Ragdoll Cats vs Himalayan Cats

Ragdoll cats and Himalayan cats are two of the friendliest and most relaxed breeds of cat, making them both extremely popular options for pets. They share a number of similarities but also plenty of differences, so with that in mind let’s take a look at how Ragdoll Cats vs Himalayan Cats compare.

Avro, an 11-year old seal point, Himalayan Cat loved by Tammy
Avro an 11-year old seal point Himalayan Cat loved by Tammy

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Cat Fanciers Association Recognition

A great source of information when comparing breeds is the Cat Fanciers Association. Considered by many breeders to be the most prestigious cat registering association in North America, the CFA is currently the world’s largest registry of pedigreed cats. It recognizes 45 pedigree breeds and publishes strict standards on the standards a cat must meet in order to be registered as a purebred.

Ragdoll CFA Recognition

The Ragdoll is recognized as a distinct breed by the CFA, described as a longhaired large cat, colored at the points, with a docile, placid, and affectionate personality. First bred in the 1960s by Ann Baker, there are now various patterns accepted as Ragdoll. You can find out more official information on Ragdoll cats on the CFA website.

Himalayan CFA Recognition

Himalayans are recognized as a pedigree by the CFA as a variation of the Persian breed. They were developed through breeding Persians to Siamese. They’re described as being longhaired, with a stocky body, long full coat, round head with a broad face, and short nose. The Himalayan variant is colored at the points. They must have vivid blue eyes, otherwise, they are disqualified. Check the full breed standards for Himalayan cats on the CFA website.

Ragdoll vs Himalayan Comparison

CoatMedium-longhaired, no undercoatLonghaired
SizeLarge (average 12-20 lb)Mid-to-large (average 7-12 lb)
Eye ColorBlueBlue
Coat ColorSeal, blue, chocolate, lilac, red, creamSeal, blue, chocolate, lilac, red, cream
Lifespan9 to 15 years8 to 11 years
TemperamentSocial, loving, sweetGentle, quiet, sweet

The difference between Ragdolls and Himalayans is that Ragdolls have a triangular face with oval eyes, while Himalayans have a round face with eyes that are round. Ragdoll cats are larger, although Himalayans appear large due to their thick coat. Ragdolls tend to live a little longer. They have similar personalities and coat colors.

Their Coat Appearance and Feel

Himalayan Domestic Cat

While they do look a little alike, one way you can really see the difference between these two breeds is to look closely at their coats.

Ragdolls are medium to long-haired and have a unique feel to their fur. Even though it’s very thick, their hair is extremely soft and silky, and is often compared to the texture of rabbit fur. They’re particularly fluffy and sport their famous mane around their neck which only gets more prominent as they get older.

Even though they’ve got this incredibly luxurious coat, Ragdolls don’t have an undercoat. This is one of the reasons the breed is so popular as it means they don’t shed nearly as much as other cats and are less likely to trigger allergies (though they’re not hypoallergenic).

Himalayans are a long-haired breed and have a thick coat just like Ragdolls. Their fur is so bushy that it’s easy to mistake them for being bigger cats than they are, but as soon as you pet them you can tell that a lot of their ‘bulk’ is just hair. Their fur feels dense thanks to their double coat and has a soft downy texture.

Avro an 11-year old seal point Himalayan loved by Tammy
Avro an 11-year old seal point Himalayan loved by Tammy

Himalayan fur is prone to matting, and so requires daily brushing to keep it in good condition. They also have a thick undercoat, making them prone to shedding. Himalayans require a bit more grooming upkeep compared to Ragdolls, though you should still use a comb on your Ragdoll 2-3 times a week to keep it looking healthy and free of matting.

Differences in Appearance

Ragdolls are one of the largest domestic cat breeds around. Males are heavier than females, typically weighing between 12-20 pounds, and there have even been cases of Ragdolls growing larger than this. They have a solid frame, broad chests, long legs that are in proportion to their body, and long tapered tails.

Himalayans aren’t quite as large as Ragdolls. As a medium to large-sized cat, they usually weigh somewhere between 7-12 pounds, though just like with Ragdolls some have been known to be bigger. They are sturdy and heavy-boned, with a much shorter body than Ragdolls, and thick legs that look short when compared to their body.

One of the easiest ways to tell the difference between Ragdolls and Himalayans is their head and eye shape. Himalayans have a very round face and round eyes. Ragdolls have a more angular face, closer to a triangle in shape, and have oval-shaped eyes.

Ragdoll vs Himalayan Colors and Patterns

There are a number of variations that a Ragdoll cat can present in. They have four recognized patterns – bi-color, van, mitted, and colorpoint. And those patterns can come in six official colors – seal, blue, chocolate, lilac, red, and cream. There are also lynx, tortie, and torbie (lynx/tortie) variants.

Himalayan cats have similar variations, with patterns including bi-color and tri-color, and color options including red, cream, seal, blue, chocolate, lilac, tortoiseshell, and blue-cream, with lynx variations.

