Difference Between Ragdoll and Siamese Cats

ragdoll cat

I will readily admit that I am a sucker for designer cat breeds like the Siamese, Ragdoll, and others, but the Siamese and the Ragdoll are two breeds that I have always wondered about. 

They are both so beautiful and yet so different. So, what are the differences between the Ragdoll and the Siamese?

The biggest difference between Siamese cats and Ragdoll cats is their character. Where Siamese cast are active and need to be at the center of the attention, Ragdolls are much more laid back. Other differences include their build, coat, and size.

As I investigate these two majestic breeds, let’s take a look further.

History of the Siamese

The Siamese Cat first appears in a collection of poems that originated in Thailand in the 14th century. After the Burmese-Siamese war in 1767, it is believed that the King of Burma found a poem about the Siamese Cat. 

They were described as rare, only living in palaces of the Thai royalty. According to the poem, those who owned one would become wealthy. 

The king ordered all the Siamese Cats to be brought to Burma.

The Siamese eventually made its way west, and in 1878, the first Siamese Cat was brought to the United States, where it has since become a favorite among cat lovers. 

History of the Ragdoll

The Ragdoll Cat was first conceived in the 1960s in Riverside, California. 

A woman by the name of Ann Baker owned a Persian/Angora mixed female cat who had a few litters with Burmese cats who had the markings of the Siamese that we know today. 

The kittens produced were affectionate and relaxed, and beautiful.

By experimenting a bit with other litters, Baker developed the Ragdoll Cat. 

All Ragdolls are descended from Baker’s cats. By the mid-1970s, the Ragdoll was recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association as an official breed.

Differences between the Siamese and Ragdoll cats

Now that we know the history of each let’s look at what sets them apart.

Their coats and grooming requirements

While both breeds have silky, fine fur, that is also where the differences end.

Siamese cats have short, silky hair that is incredibly soft to the touch. Thanks to their short hair length, the Siamese is fairly low maintenance regarding grooming. 

On the other hand, the Ragdoll is known for her long silky coat that almost feels like rabbit’s fur.

Ragdolls do not have an undercoat which makes them a big shedder.  They should ideally be brushed twice a week.


Though they both have similar tan and beige color patterns, their physical attributes set them apart. 

The Siamese are relatively small, weighing between 6 to 14 pounds. They are between 15 to 20 inches from the head to the base of their tail.

Ragdolls are bigger and heavier than the Siamese. As such, one of the heaviest cat breeds. Ragdolls usually weigh between 10 and 20 pounds and span about 17 to 21 inches in length.


I guess beauty comes at a cost because both breeds can have serious health problems.

Siamese cats are known to suffer from various health problems, particularly with the eyes

One of the most common eye diseases that plague the Siamese is progressive retinal atrophy. Cancerous growths, gastrointestinal problems, and gum disease are also common. 

The Siamese also suffer from urinary tract issues, although this is a common condition for many cat breeds, especially males.

Siamese can be picky eaters, which can make them prone to obesity. You want to pay close attention to what you are feeding them as those long slender legs are meant for a lean body. 

The Siamese cat also has a shorter lifespan, living between 12 to 15 years

Suggested reading: How to increase your Siamese cat’s lifespan?

Ragdolls have their share of ailments too. Like the Siamese, they can suffer from gastrointestinal issues, and are also prone to kidney disease and tumors.

They’re also known to suffer from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy which is a heart condition. 

Ragdolls can also suffer from upper respiratory issues, such as sneezing and nasal discharge, and they can also suffer from asthma.

The Ragdoll is also at risk for gum and dental issues, like periodontal disease.


As for their personalities, Ragdoll and Siamese cats are like night and day


The Siamese cat knows she is beautiful and insists on being the star of the show. Aside from craving constant attention, she will talk up a storm with her meows. 

Siamese cats love their families, and they love being actively involved. 

Their spunky personalities give them a reputation for being troublemakers, but I think they are just curious. 

They are natural explorers, so don’t be surprised if you see them sneaking into places they shouldn’t be.

The Siamese is not for someone who will be away from home for long periods of time. They need their humans (or other pets, even dogs)  to devote time to playing with them. 

They are smart but stubborn, so training can be a challenge. But it is also a great way to spend that needed time with them.


Ragdolls are the polar opposite of Siamese when it comes to their characters.

As their name suggests, the Ragdoll is much calmer. In fact, they earned the name because they seem to enjoy being carried around like a ragdoll! 

They will easily just flop in your arms.

Ragdolls are docile and love lounging and getting snuggles from their people. Though if they don’t get enough attention, they can be pesky and demanding until they get some.

They are loving and affectionate but the Ragdoll also has an independent streak. When they aren’t being coddled, they can easily be left to their own devices. 

Generally, Ragdolls are laid back and can easily adapt to most situations. 

They are smart but don’t be surprised if your Ragdoll isn’t overly interested in learning tricks. They don’t take kindly to reprimand either. 

Our final thoughts

The Siamese and the Ragdoll are both beautiful cats with some similarities but many differences too! 

Given the differences between both breeds, especially when it comes to their characters, It’s best to think about which of both would fit you, or your family best. 

Another cat that is often confused with Siamese cats is the Burmese Cat. See here how similar they are.



Tom Alexander is a life-long cat parent and enjoys sharing a home with his cat Max and his family. Being a devoted cat person, his passion for everything feline and blogging is the driving force behind catnfriends.com. As the founder and editor at Cat & Friends, Tom aims to provide an interesting and great resource for cat owners.

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