What Is A Ragdoll Cat?
The Ragdoll cat is a relatively newer breed of pedigree cat. They are a docile breed with a silky, plush coat and distinctive patterning.
They are also atypical in their temperament; social and affectionate cats that like to keep close proximity to their owner.
The Ragdoll’s beautiful coloring and sweet nature all lend to their understandable rise in popularity over a relatively short period of time.
They are known for their gentle playfulness and unusually social nature. Their striking Blue Eyes will captivate you, while their sweet personalities will make you fall in love with them.
Ragdoll Cats History
The Ragdoll cat was first bred during the 1960s, in Riverview, California (USA), by a breeder named Ann Baker. Ann often bred free-roaming cats with others that she owned or found, so the original Ragdoll cat breed emerged from mainly free-roaming cats.
One particular long-haired, female cat, referred to as Josephine, made especially unique kittens. Josephine’s kittens were beautiful as well as unusually docile and sweet-natured.
Ann continued to breed Josephine for the pleasant temperament of her kittens, and carefully selecting mates for the specific physical characteristics she desired in this new breed.
Through this process, Ann created what we know today as the Ragdoll cat. Ann created a registry for the breed and officially registered the first four kittens in 1966. In 1993, the Cat Fanciers Association started registering Ragdoll cats. By the year 2000, Ragdolls were advanced to championship status in every North American cat association.
Ragdoll Cats Personality
This is a breed that loves the company of others and is known for their loyalty and affection. It is not unusual for Ragdoll cats to greet their owners at the door or follow them around the house.
Ragdoll cats are also capable of being independent and aren’t overly demanding. Their calm and easy-going natures make them excellent pets.
These cats do have a playful side, especially as kittens, but even their play is gentle, as they don’t tend to extend their claws.
They are intelligent cats, who have been clicker trained to perform tricks using positive reinforcement training. Some Ragdoll’s will even play fetch.
Ragdoll Cats Temperament
The Ragdoll cat is sociable and has a relaxed and easy-going temperament. They are even friendly with other cats. As a result, Ragdolls are sought after family pets due to their notorious tolerance of children and other animals.
Although anecdotally, Ragdoll cats are exceptionally tolerant of children’s play, even to the point of allowing themselves to be dressed up or pushed around in buggies, remember that every cat has its limits. Young children’s interactions with even the nicest cat should be monitored, for both of their sakes.
The name Ragdoll cat is probably derived from their tendency to flop over in a relaxed manner when picked up.
They are masters of relaxation and love to spend time curled up in your bed if not in your arms.
Can Ragdoll Cats Go Outside?
The Ragdoll cat is best suited to indoor living and demands and enjoys regular interaction with their owners or other family pets.
Even though they may gaze longingly out the window for hours, they need to stay indoors.
Some people believe that cats should be able to employ their natural instincts to prowl and hunt outside. Access to the outdoors gives cats better opportunities for physical exercise and can help prevent boredom.
The argument against allowing Ragdoll cats outside stems from the observation that these social and loving cats tend to be too trusting. Their gentle and affectionate temperament doesn’t arm them with the necessary feline outdoor skills.
They are not territorial and do not usually defend themselves against other cats. This puts them at even more risk of exposure to disease and parasites.
Their high resale value and their beautiful coat also make them prime targets for theft if left to wander out on their own.
Ragdoll Cat Size and Weight
Ragdoll cats are one of the largest domestic breeds of cat. Their size is a notable feature of these beautiful animals. They are big, powerfully built, and heavy, cats, with the largest Ragdoll cat, perhaps weighing up to 25 pounds.
The average Ragdoll cat weighs anywhere from 10 to 20 pounds by the time they fully mature at around four years old.
The females are usually at the lighter end of the spectrum ranging from 10 to 15 pounds, and the males tend to be on the heavier end weighing from 15 to 20 pounds.
Ragdoll Cat Colors and Coats
Ragdoll cats have startling blue eyes and a medium length coat.
