Ragdoll vs Persian – Breed Comparison

When looking for gentle, relaxed indoor cats, two of the most popular breeds are Ragdolls and Persians. They have some similarities in their personality but also a number of differences between the breeds too. So, let’s compare Ragdoll vs Persian Cats side-by-side.

Persian cat, 2 years old, in front of white background
Persian cat, 2 years old

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What are the differences between Persian Cats and Ragdolls?

Ragdoll and Persian cats are completely different breeds. They share a similar temperament – both are affectionate cats that enjoy human companionship, but physically they are very different.

Seal Mitted Ragdoll Kitty Kitty Cayenne proudly owned and loved by Judith Gil IMG-6819
Seal Mitted Ragdoll Kitty Kitty Cayenne proudly owned and loved by Judith Gil

Ragdoll cats are larger, with long legs and angular, triangle-shaped faces. Persians are smaller, considered a medium-sized cat, with shorter and thicker legs to support their broad bodies. Their faces are rounder and flatter. They also have a double coat with a thick undercoat, which Ragdoll cats do not.

Persian Cat looking at the camera
A Persian cat

There are many different variations of Persian color and pattern, even more so than Ragdolls which have four official patterns and six main colors, always with blue eyes for a purebred.

Seal BiColor Ragdoll Cinnamon proudly owned and loved by Judith Gil IMG-2255
Seal Bi-Color Ragdoll Cinnamon proudly owned and loved by Judith Gil

Persians instead have seven different ‘divisions’ and within each division, there are different color, pattern, and eye color possibilities. You can learn more about the official breed standards for both Persians and Ragdolls from the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA), which sets the standard for what a purebred cat should be.

shaded silver Persian cat Darius loved by Joanne
Darius, a shaded silver Persian cat, loved by Joanne

Persians are a little more high maintenance. Their fur is best looked after with daily brushing, while Ragdolls may only need a comb once or twice a week.

Ragdoll vs Persian: A Brief History

The Ragdoll breed was first developed in the 1960s by Ann Baker of Riverside, California. The foundations of the breed come from a pure-white longhaired cat named Josephine, along with a seal-point mitted male called Daddy Warbucks and a solid black male named Blackie.

02-10-year-old-seal-mitted-Ragdoll-cat-Charlie-outside-April-2020-sitting-beautifully-in-the-garden.jpg
Charlie, a Seal Mitted Ragdoll cat with a Blaze

Persians have a longer history, although the facts around the origin of the breed aren’t quite as clear. It’s believed that there were longhaired cats in Italy since the 1500s, and in the 17th century their descendants were bred with a cat from Persia.

Tabby a Persian cat loved by Serena
Tabby, a Persian cat, loved by Serena

Separately, in the 1700s Nicolas de Pereisc acquired longhaired cats from Turkey, and around 100 years later the descendants of these cats were bred with those from Italy, creating the modern Persian breed. They were introduced to the US towards the end of the 19th century.

Ragdoll vs Persian – Size

Ragdoll cats are a large breed with an average weight of 12-20 pounds, with males being larger than females on average. Persian cats are considered a mid-sized breed, with an average weight of 7-12 pounds. They appear larger than they actually are, due to how long and thick their coat is.

Persian Cat Sitting down
Portrait of young beautiful gray and white persian cat with yellow eyes sitting on grey background

Ragdoll vs Persian – Lifespan

Ragdoll cats are blessed with a relatively good lifespan, averaging between 9 and 15 years, although they can live longer than that. Persian cats have a shorter average lifespan of between 8 and 11 years. Of course, it depends on the individual cat’s genetics too.

A Large Persain Cat Sitting
A Persian Cat Sitting

Ragdoll vs Persian – Appearance

Ragdoll cats are a larger cat breed than Persians, with long legs and angular, triangle-shaped faces. They are four patterns that are official accepted for Ragdolls – colorpoint, bi-color, van, and mitted. There are also six accepted colors – seal, chocolate, blue, red/blaze, cream, and lilac. They can also have lynx, tortie, and torbie variations.

16-year old Seal mitted ragdoll cat with a blaze Murphy on dining room table
Murphy, a Seal Mitted Ragdoll cat with a Blaze

Persian cats have shorter, heavily-boned legs to support their broad body type and have large, round faces. Their coats are extremely long and need a lot of maintenance. There are many different colors that Persian cats can present in, much more than Ragdoll cats.

As such, there are seven officially recognized ‘divisions’ of Persian:

  • Solid
  • Silver & Golden
  • Smoke & Shaded
  • Tabby
  • Particolor
  • Bicolor
  • Himalayan

The Himalayan variant is closest to Ragdolls in terms of patterns and colors. 

Ragdoll vs Persian – Grooming

Ragdoll cats are considered relatively low-maintenance considering their mid to long coat. It does need brushing, but once or twice a week should be sufficient to prevent any matting. Nails can be trimmed around once a month.

