To the non-cat owner, it seems like aside from coat length, cats should be pretty similar to each other: after all, they’re all cats.
But if you’ve ever owned more than one cat in your life, you know that they are very different from one another.
Still, you can expect that a longhair cat of one breed is going to have similar shedding tendencies for example, to another longhair breed. Well, maybe.
Two popular longhair breeds are Persian cats and Ragdoll cats and if you don’t know much of anything about cats, you might be hard-pressed to see much of a difference between them.
After all, they are both longhair, medium to larger cats who are kind of lazy and laid back.
But if you dig a little deeper, you will quickly find that these two breeds are quite different from each other, and choosing the right one could be the world to your experience as a pet owner.
So, the Persian cat vs the ragdoll cat: What are the differences between them?
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The Obvious Differences
Right away, there are some pretty obvious differences in appearance between these two cats. Persian cats come in all different colors: solid, point, chinchilla patterns, etc.
Ragdoll cats on the other hand always point color, that is, darker on the ears, tails, feet (or ankles), and face and then lighter on the rest of their bodies.
They always have blue eyes whereas Persian cats can have a variety of eye colors. And on average, Persian cats are slightly larger than Ragdoll cats, but Ragdolls are usually heavier.
Persian cats also have a much flatter face than Ragdoll cats.
Going more in-depth, Ragdoll coats are less prone to matting than Persian cats, meaning they don’t need to be groomed quite as often. They are also less prone to watery eyes.
While both cats are longhair cats, they are certainly different in appearance once you take a closer look (though Persian cats can come in point colors like Ragdolls, and at that point, you’re best off checking the face).
Both Persian cats and Ragdoll cats are popular family pets because they are both laid back, get along well with children, and get along with other animals, including dogs.
The difference lies in how trainable they are and how much they crave human contact.
Persian cats are relatively trainable, but they can be more aloof about the whole thing.
Ragdolls on the other hand love to learn tricks and are motivated by attention and praise.
Ragdoll cats though crave human contact a lot more than Persian cats do – both will allow themselves to be petted, but Ragdolls are notorious for turning into limp, happy jelly when they get picked up whereas Persian cats will tolerate it but are just as happy to not get picked up all the time.
If you want a cat that will want to cuddle you and be picked up all the time, Ragdolls probably have the edge.
Persian cats are more vocal than Ragdolls, though neither breed are particularly loud. This makes them suitable even for apartment living.
Ragdolls are pretty intelligent – they are easy to train, and they are very sociable. Persian cats on the other hand don’t have the same level of ‘cat smarts’ (their instincts are underdeveloped).
They don’t hunt as much, and they are slower learners. (Probably as far as Persians are concerned, that’s what you the human is for).
Some people would call them stupid or vapid even, but it’s more that Persian cats have never really had to do the typical cat things and weren’t bred for them.
They aren’t very playful by nature, whereas Ragdoll cats are more playful and enjoy puzzle toys.
Both Ragdolls and Persian cats are low activity level cats who prefer loafing and sleeping to playing and jumping around.
Ragdolls are very much floor cats who don’t want to jump on things whereas Persian cats are more likely to make use of perches and furniture to look outside and enjoy a sunbeam.
Both cats may need to be coaxed into playing which is important since they are both prone to weight gain.
Ragdolls and Persian cats are both fairly healthy cats, though the Persian cat is more genetically healthy since many of the issues they can have were bred out.
Ragdoll cats are prone to the following health issues:
- Bladder stones
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (which is a heart condition)
- Polycystic kidney disease
Persian cats are only slightly prone to polycystic kidney disease and bladder stones, but it’s far rarer.
Persian cats on the other can have the following health issues:
- Polycystic kidney disease
- Bladder stones
- Liver shunts
Ragdoll cats are also far more prone to growth spurts than Persian cats and they take four years to mature whereas Persian cats are usually fully grown by about one year of age.
Ragdolls need to eat more in their kitten-hood and before full maturity than most Persian cats in order to fuel their longer maturity time.
Persian cats, on average, have a longer life expectancy compared to Ragdolls, though they can both hit seventeen or eighteen years of age.
Both cats can be expensive to get if you’re looking for a show animal, though Persian cats tend to be cheaper simply because they are more accessible from breeders.
Grooming and Maintenance
Persian cats require a lot more grooming compared to Ragdoll cats. While both have long hair, the Persian cat has an undercoat that is very dense and so requires daily grooming.
Ragdolls on the other hand do not have this undercoat, so they don’t need to be groomed as often. However, both cats will usually enjoy their grooming sessions!
Otherwise, they have similar grooming needs in terms of things like bathing, nail trimming, teeth brushing, and ear cleaning.
Ragdoll and Persian cats may seem very similar at first glance: long hair, beautiful cats have a decent size.
But personality-wise, they are often quite different: while both cats are affectionate and love their humans, Persian cats are far less playful and prefer sleeping in the sun whereas Ragdolls are more playful and like to greet their owners.
Ragdolls love being carried around, Persian cats tolerate it.
Persian cats reach maturity faster and are slightly smaller on average. Both cats are overall fairly healthy, and Ragdolls require less grooming.
So, which should you go for? Well, that’s totally up to you! Both cats are pretty quiet, and sweet, and get along with other pets and children.
It’s mostly going to boil down to what’s available and whether you want a more playful cat or a more laid-back one.
Which cat is your favorite?
Pam is a self-confessed cat lover and has experience of working with cats and owning cats for as long as she can remember. This website is where she gets to share her knowledge and interact with other cat lovers.