Birman vs Ragdoll: What’s the Difference?

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Birman and Ragdoll are two cat breeds that are almost similar in appearance, and even I once got confused when it came to telling the difference.

However, this was only until I deeply researched and understood their features and traits.

Now I can easily recognize and tell the two cat breeds apart.

I’ve put all that knowledge together in this guide, and when you’re done with this article, you’ll have all the necessary info to tell a Birman apart from a Ragdoll.

That way, you can easily decide if you will adopt either of these cats, as both have different traits.

Plus, you’ll be able to know if they can live together affectionately.

What Is a Birman?

Birman is an ancient and rare breed. Also known as the ‘Sacred Cat of Burma,’ the cat is characterized by its ‘color point’ coat and noticeable markings.

Following are some of their essential features:

Birman Cat Breed

Origins

According to different sources, Birman cats were raised in temples in Burma in ancient times.

They found their way to France in the 1900s and were regarded as a unique breed by Cat Club de France. 

After the second world war, this breed teetered on the edge of extinction.

Thankfully, cat breeders managed to reproduce it from two purebred Birmans with Siamese and Persian blood.

The Birman cat breed was then recognized in the 1960s in the UK and US.

Appearance

Birman cats have silky semi-long fur with little to no undercoat.

The Birman cat coat has darker shades called ‘pointed patterns.’ Their face resembles a rounded triangle with medium-sized ears and rounded tips.

They have rounded and medium-sized blue eyes that you can spot from a distance. 

A Birman’s tail is very furry and is medium length. Specific colors on their body include seal (black), cream, chocolate, red, blue, and lilac.

One thing to note is that their face, ears, tail, and legs are darker than their body. 

Size

The Birman cat is a medium-sized feline that weighs around 12 pounds when it fully grows.

Adult male Birman cats are slightly heavier than their female counterparts. Infancy to full maturity in Birman cats can take up to three years.

Afterward, their height varies from 8 to 10 inches, depending on their diet.

Temperament

Birman cats are friendly and lovely companion cats.

They occasionally need space from their owners, but their laid-back and well-balanced personalities make them better pets than some other cats.

What Is a Ragdoll?

The Ragdoll cat breed are large semi-long-haired cats with no extreme features.

These cats are muscular, friendly, and popular for their docility. People consider Ragdoll kittens puppy-like because of how similar some of their behaviors can be to dogs.

Following are some notable features of this adorable feline companion:

Ragdoll Cat Breed

Origins

A Persian breeder, Ann Baker, created the first Ragdoll during the 1960s.

She used two cats for breeding, and one of them was Josephine. People often associate many myths with the origin and history of Ragdoll cats.

For example, some say Josephine was a Persian-type white cat that suddenly started to behave affectionately after a car crash.

After getting to Europe, the GCCF recognized the Ragdoll cat in 1991. 

Appearance

Ragdoll cats have long fur coats with a soft and plush texture.

They have large oval eyes and rounded faces with medium-sized ears. Their tail is long, and their overall body is noticeably muscular. The

Ragdoll cat’s coat has a pointed pattern interspersed by the fur’s white shade. Their faces, ears, and tails are darker than their bodies.

These cats come in shades of chocolate, seal (black), red, lilac, cream, and blue. 

Size

Ragdoll cats weigh around 15 to 20 pounds when fully mature after nearly half a decade.

These cats can grow up to 21 inches in height, with adult female Ragdolls slightly smaller than their male counterparts.

That said, it’s worth noting that the type of diet they get plays a vital role in their size. 

Temperament

The Ragdoll cat temperament is often laid-back and lazy. They are lovable cats and have a clingy nature.

Ragdoll cats don’t particularly enjoy solitude and will most likely stick around you everywhere. Ragdoll cats love it when their owners hold and pet them and will go limp in their hands once this happens.

A Ragdoll kitten can be the perfect playful companion for your children at home. 

Ragdoll Cat Breed

Birman vs Ragdoll: What Are the Main Differences?

In the Birman vs. Ragdoll debate, here are a few key differences that can help you figure out which type of cat you have:

  • A Birman cat has a colored chin, while mitted Ragdolls have white chins. 
  • The most significant difference is size. A Birman cat is smaller than a Ragdoll. Birman cats are around eight to ten inches, while Ragdoll cats can be up to 17 to 21 inches. 
  • A Ragdoll cat has soft and plushy fur resembling a rabbit’s. In contrast, a Birman cat has silky hair, thin fur, and almost no undercoat. Plus, a Birman’s coat is shorter than that of a Ragdoll.
  • Ragdoll cats don’t have white spots, and they don’t have white gloves on their paws. They are Birman cats if you see ‘white gloves’ on their paws. 

Alternative Ways to Tell Ragdolls and Birmans Apart

Sometimes, comparing size and coat isn’t very helpful as they look similar. 

For example, what if the Birman and Ragdoll you’re looking at are of different ages?

Also, if it is a mitted Ragdoll, it will have white gloves, just like a Birman cat. How, then, do you tell them apart?

Thankfully, there are some other useful tricks:

  • Check for the white patterns. It is almost certainly a Ragdoll cat if you can’t find any white spots.
  • If the cat’s chin is colored and it sports white gloves, it is a Birman cat. 
  • If the cat has both a white chin and white gloves alongside a white patch of fur on the face, it’s a Ragdoll cat.
Birman Cat Breed

Conclusion: Which Breed Is Right for You?

You must consider your preferences first when contemplating which cat breed to get.

An interesting thing to note is that ‘Ragdoll cats’ have more dog-like behavior as they are clingy and will follow you all around.

Moreover, they need more grooming as they shed a lot. Both cats get along well with people, especially children, and are friendly with other pets.

Besides that, the Ragdoll breed can live affectionately and get along well with the Birman breed. To choose one, you must consider your lifestyle and the living space.

To summarize, both are perfect feline companions and great lap cats.

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