Ragdoll Cat VS Norwegian Forest Cat | Differences and Similarities.

Ragdoll cats and Norwegian forest cats are both examples of big cats that are heavily boned and covered with a generous fluffy coat. Both breeds boast personality, size as well as strikingly gorgeous appearances. Choosing between these two breeds is almost impossible as both breeds possess different qualities which makes them highly favorable.

Here’s a guide to help you learn more about these cats so you can clearly differentiate between the two breeds in case you are in the market to adopt or buy.


Size / Weight.

Ragdoll cats and Norwegian cats are both large breeds compared to normal domestic cats. Both breeds have an abundance of fur with several layers which adds to their size and overall weight. Males of both breeds appear larger and heavier in weight compared to females.

Ragdoll male cats weigh between 12-20 pounds with the females being slightly smaller of between 8-15 pounds. Ragdolls have an overall height of 9″-11″ and body length of 17-21″.

Norwegian male Forest cats weigh between 10-20 pounds with female cats weighing between 8-18 pounds. These cats are similar in size and height to the ragdoll cat, as it has an overall height of 9″-12″ and body length of 12″-18″.

Shape and Structure.

Ragdoll cats have a sturdy body with heavy bones and are very muscular. These cats are large framed and are proportionate in comparison to their physical body structure. Their body is long with a lot of muscle and a broad chest. Their paws are large, round, and tufted.

Ragdolls heads are wedge-shaped with a flat skull and have pronounced cheeks that are chubby. They also have a rounded muzzle that is medium in length. Their tails are long, bushy, and are slightly tapered. Overall their structure and legs are proportionate and well developed.

Norwegian Forest cats are big and strong, similar to the Maine coon breed but slightly smaller with a slender frame. These cats are muscular with sturdy bodies that have long high legs, with the hind legs being slightly higher than the front legs. Thus their amazing ability to climb and jump.

These forest cats have a triangular head shape situated on a muscular thick neck. They have ears that are medium sized with a strong chin, straight nose and a flat forehead.


Ragdolls have a fluffy silky coat that is soft and semi-long in length. Their coat is one of the finest and sought-after features that attract many people to this breed. They come in a variety of colors such as chocolate, seal, blue, lilac, red, and cream. They also come in many different patterns namely

Their moderately long fur has little to no undercoat, which reduces shedding and grooming. The texture of ragdolls coat is similar to rabbit fur since its smooth and silky.

Alternatively, one of the most distinguishable features of a Norwegian forest cat is its long, thick, and plush coat. Perfectly adapted for the cold with their double coat that changes with seasons. This coat is very dense and water-resistant. Their coat adds to their large bodies and swishing tail which give them their “wild” look.

Their ears and paws have thick tufts of hair. They also have a thick layer of fur surrounding their neck and around their face. This abundance of fur is also along their bushy tails.

Color and Patterns.

Both cat breeds come in a variety of colors such as chocolate, seal, blue, lilac, red, and cream. They also come in many different patterns such as:

Mitted -The ragdoll has a solid white stripe that extends from the hindquarters to the chin.

Bicolor – This pattern refers to the hallmark inverted “V” on the face that is white.

Lynx – Its a classic “M” marking that’s outlined on the cats forehead

Tortie – They have a variety of colors similar to calico.

Blaze – This is a white line that’s on the face.

Eye Color.

Ragdoll Cats Eye ColorNorwegian Cats Eye Color
Bright blueGreen
Dark blueGold
Blue (white cats)



Ragdolls and Norwegian forest cats share a similar social personality. Both these breeds are friendly, calm, and gentle. They do really well with kids and interact well with other pets as well as family members.

While the ragdoll cat loves human attention and interaction and is seen as dependent, the Norwegian cat is very independent and doesn’t require much attention.


Ragdolls are highly intelligent cats that display dog-like behavior. They are able to be trained and can comprehend basic commands. These cats love to play and engage with their human counterparts.

