Ragdoll cats were first bred in the 1960s in California by a cat breeder Ann Baker, who crossed a free-roaming white female cat (a cat named Josephine) with long-haired varieties such as the Birman and the Persian.
This crossing led to the development of a blue-eyed, longhaired cats, and large-bodied that have become known as the Ragdoll breed. The breed is also notable for its tendency to go limp like a ragdoll when picked up—hence the name, but contrary to popular belief, key Ragdoll characteristic is not being completely limp and boneless when picked up, but they just more relaxed than most cats.
Ragdoll Cat Breed Characteristics
Ragdoll cats are known for their laid-back, floppy and easygoing personalities. They are content to relax in the comfort and safety of their home, enjoying a gentle lap or the quiet companionship of their favorite humans.
In general, Ragdolls are quite affectionate, loyal cats who form strong bonds with their human families. They have a calm and relaxed demeanor that makes them ideal for households with children and other pets, as ragdolls get along with them usually well.
Despite being relaxed, they still have plenty of energy for interactive play time and enjoy games like fetching toys or chasing feathers on a wand toy.
Ragdolls are also tend to be very sociable cats and like the company of others – both human and animal. They enjoy snuggling up with their humans on the couch or cuddling up at night in bed.
Many Ragdolls even have dog-like qualities, such as bringing gifts to their owners in the form of small toys or playing fetch!
While they love being around people, they can also entertain themselves during times when no one is available to play with them by batting around one of their many toys or engaging in some independent exploration around the house.
Ragdoll Kitten usually weighs between 1 – 4 lbs (0.45 – 1.8 kg) when they are born, gradually increasing in weight until they reach adulthood.
They reach full size by around 4-5 years of age; cats come typically weighing between 8-20 pounds (4-9 kg). The larger size is usually associated with male cats only. It’s important to note that ragdolls can gain weight quickly if overfed, so it’s important to keep an eye on your kitten’s diet to ensure they stay healthy.
As far as size goes, the average adult male will reach around 20-25 inches (50-65 cm) tall at the shoulder and about 11-15 pounds (5-7 kg). Adult females may be slightly smaller at 18-22 inches (45-55 cm) tall at the shoulder and 8-12 pounds (3.5 – 5.5 kg).
Read also: Ragdoll Cat Weight by Age Full Guide
In terms of lifespan, ragdolls live 10–15 years on average but can sometimes live up to 20 years if given proper care and nutrition throughout their lifetime.
Ragdoll Colors, Points & Patterns
Ragdolls are beautiful cats that come in a variety of colors and patterns and markings. Generally speaking, according to breed standard the colors can be broken down into four main categories: seal, blue, chocolate and lilac.
Seal Ragdolls are brown-based with dark seal points; blue Ragdolls have slate gray fur with bluish points; chocolate Ragdolls are milk-chocolate colored with lighter brown points; and lastly, lilac point cats have a pastel shell pink coloration with light lavender points.
In terms of markings or “points,” the most common pattern for Ragdoll cats is called the mitted pattern which includes white paws and white chests. There are also bicolor cats which have inverted V-shaped marks on their faces along with white feet.
The third commonly seen pattern is colorpointed, which is when the cat has dark points (ears, face mask, tail and legs) but no contrasting white coloration anywhere else on its body. Lastly, there is the lynx pattern which is similar to colorpointed but also includes stripes in their coats instead of just solid colors.
Ragdoll patterns can also vary greatly depending on where they live geographically as well as their genetics. There are three main patterns in North America with the Colorpoint being the most popular followed by Mitted Ragdoll and Bicolor Ragdoll.
In Europe the most popular pattern is Mink followed by Sepia and pointed Ragdolls respectively. No matter what type of Ragdoll you have all these patterns will feature beautiful bright blue eyes or range from aqua to greenish blue hues as well as silky soft fur that comes in a variety of colors and shades from creamy whites to bright tans to deep blues and everything in between.
Ragdoll cats have a distinctive fluffy undercoat that helps keep them warm and makes them extra snuggly and their fur is silky to the touch, however, it does shed and requires regular brushing to prevent matting and tangles.
How To Get A Ragdoll Cat or Kitten
Using Ragdoll breeder to purchase a cat or kitten is not an ethical choice and should be avoided. A breeder’s primary goal is to make money, so they often breed cats and kittens at an alarming rate in inhumane conditions with little to no regard for their health or well-being.
Additionally, there are already millions of cats and kittens living in shelters across the country that desperately need homes, so buying from a breeder only contributes to the overpopulation of animals in shelters. Furthermore, when you buy from a breeder or “cat fancier” you are often unknowingly supporting irresponsible breeding practices such as inbreeding which can lead to genetic defects.
That’s why it’s best to find a Ragdoll at rescues or shelters. Shelters and rescues provide an array of services such as spay/neuter, vaccinations, and sometimes microchipping. Many shelters and rescues also offer behavioral training, which is especially helpful if you plan on having an indoor cat.
