Ragdoll Cat vs Norwegian Forest Cat Comparison

Written by

Amy Sawy

Veterinarian. DVM


Joseph M. Plummer

Veterinarian, DVM, MVZ

ragdoll cat vs norwegian forest cat

Long-haired felines can be challenging to distinguish. This fact is true even when they have different coat colors and patterns.

Two feline breeds that pose some similarities are Ragdoll and the Norwegian Forest Cat. Both have thick, long fur and a similar body build.

But while they look physically similar, they are a completely different breed with entirely distinct characteristics.

That said, this article will help you distinguish the Ragdoll cat vs Norwegian Forest cat. Refer to the table and cat pics below for a quick comparison of differences between Norwegian Forest cat vs. Ragdoll cats.

Ragdoll Cats Norwegian Forest Cats
Size (Length, Height, & Weight) Length: 9 to 11 inches

Height: 17 to 21 inches

Female: 8 to 15 pounds
Male: 12 to 20 pounds

Length: 9 to 12 inches

Height: 9 to 12 inches

Female: 8 to 20 pounds
Male: 10 to 20 pounds

Coat Medium-length and fluffy single-coat fur Long and silky double-coat fur
Personality Friendly, sociable, calm, and adaptable Friendly, sociable, and calm
Lifespan 12 to 18 years 13 to 16 years
Activity Requirements Loves exercise and stimulation More active than Ragdolls

History Of Ragdoll Cats


The Ragdoll cat was created by feline enthusiast and breeder Ann Baker in the 1960s. She found a female domestic long-haired cat in her neighborhood in Riverside, California, and adopted it.

She then bred that female feline, which she named Josephine, with the other cats that she owned. The result of mixing those breeds was kittens with endearing personalities.

History Of Norwegian Forest Cats


Cat breeders believe that the Norwegian Forest cat or “Wegie” originated from Scandinavia. This breed is more commonly known as the Skogkatt in its place of origin.

The ancestors of Wegies are British Shorthair cats, which were brought by the Vikings to Norway from Great Britain in 1000 AD. They then developed a wild, muscular, and rugged appearance with thick and waterproof fur.

The Norwegian cats faced a threat of extinction in the early 20th century due to the German occupation of Norway during World War II. To prevent this threat, breeders put them in a special breeding program.

Now, the Norwegian Forest cat is the official cat of Norway, as designated by King Olaf.

Ragdoll Vs. Norwegian Forest Cat

1. Norwegian Forest Cat Size And Ragdoll Size Comparison


As you can see in the size chart above, the female Ragdoll cat size is a bit smaller than the male one. They usually weigh 8 to 15 pounds, while males weigh around 12 to 20 pounds. These cats reach a height of 9” to 11” and a length of 17” to 21”.

The size of Norwegian Forest cats is around the same. The male ones weigh 10 to 20 pounds, while females are around 8 to 20 pounds. Additionally, Wegies have a height of 9” to 12” and a cat length of 9” to 12”.

2. Coat


Semi-long, fluffy, and silky coats identify a Ragdoll cat. They have a thin undercoat, which makes them not prone to shedding. Their fur comes in various colors, including lilac, blue, chocolate, seal, red, and cream.

Meanwhile, Norwegian Forest cats are popular for their long and thick coat. Unlike Ragdolls that have little to no undercoat, Wegies are double-coated with water-resistant fur. Regarding coat colors, Norwegian cats are similar to Ragdolls.

3. Personality


In terms of cat temperament, Ragdolls and Wegies are friendly felines. They are sociable, gentle, and calm, making them ideal for homes with children and other animals.

The difference between these cats is that Ragdolls are dependent on human companionship, while Norwegian Forest cats are independent.

4. Lifespan


Ragdolls and Norwegian Forest cats have long lifespans, but the latter live a bit shorter. Wegies typically live for 13 to 16 years, while Ragdolls reach a lifespan of 12 to 18 years.

5. Activity Requirements

Both cats can quickly adapt to different environments. However, Ragdolls are more social than Wegies, as they are friendly to even strangers.

Additionally, these two species require regular exercise and stimulation. Wegies are more active when it comes to activities, as they love climbing, playing, and scratching things.

3 Pros And Cons

Ragdoll Cats

  • Ragdolls are friendly. As mentioned, Ragdolls are sociable and sweet, even to strangers.
  • Requires minimal grooming. Ragdolls have no undercoat, so they only require regular combing instead of frequent baths.
  • Only shed a little. Since their hair is medium-length and not too thick, Ragdolls do not shed too much.
  • A Ragdoll cat can cost $800 to $2,000 from a reputable breeder.
  • Prone to health problems. One of the most common diseases Ragdolls are prone to is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. This health issue is characterized by the thickening of heart muscles.
  • Not hypoallergenic. Ragdolls produce an abundance of Fel d1, a protein that triggers people’s allergy to felines.

