Ragdoll cats and Himalayan cats are strikingly alike when it comes to appearance and personalities, which can make it difficult to decide which one is right for you when buying one.
But they do have some subtle differences, which are important to recognise.
In this article, you’ll learn what separates Ragdolls and Himalayans when it comes to:
Hopefully by the time you’ve finished reading, you will have greater clarity about which cat will better suit your lifestyle and needs.
What are the main differences between Ragdoll and Himalayan cats?
In short, Ragdolls and Himalayans are two very popular breeds of domestic cats. Their main differences are: Ragdolls have slightly longer fur than Himalayans and are marginally bigger in size. They both have similar personalities and behaviours.
One key difference is their physical appearance.
Himalayans have a rounder, flatter face and a shorter nose, while Ragdolls have a more triangular face with a longer nose.
This often gives Himalayans the appearance of being grumpy, with their droopy eyes also contributing to this look.
Similarly, Himalayans tend to have a shorter, more compact body type, while Ragdolls are larger and more muscular.
Another significant difference between the breeds is their activity level.
Ragdolls are known for their relaxed and calm demeanor, while Himalayans tend to be more playful and energetic.
This means Ragdolls are often content to lounge around and cuddle, while Himalayans may require more playtime and stimulation.
Personalities of Ragdoll vs Himalayan cats
Ragdoll and Himalayan cats are both known for their affectionate and friendly personalities, with very little differences in behaviour. Ragdolls and Himalayans are both laid-back and relaxed, however can be energetic and playful when they want to be.
Ragdolls are renowned for their docile demeanour – they’re naturally very affectionate and love to be with their owners, often following them around the house and seeking attention.
They’re also known for their calm and gentle disposition, which is what makes them such great lap cats (they’ll happily curl up next to you and watch a movie).
Himalayans are very similar – they’re also very intelligent and curious cats that love to investigate their surroundings and learn new things, however can still be content relaxing.
Like Ragdolls, Himalayans are playful and energetic when they want to be, especially in their younger years.
They thrive on interactive toys and games, and their love for play often continues well into adulthood.
However, they’re generally not as active as some other breeds – particular outdoor breeds or ‘moggies’ – and can be content with a more relaxed lifestyle.
Lastly, both Ragdolls and Himalayans are known for their vocalizations and you’ll often hear them meowing and chirping when they’re happy or are trying to communicate with you.
When it comes to personality, these two cat breeds are very alike.
Appearance of Ragdoll vs Himalayan cats
Ragdolls and Himalayans, to the untrained eye, look almost identical. Both have color points on their face and ears and beautiful blue eyes. One of the main distinctions is Ragdolls can grow to be slightly larger than Himalayans.
In short, Ragdolls and Himalayans have beautiful and distinctive appearances.
Himalayans have long, fluffy fur and are often referred to as “colorpoint Persians” due to their similar appearance to Persian cats.
Ragdolls, on the other hand, have soft, plush fur that comes in a variety of colors and patterns ranging from seal, blue, chocolate and lilac.
Overall, it would be hard for the average person to distinguish between the two breeds, simply by looking at them.
Size of Ragdoll vs Himalayan cats
Ragdoll cats are typically noticeably larger than Himalayan cats, which is one of the distinctive differences between the breeds.
Ragdoll cats are considered a medium to large breed, with males typically weighing between 15 and 20 pounds (6.8-9 kilograms) and females between 10 and 15 pounds (4.5-6.8 kilograms).
For Himalayan cats, by comparison, males usually weigh between 10 and 12 pounds (4.5-5.4 kilograms) and females between 7 and 10 pounds (3.2-4.5 kilograms).
I’ve written another article on how much a healthy ragdoll cat should weigh, which gives a comprehensive guide to their size that I certainly recommend you read.
While there may be some overlap in size between the two breeds, on average, Ragdoll cats tend to be slightly larger than Himalayan cats.