Meenu a tri color or calico Persian and Sultan a Cream Cameo Persian cats loved by Ellie
Meenu, a tri color or calico Persian, and Sultan, a Cream Cameo, Persian loved by Ellie. Ellie says, ” I was their humble servant for 18 years and loved every minute”

Persian cats tend to require a little more care, with their thick coats needing to be brushed every 1-2 days to keep it from tangling. Because they have flat faces, more attention is needed to cleaning that regularly too. Nail trimmings are more regular – every 2-3 weeks for adult Persian cats (and more frequently for kittens).

Ragdoll vs Persian – Health

Ragdoll cats are generally a hearty, healthy breed that can live long and happy lives. They’re slightly more susceptible to a disease called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which affects the heart, but it’s detectable with a DNA test. They can also suffer with urinary tract issues and, if they aren’t exercised enough, obesity.

Blue lynx mitted Ragdoll cat Trigg Chiggy outside by silver maple IMG_5516
Trigg, a blue lynx mitted Ragdoll cat

Persian cats are also generally a healthy breed, but some common health problems include respiratory and eye problems, along with Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD). They’re another breed that can suffer from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy too, and again have a higher tendency to become overweight if they’re not fed a balanced diet and exercised.

Ragdoll vs Persian – Cost

Both Ragdoll and Persian cat costs vary depending on various criteria including pedigree and quality. Generally, expect to pay somewhere between $1200 and $3000 for a Persian kitten that is pet quality from responsible breeders, while an equivalent Ragdoll cat cost will likely be between $1200 and $2800. So, they’re pretty similar.

Persian Cat Sitting down
Gray and white Persian cat with yellow eyes

Bear in mind that Ragdoll cats, being larger, will normally cost a little more over their lifetime due to needing larger beds, larger toys and everything else that just has that extra premium for larger cats.

Ragdoll vs Persian – Space and Exercise Requirements

Ragdoll and Persian cats are both laid back and relaxed, but they both love to play too. Make sure they’ve got plenty of space to run around and that you’ve got varied toys to keep them entertained – feather wands, balls, and catnip toys are good for both breeds.

Persians tend to keep their feet firmly planted, so are unlikely to do a lot of climbing and jumping, and Ragdolls can be similar too. But a Ragdoll will still enjoy exploring a cat tree. 

Ragdoll vs Persian – Trainability

Ragdoll cats are sometimes referred to as ‘puppy cats’ because they will act in similar ways to puppies, and can enjoy games of fetch. They can be trained in some ways, including getting them on a leash if you want to walk them. While training won’t always work, Ragdolls are slightly more susceptible to it than other breeds.

Charlie Seal Mitted with an hourglass blaze Ragdoll cat IMG_2766
Charlie, a seal mitted with a blaze Ragdoll cat in a tree

Persians are a little less trainable, generally, although remember it always depends on the individual cat. Normally a Persian will prefer to relax and do their own thing, and they need more coaxing just for basic exercise at home.

Ragdoll vs Persian – Behavior

Ragdoll cats are sweethearts that love their owners. They’re known for running to greet you as you open the door, and will follow you around from room to room to spend time with you. They’re a very gentle breed of cat and will often play games without having their claws extended, and in their downtime they will enjoy flopping on you and cuddling.

Persian cats share some of these traits although they’re less likely to follow you around and rush to be with you. They’re friendly and gentle but are quite happy just taking it easy in their own space on the couch.

FAQs Ragdoll vs Persian Breed Comparison

Can you breed Ragdolls and Persian cats?

It is possible to breed Ragdoll and Persian cats together. The traits of the litter will vary but you can still expect a friendly, gentle cat that loves affection from their owner. A Persian Ragdoll mix can be similar in body size to either a Ragdoll or Persian and will generally have a long coat.

Are Ragdolls and Persians the same?

Ragdolls and Persians are not the same breed of cat. They may share some personality traits but in other ways, they are very different. There are a lot more variations of Persian cats, with the Himalayan variant looking most like a Ragdoll in terms of color and pattern – but the body size and face shape are still easily distinguishable.

Which is bigger – Ragdoll or Persian cats?

The Ragdoll breed is a bigger cat than Persians. Ragdolls tend to weigh around 10-15 pounds for females and 15-20 pounds for males, while the average size of a Persian is 7-12 pounds. Persians almost look the same size as Ragdolls, but that’s just because of how thick their coat is. As soon as you stroke one, you’ll realize how much smaller their body is.

Are Persian cats needy?

Persian cats are a little needy, despite the fact that they may not rush to follow you around when you are at home. They like the security of knowing you’re there and will struggle if left alone for long periods of time. They’re also high maintenance in terms of grooming too.

Ragdoll vs Persian – Which breed is right for you?

There’s never a single answer on which cat breed is the best for you, because it comes down to personal preferences. Obviously, I love Ragdoll cats, but I know that some people will equally love Persian cats too. They both have wonderful personalities and are a great choice for homes with families, and both enjoy being showered with attention. Good luck choosing if you can’t decide!

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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 this great info, Jenny honey! My maternal grandmother (my “Granny”) always had at beautiful white Persian kitty named Snowball at her house that I lurved to play with when we would visit. Great kitty! 🙂 <3

    Big hugs & lots of love & purrs!

    Patti & Miss Pink Sugarbelle 🙂 <3

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