If you’re trying to choose between a Maine Coon and a Ragdoll, it’s not an easy choice to make. They are similar large cats with personalities that make perfect pets, especially for families with children.
Maine Coon, Ragdoll, or Maine Coon Ragdoll mix: which cat is right for you? We’ve created a complete comparison of both these beautiful cats to help you make a decision. If you really can’t choose between the two, choose one of each or perhaps a Maine Coon Ragdoll mix!
By the end of our article you’ll definitely know the similarities and differences between Maine Coons and Ragdolls.
Maine Coon vs Ragdoll: a complete guide
|Average weight||8 to 18 lbs||8 to 20 lbs|
|Average height||10 to 16 inches||9 to 12 inches|
|Body length||19 to 30 inches||17 to 25 inches|
|Lifespan||12 to 15 years||9 to 15 years|
|Fur Length||Long, uneven, shaggy, neck ruff and furry britches||Long, fairly even, silky, neck ruff and furry britches|
|Fur Type||Soft and fluffy with a thick undercoat||Silky and smooth with a light undercoat|
|Ears||Tall, pointed with tufted tips||Tall with rounded tips|
|Eyes||Large, almond-shaped, slightly oblique||Large, oval-shaped, very slightly oblique|
|Paws||Large and well-tufted||Large and tufted|
|Tail||Long with flowing fur||Long with flowing fur|
|Body||Rectangular, strong and muscular||Wide chest and muscular|
When comparing Maine Coon and Ragdoll cats, it soon becomes apparent how similar these breeds are. The biggest difference is the shape of their muzzles. A Maine Coon has a square jaw and the Ragdoll’s is more triangular. This is very apparent in the next photo.
It is impossible to say one of these breeds is better than the other. Maine Coons and Ragdolls are similar large cats though the Maine Coon is generally bigger than the Ragdoll.
Both cats originated in America, have long hair, sociable personalities, and beautiful appearances.
Are there any features or traits that could help you pick the ideal cat for you?
Keep reading to see our full comparison of the Maine Coon and the Ragdoll to help you decide which cat might be best for you. I don’t think the decision will be an easy one. Maybe you won’t be able to choose and will pick a Maine Coon Ragdoll cross instead.
The Maine Coon Ragdoll Mix
Being a similar size, Maine Coons and Ragdolls are easy to crossbreed to produce a perfect mix of the two cats. Maine Coon Ragdoll mix kittens are stunning and grow into beautiful adults with gentle temperaments.
What would you call one? A Maine Doll? A Rag Coon? As with all crossbreed cats, a Maine Coon and Ragdoll cross will look like a perfect mix of the two cats and will have the personality traits of both.
Some will look more like Maine Coons, some will look more like Ragdolls and some will look like a perfect mix of the two. The rest of this article describes and compares both breeds fully so you can get an idea of what to expect from a cat that’s a bit of both.
The differences between Maine Coons and Ragdolls
Maine Coons and Ragdolls are similar-looking cats with very few obvious differences. Let’s look at each of their traits in turn.
Maine Coon vs Ragdoll Origin
Probably the biggest difference between a Maine Coon and a Ragdoll is how they originated. Though both are native Americans: one is a much newer breed whilst the other’s history is shrouded in mystery and myth due to a lack of clear documentation.
The Maine Coon is a native of the state of Maine where it was first recognized as a breed in the early 1800s and was also revered as an accomplished rodent-hunting farm cat.
Its origins are not well documented but many believe it is a result of the minglings of long-haired cats that disembarked from docking ships and local cats.
There are also strong similarities between Maine Coons and Norwegian Forest cats so some people believe that Vikings bought their cats with them from Norway and these bred with native cats to give rise to today’s Maine Coon.
Whichever way it developed, the Maine Coon breed was accepted by the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) for championship status in 1976.
The Ragdoll is a relatively new cat breed which came into existence in the 1960s. A Californian breeder named Ann Baker adopted a white long-haired neighborhood stray (possibly a Persian mix breed) and bred her with other strays she had taken in.
The results were litters of particularly pretty, sweet-natured kittens. She then selected those with a specific appearance and personality and bred them to create the Ragdoll of today. Ths CFA recognized the breed in 1993.
Are Maine Coons Bigger than Ragdolls?
Which cat is bigger? There are some differences of opinion here with some sources claiming the Maine Coon is bigger and others claiming the Ragdoll is. The fact is they are so close in size that their average weight ranges overlap.
Therefore, it is difficult to say one is bigger than the other. One thing you can be sure of is that whichever you choose, you are likely to end up with a large adult cat. The averages for length, height, and weight are recorded below.
Adult females typically weigh 8 to 12 pounds and stand 10 to 14 inches tall from their shoulders to the ground.
Adult males typically weigh 11 to 18
Adult females typically weigh 10 to 15 pounds and stand 9 to 11 inches tall from their shoulders to the ground.
Adult males typically weigh 15 to 20 pounds and stand 9 to 12 inches tall from their shoulders to the ground.