Of course, visiting the facility in person is the best way to get to know the cats before committing to adoption. Adopting from a rescue organization or shelter is always the most ethical option as it offers a chance to provide one of these animals with much needed love and compassion while freeing up desperately needed space in local shelters.
Not only will adopting provide you with the opportunity to save an animal’s life but it will also give you peace of mind knowing that you are doing your part in helping reduce animal overpopulation and increasing humane treatment of animals.
Ragdoll Cat Care
Owning a Ragdoll cat is an incredibly rewarding experience. These lovely cats are known for their calm, laid-back attitudes and unique personalities that make them ideal for first-time owners.
Ragdolls are easy to care and they get along with children, other cats, and even dogs, so if you’re looking for a pet to add to your family this could be the perfect choice. That said, like any pet, there are certain needs your ragdoll requires in order to stay happy and healthy.
Grooming Your Ragdoll Cat
Ragdolls have medium-length fur that sheds moderately all year round, with heavier shedding during the spring and summer months. Brushing your cat regularly (at least once a week) is essential for controlling shedding and keeping their fur healthy.
A slicker brush or metal comb is recommended for removing tangles in the fur. Bathing should only be done when necessary – too much bathing can strip the coat of its natural oils and cause dry skin. Be sure to use a cat-specific shampoo that doesn’t contain sulfates or parabens.
Health Needs Of A Ragdoll Cat
Like any other living creature, cats need proper nutrition, exercise, medical care, and mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy. Your ragdoll needs regular checkups with a veterinarian to make sure they’re up to date on vaccinations and parasite prevention treatments like flea/tick medication and heartworm medication.
It’s also important that your cat gets enough exercise – provide them with plenty of toys like scratching posts or interactive toys designed specifically for cats so that they get the mental stimulation they need while getting some physical activity as well!
Special Considerations For Ragdolls
One of the unique traits of the ragdoll breed is their “floppy” nature; these cats tend to go limp when picked up or hugged tightly – hence their name! This means that special consideration should be given when playing with them; never pick them up by their tail or hug them too tightly as this can cause pain or discomfort.
Also make sure that windows are securely screened if they spend time near open windows; ragdolls can become easily distracted by flying birds outside! Lastly, keep an eye on their eating habits as they tend to overeat if allowed free access to food all day – portioning out their meals into several small feedings throughout the day is best practice in order to prevent obesity in your furry companion!
Ragdoll Cat Health
Ragdolls breed is one that is generally healthy, and they can live 12-15 years and some have been known to reach 20 years of age.
However, there are some reported health issues Ragdoll cats are more likely to experience – Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) being one of them, as approximately 30% of Ragdolls are born homozygous positive for HCM, which can cause HCM eventually.
HCM causes the heart muscles to thicken, reducing the heart’s ability to function properly. The symptoms associated with HCM in Ragdolls include weakness and exhaustion, labored or open-mouthed breathing, and even collapsing episodes.
That’s why it’s strongly recommended that owners take their Ragdoll cats to first check if they inherited the HCM gene – it won’t stop it, but it may help with the proper and swift treatment when needed.
Overall, Ragdolls do not require any special diet and they benefit from eating a balanced diet providing them with essential minerals and vitamins as prescribed by your veterinarian. As long as they are fed quality food, they will remain healthy and strong throughout their life.
Again – regular checkups with a vet should are essential in order to keep an eye on potential health issues such as weight gain or dental problems.
To maintain good health, regular exercise is also important for cats of all breeds including ragdoll cats. Providing playtime is key for exercising their body and mind in order to stay fit and active.
Additionally, it is recommended that owners brush their ragdoll’s coat at least once a week which helps remove dirt and debris from the fur and maintain its softness and shine. This can also reduce the risk of furballs developing within the digestive system of the cat which can lead to other health risks if left untreated.
Ragdoll Cat Feeding
When it comes to feeding, there are two life stages to consider: kitten and adult cat. For kittens, the best diet is a combination of wet and dry food specifically formulated for kittens. Wet food however is generally best, as it contains more moisture than dry food and is easier for them to digest.
It should be high in protein content and low in carbohydrates. It should also have added taurine and other essential vitamins and minerals. The same goes for dry food – look for higher levels of protein without added fillers or byproducts.
Kittens should be fed 3-4 meals daily.Treats can be given sparingly but should consist of healthy snacks such as small cubes of cooked white meat chicken or turkey – just make sure not to overdo it, as too much protein can cause health problems down the road.
When cats reach adulthood at around one year old they can switch to an adult formula diet which is slightly lower in protein than the kitten-specific formulas. Adult cats should consume two meals per day.
This is because adults don’t need quite as much energy from their diets as kittens do during their rapid growth period. Adult-specific formulas are designed to meet all their nutritional needs while avoiding excess calories that may lead to weight gain later on.
Wet food should still be high quality with high protein content but it can be supplemented with good quality dry foods too – look out for those with grain-free recipes that include real meats rather than by-products as the primary ingredient.
