Ragdoll Vs Birman – A Detailed Guide

Two popular long-haired cat breeds often get confused for one another: the Ragdoll vs. Birman. These cats are known for their gentle dispositions and beautiful blue eyes. Quite a few differences exist between them, though. This guide will take a closer look at the Ragdoll Vs. Birman debate and help you decide which of these two lovely cats is right for you.

Table of Contents

Ragdoll Vs. Birman Cat: Physical Features Differences

A Birman cat.

Head Shape

Ragdolls have a large, broad head, while Birman cats have a more slender, triangular head. Ragdolls have shorter, rounder skulls, while Birman cats have longer, narrower skulls.

Nose Shape

Ragdoll cats have large, broad noses, while Birman cats have smaller, narrower noses. The Ragdoll’s nose is also more rounded, while the Birman’s nose has a more pointed shape. The Ragdoll’s nose sits further back on the face than the Birman’s.

Eye Shape

Ragdolls have much rounder eyes than Birman cats. Birman cats typically have slightly slanted eyes, while Ragdoll cats have more almond-shaped eyes. Moreover, Birman cats tend to have slightly larger eyes than Ragdoll cats.

Muzzle/ Chin

A Ragdoll cat lays on the floor.

A Ragdoll cat lays on the floor.

The Ragdoll has a longer, more rectangular muzzle, while the Birman has a shorter, more round muzzle. 


The Ragdoll has a longer and thinner neck than the Birman. Additionally, the Ragdoll’s neck is not as muscular as the Birman’s. Finally, the Birman has a “ruff” of fur around its neck, while the Ragdoll does not. 


Ragdolls have much longer ears than Birman cats. That’s because Ragdolls have a gene that causes their ear cartilage to grow longer. Birman cats, on the other hand, have shorter, more upright ears. Another difference is that Ragdoll cats typically have darker fur on their ears than Birman cats. 


A Birman cat explores nature.

A Birman cat explores nature.

Both breeds have thick coats that are soft to the touch. However, the coat of Ragdolls is typically lighter with darker points. Birmans have even coloration throughout their coats. 


Ragdolls have long, fluffy tails that they often hold curled up close to their bodies. Meanwhile, Birmans have shorter tails that are blunter at the end. 

Body Shape

A Ragdoll cat is sitting on a carrier with an open door.

A Ragdoll cat is sitting on a carrier with an open door.

Ragdolls are typically large cats, with males weighing around 20 pounds and females around 15 pounds. They have long, muscular bodies with broad chests and large hindquarters. Birmans, on the other hand, are usually smaller, with males averaging around 10 pounds and females around 8 pounds. They have more slender bodies, are less muscular than Ragdolls, and are not as broad in the chest. 

Legs & Feet

The Ragdoll has much longer legs in proportion to its body than the Birman. Additionally, the Ragdoll’s feet are larger and more rounded than the Birman’s. Finally, the Birman has a distinctive “thumb” on its front paws, which is absent in the Ragdoll. 


Ragdolls tend to reach full maturity at around 3-4 years old. Birman cats, on the other hand, can take up to 5 years to fully mature.

Ragdoll Vs. Birman Cat: Personality Trait Differences

A Ragdoll cat is sitting in front of a white background.

A Ragdoll cat is sitting in front of a white background.

They both have a reputation for being gentle, loving, and easy-going, but the breeds have some differences. Ragdolls are known for being very laid-back, even-tempered cats. Some people think they are “dog-like” in their personality – the cats enjoy being around people and are generally very friendly towards humans and other animals. Birmans cats, meanwhile, are known for being a bit more independent and aloof. They are still very loving cats but are more reserved than Ragdolls. 

Ragdoll Vs Birman Cat: Health Problems

Ragdolls are more likely to develop a heart condition known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Birman cats are susceptible to a genetic condition called Birman Cat Syndrome, which can result in different health problems, including deafness, kidney disease, and respiratory problems. Ragdolls and Birmans are also at risk for developing polycystic kidney disease, which can lead to kidney failure.

Ragdoll Vs. Birman Cat: Feeding Recommendations

A Birman kitten is perching on a trunk of a tree.

A Birman kitten is perching on a trunk of a tree.

Ragdolls need a diet high in protein to help them grow and develop properly. Birman cats require a diet that is lower in protein than Ragdolls. Both breeds should have access to fresh water at all times.

Ragdoll Vs. Birman Cat: Cleaning & Grooming

Both breeds require regular grooming to keep their coats looking their best. Brush the coats at least weekly to prevent mats and tangles from forming. It is also important to regularly trim their nails and clean their ears. Ragdolls are prone to developing tear stains, so they wipe their eyes daily with a damp cloth.

Ragdoll Vs. Birman Cat: Life Expectancy

The Birman breed has an average lifespan of 15 years, while the Ragdoll breed has an average lifespan of 18 years. The Ragdoll breed has a longer lifespan than most cat breeds.

Ragdoll Vs Birman Cat: Price

A Ragdoll cat with kittens is resting in bed.

A Ragdoll cat with kittens is resting in bed.

Ragdolls typically cost between $1,000 and $2,000 – breeders often sell these as pedigree cats. Birmans are a relatively expensive cat breed – prices range from $1,000 to $2,500. 


The best cat for you will be the one that best fits your lifestyle and personality. For more information on Ragdolls and Birmans, contact us today.