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Home > Cats > Ragdoll vs. Snowshoe Cat: The Differences (With Pictures)

Ragdoll vs. Snowshoe Cat: The Differences (With Pictures)

Ragdoll Cat vs Snowshoe Cat - Featured Image

The Snowshoe cat and Ragdoll are intelligent cat breeds that are fun to have as family members. Both breeds are loving and fun and make excellent companions. Both breeds have similar characteristics with few differences, making choosing between the two difficult. The Snowshoe is chatty, while the Ragdoll is more docile and known for being a lap cat.

There is much to compare between these two amazing cat breeds, and in this article, we’ll compare them side-by-side so you can see the few differences between them, along with their personality traits, health, care, and more.


Visual Differences

Ragdoll Cat vs Snowshoe Cat - Visual Differences
Image By: Left – Ragdoll Cat (Ivelin Donchev, Pexels) | Right – Snowshoe Cat (nevodka, Shutterstock)

At a Glance

  • Average height (adult): 9–11 inches
  • Average weight (adult): 10–20 pounds
  • Lifespan: 15–20 years
  • Exercise: 30 minutes a day
  • Grooming needs: Minimal
  • Family-friendly: Yes
  • Other pet-friendly: Yes
  • Trainability: Intelligent, easy to train
  • Average height (adult): 8–13 inches
  • Average weight (adult): 7–12 pounds
  • Lifespan: 12–20 years
  • Exercise: 1+ hours a day
  • Grooming needs: Minimal
  • Family-friendly: Yes
  • Other pet-friendly: Yes
  • Trainability: Intelligent, easy to train, eager to please


Ragdoll Overview

flame point ragdoll kitten
Image Credit: Amy Chen, Unsplash

Ragdolls are one of the most coveted cat breeds to own. The breed’s history began in the 1960s in Riverside, California, when a cat breeder named Ann Baker bred a domesticated Angora-type stray cat named Josephine with a Seal Point Birman. Josephine’s offspring had desirable traits, and Baker decided to breed her with cats of likewise temperament and appearance. It’s believed that a male cat from this litter was bred with a Burmese, and voilá, the Ragdoll cat was born.

Personality / Character

We’ve mentioned Ragdolls are one of the most coveted cats to own. The reason is that they have excellent personality traits. These cats are one of the bigger cats in the cat world; they can reach up to 20 pounds, but their laid-back personality and intelligence make them desirable to any cat lover. Even though they are laid-back, they will enjoy a game of fetch and may even play hide and seek with you.

They are extremely tolerant of children and are docile and patient. They make exceptional lap cats and even go limp when you hold them, hence the name. Ragdolls are affectionate, calm, low energy, and relaxed, and make outstanding companions. They get along well with other pets and do well with apartment living.

Seal Tortie Lynx Point Ragdoll cat
Image Credit: jurra8, Shutterstock


The Ragdoll has enough intelligence that makes them easy to train. You can teach a Ragdoll basic commands like you would a canine, such as “sit” or “stay.” Ragdolls love attention, and they will be happy to participate in a training session because they enjoy learning new things and being with their humans. Entice them with treats, and they’ll be quick to obey your commands.

Health & Care

With Ragdolls being a relatively new breed, they are not predisposed to many health conditions, but here are a few to be mindful of. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is where the muscular walls of the heart thicken, reducing the heart’s efficiency. Polycystic kidney disease is a genetic disorder where small, liquid-filled develop in the tissue of the kidney. Gum disease is another possibility with the Ragdoll cat.

Ragdolls have a single soft coat that requires bushing 1 to 2 times a week. They have no undercoat, which helps them not to shed much. Check the nails often and have them trimmed when needed. Given they are prone to gum disease, try brushing their teeth at least 3 times a week. You can also provide dental treats to keep tarter and plaque down.

