- Ragdolls and Maine Coons are often grouped together, labeled the “gentle giants” of the cat world. They are both expensive cats to acquire.
- Ragdolls are a newer breed with more clear origins. Both are large cat breeds, but Maine Coons tend to be the bigger and taller overall.
- Both have long, luxurious fur. But a Ragdoll’s coat is not as rugged looking as a Maine Coons. In facial features, where the Maine Coon looks wild, the Ragdoll is sweeter.
- In personality, Maine Coons show independence and excitability. Ragdolls literally go-limp when held, and make excellent lap-cats. Maine Coons are vocal, Ragdolls quieter.
- Both coats require maintenance and are not hypoallergenic.
Maine Coon cats and Ragdoll cats are two large cat breeds that you will find associated with the other. As the proud parent of a Maine Coon and a friend to a Ragdoll owner, I am intimately familiar with the quirks of both breeds.
This guide is to showcase the incredible similarities and interesting differences for potential owners. Both breeds are big, lovable pets, but I wanted to take a deep dive into their separate origins and personalities.
I explain the history of both breeds, their appearance, personality, health concerns, and grooming requirements. I also share more about the costs associated with purchasing and caring for Maine Coons and Ragdolls.
You will be able to take away from this guide a sense of which breed might be more suited to you, your lifestyle, and your family. Read more below and you will be well on your way to becoming an expert in discerning the qualities of Maine Coon cats and Ragdoll cats.
History and Origin of Maine Coon vs Ragdoll
Both Maine Coon cats and Ragdoll Cats have interesting origin stories. Maine Coons are a much older breed compared to Ragdolls. However, Ragdolls are becoming more established as a cat breed as the years go by.
A single history of the Maine Coon breed does not exist. There are a lot of theories as to their exact origins. English seamen traveling to America may have brought over the descendants of the Maine Coon.
As a native breed to the state of Maine, the Maine Coon has been established in that state for over one hundred years and counting.
There are several stories and legends about where they might have originated in Europe. However, not one of these legends has ever been substantiated by any solid evidence the historical record.
The Ragdoll breed has its origin in 1960s California. Ann Baker was an American breeder who bred a Burmese cat with an Angora Persian.
The resulting kittens had sweet and docile personalities, which influenced their name. Although they were large, they enjoyed being held and would go limp like a ragdoll.
A cat named Josephine was the mother of the kittens who would become the foundation of the Ragdoll cat breed. Although Ann Baker tried to control the future of the Ragdoll breed, it was Mr. and Mrs. Dayton who shepherded it into broader awareness.
The Daytons wanted to spread the love and awareness of the Ragdoll breed to more people. Ann Baker was a little bit more protective about her cat breed. Thankfully, the Daytons were successful in sharing their love for the Ragdolls with the world.
Comparing Ragdoll vs Maine Coon Cats Appearance
Size and Weight
Maine Coons weigh between 10 to 15 pounds for females and 15 to 25 pounds for males.
Ragdoll females weigh roughly the same as Maine Coons. Comparatively, Ragdolls males weigh significantly less. And while they are similar in length, Maine Coons are typically taller.
However, this is broadly speaking, and there are small Maine Coons and Ragdolls that exist, of course.
The coats of a Maine Coon or a Ragdoll cat can be distinguished by the presence of an undercoat. Ragdolls have soft fur with a long coat, but no undercoat. People compare Ragdoll cat fur to rabbit fur.
Maine Coon’s coats have a thick undercoat that is water resistant. They have adapted to spending time outside in the wet and cold parts of Maine.
Looking at two cats, you can pick out of the Maine Coon by checking for a shaggy coat with an undercoat. The Ragdoll Cat will have silkier fur, with only a thin undercoat below. Otherwise, they are both semi-longhaired cat breeds, and never short hair naturally.
They do shed, which means they are not hypoallergenic cats. However, Ragdoll cats only shed in the spring and fall. Maine Coons spend the entire year shedding. Thankfully, neither breed sheds excessively. If you regularly groom and brush them, they have very manageable coats.
Head and Facial Features
Maine Coons have higher cheekbones compared to Ragdoll cats. The large, pointed ears of a Maine Coon also stand out from Ragdolls more proportional ones.
A Ragdoll cat’s nose is usually very round, while a Maine Coon’s nose is shaped like a square. A true Ragdoll cat will only ever have large blue eyes, but a Maine Coon can have almost any eye color.
When looking at the body types of Ragdolls and Maine Coons, you will initially see a lot of similarities. However, Maine Coons are more rectangular in shape with thick legs.
Ragdolls have broad chests like Maine Coons, but with longer legs and elegant, tapered tails.
