Perhaps you want to get a new cat but of course, you’re finding it to be harder than you’ve imagined. You can’t decide between two breeds that are equally as beautiful. Birman vs. Ragdoll? Which one is right for you?
When you’re looking to add a new family member to your life, you’ll look into all of the details. This includes a cat’s personality, as well as physical appearance.
Some owners might claim that they don’t care about their feline’s looks, while others will explicitly search for a breed of cat that soothes their eyes. I’d be lying if I said that I don’t like fluffy cats with big blue eyes. However, I mostly care about the feline’s personality and if we will get along well.
When I was getting a new family member, I also had to consider my first cat’s personality. Only then I could choose a kitten that would suit us both.
If you’re stuck and can’t decide whether you want to buy or adopt a Birman or a Ragdoll, we’re going to help you with that. Although these two cat breeds might look very similar, they still have their differences.
Perhaps some of these facts and characteristics will help you make the call. Either way, both are gorgeous, and it won’t be hard to fall in love with any of them.
How to pick the right breed?
If you’re occupied with thoughts of Birman vs. Ragdoll, it probably has to do with their personality. This is always a tricky question because each cat is unique. For instance, my two cats are both cross-breeds but they grew up next to each other.
This would make you think that they behave in a similar way or have the same behavior patterns, but no. They’re both completely different with distinct personalities.
For instance, Ivy is a scaredy cat and I’m pretty sure that she’s the one we got that saying from! She is the type of cat that’s always anxious and sometimes scared of the dark. So, not much of a brave heart.
On the other hand, there’s Simba and he’s a true warrior. He’s like a protector to Ivy because he’ll always investigate the things that frighten her. It’s a hard job because, trust me, there are dozens of these scenarios throughout the day. She’s definitely afraid of anything and everything.
But at the same time, Ivy is the one who’s affectionate and not afraid to show her love. She’ll come up to me demanding kisses and cuddles and will refuse to leave my lap no matter what. She’s the one that sleeps with me in bed at night and follows me around the house.
On the contrary, I have to beg Simba to show me that he cares. I’ll bribe him with all kinds of different treats, and kissy noises, and I’ll even use Ivy as an example. “Look at your sister! She loves me and cares for me, unlike you!”
Every pet owner wants to be able to satisfy their pet’s needs and care for them properly. That’s why it’s so important not to choose your cat depending on her looks alone.
Birman vs. Ragdoll: Key differences
I know they look very similar, but these two have distinct characteristics that will clear up the fog for you. They differ in both physical and personality features.
As you may have guessed, their origins are different as well. The Birman breed, which is often known as the “Sacred Cats of Burma,” has an intriguing origin. It’s said that the Kittah monks nurtured these cats in their shrines in Burma.
According to tradition, these cats inherited their blue eyes from the venerated goddess, who also had sapphire blue eyes. For their loyalty, the white paws were bestowed as a sign of purity.
The Birmans are supposed to be the descendants of a pair of cats brought back to France from a temple in Burma in the 1920s. The Cat Club of France first reported on the breed in 1927.
However, the breed was nearly extinct during WWII and was resurrected from two purebred Birmans with the addition of Persian and Siamese blood.
On the other hand, the Ragdoll breed has several tales regarding its origins. One is that Ann Baker developed this breed in the 1960s from a single cat named Josephine, a white Persian cat. Following a car accident, she had a very caring demeanor and a tendency to limp when picked up.
Ann Baker wanted to carefully breed Josephine in order to generate other cats with these characteristics. She patented the name Ragdoll, and the cat could only be registered in her registry for a long time.
Birman DNA was also utilized to produce the Ragdoll breed, which explains the similarities between the two breeds. So how to decide on the “Birman vs. Ragdoll” question?
Physical features of a Birman cat
If you’re debating whether you should get a Birman or a Ragdoll, it’s definitely a tough choice. Both of these cat breeds are astonishing and to make things worse, they’re not that different at all!
However, we’re going to list a few of Birman’s main physical characteristics to try and point out the differences. Perhaps this would be a deal-breaker for you and you’ll finally make your choice.
Starting from the most obvious feature, most of the Birman’s fur is white. However, this cat can come in slightly different tones, such as cream, cinnamon, chocolate, or even red.
One thing that makes them so recognizable is their fur pattern which can be pointed or mitted. A Birman cat has one color on the majority of her body, with other tones decorating her face, ears, back, tail, and legs.
What people find to be so cute about these felines are their big white paws. Next to that, this magnificent cat breed is blessed with two sapphire blue eyes that you can look into and just melt right on the spot.
You might find it surprising, but also attractive that Birmans have almost no undercoat. This makes life ten times easier because it means less maintenance and less brushing.
Felines who have a double coat require twice the grooming because their fur is prone to matting. So if you’re not looking for a cat you can name Tangled, you might want to opt for Birman’s silky fur.
These are big-boned cats, so I might as well mention that they can grow quite large in size. For instance, both males and females can weigh up to 12 pounds! That’s not as big as Maine Coon, but it’s still a handful!
Ragdoll’s physical characteristics
Once you’re done looking at the Birman cat and decide to search up a Ragdoll, you might think this is the same breed. People will easily mistake the two because, at first glance, it seems like exactly the same fluffy marshmallow.
However, apart from differences in origins, believe it or not, Ragdolls have distinct physical characteristics. Just like their Birman friends, Ragdolls have overall white fur with a touch of other colors on their heads, tails, and legs. Yes, they also have piercing blue eyes that can get you confused between the two.
Still, Ragdolls are much bigger than Birmans and can be twice their size. A male and female Ragdoll will definitely outgrow a Birman because they can weigh even up to 20 pounds.