Maine Coon vs Ragdoll Appearance
These cats have a similar look to the untrained eye but there are subtle differences in their appearances when you take a closer look. Let’s compare each feature.
Maine Coon vs Ragdoll Coat and Eye Colors
Maine Coons coats come in approximately 85 colors/color combinations.
The solid colors are black, white, red, blue and cream. These can also come in smoke, where the root of each hair shaft is lighter than the tip. Then there are bi-colors and a variety of tabby, tortoiseshell tabby and mackerel tabby colors too.
Their eye colors include shades of green, amber, orange and gold. Those Maine Coons with solid white or some white fur can have blue eyes and odd eyes.
Ragdolls usually have pale body fur with darker extremities, known as pointed. There are six of these pointed colors: seal, blue, chocolate, lilac, red and cream.
The point colors may be solid, lynx, tortie-lynx) and tortie. There are also solid and mink colored Ragdolls for those who prefer a darker coated cat.
A Ragdoll’s eyes are usually a blue color but occasionally they can be a blue-green or gold.
Maine Coon vs Ragdoll Temperament
What are the differences in the temperaments of Maine Coons and Ragdolls? A cat’s nature affects its behavior and therefore how well it fits in as a family pet.
Wherever you look you will see Maine Coons described as sociable, tolerant, friendly, gentle and loving cats. It’s no wonder they are such a popular choice as a family pet.
A Maine Coon will like to be in amongst the goings-on in a household. It will show great patience with children and is never vicious except in self-defense.
The Ragdoll is well-known for having a docile and placid temperament and affectionate nature. They are often thought of as being big babies because they love to be picked up.
Maine Coon vs Ragdoll Personality
There are two cat personality types:
- Sociable, confident and easy-going
- Timid, shy and unfriendly
Do Maine Coons and Ragdolls have similar personalities? Yes, they both fall into the first category mentioned above. sociable, confident and easy-going.
Both breeds integrate themselves well into family life and show loyalty similar to that of a dog. Both are ever-playful which should delight any children in the house; sometimes they will even play fetch.
Are there any personality differences?
Maine Coons are incredibly inquisitive and will jump and climb anywhere to see what’s going on.
Ragdolls prefer to be at ground level so are less likely to jump up and prowl about on your kitchen surfaces.
Maine Coon vs Ragdoll Affection
Are Maine Coons and Ragdolls affectionate? They are both affectionate cats and it’s hard to say if one is more so than the other.
Maine Coons are affectionate. They will sit on your lap or close by. Some will be picked up and cuddled but they prefer it if you let them come to you.
Other signs of their affection for you are eye contact in a relaxed manner, slow blinking, head bumping, displaying their tummy and rubbing up against you.
Ragdolls are sometimes referred to as “puppy cats” because of their dog-like traits, such as wanting to cuddle. They are so named because they seem to go limp in your arms.
They are known to run to greet their owners at the door, follow them from room to room and want to be wherever they are. Most seem to like to flop out on laps for cuddles.
Maine Coon vs Ragdoll Health and Obesity
Which cat is healthier? Does either suffer from any particular health issues or genetically transmitted diseases? Does either suffer from obesity?
Both breeds are prone to the following illnesses:
- Hairballs and Digestive Problems
Ragdolls and Maine coons can suffer from digestive problems caused by swallowing fur. As they groom themselves they can ingest hair which leads to a ball of hair in the digestive system, must be vomited up. If a cat is unable to purge the collected hair properly, you may notice symptoms such as gagging, vomiting liquid and food, vomiting action with nothing expelled and a general unwell appearance.
- Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD)
Both breeds can suffer from PKD, a hereditary disease where fluid-filled cysts grow within the kidneys. As the cat grows, these cysts increase in size and can lead to severe kidney damage as well as kidney failure.
- Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)
Both breeds could suffer from HCM which is characterized by the thickening of the left ventricle of the heart which reduces the size of that chamber. As a result, the heart is unable to pump adequate blood to other tissues and organs of the body. This poor circulation can cause blood clots to form in various parts of the body.
- Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)
SMA is a genetically transmitted disease-specific to Maine Coon cats. The symptoms include instability, unsteady gait and abnormal posture due to the loss of nerves in the lower spinal cord and a weakening of the muscles in the back legs. Cats that have this disease generally lead fairly normal lives indoors.
- Hip Dysplasia (HD)
HD is a genetically inherited malformation of the hip joint prevalent in Maine Coons. Symptoms are progressive signs of lameness, ranging from limping to an unwillingness to move. The hip joint will be painful if touched.
Inbreeding is a serious problem with approximately 45% of their genes come from a single Ragdoll cat. Cats with a low gene variety can suffer from hereditary diseases, weaker immune systems, and shorter life expectancy.
Many Ragdolls lead a sedentary indoor-only life. As the breed is not renowned for jumping and climbing it’s easy for them to gain weight. A strictly controlled amount of food is necessary to prevent obesity which could otherwise lead to a variety of health complications. Make their environment as interesting as possible and encourage exercise through play every day.
- Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
Many Ragdolls suffer from UTIs making this one of the most common diseases in this breed.
Maine Coon vs Ragdoll Lifespan
No one likes to think about when their beloved pet will die. Many owners prefer to keep these breeds as indoor-only cats which greatly reduces the number of traumatic deaths such as through road traffic accidents.
The most-reported average lifespan of a Maine Coon is 12 to 15 years.
The most-reported average lifespan of Ragdoll is 9 to 15 years.
Maine Coon vs Ragdoll Coat Care
Do these Maine Coons and Ragdolls need much grooming? Do they shed much fur?
Maine Coons have a dense double coat which is prone to knotting and matting. Grooming them at least once a week is ideal to keep their coat manageable.
If you let it slip you may find the knots and mats need clipping out by a vet or professional groomer which can work out to be quite expensive. The more you groom your Maine Coon the less you will notice it shedding hair and the less likely it is to suffer from furballs.
As far as shedding is concerned, Maine Coons shed the same amount of hair as most cats. The length means you may notice it more.
Ragdolls have much less of an undercoat which means their fur is far less likely to knot and mat. You should still groom them regularly to stop them ingesting too much fur and to limit shedding.
Again, these cats shed like most so expect to see loose hair wherever they spend any amount of time.
Maine Coon vs Ragdoll Diet
Do Maine Coons or Ragdolls need a specific diet? No, they don’t. Both breeds should be given high quality, high protein cat food. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for daily quantities.
Be careful not to overfeed either cat so as to avoid obesity. This is particularly important for indoor cats who tend to get less exercise.
Maine Coon vs Ragdoll Costs
What should you expect to pay for each breed and are they expensive to keep?
Don’t forget that once you’ve paid the purchase price you have to factor in the cost of pet insurance, annual health checks and vaccinations, food, bowls, toys, a cat carrier, scratching posts, etc.
Insurance is something you should seriously consider. Expect this to cost around $20 per month for a 1-year-old Ragdoll and $25 per month (for a 1-year-old Maine Coon).
For our two Maine Coons, we have used Petplan for 15 years. They have been excellent every time we’ve had to make a claim, settling each bill fully without any fuss.
Maine Coons are the more expensive of the two. A pet quality cat will cost around $1000 and a show quality specimen upwards of $1500.
A breeder should charge $400 to £500 for a pet quality Ragdoll whereas show quality cats might cost upward of $1200.
Maine Coon vs Ragdoll Breeding
What qualities should you look for in Maine Coon and Ragdoll breeders? Both breeds should be purchased from reputable breeders who are registered with the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) or The International Cat Association TICA).
Ask for proof of health screening to ensure you buy a cat that will not suffer from a genetic illness. Also, make sure the breeder keeps their breeding cats and kittens in a comfortable, warm, and clean environment.
It is also important that the kittens are well socialized with as many people as possible to ensure they will grow into confident, sociable cats.
Maine Coon vs Ragdoll Myths
Certain claims are made about both cats. Which are true and which are false?
The truth about Maine Coons:
- Maine Coons aren’t the only cats with an ‘M’ on their forehead.
- They are not the result of crossbreeding a cat with a raccoon. This is a genetic impossibility.
- They can be lap cats.
- They aren’t all ruthless hunters.
- Not all of them like to swim.
Here’s the truth about Ragdolls:
- Contrary to a popular myth, they can feel pain and can be frightened.
- It’s not true that all Ragdolls go limp when picked up. If one does go limp it’s a sign that it completely trusts you and is feeling relaxed.
- They are perfectly capable of hunting and defending themselves.
- They are not hypoallergenic.
- They do shed.
Maine Coon vs Ragdoll Hunting
Which of these cats is the better hunter?
Most Maine Coons are accomplished hunters. This ability has been passed down from their ancestors who used to control vermin on farms. Even though they are large cats they show amazing agility when stalking and capturing their prey. Those large tufted paws are a big help!
Ragdolls don’t have the hunting history of Maine Coons. Though they are perfectly capable of hunting, they are a slightly clumsier cat and so aren’t always that successful. This isn’t the breed to choose to help control a rodent infestation.
Can a Maine Coon and a Ragdoll Live Together?
Yes, Maine Coons and Ragdolls can live together but there are a few protocols to follow to ensure peace and harmony rule.
- If you get both at the same time as young kittens of a similar age then they should bond well and be friends for life.
- If you have one of these breeds first and then get the other you should follow a careful strategy to avoid any clashes.
So, Maine Coon vs Ragdoll – which cat will you choose?
Having written this article I don’t know how anyone could choose between these lovable cats. The main differences are:
- Maine Coons are the older breed.
- Maine Coons cost the most to buy.
- Ragdolls might be just that little bit more tolerant of being picked up for cuddles.
Both seem to be ideal choices as family pets who are excellent with children.
Before you buy a Ragdoll you might like to read about a certain unsavory little habit they have!