They will welcome you at the door as well as follow you around as in need of affection. Raggies are also very talkative and they aren’t afraid to voice themselves when their needs aren’t met.

Norwegian Forest cats are also smart and very alert. They may not be as intelligent as ragdolls but they are trainable and able to play games and learn simple tricks. These cats do amazingly well in a robust environment as they thrive of the interaction.


Ragdolls love companionship and this is a crucial need that this breed requires. They are very affectionate and thrive on the attention and affection given by their owners. These cats can become very destructive if they are not mentally stimulated.

Likewise, the Norwegian Forest cat is also a sweet, loving cats that makes a loving companion. They are very loyal and they appreciate the bond between their owners. These cats are also very independent and also do well on their own, therefore the need for constant interaction is not required.


Both breeds display very subtle and gentle behavior. These cats are docile and pleasant even in adversity, therefore they are not very good hunters. They come across as submissive and polite, which makes them a good fit for almost any family.

They are trusting, patient, and very forgiving and this is the reason why they do so well with kids and other pets. This gentle demeanor is the reason why most people are attracted to these beautiful breeds.


Ragdoll CatsNorwegian Forest Cats
$500 – $2000$800 – $1500

Prices depend on the type of quality and condition of the cat. Showroom quality cats can cost as much as $3000 while kittens can cost under $500. Ultimately the price is dependent on the type of breeder since authentic breeders produce quality kittens free of hereditary conditions while backyard breeders don’t give guarantees.


Ragdolls are relatively healthy with a few hereditary conditions and health issues that they are prone to.

  • Obesity.
  • Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy ( heart disease).
  • Kidney disease & urinary tract blockage.

Norwegian Forest cats are generally very healthy due to the fact that they are a natural breed, therefore they suffer few hereditary conditions. Health issues they are prone to includes:

  • Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy.
  • Hip Dysplasia.
  • Glycogen storage disease.


Ragdoll cats live an average life expectancy of 12-15 years with some cats exceeding the 20 year mark.

The Norwegian Forest cat is a very healthy breed with a lifespan of 14-16 years, however mixed breeds and Pedigree cats may have various underlying issues which will affect the lifespan.

With both breeds its necessary for medical checkups to be done yearly to diagnose and treat any underlying health issues. This will prevent premature death and retain the life expectancy of these breeds.



Ragdolls are not very high maintenance since they don’t have a double coat. They also have very silky fur which makes it harder for mats and tangles to form, therefore they don’t require daily brushing and frequent bathing.

Brushing 2-3 times a week would be ideal to prevent tangles and to remove any loose fur, to reduce shedding. While bathing may be required every 2-3 months just to maintain their fur shine and silkiness. They also need their claws trimmed and teeth brushed frequently since they are prone to dental issues.

On the other hand the Norwegian forest cat have a double coat that is thick, long and water resistant. They require brushing at least once a week during the non-shedding seasons and 3 times a week during heavy shedding seasons.

Their bathing requirements are pretty low as they do a good job keeping themselves clean. If the need arises and they need a bath then you may go ahead. Under normal situations bathing, twice a year is good enough, together with the trimming of their claws and the brushing of their teeth.


Both breeds are big cats with a lot of muscle mass and will require a high protein diet to retain and maintain their overall body weight. They require good quality, nutritious food that’s free from fillers and artificial ingredients. With these breeds big size also comes their big appetite as they require much more food than a regular household cat.

A recommended diet should include both dry and wet food that’s nutrient packed with the right amount of calories for daily sustainability.

Medical Checkups.

Both Ragdolls and Norwegian cats are relatively healthy with a good life expectancy, however, they are prone to certain life-threatening conditions that can be fatal if not diagnosed and treated early.

Vets recommend 2 checkups per year for adult cats and once a year for kittens. However, if the cat is not well do not wait for the required checkup date to come. Rather go immediately to the vet to get them checked up.

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