so many distinctive traits to take into account. While diving into details, Ragdolls and Birmans turn out to be different planets to explore. If you want to become caring parents for one of these breeds (or for both at once), take a closer look at all the nuances before felines’ adoption.

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