One of the clear differences between these two is the chin. A Birman’s chin will usually be colored along with the rest of its face and head, whereas a Ragdoll’s chin is always white.
When it comes to fur, Ragdolls have a double layer of thick, fluffy coats. People usually go crazy about it because it’s soft to the touch, and honestly, it resembles a plushy, stuffed animal!
This fur is harder to maintain as it requires more care and brushing than a thin, silky fur of a Birman cat. Perhaps their thick coat adds to their size and they might appear bigger than they are. The tail also helps out as it’s a lot longer than a Birman’s tail.
Apart from size, Birmans and Ragdolls differ in color patterns. While Birman cat has two patterns, colorpoint and mitted, Ragdolls can also be bicolored. So how on earth do you pick one of the two?!
Birman vs. Ragdoll: personality traits
Now that we’ve established how Birman and Ragdoll cat breeds look, we can closely examine their personalities. It’s safe to say that both of these felines’ appearances can draw in a person and trick you into thinking that it’s easy to make the decision.
However, what happens if you bring home a cat that doesn’t suit your personality? You’re not getting the vibe even though you were fully confident that you’d be able to get along quite well.
It can definitely be stressful for both you and the cat. This case of “Birman vs. Ragdoll” might look complicated if you just assume they’re similar in personalities because a Ragdoll has some of Birman in it.
However, as we mentioned earlier, this couldn’t be more wrong. These two cat breeds are total opposites in behavior and character. It’s like you compared black to a white color!
Don’t judge a book by its cover. Indeed, make sure you do thorough research when deciding to choose between these two. Let’s take a closer look into the breeds’ specifics!
Birman cat: an introvert?
Birman cat is your usual feline: doesn’t have a care in the world and likes to mind her own business. However, this might not be exactly what you’re looking for.
Do you know those cats that will completely ignore you when you come home from a long day of work? I don’t want to disappoint you, but Birman is definitely one of those.
This breed enjoys its personal space and peace. They just like hanging out on their own, perhaps on a windowsill watching the birds and squirrels.
Sure, they might enjoy cuddle time here and there, but that’s about it. They’re not the type of cats to follow you around the house craving your attention 24/7.
Unfortunately, a lot of people just can’t resist their beautiful looks and will go against the cat’s will to pet her. This might result in their feline cowering and running away from them, leaving most people feeling rejected.
If this happens with your Birman companion, don’t take it personally. It’s just that this breed is more of an introvert and would gladly enjoy other cats’ company than a child’s, for instance.
Birman’s laid-back and calm demeanor is perfect for someone who lives alone or in a family that’s quiet enough and has a slow tempo this cat can adjust to.
However, they enjoy some playtime as they’re relatively active. Next time, you might offer your cat to play with you instead of suffocating her with kisses and pets. Still, make sure they have a safe place to retreat to once they’re done socializing.
Ragdolls: cuddle bugs
If you’re having trouble deciding on Birman vs. Ragdoll, this will probably clear it up for you. Unlike their distant cousins, Ragdolls are most cat owners’ dream. They’re the type of cat to follow you around the house, demanding more scratches and loving!
Just imagine coming home from a long day of work to your pet who’s ready to give you all the love and make you forget about the hardships you went through that day. What a life!
Ragdolls have the tendency to simply go limp once you pick them up, hence the name. They’re like stuffed dolls waiting to absorb all of your attention and affection.
If you’ve ever met a Ragdoll before, you probably noticed how she just flopped down on her belly. “Here I am. Now, please, love me and pet me. I’m all yours.” It certainly feels like she’s trying to tell us that.
With them being so chill and easy to love, Ragdolls are more tolerant than Birmans. This cat breed doesn’t mind having another pet in the household, even if it’s a canine.
Due to their size, it’s unusual for this cat to lack confidence, so she doesn’t have any trouble telling others to back off. On the other hand, this might be a bit more difficult for Birmans since they have strict boundaries and are half the Ragdoll’s size.
Their tolerance is definitely beneficial to households with small children who like to explore and stuff their faces at their pets. However, if you’re looking for a cat willing to engage in some playtime with you, you better skip Ragdolls. These beautiful dolls are made to suit the eye and not to sweat their butts off!
Birman vs. Ragdoll: What’s your final choice?
Having to decide between two such magnificent breeds can be tough. You can’t seem to take your eyes off them, and it doesn’t help that they look similar!
That’s why you need to settle down on a choice that suits you the most. It’s crucial that your personality matches your feline’s because, in the end, you will be stuck with each other for a long time!
We’ve listed some of the main differences in their physical appearance, as well as their character. Birmans are smaller in size and have two color patterns. They have white paws and a slick, shiny coat that doesn’t require a lot of brushing.
On the other hand, we have the Ragdoll, which has up to four different color patterns. This breed is usually recognized because of her white chin and a “V” pattern on her head. If you don’t have a trained eye, it’s easy to confuse them because their colors, tones, and markings are quite similar.
Speaking of the Birman vs. Ragdoll case and their similarities, we also mentioned a few of their distinct characteristics. Birmans are the ones to keep to themselves and avoid too much interaction. They do well with other smaller pets but a busy household wouldn’t suit their needs.
When it comes to their personality, Ragdolls are among the favorites in the cat world. I think that the fact they just become limp after you pick them up explains a lot there.
Therefore, if you’re looking for a calm, fluffy, and loving pet to hold onto and cuddle, Ragdoll would be a perfect choice. She’ll fit into your life with the same ease she fits into that free spot on the sofa!
Read more: RagaMuffin Vs. Ragdoll: Which One Makes The Purrfect Pet?