Male vs Females
Both Maine Coon males and Ragdoll males and females differ in weight. Males from both breeds are usually on the larger end. Male Maine Coons are then, by extension, some of the largest cats in the world.
For someone considering a cat breed characterized by playfulness, intelligence, and an overall gentle spirit, the Ragdoll or Maine Coon is a great choice.
They are often compared to dogs, because they like to spend time with their owners. My cat Chelle likes to follow me around the house wherever I go. They may even wait outside the bathroom or your bedroom.
Both breeds are lauded for their smarts, too. You can train Ragdolls or Maine Coons to do tricks or go on walk outside with patience and treats.
A major area of divergence between Ragdoll cats and Maine Coon cats is that Ragdolls love spending time being held by their owners.
In contrast, Maine Coons are more comfortable being close but not too close. While both breeds are affectionate, you will notice that Ragdolls tend to be calmer and steady.
Ragdolls are also much quieter compared to Maine Coons. Do not be alarmed if they do not vocalize whether they are happy or upset.
Maine Coons may not frequently meow. Instead, they can make a trilling or chirping sound. This vocalization is between a purr and a meow and it can accompany their daily lives and activities.
Both Ragdoll and Maine Coon cats enjoy spending time with humans. They are very sociable creatures, although Ragdolls can be shy at first.
A Maine Coon is more likely to make new friends quicker. My friendly Maine Coon, Chelle, loves greeting guests and being the center of attention when they come over to my house.
Getting Along with Others
Both breeds are very gentle. You can trust them with in families with small children. Neither breed is prone to aggressive behavior or irritability.
You will not find a more laid-back cat that will tolerate pets and hugs without scratching. They also do not like to bite when irritated.
Plus, these larger breeds are a great option for homes with other pets, including dogs. Maine Coon cats are sometimes the size of a small dog. Make sure that the dog is socialized well with cats and you might have pets that are friends for life.
Do Ragdoll and Maine Coon Mixes Exist?
Some breeders actually advertise their Ragdoll/Maine Coon crossbreeds for sale. Both of these cat breeds have a good reputation as family pets.
A mix makes sense, because it combines the best elements of both of these large cat breeds. These breeds are friendly to each other, so a close association is not out of the box.
You can distinguish a Ragdoll and Maine Coon mix by looking at their overall appearance. Typically, a mix will showcase characteristics of both breeds in a unique blend.
Some mixes will have the thick coat of a Maine Coon or the chubby cheeks of a Ragdoll. Both breeds are semi-longhaired cats. Combining the two breeds will not create a completely different type of cat.
Suitability for Your Lifestyle
Both Maine Coon cats and Ragdoll Cats can lead fulfilled lives as indoor cats. Ragdolls depend upon human interaction more than Maine Coons.
If you live a busier life and tend to be away from home, choose wisely before adopting a Ragdoll. Maine Coons can thrive without as much attention.
If you do not consider your pet’s emotional needs, you may end up with a lonely, anxious animal.
If you are looking for a trainable cat breed, then a Maine Coon is just for you. When it comes to trainability, a Ragdoll vs Maine Coon cat is very eager to learn.
Maine Coons are quick to learn and remember a lot, which means consistency is vital. Traditionally, Maine Coons have been hunters. If you incorporate elements of their hunting instinct into training, they will learn even faster.
Ragdoll cats are not impossible to train. However, they are independent and laidback creatures. You should focus on what they naturally are good at. Food as a positive reinforcement will make the process easier.
Ragdolls and Maine Coons are large, outgoing cat breeds. Because they are large, they may eat more than other domestic housecats. The more your cat eats, the more exercise they need to stay fit and happy.
Both breeds enjoy playing at least an hour a day. Maine Coons are more energetic, so they often need more exercise than that.
A Maine Coon cat with the right inclination will be fairly easy to train to walk on a lead. I’d say it is possible to walk a Ragdoll, but it’s definitely not as accessible or popular as Maine Coons.
Health Needs and Concerns
Ragdolls and Maine Coons are purebred cats with several known health needs and issues. Not every Ragdoll Cat or Maine Coon cat will experience these issues, though!
However, there is the potential based on breed knowledge. Breeding together cats selectively over many years results in certain genetic mutations that can influence or lead to health problems, too.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a type of heart condition common in domesticated cats. Both Maine Coons and Ragdolls are more likely to develop this type of heart condition due to years of specific breeding practices.
Breeding for certain traits makes it more common in purebred cats.
Consider genetic testing if you are concerned for your pet. A decent breeder will be able to provide genetic screening information for all of their breeding pairs. This information should indicate little to no potential for heart disease to be passed onto their kittens.
