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Balinese vs Ragdoll Cats: The Differences (With Pictures)

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Hepper - Balinese vs Ragdoll Featured

Balinese and Ragdolls are some of the most adored cats because they have downright adorable appearances that look like one another. It’s easy to mistake these two breeds if you are not well-trained in cat varieties.

Because of the similarities between these two breeds, many cat lovers are unsure which one is best for them. Luckily, it is relatively easy to pick whether a Balinese or Ragdoll cat is right for you. To learn more about the differences between these two cats, keep reading.

Visual Differences

Hepper - Balinese vs Ragdoll Side by Side
Image Credit: (L) Jenni Ferreira, Shutterstock | (R) madeinitaly4k, Shutterstock

At a Glance

  • Origin: United States
  • Size: 7–15 pounds
  • Lifespan: 8–13 years
  • Domesticated? Yes
  • Origin: United States
  • Size: 8–20 pounds
  • Lifespan: 12–15 years
  • Domesticated? Yes

Balinese Cat Overview

The Balinese is a type of Siamese cat breed. The main difference between the Balinese and the standard Siamese cat is that its hair is medium to long. It wasn’t until the mid-1800s that this breed came about, even though Siamese cats are one of the oldest breeds in history.

During the mid-19th century, US breeders noticed that some Siamese cats imported from Thailand had much longer hair than standard Siamese cats. At this point, the breeders realized that a rare recessive trait was associated with long hair in Siamese cats. From there, the Balinese cat only became more and more popular.

balinese cat in grey background
Image Credit: Pasiaflora, Shutterstock

Characteristics & Appearance

In most respects, the Balinese cat looks like a Siamese cat. It has the Siamese-style point coloration, with points on its tail, feet, ears, and face. The pointed face is lit up by sapphire blue eyes. Its tail is distinctly plumed, and its fur is incredibly silky and gorgeous.

The body type of this cat is very slender, much like other Siamese cats. It looks a bit larger than Siamese cats just because it has longer fur, but its body type is still very slim and slender.


Like all other Siamese cats, Balinese cats are incredibly social, intelligent, and vocal. Especially when left alone for a long time, you can expect Balinese cats to make some noise. Still, these cats can be on their own for quite a while because their inquisitive nature is enough to keep them entertained.

balinese cat
Image Credit: SJ Duran, Shuttertock


Siamese cats are incredibly intelligent, but their main uses are simply showing and as pets. Because of their intelligence and modern look, they are a favorite at cat shows and other locations where cats are frequently shown off. This is especially true of Balinese cats since they have the same characteristics as Siamese cats with adorable long coats.

Ragdoll Cat Overview

Ragdoll cats are one of the more modern breeds in existence. In fact, it wasn’t until the 1960s that this breed even came about. During this time, the breed was developed by the American cat breeder Ann Baker in Riverside, California.

In many ways, Ragdolls are like dogs in that they love to be around people, love to be handled, and love other animals. As a result, it’s no shocker that the Ragdoll has quickly become one of the most popular pet cats in the United States and the United Kingdom.

4 Cute Ragdoll kittens on silver blue background fabric
Image Credit: Linn Currie, Shutterstock

Characteristics & Appearance

The Ragdoll has one of the most adorable appearances. It has a large and muscular body coated in silky soft, semi-long hair. Ragdolls can come in six colors: red, chocolate, seal, and corresponding dilutes. There are even lynx and tortoiseshell variations.

What is incredibly noticeable about these cats is their large size. Male Ragdolls can grow to be up to 20 pounds. This large size is due to their naturally muscular frames, but these cats are also prone to obesity, which only makes this already large cat even bigger.


Ragdolls are some of the most loved cats for their fun and sociable temperaments. They are very calm, but they also love people and animals. In fact, the name “Ragdoll” comes about from the fact that the kittens basically go limp when picked up because of how much they love physical affection.

Due to how much Ragdolls love humans, they are often called “puppy cats” or “dog-like cats”. Their playful nature and sociable personalities, which last well into their senior years, make them more like dogs in personality than some cats.

flame point ragdoll cat
Image Credit: Carolyn R, Shutterstock


Because Ragdolls are a modern breed, they don’t have any uses outside of being a pet or a show cat. These are the only uses that these cats due to their gorgeous looks and fun personality.

What Are the Differences Between Balinese and Ragdoll Cats?

Now that we have talked about Balinese and Ragdoll cats separately, it’s time to talk about the differences between the two breeds. The differences between these breeds can be summed up in two points: size and dependence on humans.


Balinese cats are often smaller than Ragdoll cats. If you compare a female Balinese to a male Ragdoll, Balinese cats are half the size of the average Ragdoll.

Dependence on Humans

Even though both breeds are known for loving humans, they don’t have the same dependence levels. Balinese cats love to be around people and to have fun, but they are perfectly content on their own as well. As long as they are provided with enough toys to keep them entertained, they can spend the whole day by themselves.

In comparison, Ragdolls are incredibly dependent on humans. Since their entire creation was based on affection towards humans, it’s no shock that Ragdolls love to be around people at all times during the day. If Ragdolls are not around humans often, they get depressed.

Which Breed Is Right for You?

The breed that is right for you depends on the amount of space in your home and how often you will be there. If you have a small home, a Balinese will be more suited for you because it has a slender frame. In comparison, Ragdolls need a bit more space.

More importantly, if you do not expect to be home frequently, do not get a Ragdoll. A Balinese will be much more suited to your lifestyle. Since Ragdolls are so dependent on humans, they should only be adopted by individuals who expect to be home frequently and are ready to give a lot of their time and attention to the cat.

If you carefully select which cat to get based on your lifestyle and home, you will be more than happy with both of these cats. After all, they are both gorgeous and love to be around humans.

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Featured Image Credit: (L) Nutty Nat, Shutterstock | (R) Luxurious Ragdoll, Shutterstock

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