The Ragdoll Cat, an affectionate and gentle breed
A cat that looks like a rag doll? No way! The ragdoll cat is a breed for lovers of Siamese, colourpoint and other point cats. These adorable animals conquer with their gorgeous fur, exceptional colors, and light blue eyes.
Origin of the Ragdoll cat breed
Ragdoll is a very young breed of cat, as its origins date back to the 1960s. The founder and first breeder of ragdolls was Ann Baker, a Californian cat lover. She started a breeding line with the help of a male from a litter of an Angora-like cat and females whose origin is unknown. This male Ann Baker started breeding with must have looked like today’s ragdolls: big, with semi-long hair and gorgeous blue eyes. The breeder called this breed “ragdoll”, which in English means “rag doll”. He chose this name because his cats relaxed completely when he took them in his arms, as if it were a real rag doll. There is no doubt that it is a very apt name for this calm cat!
As is often the case in breeder circles, problems also arose in this case. When Ann Baker patented the name “ragdoll” and obtained the rights for each animal in her breed, many breeders broke away from the original line of these cats and made ragdoll breeding what it is today.
The ragdoll is not only a very young breed, but also the first to be patented in history.
Physical Characteristics of Ragdoll Cats
The ragdoll is a large cat, with a wide chest, muscular body, and a beefy appearance. It stands out, above all, for its soft coat, of medium length, silky and with little undercoat, so it remains glued to the body. This gives them a cuddly look that is enhanced by the ruff they often possess. The ragdoll’s head is medium-sized and wedge-shaped, with rounded, well-separated ears above it. The back legs are slightly longer than the front ones, creating the impression of a slightly sloping line. Females of this medium breed of cat can weigh 6.5 kg, while males can reach 9.5 kg. They can have a height at the withers of up to 40 cm and a length of up to 1.20 m from the nose to the tip of the tail.
The large, oval and bright blue eyes are a characteristic feature of ragdoll, as well as their special coloration that, like Siamese, categorizes them as point cats. The natural color of its hair only appears on some extremities of the body, such as the muzzle, ears, legs and tail. For genetic reasons, the base color or the color that defines the cat is only evident in the coldest parts of the body, that is, in the points . White covers the coloration in the central part of the body. Any coat color can appear as a color point . Various colors are accepted in the ragdoll: seal , blue, chocolate, lilac and, more recently, also red and cream.
Seal-point: These cats have a black base that, like all point colors, is only seen in the coldest parts of the body
Blue-point: black base diluted to blue
Chocolate-point: they are distinguished by having brown as the base color
Lilac-point: lilac is the dilution of brown
Red-point: are cats that have a red base color
Cream-point: cream color is the dilution of red. Cream-point ragdoll looks almost solid.
According to the distribution of these colors, the following official patterns are distinguished: colourpoint , mitted , bicolor , tabby , tortie and torbie .
Tabby : the points form a kind of stripes similar to those of tabby cats. Frequently, these stripes can be seen on the legs and on the tail. The eyes are outlined in black. Tabby ragdoll are often called lynx .
Tortie : Describes ragdoll whose color point forms a pattern similar to that of a turtle’s shell. This pattern can be very different from one cat to another, and the spots can be any size. However, the breeders opt, above all, for the small and evenly distributed spots.
Torbie : They are characterized by a color combination between the tortie and the tabby . The turtle shell design is tabby, a very interesting combination!
Colourpoint : The specific color is only reflected in the tips of certain extremities of the body.
Mitted : Other than point coloring, this type of ragdoll has a white chin and often white streaks over the nose. The pads are pink and have white “gloves” and “socks”.
Bicolour : these cats have a well defined point coloration, but their base color is lighter. In addition, they have an inverted “V” shaped face mask that begins at the forehead and ends at the base of the tail. The legs are white.
Point type ragdoll are born white and only develop their final color after three or four years of life!
The silky coat of ragdoll is semi-long, but since the undercoat is not thick, it is easy to care for. Although each cat is different and each owner has hair and clothing preferences, it is usually sufficient to brush the ragdoll once a week, although perhaps more often during the hair shedding.
Ragdoll Cat Character
Ragdoll lovers are not only drawn to his exceptional looks and big blue eyes.
Cats of this breed are very sociable. They are meek and affable, peaceful and curious but, above all, cuddly and playful, and they love to follow their owners everywhere. For this reason, many breeders describe them as “cat-shaped dogs.” Ragdolls give themselves fully to their human family, but it is highly recommended that they have a feline playmate. Cats have long been considered solitary animals, but more sociable breeds such as ragdoll appreciate living with another feline.
