Last Updated on April 30, 2024 by themubbi63

Funny name notwithstanding, the ragdoll cat breed has become increasingly popular with pet owners both for their fluffy and elegant appearance and their affectionate personalities. If you’re looking for a typical cat with a standoffish attitude, the ragdoll isn’t the breed for you. However, if you’re fond of puppies in cat form then the ragdoll would be a perfect companion.

Facts About Ragdoll Cat Breeds

History

The ragdoll cat is a relatively new cat breed and are all descended from a female cat named Josephine. First developed in the 1960s by a breeder from Riverside, California, named Ann Baker, ragdolls don’t come from a pedigreed cat at all. Josephine was a regular, long-haired, white-coated cat of unknown lineage. And the males that sired her litters were regular ‘alley cats’ as well, according to Baker.

Two males from Josephine’s early litters, Blackie (completely black in color) and Daddy Warbucks (a seal point cat with white feet), went on to sire the females Buckwheat and Fugianna respectively. And from these five cats came all future generations of ragdolls, developed completely by Baker.

Her objective in creating the ragdoll breed was to create a beautiful long-haired cat with an affectionate and docile personality. And that’s exactly what ragdolls now are. Baker was eccentric in that she wasn’t interested in registering her breed and getting them standardized by any traditional cat breeding associations. Instead, she set up her own registry, the International Ragdoll Cat Association (IRCA), and named the cats ragdolls herself. The IRCA has become quite small since Baker’s death in 1997 but still exists to this day.

Mainstream recognition for the breed came from husband-wife duo Denny and Laura Dayton who split from the IRCA in 1975 and began to breed ragdolls with a pair from the IRCA.

Appearance

The ragdoll cat has a certain look. They’re big and beautiful with long hair. But apart from that, they come in a variety of colors and patterns. Ragdoll kittens are born white but they eventually develop their colors after a few weeks. It might take them as long as 4 years to come into their full color and size because ragdolls mature at a slow rate and are long-lived cats.

The six colors that ragdolls come in? Seal, chocolate, red, blue, lilac and cream. They’re usually colorpointed (which means that they have color on their extremities – paws, tail, nose and ears) or mitted (which is like colorpoint except their paws and belly are white) or bicolor. They have big, round, furry paws and a dense ruff around their necks.

Ragdolls are double-coated with a long, silky outer coat but a thin undercoat. This means that they don’t shed that much and neither do they get very matted. The most remarkable feature of the ragdoll is, of course, the striking blue eyes. The more vibrant the shade, the more cat shows adore it.

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Size

First and foremost, if you’re considering getting a ragdoll, you should know that they’re big cats. It takes them a few years to grow into their full size but a fully grown male can weigh as much as 20 lb (9.1 kg). Females are slightly smaller, weighing about 8 – 15 lb (3.6 – 8.6 kg). They have a pretty sturdy, bulky body which looks even bigger because of the dense fur coat.

Ragdoll CatPoundsKilograms
Males12 – 205.4 – 9.1
Females8 – 153.6 – 6.8

Temperament and Behavior

The name ‘ragdoll’ comes from the fact that these cats like to flop around in people’s laps. Hold them and they’ll go completely limp with pleasure. So don’t be fooled by their large size. These cats are extremely docile and placid by nature and don’t have any kind of prey drive. They’re unlikely to work much and neither are they very energetic. 

They’ve often been compared to puppies because they’re intensely attached to humans and follow their owners around all the time. However, they don’t need the active lifestyle that puppies require. Moderate amounts of playtime with wands or other interactive cat toys are enough for these cats. However, leaving toys around for these kitties and expecting them to play by themselves would be a mistake. They don’t do well on their own and leaving them to their own devices can result in boredom and destructive behavior, like scratching.

Keep in mind that they are extremely attached and fond of human beings. They don’t mind being held or carried around like dolls. It makes ragdolls a good pet for households with children. If you’re out often, you should consider getting a companion for your ragdoll cat.

Health

While problems with obesity and the possibility of bladder stones are sources of concern, the biggest health issue that ragdolls face is HCM or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. As far as obesity is concerned, you should carefully measure out food for your cat and make sure it’s not eating too much. Bladder stones, which can lead to bleeding and be very painful, can be dealt with by giving them lots of fresh water to drink and doing regular health check-ups with the wait.

HCM is the most common heart disease in cats and is genetic by nature. It causes the heart muscles to thicken and the heart to pump blood less effectively. Unfortunately, there isn’t any cure for HCM and it can show up as young as six months of age. The only way to prevent this is by careful breeding so the gene that causes HCM is not present in the ragdoll cat. Thus, if you’re thinking about getting one, you should only consider reliable breeders.

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Grooming Needs

The grooming needs of the ragdoll cat isn’t too extensive. Since they’ve got long-haired coats, you do need to brush it twice a week at least. Daily brushing would be even better. It would not only get rid of matting and tangles but afford you an opportunity to bond with your cat. Ragdolls enjoy grooming sessions for the most part.

These cats don’t shed a lot because they don’t have very thick undercoats. However, they aren’t hypoallergenic and do shed some fur and dander. They also need their nails trimmed occasionally, and it’s always best to have a scratching post around since these cats love to scratch.

Conclusion

Ragdolls are captivating cats known for their stunning looks and loving personalities. If you’re seeking a gentle giant who thrives on cuddles, a Ragdoll might be your purrfect match!

FAQs

How much grooming do Ragdolls need?

Brushing a Ragdoll at least twice a week is recommended, with daily brushing being ideal. Their long fur sheds minimally.

Are Ragdolls good with children?

Yes! Ragdolls are gentle and affectionate. They enjoy being held, making them a great fit for families with kids.

Why are Ragdolls called Ragdolls?

Ragdolls are known for their relaxed temperament. When picked up, they tend to go limp and cuddle, resembling a ragdoll!

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