Written by: Lucas James

Ragdoll vs Birman

Ragdoll vs Other Breeds

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The main difference between a Ragdoll cat and a Birman Cat is size, personality, and coat features. Ragdolls are larger, with a muscular, semi-longhaired coat, blue eyes, and an affectionate, dog-like personality. Birmans have medium size, soft, silky fur without a thick undercoat, and almost round blue eyes, and they’re generally friendly but less likely to follow owners around. Also, unlike Ragdolls, Birmans have white “gloves” on their paws.

Ragdoll vs Other Breeds

Ragdoll vs Birman

Written by: Lucas James

Last Updated on:

What are the Differences Between a Birman and a Ragdoll Cat?

The main difference between a Ragdoll cat and a Birman Cat is size, personality, and coat features. Ragdolls are larger, with a muscular, semi-longhaired coat, blue eyes, and an affectionate, dog-like personality. Birmans have medium size, soft, silky fur without a thick undercoat, and almost round blue eyes, and they’re generally friendly but less likely to follow owners around. Also, unlike Ragdolls, Birmans have white “gloves” on their paws.

Ragdoll and Birman cats share similar color-pointed coats.

Birman vs Ragdoll

Birman and ragdoll cats look shockingly similar. These are two breeds that are frequently confused. Even a cat expert might not always be able to tell the difference between the two. The Birman cat originally comes from Burma, where they were raised hundreds of years ago by priests in temples. They were then exported to France in the 1920s, and have since made their way to the rest of the world. 

The ragdoll is a little less interesting. These cats were allegedly created in the 1960s by selectively breeding a unique Persian cat to produce cats with traits that you now see in the typical ragdoll. But of course, their exact origins are a mystery. 

These two cats may look the same initially, but you’ll see when comparing Birman vs ragdoll that they actually have very different physical features. The two breeds do share similar ears with rounded tips, they have similarly rounded faces, and they have medium-length muzzles. Both animals have muscly bodies with good bone structure, but one of the biggest differences is in the eyes. 

Ragdolls have huge oval eyes, while Birmans have more rounded eyes that are smaller.

When it comes to fur, Birman cats have silky fur with nearly no undercoat while the ragdoll has plushy fur. It’s hard to tell the difference sometimes just by looking, but when you feel each cat it’s easy to know the difference. Also, the ragdoll has a much longer tail than the Birman cat.  

But perhaps the biggest difference is in the size. Ragdolls are large cats that can weigh up to around 20 pounds! On the other hand, a Birman is a medium cat that can only weigh a maximum of about 12 pounds.

They may look similar in pictures, but the ragdoll cat is actually quite a bit larger. 

And of course, there is a significant difference in the colour. Both breeds have coloured extremities and blue eyes with white bodies. However, Birman’s body is typically clearer. Both breeds can be blue, chocolate, lilac, cream, and red, and both breeds are able to have tabby markings. But the biggest difference is that Birman breeds are sometimes a smoky or silvery colour. 


The Ragdoll is a large and slow-to-mature cat. An adult male can weigh 6 to 9 kg (12 to 20 pounds) and females can weigh around 4 to 6kg (8 to 15 pounds).
The Birman is a medium-sized cat that weighs around 3 to 6 kg (6 to 12 pounds) for an adult male, with the females being a bit smaller.


The Ragdoll cat’s nose has a gentle curve, while the Birman nose has a slight indentation and is roman in shape.

ragdoll vs birman two cats looking at the camera

You can see in the picture above that the Birman on the left has an indentation in the bridge of its nose, and the Ragdoll on the right has a flatter nose. It’s worth noting that the Birman also has rounder, softer eyes. They accentuate its pointy snout. Whereas the Ragdoll has more elliptical eyes and its snout is less pronounced.

The difference between these cats is difficult to see, even though they don’t share all of the same qualities. The good news is that the best way to recognize a Birman from a Ragdoll is by looking at their coat


Both types of cats are colorpoint. This means that only their points (tips, like feet, ears, tail and nose) are coloured and their eyes are blue.

The body should stay clearer in the Birman when compared to a Ragdoll.

When it comes to colour patterns, both breeds are again similar: the seal (brown), blue, chocolate and lilac, red (flame), cream, and cinnamon are all allowed colours for both Birmans and Ragdolls, and most cat registries will allow a cinnamon colour as well.

Both breeds can also have tabby markings. The smoke and silver are only allowed in the Birman breed, with some exceptions for some cat registries which allow them also for Ragdolls.

So what is the difference – the difference is in the non-coloured parts. It’s in the whites.


Birmans are generally mitted, and that is a main characteristic. They have socks on their paws. The white usually covers the whole paw up to the joint. On the back leg, the white should go further up the leg and form an inverted V. The markings should be symmetrical. This genetic trait can be tested…and it is what sets the Birman apart. There are no other white spots on the body.


Three patterns exist for the Ragdoll breed: colorpoint is the first and it means that The ragdoll doesn’t have any white spots. It is therefore easy to tell apart from a Birman. Just look at the paws: if they are not white, it’s a Ragdoll. mitted and bicolor. (In some pedigrees, the Van or High-White pattern is recognized).

The ragdoll doesn’t have any white spots. It is therefore easy to tell apart from a Birman. Just look at the paws: if they are not white, it’s a Ragdoll.


