Burmese vs Ragdoll cats

26/11/2018 4

Both Burmese and Ragdoll cats are popular options for families looking for a family pet. Both breeds are well-known for liking people. But there are some notable differences between to two—and Gabby Dexter summed them up brilliantly in this post she put on the Burmese Cat Obsession group on Facebook. We loved it so much, we asked Gabby whether we could reprint it here (and she said yes—thanks Gabby!).

Last year I asked people here of those Burm vs Ragdoll experiences as we were getting a Raggie kitten. We’ve had Ushi the Ragdoll for seven months now and as, from what I know, both are very typical of their breeds I thought you’d be interested in the breed differences, seeing as they are both breeds known for being people centric.

Physical type:

Burm: Petite, lithe and sleek—essentially a small puma. Like a brick wrapped in velvet.
Ragdoll: Large, clumsy and floppy. Like a pudding wrapped in cotton wool.
Burm: Keen eyed, occasional resting bitch face, looks thoughtful and judgmental.
Ragdoll: Pure innocence, has no idea what’s going on, chances of any thoughts being in their head at any given time unlikely.
Raggies also have amazingly hairy big feet.


Burm: The cleverest cat you’ll ever meet, always one step ahead, plotting, learns tricks well, frustratingly good problem-solving skills.
Ragdolls: Thick as mince.

Talkative nature:

Burm: A low, strong meow, always chatting, big range of sounds, no thought goes unsaid.
Ragdoll: A high, sweet kitten-like mew, doesn’t chat but cries A LOT if you leave the room because apparently you’ve suddenly stopped existing. Has a nervous breakdown if you go to the bathroom without him. A surprisingly good mimic.

Burm: Dog-like, constant and faithful love and loyalty, lives for cuddles, wants to be cuddled all the time, wants to be with you all the time, loves being held, stroked, kissed, ticked, purrs the whole time. Sits on my son’s bed at night to watch over him until he falls asleep.
Ragdoll: Wants to be with you all the time but not touched thank you very much! Waits for me by the door whenever I pop outside. Loves being brushed. Lives for tummy rubs. If you put your face too close to him he will push it away with his paw EVERY TIME! Likes sleeping by our feet or lying near us in bed but never on us.
Burm: Greets me with ecstatic meowing, twisting round my legs, reaching up for cuddles, loud purring, chirps and head boops.
Ragdoll: Greets me by falling over.

Burm: Loves to climb, is frequently found on top of the fridge/ curtain rails. Likes to jump and be as high as possible.
Ragdoll: Needs help getting onto the bed. Can’t jump very well, hates heights yet I still find him asleep on top of our bookshelf every morning about to roll off (and I have no idea how he’s doing it!)
Burm: Gannet. Eats everything. Always begging for tidbits. Will kill for fish. We have to spell the word around him or he’ll go nuts. Cast iron stomach.
Ragdoll: There is exactly one type of food he will eat, and even that gives him the squits. Very fussy, not interested in fish.
Burm: Fastidiously clean. His nickname is ‘Niles’.
Ragdoll: NEVER covers up after himself when he’s used the litter tray. My partner used to try and teach him what to do by dragging him back to the litter tray and showing him how to cover it. My partner has long since given up and now just does it himself.
Ragdoll only: Two words; poo scissors.
Burm: Elegant and precise
Ragdoll: Sleeps on his back with all four legs in the air. Rolls off the bed at least once a week.
Burm: If he does something daft that makes you laugh (ie falls off the bed) he will glare at you until your soul shrivels up. A very proud creature.
Ragdoll: Will do it again for the lols.
Burm: Has a funny half hour once a day and goes crazy.
Ragdoll: Too lazy to move.
Burm: Liked aggressive kitten play when little.
Ragdoll: Very very gentle. Never been nipped by him even in play. Also, too lazy to move.


  • Nadi

    15/03/2019 at 6:57 am

    Very true!


  • john scott wallace

    27/11/2020 at 2:47 am

    i had the best of both as i had a ragdoll/burmese cross short haired he was left at a caravan park i lived in and he decided to adopt me


  • Lynns S

    24/02/2021 at 12:12 pm

    I wish I’d had more info on both breeds living together so I’ll share my experience here. I love the dog like traits of both breeds and couldn’t pick so got one of each as kittens.

    Now, at 2 years, I just added a second ragdoll so the two could play more at their own level while the Burmese can sleep and play his own way. I’d like a second burmese just for my burm, but since I am home a lot, I serve as his buddy for snuggles and he often sleeps in the crook of my arm, against my body, gazing lovingly into my eyes while the ragdolls prefer sleeping by my legs and feet or nearly out of reach.

    My Burm was so athletic at a kitten (actually hurt his tail falling when I scared him trying to get him down from a high bookshelf – so be careful!) and inquisitive and become more loving, sensitive couch potato.

    Despite their similarities of being dog like, these traits manifest in different ways. The Ragdoll sometimes go limp when I handle him whereas the Burmese turns like a flipping, rigid fish when i try to pick him up. His voice seems soulful and soft, he may be a shier Burm. they both “talk to me” when they want something – the Burmese seems to say nice things (love me!) while the ragdoll complains (where is my food?). 🙂 The Ragdoll will repeatedly put his paw on my arm, face or back when he’s near me to get my attention or just touch me. It’s endearing.

    They both like to come to the door and follow us to the toilet and are fairly confident with visitors. Ragdoll is not as much of a lap cat but really wants to be nearby a human! They all want to be with us unless they are zonked out; picture an audience of three cats every time you go to the bathroom or get up for a glass of water..

    All the cats will jump up as soon as one of us does anything with cabinets to follow us or see if we are getting more food out. Two of the three are very picky eaters about canned food and not eat pate. And all dive into cabinets and get shut into closets by accident. The Burm adores batting around Stella and chewy freeze dried food.

    The point of me saying this is that it turned out the ragdoll and the Burmese didn’t have that much in common with each other when they got into their one year and two year age.

    The ragdoll wanted to pounce and run and jump and climb, though he’s not great jumping straight up onto a counter. And the burmese liked to jump at flying type toys and chase but is much happier snuggling and trying to groom the ragdoll, or me. However the ragdoll wasn’t as interested in being groomed And I often felt like neither was getting a great companion for his taste.

    So far, the second ragdoll is becoming really good friends with the two year old and they like chasing each other more than the Burmese who can get in better cat naps and peace.

    There was a time where the ragdoll was really trying to dominate the Burm, and I wished I had just picked one or the other! Being home a lot, it wasn’t true that two cats were better since they kept wrangling for dominance (mounting and neck biting after chasing).

    So I’d say the burmese is more cuddly and refined, brave to explore outdoors on a lead, but the ragdoll has a very fluffy and large look, sort of immature and playful.

    They’re both awesome breeds but may not be well matched as playmates despite so many similar traits. If you get both, you may have to make adjustments to keep them both happy! Of course every cat is an individual.


    • Lynns S

      24/02/2021 at 12:21 pm

      Kitty TMI
      Ohh, And any stomach upset (diarrhea) is so much easier to clean up on the Burmese who actually doesn’t have that problem much.

      The ragdolls periodically do with food changes more than other cats I’ve owned. They really dislike having their bums washed and it gets stuck back there in all that fur! Just whiffed a problem with mine this morning when he jumped on my nightstand- not the most pleasant way to start a morning for either of us and all the added cleaning! So up to you on whether you think advice to rotate flavors or to only feed one thing works best. 😉


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