Norwegian Forest Cats

  • Wegies are loyal. Wegies love being around the people they trust, making them excellent companions.
  • Easy to groom. Despite their thick coats, regular brushing can prevent the fur of Wegies from matting.
  • Wegies can quickly learn tricks due to their ability to grasp the meaning of some words.
  • Norwegian Forest cats can be too active. Wegies require a lot of time from their caretakers due to their overly active nature. Unfortunately, they can become destructive if not given enough attention.
  • They require spacious environments. Due to their active nature, Norwegian Forest cats require a lot of space. They also love to run and jump, so they need enough room to play.
  • Trigger allergies. Apart from Fel d1 protein, the thick coat of Wegies also produces an allergen called dander, making them unfit for allergy sufferers.

Cost Comparison


As mentioned, Ragdoll cats can cost anywhere between $800 to $2,000 from reputable breeders. On the other hand, Norwegian Forest cats can cost $400 to $1,500 if fully grown and up to $2000 for kittens.

You can also find a Ragdoll Norwegian Forest cat mix for $800 to $2,000.

These prices are only the upfront cost. They do not include the expenditures necessary for food, grooming, exercise, and healthcare.

Which Is Better

There’s no definite answer as to which breed is better, only which one is more suitable for your lifestyle. As such, you’ll have to take their needs and personality into consideration to determine which species you’re most likely to provide proper care.

How Can You Tell if a Cat is a Norwegian Forest or Ragdoll Cat?

The best way to tell the difference between Ragdolls and Wegies is to look at their fur. If a feline has fine, silky, and not-too-thick fur, then it is a Ragdoll. Meanwhile, Wegies have a very thick, long, and waterproof coat.

Another thing that sets the two cats apart is their coat pattern. If you look at some pics of Ragdoll cats, they always have a colorpoint pattern, while Norwegian Forest cats come in any coat color.

Choosing the Right Cat Breed for You


When choosing between Ragdolls and Wegies, there are several factors that you need to consider:

1. Lifestyle

While Ragdolls and Wegies are low-maintenance, they still require regular attention. So, if you are often outside, you may want to pick a breed that does well being alone.

2. The cat’s temperament

It is worth noting that the Norwegian Forest cat demands more activities than Ragdolls. If you don’t think you can fulfill this need, then a Ragdoll is a better pet choice.

3. Sociability

Some cats don’t do well with kids and other animals. Since both Ragdolls and Wegies are social felines, you’ll have no problems introducing them to your kids and other pets.

Related Comparisons:

Frequently Asked Questions

Are ragdoll cats smart?

Yes, Ragdolls possess a high level of intellect that allows them to learn basic tricks. For instance, they can learn how to roll over or fetch.

Do Norwegian Forest Cats get along with Ragdolls?

Both breeds are easygoing, sociable, and calm. For this reason, they can get along in one home as long as you provide them with their own food, water, toys, and beds.

Are Ragdolls the nicest cats?

Ragdolls are among the nicest cat breeds known to man. They are gentle, social, and docile. Even better, they show extreme devotion to the people they trust.

How To Train Your Cat

The first thing to remember when training a feline is to choose the best time. A cat’s day consists of playing, eating, cleaning itself, and napping. You must fit the training session into this routine. You must also keep the session short, as cats have a short attention span.

Additionally, felines follow what their caretakers ask them to do if they know they will be rewarded.

Finally, use the same hand and verbal commands when training your pet to prevent possible confusions.

How To Groom Your Cat

Since Ragdolls and Norwegian Forest cats don’t require a lot of grooming, you only need to brush their fur regularly. Not only does brushing remove tangling, but it also helps remove dirt and dead fur and stimulates blood circulation.

Start brushing your pet’s leg fur using a soft-bristled brush until you reach its head. After removing all the matting and dirt on the upper area, brush the neck hair going to the cat’s chin.

When brushing, ensure that you are combing along the fur’s direction.


Ragdoll cat vs Norwegian Forest cat – in this comparison, you will notice that the two breeds are physically alike. But apart from physical appearance, they are also similar in personalities.

This fact makes it difficult for people looking to get either of these breeds to decide which one to get. However, this article’s main takeaway is to choose a cat that suits your lifestyle.

This way, you can provide your pet with enough love and attention.

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