The Ragdoll may have white gloves just like the Birman! So then how do you tell them apart then? If your Ragdoll is mitted, its chin will also be white. The Birman however will have a coloured chin, just look at the cat below. The mitted Ragdoll must have a white fur channel that goes from its chin, through its belly, all the way to its tail. A narrow white marking is allowed on the nose.
Some Ragdolls have the Birman white-mitted mutation, but not many of them. This means that another genetic mechanism is responsible for the white-mitted pattern in the Ragdoll.


It’s the classical colouring of the Ragdoll where the cat has an inverted V on his face. The legs, chest, and belly are white. The inverted V should not extend beyond the eyes’ extremities. This pattern is useful to recognize a Ragdoll, as the Birman doesn’t have any white on its face.

Birman Cat Personality

when thinking about the Birman vs ragdoll, Birman cats are some of the most loving felines in the world. If you have ever wanted an extremely affectionate cat, not one of the ones that destroy your stuff and hisses at you from the windowsill all day, you definitely want a Birman cat!

They have been bred specifically to be companion cats for many generations. These fluffy felines are docile, soft-spoken, and best of all they are extremely smart. They are also very friendly cats, meaning they get along well with children, dogs, other cats, and people. They aren’t overly noisy, but they are exceptionally curious and love to explore.

What’s really unique about the Birman cat is that these felines are not great at being left home alone. Most of these cats can tolerate being left at the house while you’re at work, but if you leave them alone for prolonged periods of time they will get unhappy and depressed and might even act out.

Birman cats truly do rely on you for comfort, security, and happiness! These cats really do need a loving and affectionate owner.

princess maya

Should I get a Birman or Ragdoll?

Whether you get a Birman or a ragdoll is completely up to you. The only thing you need to keep in mind is that the ragdoll cat is quite a bit larger, and the ragdoll cat is also quite rare to find depending on your preferred colour scheme. Birman cats require a lot of attention on your part, so they are great if you want a small and cuddly cat that is going to follow you around the house and demand lots of love. 

But at the end of the day, both cats are extremely similar. You will undoubtedly be happy with either one as your companion for the next fifteen or more years! 

Is a Birman a Ragdoll?

A Birman is not a ragdoll. These are definitely not the same cat. The Birman comes all the way from Burma, where it was raised for centuries as an almost mythical cat. On the other hand, a ragdoll is an offshoot breed likely from a Persian cat. These are completely different animals. They have different fur, different colours, and different sizes. 

Are Birman Cats Cuddly?

Birman cats are super cuddly! With their beautiful blue eyes, calm disposition, and extremely soft fur, you will absolutely love cuddling up on the couch every night with your affectionate Birman cat and the newest Netflix series! These cats are loving, they absolutely adore being groomed, and they will keep you warm in the coldest winter! 

How Can I Tell If My Cat is a Birman?

There are a few surefire ways to recognize a Birman cat. If you think you have a Birman kitty but are not sure, just check a few of these characteristics and if they match, congratulations you have a sweet Birman cat!

First of all, look for colours. A Birman cat is usually born completely white with a very pink nose, and as time goes on its face, ears, legs, and tail will begin to develop colour. Most of these cats will be red, blue, chocolate, lilac, or a mixture. If your cat has some of these colours on their legs, tail, and phase, it very well could be a Birman. 

The second thing to look for is a layered coat. Most cats have double coats, but a Birman only has a single coat. This means their fur is super light and very soft to the touch, especially the mane of fur around their neck. 

Another thing to look for is in the paws. Birman cats really stand out because of their white paws. Every Birman cat will have 4 white paws that make them look like they’re wearing gloves. Don’t forget to check your eyes as well. White paws are distinctive of Birman cats, and so are deep blue eyes. 

The last thing you want to check is the size. A typical Birman cat is not very big. They will have a maximum height at the shoulders of between 12 and 16 inches. If your cat is about this height, and all the other aspects match up, you probably have a Birman!

FAQ Section

Are Ragdoll Cats More Affectionate Than Birmans?

If you are wondering are Ragdoll cats more affectionate than Birman’s the answer is yes Ragdoll cats are more affectionate than Birman’s. However, Ragdolls are also larger and have more muscle mass than Birmans.

Not to mention that their heads are broader, their tails are generally longer, and their cheekbones are usually not as high set as a Birman Cat. In terms of temperament and personality, both cat breeds are chill, docile and affectionate, but Ragdolls just tend to be more clingy than Birmans.

Having said all of that a cat is a cat. And there is really no telling what your cat will be like until you get to know it. I have had Ragdolls that are crazy and aloof, and I have had tabby cats that.






It really comes down to the individual cat, the environment that you provide and your personality. Yes, genetics plan a huge role in the outcome, and more often than not a Ragdoll cat will be super affectionate and cuddly and follow you around, but that doesn’t mean that they are all, always like that. As a potential cat owner, you need to be ready for different kinds of personalities to emerge.

Do Birman Cats Like to Be Held?

Yes Birman cats like to be held. I have a Birman and it loves being held. I will say that if it is in the mood to be held it is much easier and the cuddling will last longer. If it isn’t in the mood I can still pick her up and hold her but after a few minutes, she will begin to plan her escape.

She is a little more aloof as a cat in general though, and will sometimes come and lay on my chest, but often she just wants to be in the same room, not necessarily cuddling.

Cats in general though will respond to the environment that they are put in. So if your environment is full of stress and transient people, your cat will get used to that and respond accordingly. So if you can quiet your environment and show your cat love and attention you will get it in return.

Also Read – Are Birman Cats Hypoallergenic?

Sources for Birman vs Ragdoll – http://www.birmansusa.com/


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