Their fur is silky and soft, made up of guard hairs that are often described as feeling like rabbit fur. The lack of an undercoat gives them a very fluffy appearance. They also have a distinctive ruff of fluff around their neck.
Ragdoll cats are all born white and will remain white until about ten days old, at which time their color will start to develop. You will not see the true adult Ragdoll colors until they are at least two years old.
Ragdoll cats are described as “pointed,” which means that the body of the cat is a paler color than the tips. The ears, face, legs, tail, and feet of a Ragdoll cat are usually darker than the rest of them.
Ragdoll cat coats come in a variety of distinctive colors and patterns. These cats originally came in four colors: seal, chocolate, blue, and lilac. Today their coloring has expanded to also include red and cream.
The different colors do not denote different Ragdoll breeds. The Ragdoll breed is the same regardless of the color of their points.
In addition to an array of colors, Ragdoll cat coats also come in different pointed patterns.
Grooming Your Ragdoll Cats
The beautiful Ragdoll coat requires a moderate level of upkeep. Ragdoll cats should be brushed from once to twice a week with a steel comb to remove tangles and any loose hair.
The soft silky coat is not prone to many problems and grooming is more preventative than anything else.
Since Ragdoll cats love spending time with their owners, your cat may actually enjoy his grooming sessions if you brush gently.
To ensure your Ragdoll cat is happy to be groomed, make sure to start when they are a kitten.
Use soft gentle strokes when your cat is feeling relaxed and happy.
Ragdoll Cats Shedding
Ragdoll cats are moderate shedders. They molt more with the change of the seasons but due to their lack of an undercoat, they shed less than many other cat breeds.
Regular grooming will help to reduce the degree of shedding. This can be aided by using a rubber brush after combing with a steel rake, to pick up any of the hairs you have loosened.
Are Ragdoll Cats Hypoallergenic?
What is a hypoallergenic cat? Numerous studies have identified the protein “Fel d 1” in canine and feline saliva as the main pet allergen. Cats generally produce more of this protein than dogs which is why cat allergies are more common than that of dogs.
Fur and shedding were often associated with allergies and now we know that it is not the fur, but the saliva on the fur from the animal grooming itself that actually causes a reaction.
Hypoallergenic cats are those that produce less of the “Fel d 1” protein, however, there are no cats that do not produce any “Fel d 1.” Hypoallergenic cats still contain some of the allergens in their saliva. It is due to this fact that some argue there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic cat.
Ragdoll cats are not hypoallergenic. They are not a breed that has been found to have a lower content of the “Fel d 1” protein in their saliva.
Ragdoll Cats Lifespan
Ragdoll cats generally have a good life expectancy and can live anywhere from 15 to 20 years.
Working with a responsible breeder that has done genetic testing will also help increase the likelihood of getting a healthy cat with the potential for long life.
Are Ragdoll Cats Good Pets?
Ragdoll cats tend to make excellent family pets because of their gentle, loyal, and affectionate nature. They are known to be patient with children and friendly to other pets.
Ragdoll cats are also relatively low maintenance pets, requiring only a bi-weekly preventative brush and are generally a healthy cat with a long-life expectancy
Should I Get a Ragdoll Cat?
If you spend a lot of time at home and are looking for a sweet and affectionate furry companion, or if you are looking for a new pet that will adapt well into your existing family, then the Ragdoll cat is an excellent choice. They are a sociable, friendly, and gentle breed which makes them a highly sought-after family pet.
You are never alone when you have a Ragdoll. They follow you throughout the house and insist on being with you. They are where the action is and like to participate in all your activities. If you are doing laundry or making the bed …they are helping, if working from home on the laptop they are right there as your assistant, watching TV oh yes… they are sitting with you watching too, they even follow you into the bathroom.
Let me warn you now, Ragdolls are addictive. You can’t have just one! For that reason, as well as the fact that Ragdolls do not like to be alone, most people have two. It’s best to get 2 siblings, so they have each other to love and grow up with. If you don’t get the two together, I promise you within a year you will be bringing the second Ragdoll into your life.