Ragdolls are intelligent, and keeping interactive games around for both physical and mental stimulation is ideal. Teach your Ragdoll to play fetch and hide and seek, both of which are excellent forms of exercise. Strive to play with your Ragdoll for at least 30 minutes per day.

ragdoll cat being checked by the vet
Image Credit: Tatyana Vyc, Shutterstock

Suitable For:

Ragdolls are suitable for any family. They do well with children and other pets, and their laid-back, gentle nature is a desired characteristic in any cat. Even though they are laid-back, they do like to play, and you can have fun playing with them. These cats are perfect for those seeking a gentle yet playful cat, and if you’re seeking a lap cat, the Ragdoll is for you.


Snowshoe Overview

snowshoe cat kitten in blanket
Image Credit: EVasilieva, Shutterstock

The Snowshoe cat is similar to the Ragdoll in terms of personality. These cats originated in the 1960s by accident, much the same as the Ragdoll was introduced. The Snowshoe began in Philadelphia when a Siamese cat breeder named Dorothy Hinds-Daugherty discovered three kittens in a particular litter with white feet but also with the Siamese pattern. Daugherty took these cats and crossbred them with the American Shorthair, resulting in the Snowshoe cat we know today.

Personality / Character

The Snowshoe cat is affectionate, intelligent, sweet, and vocal. They make loving companions but are no strangers to mischief. They don’t like to be left alone for long periods and may be destructive due to missing you. They tend to latch on to one family member of the house, and they want the chosen one to follow them around instead of vice versa. Even though they latch on to one person, they love everyone in the home. They get along well with children and other pets and are sociable cats.

They are active cats that need plenty of physical and mental stimulation. Cat trees are an excellent item to have in the home for your Snowshoe to romp and play on to release energy, and it gives them a place to be up high, which they love. If you’re looking for a chatty cat, the Snowshoe is your match. A Snowshoe will chat with you in a soft, soothing meow and ask you about your day.

close up of a snowshoe cat
Image Credit: Kokhanchikov, Shutterstock


The Snowshoe is easy to train due to its intelligence, and they are smart enough to learn how to walk on a leash—they’ll even engage in a game of fetch. They are also one of the few cat breeds that enjoy playing and splashing around in water. You’ll have fun teaching tricks such as “sit” and “stay,” as the Snowshoe cat is smart, fun, eager to please, and playful.

Health & Care

As with any cat breed, the Snowshoe can develop genetic medical issues, although these cats are a healthy and hardy breed. Nonetheless, they do have predisposed conditions to be mindful of. Feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD) affects the bladder and urethra. A Snowshoe may have crossed eyes, a trait from their Siamese ancestry, but this cosmetic flaw does not hinder their health.

Brush your Snowshoe’s short-haired, single coat 1 to 2 times weekly to remove dead hair and keep up with their dental hygiene with dental treats and chews. You can brush your Snowshoe’s teeth if he’ll let you. Ensure you have plenty of cat toys, a scratching post, and a cat tree for your Snowshoe, as they can be active and need to release energy.

Suitable For:

The Snowshoe is suitable for families who want a vocal cat with a sweet and gentle personality. They do best with people who are home often, as they don’t like being left alone for long periods. They do well with other pets, and if you have other pets in the home, this will help your Snowshoe not be as sad and lonely while you’re away.


Which Breed Is Right for You?

The Snowshoe and Ragdoll have many similarities and few differences. The Ragdoll doesn’t mind being left alone as opposed to the Snowshoe, and the Snowshoe is chattier than the Ragdoll. Ragdolls are bigger than the Snowshoe, with a Ragdoll potentially reaching 20 pounds versus the Snowshoe’s weight averaging 7 to 12 pounds.

Both cat breeds make excellent companions, and they both do well with children and other pets. They are both easy to train and are fun and lovable cats to have around. Neither one sheds too much and requires little grooming. Given both cat breeds’ remarkable characteristics, you can’t go wrong with either one; however, if you’re not home often, you’d be better paired with a Ragdoll.

See Also:

Featured Image Credit: Top – Ragdoll Cat (atrix99, Pixabay) | Bottom – Snowshoe Cat (Jiri Sebesta, Shutterstock)

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