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Ragdoll vs. Persian Cat: What’s the Difference (with Pictures)

It can be easy to get certain cat breeds misconstrued, especially when they look similar to one another. When you have two gorgeous breeds like the Ragdoll and Persian, you might wonder if they are related and what similarities they possess genetically as well as physically.

We are here to go over every aspect of personality, care, and physical traits between these two distinctly different breeds so you can be an expert once all is said and done.

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Visual Differences

Ragdoll vs. Persian
Image Credit: Left: Ragdoll Cat: madeinitaly4k, Shutterstock | Right: Persian Cat: Dorottya Mathe, Shutterstock

At a Glance

Ragdoll Cat
  • Average height (adult): 9–11inches
  • Average weight (adult): 10–20 pounds
  • Lifespan: 13–18 years
  • Exercise: 15–30 minutes per day
  • Grooming needs: Moderate
  • Family-friendly: Yes
  • Other pet-friendly: Often
  • Trainability: Eager to please, obedient
Persian Cat
  • Average height (adult): 10–15 inches
  • Average weight (adult): 7–12 pounds
  • Lifespan: 10–15 years
  • Exercise: 15–30 minutes per day
  • Grooming needs: High
  • Family-friendly: Yes
  • Other pet-friendly: Often
  • Trainability: Agreeable

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Ragdoll Cat

ragdoll cat lying on couch
Image Credit: Ria Peene, Shutterstock

The very first documented Ragdoll was a lovely white cat named Josephine. Breeders or so taken by her charming personality, turning it into a whole breed. The Ragdoll is thought to have come into existence by mixing the beautiful genetic influence of a Persian, Birman, and Burmese.

Ragdoll cats really gained in popularity due to their striking appearance and affectionate demeanor.

Personality

One fabulous thing about Ragdoll cats is that they have such a versatile character that they blend in with just about any type of lifestyle or family environment. Ragdolls tend to have very charming personalities and woo even the hardest hearts.

They are usually highly social and attached to their owners. They’re even very docile with newcomers and animals most of the time as well. Because of their nature, they make outstanding candidates for homes with small children.

They are also so relaxed and calm that they are terrific for apartment living.

These cats really seem to enjoy physical affection and reciprocate the favor. You can expect lots of bunting from this breed, constantly rubbing against your legs and hands. They might be professionals at purring, too.

Physical Characteristics

Ragdoll cats have very distinct looks, touting beautiful long coats and lots of soft colors. The Ragdoll has classic blue eyes, adding charm and appeal. They tend to have smooth, fluffy, flexible bodies, leading to their name. They are rather dainty, but they are not built scrawly.

Because of their long coats, you might think they are difficult to groom. That’s not the case, however. They require ideally daily brushing to reduce the chances of mats forming in places they can’t reach. However, they are very clean and tidy cats.

Ragdolls are available in the following colors:

  • Seal
  • Red
  • Lilac
  • Chocolate
  • Blue
  • Cream
  • Mink

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blue ragdoll outdoors
Image Credit: Agata Światowska, Pixabay

They have the following patterns:

  • Colorpoint
  • Mitted
  • Bicolor
  • Mid-high-white bicolor
  • High white van bicolor
  • High mitted

Physical Activity

Ragdolls have a fairly low energy level as far as activity is concerned. That’s not to say that they don’t enjoy playing with toys or chasing a laser light, but they much prefer cuddles and time spent with their people.

Because Ragdolls tend to be curious casts, you might find that they enjoyed looking out the window or having some visual stimulation during play.

Encouraging your Ragdoll to play despite their energy level will help them maintain a healthy body weight to prevent the potential of obesity, which is common in the breed.

Your cat needs to get their heart rate up for at least 15 minutes of exercise per day, but ideally 30.

ragdoll lying on the floor
Image Credit: Kadisha, Pixabay

Health

Ragdolls are generally thought to be exceptionally healthy pets. They don’t have a lot of health issues to mention, but certain ones show up in the breed. A significant concern specific to the Ragdoll breed is called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

This is a heart disease found in cats that are very commonly diagnosed in the Ragdoll breed itself. If you suspect that your cat has any issues, always speak with your veterinarian for guidance. Proper vetting is essential to ensure that you stay ahead of any oncoming illnesses.

Other potential health problems include:

Ragdoll cat
Image credit: madeinitaly4k, Shutterstock

Cost

It seems the price of purebred animals just keeps increasing through the years. If you buy from a professional breeder, you can expect to pay roughly $1,000–$2,000, especially expensive because of their desirable looks and personality.

Of course, actual costs depend on the breeder, location, and quality—so actual costs will range.

Suitable for:

Ragdolls are suitable for homes with children, other pets, and older adults. They pair well in any sized living situation and tend to be a relaxed company.

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Persian Overview

Shell Cameo Persian Domestic Cat
Image Credit By: slowmotiongli, Shutterstock

Persians are an ancient breed that humans have loved for centuries. They have classically short muzzles and round facial shapes and eyes. One of the most recognizable cat breeds, the Persian has well made its mark in the world.

Persians have such desirable genetics that they have been elected in several cat breed creations, including the Ragdoll cat.