Hip dysplasia is a health concern associated most commonly with Maine Coons. It is an abnormality in the hip joint that can sometimes require surgery.
Make sure to find out whether your kitten’s parents were screened for this issue prior to breeding. Hip dysplasia can be a painful condition for a cat, especially when not managed.
The weight of your furry friend can have a huge impact on their health. If kept as indoor pets, these breeds can become accustomed to a quiet, sedentary life.
Overweight or obese cats are more likely to develop heart problems. These large cat breeds also easily develop osteoarthritis if too much stress is put on their large frames. Consider giving them a supplement for joints as they begin to age.
Polycystic Kidney Disease
Polycystic kidney disease is another common problem associated with domesticated cats, especially purebreds. Both Ragdolls and Maine Coons are at risk for this type of kidney issue.
Urinary Tract Issues
Urinary tract issues can arise most often in Ragdoll cats. Urinary tract infections can recur.
You need to monitor your cat closely to ensure their health and wellness, especially when using the litterbox. Pay attention to their habits. Anything strange or unusual may be a sign of something wrong.
Maine Coons and Ragdolls generally have similar lifespans.
They live on average between 12 and 15 years. Of course, lifespan depends a lot on each cat and their environment. Preparing for potential health issues can help you extend the life of your furry companion.
Finding purebred kittens can be expensive. You want to make sure to seek out only trusted breeders for healthy and happy kittens. Operating a high quality cattery costs a ton, which is why kittens are often expensive.
Purebred Ragdoll kittens will cost between $500 to $1000. Maine Coon kittens will cost between $800 to $2000. Costs will obviously vary between breeders.
You can also check local adoption groups and organizations. Sometimes purebred Maine Coon or Ragdoll cats end up needing a home at different stages of their life.
Basic needs for both Maine Coon cats and Ragdoll Cats include high-quality wet and dry food and fresh water. The price of food can vary depending on quality. Both breeds (and all cats) do well on a mostly protein diet.
Feed your kittens the best you can afford, it will be worth it in terms of their overall health.
Litter Accessories, Cat Trees, and Toys
Make sure to buy items, such as litter boxes, that are large enough for your large cat.
You want items that they will use regularly to be sturdy enough to bear their weight. Keep in mind sturdier items designed for large cat breeds might be more expensive compared to those for smaller housecats.
Neither breed is typically a lover of climbing too high due to their size. But, you should always have a cat tree, they are essential for all cats.
Next, make sure to buy a heavy scratching post and you should be set for both Ragdolls and Maine Coons.
Another major cost of owning a pet is vet care. Budget for regular vet visits to keep your Ragdoll or Maine Coon up-to-date on shots and other medications.
Keeping your cat at a healthy weight is essential to keeping vet bills small. Stay ahead of health concerns, especially genetic issues, before they become major, expensive problems. Consider pet insurance as well.
Just a glance at both a Maine Coon cat and a Ragdoll Cat will tell you they are cats with a lot of fur. Recognize as a cat owner that most cats require some help with daily grooming.
A clean and well-groomed cat is a healthy, content cat. Thankfully, both Ragdolls and Maine Coons do not shed overly much. They also do not tend to mat quickly.
Regular maintenance, such as brushing and baths, will keep fur from tangling. Bath time is easier with a Maine Coon, because they have a natural affinity for water. Ragdolls are not as easy, but can become comfortable to regular bathing.
Both breeds also require regular care of their ears, nails, and teeth. Clean ears regularly to avoid painful ear infections.
Trimming the nails keeps your pet happier, especially if they are not outside to wear them down naturally. And brushing your cat’s teeth prevents disease and decay as they age.
Which breed is right for you?
Sharing your life with a Maine Coon or a Ragdoll cat can be fulfilling for anyone. Even people that do not think they are “cat people” have found that it is easy to bond with these large cat breeds.
You can bring either breed into a home with lots of people, including small children. Their friendly dispositions make them well-suited to family homes.
While both breeds love attention, Ragdolls are needier. A Maine Coon might be a better choice for a busier home or lifestyle.
However, both Ragdoll and Maine Coon cats tend to spend more time with their owners than might be typical for housecats. They are extremely dog-like, and make great companions to friendly dogs.
Check out more of my guides to explore everything there is about Maine Coons, large cat breeds, and cat ownership in general.
I am eager to share my passion for Maine Coon cats with anyone and everyone. Large breed cats offer so much life and companionship to their owners.
I’m Gary Hu, a proud cat dad to a 15 lb Maine Coon. Have taken care of outdoor and indoor cats for over 10 years, and learned tons on behavior, habits, health, and products. I help new Maine Coon (or any other cat) parents with common questions and issues based on real, practical experience.