Treats should remain occasional rewards and shouldn’t exceed 10% of your cat’s total daily calorie intake to avoid weight gain.
Ragdoll cats, like many cats, require a balanced and nutritionally complete diet to stay healthy, so when selecting the food for your Ragdoll cat, it is important to choose a brand of premium quality food.
According to the Cat Fanciers Association – CFA, owners should avoid foods that contain fillers or by-products, as these are not beneficial for your cat, and often can be an allergen.
Always make sure to read the label carefully and avoid those that contain artificial preservatives, dyes and flavorings. Artificial preservatives can cause health issues in cats over time if consumed in large amounts.
It’s also important to check the protein content on the label – cats require higher levels of protein than dogs for good health. Finally – to keep your cat happy and healthy, always look for a meal with taurine added; this vital nutrient helps promote health of eyesight, heart muscles and overall body condition in cats.
Ragdolls are renowned for their sweet and docile temperament, making them one of the most sought-after affectionate cat breeds in the world. They’re often referred to as both “the floppy cats” and “the gentle giants,” as they tend to go limp when handled and carry themselves with an air of stately grace.
A ragdoll cat personality is known for its calm demeanor and affectionate nature, making it the perfect companion for anyone looking for an easygoing pet that you will get along with.
The Ragdoll loves to follow their owners around the house, making them a great companion to have around. They are often referred to as “puppy cats” due to their dog-like personality and loving and playful nature.
They will greet you at the door, follow you around while purring loudly, and even come when called. They love attention, especially getting brushed or petted by their owners – something they are sure to demand often!
Though they may appear initially shy with strangers, they warm up quickly with a little love and patience from their humans. With proper socialization from an early age, the Ragdoll can become well adjusted to people of all ages including children.
Every cat is unique, but generally speaking ragdolls have good looks and wonderful personalities that make a Ragdoll a very popular cat choice.
Ragdoll Cat Insurance
Ragdoll cats can be covered by cat insurance policies, which is often recommended for first-time cat owners. These insurance policies will provide financial protection in the event of veterinary costs due to accidental injuries, illnesses or hereditary diseases.
Many pet insurances companies cover routine medical expenses such as vaccinations, flea treatments and deworming as well. Additionally, some offer additional coverage for things like behavioral training and boarding fees if you need to go away for a short period of time.
When shopping for cat insurance, make sure that pet health insurance companies are accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) or any other international cat association for those outside USA.
This ensures that they meet a high standard of service and provide adequate protection for your individual cat. Pet Insurance from an AAHA-accredited company is an excellent way to safeguard against unexpected financial costs associated with caring for a Ragdoll Cat.
It’s absolutely crucial to research the terms offered by different providers carefully. For instance, some policies may not cover pre-existing conditions or require you to pay a higher premium if your Ragdoll may have a certain genetic predisposition towards illness or injury.
It’s also wise to review any limits that apply when it comes to reimbursement amounts or waiting periods before coverage kicks in after you purchase the policy.
All pet owners should also consider joining a reputable cat association such as the American Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) which offers resources and support related to all aspects of Ragdoll care, including health and nutrition advice and information about available grants that can help offset vet bills.
Fun & Interesting Facts
Fun fact number 1: “The Chirp”
Ragdolls are breed of cats known for being gentle, mild-mannered, and loving cats that love to be around people and will often follow them from room to room. This affectionate behavior is accompanied by this unique and delightful vocalization that is often called a “chirp”.
Ragdolls can also make other sounds such as trilling and cooing, but their signature chirp is the one most commonly heard.
The frequency of this call can vary depending on the individual cat’s mood or level of excitement. When they’re content or in need of attention, they may give off lower pitched chirps. If they’re feeling playful or excited, they may produce higher pitched noises.
The Ragdoll’s tendency to vocalize more than other breeds has made it ideal for those who want an interactive companion that isn’t afraid to convey its feelings through sound.
Fun fact number 2: Slow-maturing nature
Unlike some cat breeds that reach full maturity within their first year, Ragdolls are slow-maturing, and it can take up to three to four years for them to fully mature.
One reason for their slow maturing is their large size. Ragdolls are one of the largest domesticated cat breeds, with males weighing up to 20 pounds or more. It takes time for their bodies to grow and develop properly.
Another factor is their laid-back nature. Ragdolls have a relaxed, gentle demeanor, and they tend to take life at a slower pace. They may not be as active or energetic as some other cat breeds, which means they may take longer to reach their full potential.
Ragdolls slow-maturing nature also extends to their personality. They are known for their friendly and affectionate nature, but it can take time for their personalities to fully develop. They may start out as shy or reserved as kittens, but as they grow older, they become more outgoing and social.
Fun fact number 3: Water-loving creatures
While other cat shows a notorious dislike of water, Ragdoll isn’t afraid of it at all and is actually well-known to enjoy playing in water and even taking baths. Some owners have reported their Ragdolls jumping into the shower with them or dipping their paws into the sink while the faucet is running.