These tame animals also adapt well to home life, even better if the house has a properly secured balcony or a window with bars. However, if the cat does not leave the house, try to keep it physically and mentally busy. This means that you have to spend time playing with your ragdoll. A suitable environment for these cats includes numerous possibilities to hide, rest, play and explore. Also, the ideal home for them should not be too big. Clever climbing spaces, such as a tall scraper or a hammock for the window, can be mounted to provide the cat with a “third dimension” that he can use to take a nap, observe the surroundings, climb or play.
Ragdoll cat health
The ragdoll’s semi-long hair is easy to care for as it has little undercoat. To make weekly coat care even easier, you should get the cat used to brushing and combing from an early age. At first, you can offer him a snack during and after brushing to help him lose his fear. But being such sociable and cuddly animals, few ragdolls have problems to be stroked and brushed. Rather the opposite occurs, since these cats enjoy to the maximum during the care of their fur.
Despite regular brushing and grooming, many loose hairs end up in the cat’s digestive tract. Therefore, during the change of hair you can facilitate your ragdoll the natural expulsion of the ingested hairs by offering cat grass or by supplementing its diet with snacks or malt paste. These little aids are especially indicated for cats prone to constipation.
Ragdoll are fantastic animals and very attached to humans who conquer for their stuffed appearance and their little complicated character. We wish you and your ragdoll the very best!
This breed is known for being neither troublesome nor complicated. However, all living things are predisposed to certain hereditary diseases, which are reinforced by online crossing. Unfortunately, ragdoll is no exception.
Although the ragdoll is usually a robust and healthy animal, it has a tendency for bladder stones and a heart disease known as “hypertrophic cardiomyopathy” (MHC). This is the most common heart disease among cats; It is caused by thickening of the heart muscle and can be diagnosed by ultrasound of the heart. There is also a genetic test to detect CMH so that responsible breeders can exclude sick animals from breeding. Still, there is no guarantee that a litter is not predisposed to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Therefore, each breeder should perform veterinary tests on their animals at an early age to rule out the possible transmission of this disease to the offspring.
Being large breed cats, ragdoll undergo many phases of intense growth. Therefore, adequate and high quality food is essential to raise a healthy cat. During its development, the ragdoll should eat on demand, especially considering that they only reach adulthood at 4 years. Then you can optimize the amount of food to prevent being overweight.
It does not matter if you opt for raw food, if you cook the food or if you choose the high quality cat food that is on the market: the right food for your radgoll must have a high protein content of the best quality. Wet food should be the main choice for animals predisposed to kidney stones and bladder, due to its high moisture content.
How to find the right breeder
The frequency with which we find hereditary diseases in breed cats denotes the importance of choosing the right breeder. A professional considers his animals part of the family and assumes responsibility for them and their young. In addition, they opt for the intelligent crossing of each animal, good health care and a suitable environment and food. A good breeder does not deliver his young before 12 weeks of age. Kittens require at least 3 months to learn everything important from their mothers and siblings. This phase is not only exciting and exhausting for the breeder, but also for the mother of the kittens. In order for her to socialize her young enough, she must have enough time between litters. For this reason, a responsible breeder does not offer multiple litters or breeds at once. The most economically favorable is not always the best for the animals involved!
Obviously, all this has a price. A hatchery ragdoll costs 1500 euros or more, although the specimens that have been excluded from breeding are cheaper. Still, those interested in a ragdoll must have a price of around 1000 euros.
If you are considering the possibility of acquiring a breed cat without documentation from Ebay or the small local advertising market, you should know that each ragdoll is worth its price. You only have to add all the expenses that the breeder assumes during the first 3 months of the kitten’s life: from the possible riding rights to the food and visits to the vet of the mother and the kittens. These are just a few of the expenses that are rarely fully covered by the price of the cat. To this we must add the membership of the breeders association and the possible issuance of documents.
Breeding is an expensive hobby and those who can offer breed cats without documentation and at cheap prices should cut costs. These people do not always carry out crossings responsibly as they do so without the supervision of a breeders association. In addition, in most cases they do not worry about providing cats with the necessary but expensive health care, in order to rule out inherited diseases. It is also possible that they are breeding several breeds simultaneously and allow cats to have several litters per year. Consider all these aspects and do not be convinced only by a cheap price.
Cat lovers who are fascinated by ragdoll but can’t afford to pay the price, can try their hand at the protectors. There are numerous cats, including some of breed, looking for a good home. Many breeders offer older animals or those excluded from breeding in exchange for a small contribution to expenses.