Individual cats within a breed can always vary in size, however, so these numbers are more a guide than a hard-and-fast rule.
Health/diet of Ragdoll vs Himalayan cats
Ragdoll and Himalayan cats generally stay very healthy, provided you feed them a good diet, groom them regularly and take them for scheduled veterinary check-ups.
But there are some health issues which both breeds are more susceptible to than others.
This can include:
Heart problems: Ragdolls and Himalayans are both prone to a genetic condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which causes thickening of the heart muscle and can lead to heart failure.
Kidney problems: Some Ragdolls and Himalayans may develop kidney disease or kidney failure, usually due to congenital defects, which can be serious or life-threatening.
Bladder problems: Both breeds may also be susceptible to urinary tract issues, such as feline lower urinary tract disease, which can result in as bladder infections or stones.
Dental problems: Both Ragdolls and Himalayans can develop dental problems, such as tooth decay and gum disease, caused by a build-up of plaque.
Obesity: Both cats are at risk of obesity due to their laid-back, relaxed personalities. It’s important to monitor their diet and activity levels to prevent excessive weight gain.
While congenital or pre-disposed health conditions can’t be avoided, the other possible health issues that affect Ragdolls and Himalayans can be avoided largely through proper dieting and care.
A mixture of whole-meat-based canned food and dry food, coupled with occasional dental biscuits will help take care of each cats’ dietary and dental health (provided they are served in the appropriate portions).
Similarly, regular grooming – including weekly brushing, and monthly clipping of nails and cleaning of ears – can prevent other less serious health complications such as proper regulation of body temperature, toe infections or nail infections.
It’s also imperative to regularly visit a veterinarian to help prevent or manage these health issues, should they arise, regardless of whether you own a Ragdoll or Himalayan cat.
Cost of Ragdoll vs Himalayan cats
Ragdoll cats are generally more expensive than Himalayans and will cost anywhere between $800-$2000 USD compared to the cheaper $800-$1500 USD. That being said, neither of these breeds are ‘cheap’ and will fetch a larger fee than other mixed breeds.
Factors that will influence their price include the age of the cat, it’s breeding line (e.g. if it is purebred) and whether it’s intended to be used in show competitions.
If you’re buying from a reputable breeder who has a history of produce award-winning Ragdoll or Himalayan cats, you can certainly expect to pay more than if you were to buy from a less-decorated breeder.
Naturally, purebred cats are always going to fetch a higher price than crossbreeds.
If you’re not intending to show your Ragdoll or Himalayan in competition, you can likely get one cheaper – and closer to the $1000 range.
Regardless of what you’re paying, it’s important to do your research and find a reputable breeder who takes good care of their cats and screens for health problems.
Any breeder worth buying from will have clear, accredited documentation showing the vaccination records and breeding history of the cats they sell.
Also keep in mind that the initial purchase price is only a part of the overall cost of owning a Ragdoll or Himalayan and you will need to budget for ongoing expenses such as food, litter, vet care, and other supplies on top of the initial purchase price.
Are Ragdoll cats better than Himalayans?
It’s not fair or accurate to say that one breed of cat is ‘better’ than another. Both Ragdoll and Himalayan cats have their own unique characteristics and personalities that make them wonderful pets for the right person.
Deciding which breed is best for you will largely depend on your personal preferences and lifestyle – including cost, living space or family make-up.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll know which cat is right for you the moment you lay eyes on them, regardless of whether they’re a Ragdoll or Himalayan.
Ultimately, the ‘best’ cat breed for you is the one that fits your individual needs and connects with you straight away.
No matter which breed you choose, Ragdolls and Himalayans make wonderful pets.
While there are very few differences between the breeds, hopefully this article has given you enough information to help you make an informed choice if you’re considering buying either a Ragdoll or Himalayan.
Regardless of your final decision, what I can guarantee is both breeds will bring you plenty of happiness and quickly become a valued member of your family.