Personality

Persians are incredibly relaxed cats without a thing to prove to anyone. They don’t mind taking a nap in the middle of a sunspot in the afternoon. There is no shame in all-day napping.

As you might guess, these cats prefer a lifestyle of comfort and affection. Persians tend to have a very lackadaisical approach to life, not getting fussy or being particularly needy. They are also very good at self-occupying. Although they do rely on companionship.

These cats would make a charming addition to practically any family life as they mesh well with people and animals. They are docile enough to be around babies and seniors alike. You might not get much calmer than a Persian in terms of personality.

Physical Characteristics

orange long haired doll face traditional persian cat
Image Credit: Light Hound Pictures, Shutterstock

Persians are a brachycephalic type of animal. This means that they have a short muzzle with a flat face, which is probably why you love the breed so much. While this doesn’t typically cause many health issues, it can cause some breathing trouble, as with any animal.

Because they tend to mat, it is essential to keep up with regular brushing. If you start this process when your Persian is very young, they will likely conflate grooming with affection and very much enjoy this daily session.

Persians have the following coat colors:

  • Black
  • Blue
  • Cream
  • Cameo
  • Smoke tortoiseshell
  • Blue-cream smoke

They are available in the following patterns:

  • Classic
  • Mackerel
  • Patched tabby

Energy Level

Persians have a very moderate to low activity level. They much prefer a lavish lifestyle napping and a near windowsill rather than running around needlessly. These cats work very well for people with a laidback lifestyle.

You might have to persuade your persian to play, especially after they have been spayed or neutered. Weight gain is common with this breed, so exercise is crucial. Like all other cats, they need between 15 and 30 minutes of exercise per day—no matter how you must convince them.

Health

Persians are pretty healthy cats, but a fair share of health issues crop up in the breed. If you have a Persian, the best way to avoid detrimental matters is to maintain routine vet visits to ensure your cat is in prime health.

ginger doll face persian cat lying on the floor
Image Credit: CKYN stock photo, Shutterstock

Health issues for Persians include:

Cost

If you buy a Persian kitten from a licensed breeder, they can range quite a bit in cost. Some are top-of-the-line show cats, and others are pet only—so there’s lots of wiggle room depending on your needs. However, the average is between $500 and $3,000.

Suitable for:

Persians would make wonderful additions to any cat-loving home, permitting you don’t mind a feline who loves naps and cuddles. These cats require committed grooming, so those with the extra time won’t have an issue.

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Let the Competition Begin

So, which of these cats wins your vote for the best feline for your household? If you can’t figure it out yet, let’s touch on some basic points that you can limit down even further. May the best man, or feline, in this case, win.

Personality & Mannerisms

  • Winner: Tie

It’s really hard to pick which one of these cats has a better personality. We think that the best match depends greatly on your particular lifestyle. They both are incredibly affectionate, loving cats who are extremely laid back.

While they both would fit in with just about any living situation, Ragdolls might do best in homes with smaller children, whereas Persians might do best in homes with older adults.

While Ragdolls are pretty calm as far as kitties go, they are quite playful and might be a little much to handle on their kitten ears for some older adults. Or if you’re just a person who enjoys a relaxed lifestyle about a lot of commotion at home, a Persian might be the calmer of the two.

We think any cat lover would be pleased with either personality. We’re just trying to narrow down the search for you.

Grooming and Maintenance

  • Winner: Ragdoll

Both Ragdolls and Persians share the characteristic of beautifully long coats. However, which one of them has a more difficult fur type than the other?

Ragdoll cats have long fur, which can mat from time to time. However, they generally don’t because they don’t have an undercoat.

On the other hand, Persian fur is a little bit more challenging to maintain because they have a very dense undercoat. This can make grooming time–consuming for potential owners.

So, if you’re looking for a beautiful long-haired cat that is easy in the grooming department, we recommend a rag doll over a Persian.

two bicolor Seal Ragdoll Cats on cat tree
Image Credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock

Health & Longevity

  • Winner: Ragdoll

Ragdolls and Persians share some of their genetics since a Persian is a parent breed of a Ragdoll. However, Ragdolls tend to run into health issues less frequently than their Persian parents.

Reputable breeders are generally very good about weeding out genetic health issues in bloodlines.

Cost

  • Winner: Persian

Both breeds can get quite pricey, especially when you’re talking top–quality show cats. However, just for everyday pets, Persians tend to be less expensive more often than Ragdolls.

Now, you might find a steal or generally pay the same in your area. It really just depends on what is available and individual breeder rates. However, we find that you might have a better shot at finding a lower-cost Persian.

However, you need to make sure it is a reputable breeder to eliminate health issues or poor breeding risks.

Show champion black smoke Persian
Image Credit By: Linn Currie, Shutterstock

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Which Breed Is Right For You?

Deciding what breed is right for you can be a challenge since they are both so incredible and lovely. But we’re certain that one of these fabulous cats matches best with your lifestyle. Now that you know a little bit more about each of these magnificent felines, you can move forward on your kitten search.

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Featured Image Credit: Top: Ragdoll Cat: Serita Vossen, Shutterstock | Buttom: Persian Cat: slowmotiongli, Shutterstock

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