Ragdoll vs Himalayan Personality

Himalayan cat sitting on a white background
Himalayan Cat

While both breeds tend to be super friendly, they have slightly different personalities. Remember though that this is a broad overview of the breeds – individual cats have their own unique personalities, and may differ from these characteristics.

Ragdolls are generally infamous for being lap cats, loving nothing more than being close to their owners and having a cuddle.

Himalayans also love attention from people too and can be very placid. Both breeds enjoy playing though, so it’s a good idea to have a lot of different toys for them to play with.

Both Ragdolls and Himalayans are social animals likely to get on with any other pets you may have. Ragdolls in particular are known for being very affectionate with dogs, and Himalayans tend to make friends with them as well, so long as the dog isn’t too boisterous.

Because of their social nature, Ragdolls and Himalayans thrive on affection and attention but aren’t so good at entertaining themselves. Neither breed cope well with being left alone for extended periods. If you really have no choice but to leave your kitties alone for a while, Himalayans tend to manage a little better than Ragdolls, but again this will depend on the individual cat.

Both cats are so social that it’s a good idea if you’re considering adopting one to make sure it will have a companion. Cats who live in the company of other cats are known to be happier and more active than those that don’t.

A significant difference between these two breeds is how chatty they can be. Himalayans do vary a bit in terms of how talkative they are, but for the most part they’re pretty vocal. They’re very social with people and will meow and purr to join in with conversations and let their needs be known.

Ragdolls, while very friendly, are known for being quite quiet. They do meow, but there usually has to be something really dramatic going on to prompt it. Otherwise, the most you’ll probably get out of them is a soft and musical trill or chirp. Ragdolls are one of the quieter cat breeds around.

Both breeds are really intelligent, clever enough to be able to learn a range of tricks, and can adapt to being taken for walks on a leash or harness.

Ragdoll vs Himalayan Lifespan

Himalayan Cat with blue eyes
Himalayan Domestic Cat

Himalayans live between 8 and 11 years on average, though many outlive this. Ragdolls are a little luckier with a lifespan of 9 to 15 years, often reaching the mid-high teens, although this will vary for both breeds depending on individual genetics.

While all cats run the risk of developing health issues as they get older, some breeds are more prone than others.

As with all cats that have been selectively bred to shorten the face, Himalayans are susceptible to several health issues due to the shape of their skull. Difficulty breathing and other respiratory issues, as well as several eye issues such as watery eyes, are common health problems. As a Persian variant they are also susceptible to Polycystic Kidney Disease, a nasty illness of the kidneys, so make sure you check genetic history for this disease when buying a Himalayan. 

Ragdolls are a relatively healthy breed of cat with only a few known health issues. As with all long-haired cats, they do sometimes suffer from hairballs, and as they enjoy lounging around and cuddles so much they can also suffer from obesity-related issues if they aren’t given enough exercise, although the same can be said of Himalayans if they aren’t fed a balanced and nutritious diet.

They can suffer from urinary tract issues, like bladder stones. One of the most serious recurring health issues Ragdolls face is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a potentially fatal heart disease where the walls of the heart thicken making it more difficult to pump blood. That said, all cat breeds are somewhat prone to developing this. Compared to other cat breeds, Ragdolls are generally very robust.

If you’re planning on buying either breed, it’s important you make sure you buy from a reputable cat breeder who ensures that the parents have been genetically tested to ensure they don’t have any hereditary health issues. This will drastically reduce the chance of your cat developing serious genetic health issues.


How do you tell if your cat is Himalayan?

If you didn’t receive official registration documents when you bought your cat, the best way to tell if your cat is Himalayan is to do a DNA test.  You can also attempt to guess by examining its physical characteristics. One of the best resources for checking a cat’s breed is the CFA website, where you can look up a clear list of officially recognized traits and features for pedigree breeds.

What are the characteristics of a Himalayan cat?

Himalayan cats are mid-sized cats with long hair, short legs and round faces. They usually have friendly, playful, energetic personalities. They have vivid blue eyes and have various point color options including chocolate, seal, blue, red, cream tortie and lynx variants, similar to Ragdolls.

Are Ragdoll cats a Himalayan?

Although they share some similarities in coat colors and personalities, Ragdoll cats are a separate breed to Himalayans. Himalayans are a variant of Persian cats, while Ragdolls are a completely separate breed altogether. The clearest difference between the two breeds is their size and their face shape.


Ragdoll and Himalayan cats share a number of personality traits along with their similar coat colors and patterns, but you’d be unlikely to mistake one for the other considering just how different their faces look. They’re both gorgeous cat breeds though, and they make fantastic pets too.

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Hi, I’m Jenny Dean, creator of Floppycats! Ever since my Aunt got the first Ragdoll cat in our family, I have loved the breed. Inspired by my childhood Ragdoll cat, Rags, I created Floppycats to connect, share and inspire other Ragdoll cat lovers around the world,

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One Comment

  1. Patti Johnson says:

    TYSVM for such a super pawesome & interesting post, Jenny honey! Very interesting comparison! Personally, I much prefer The Raggie Face! 🙂 <3

    Big hugs & lots of love & purrs!

    Patti & Miss Pink Sugarbelle 🙂 <3

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