Ragdoll Cats At A Glance:
All About Ragdoll Cats
We are into yet another of the cat breeds, the Ragdoll cat!
And this is one that has been requested.
I don’t really have any significance to this breed, so I will not be able to add any of my own stories into the mix of this post.
I know some of you LOVE it, because I am just so riveting. But I’m sure some of you are grateful that they can actually learn about this breed in peace.
If this is your first time on the site, welcome! Today, I am going to be talking all about Ragdoll Cat breeds.
What is a Ragdoll Cat? Let’s talk about everything from the history behind them, their appearances, their personality, and finally some fun facts that are associated with Ragdoll cats. I truly hope you enjoy!
History Behind Ragdoll Cats
I have been researching the history behind Ragdoll cats for a while, because what I was finding was so confusing, for lack of a better word.
And I kept searching, hoping to be able to give you all a better answer and piece together this history puzzle.
What I found was that they were almost an accidental breed. In the family of cat breeds, Ragdolls are among the younger siblings.
They were created in the 1960s, so they haven’t been around long, from a woman named Ann Baker. She had a Persian cat, named Josephine, that had several different litters of cats from several different fathers.
This cat made her way around the neighborhood if you know what I mean.
One litter she had was especially special to her owner because they were gentle, kind, and affectionate. When the cat had ANOTHER litter of these sweet kittens, her owner basically decided she had the recipe for this new breed.
Thus was the first set of Ragdoll cats.
To find the Ragdoll cats, Baker looks for suitor cats with gentle, placid personalities, larger in size in longer coats. These behavior were typically found in Siamese cats, however Persians, Birmans and Burmese may also have contributed to the Ragdoll’s development.
The breed became registered in 1971 and there were strict restrictions on how they were to be bred and sold.
Even today, the number of Ragdoll cats is still fairly small, especially compared to the other cat breeds of the world. Most registries now recognize the breed, including the American Cat Fanciers Association and The International Cat Association. Ragdolls are not outcrossed to any other breeds.
So basically, this cat breed was created by a Persian cat making her way across the neighborhood until she mated with the perfect breed combination to create this “dream’ Ragdoll cat.
How Much Do Ragdoll Cats Weigh?
Females usually weigh between 8 and 15 pounds, whereas males can weigh anywhere from 12 to 20 pounds.
(Actually, now that I think about it…maybe Phoebe just missed her calling being a Ragdoll breed. She’s got the size and personality…but more on that later).
Ragdolls usually go through several growth spurts as they mature. These can continue off and on until the cat is four years old. Until you are sure they have reached their mature size, make sure they always have plenty of food available to fuel their growth.
So here’s your excuse…LET THEM EAT!
The Appearance of a Ragdoll Cat
In terms Ragdoll cats characteristics, they are considered one of the largest cat breeds, domesticated of course.
One other distinctive feature of Ragdoll cats is their blue eyes.
If you have a cat that resembles the Ragdoll breed but their eyes are green, or yellow in color, you do not have a Ragdoll cat.
There are many different types of Ragdoll Cats.
Ragdolls coats can come in six different colors: red, seal, chocolate as well as blue, lilac, and cream.
Ragdoll kittens are born white; they have good color at 8–10 weeks and full color and coat at 3–4 years.
This means that you can have a Ragdoll kitten and not really know what color they will but for years to come.
It’s like a long term surprise to see what the “final” coloration will be. Pretty cool, if you ask me.
>> You may also like: Everything You Need to Know About Norwegian Forest Cats
How To Care For Ragdoll Cats
Ragdolls coats are something that make them unique. They have a moderately long fur with some undercoat, not as much as perhaps a Norwegian Forest Cat. This means that this breed is less likely to mat, but that doesn’t mean they don’t still need brushed and groomed.
I usually recommend combing your cat once or twice a week with a great brush to prevent them from shedding or matting.
When it comes to picking a brush, I have a HUGE recommendation I have to share. There is a brush that I love, not only does it do a great job of getting the excess hair off of the cats, it retracts! That means when you need to clean the brush off, you can just retract the brush.
This brush saves you from having to pull at the hair out of the brush after your are finished brushing. It is by far my favorite brush, but back to Ragdoll cats.
Based on their behavior, Ragdoll cats usually loved to be brushed and the attention that they receive during grooming time. Just make sure you are gentle and don’t accidentally pull their hair, especially if there are mats.
Like with all long-haired cats, you want to make sure their tail remains clean of poop and dirt. In most cases, Ragdoll cats are typically good at cleaning themselves. However, if you notice their coat feeling greasy, give them a bath.
Lastly, you want to make sure you keep their litter box clean at all times. Most cats are pretty particular about their litter boxes, especially Ragdoll cat breeds.
If you have a large family, and are fearful you can’t keep the litter box as clean as it need to be, get a Litter Robot! It is a self-cleaning litter box that notifies you when the litter box is full! (Literally never have to scoop again).
You can read the full review of The Litter Robot Here.
Health Concerns with Ragdoll Cats
Now, the not-so-fun part of the breed descriptions. I always like to include the health concerns that are associated with the breeds so that everyone can be prepared for what COULD happen. Hopefully, none of these ever happen and but I always like to be prepared.
In addition, the biggest health concern that is associated with Ragdolls is the kidney and urinary tract failure.
The other two health issues that tend to follow this breed is inbreeding and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a common heart disease in all cats and is most commonly genetic in cause.
Most of the cause of these health issues is based on the small number of foundational cats.
This leads to genetic issues being passed down from generation to generation. In mutt cat breeds, these issues are usually phased out as other genetics are introduced.
So, like with any purebred breed, health issues tend to be a little higher than in mixed breeds.
How long do Ragdoll Cats live?
Ragdoll cats, along with Siamese, tend to have the lowest survival rate and one of the shortest age span.
The average Ragdoll cats live between 12 to 15 years.
Why Do Ragdoll Cats Go Limp?
Okay, don’t worry, back to the fun part of learning about cat breeds, their personalities.
As I mentioned earlier, the Ragdoll cat is known for having a docile and calm nature.
They are also said to go “limp” when they are being picked up, which makes them easier to carry and handle than many other cat breeds.
In domesticated, indoor cats, this nature is extremely beneficial to their owners.
What is a Ragdoll Cat’s Personality?
Ragdolls are known to be almost ‘dog-like’ in their behavior. Unlike many cats, Ragdolls are notable for collapsing into the arms of anyone who holds them, even if they are cradled on their back, as mentioned above.
Which, in my honest opinion means nothing. But, my thought is if you want a cat that acts like a dog and don’t want to rely on chance, the Ragdoll cat is the way to go.
The word most often used to describe them is docile, but that doesn’t mean they are inactive. Ragdolls often learn to come when called or to retrieve toys that are thrown for them.
With positive reinforcement in the form of praise and food rewards when they do something you like, Ragdolls learn quickly and can pick up tricks as well as good behaviors such as using a scratching post.
However, their sweet nature does not make them the best outdoor or barn cats.
These cats are less likely to protect themselves from predators and can get into great danger if left without proper shelter and care. So, if you are looking for an outdoor cat, DO NOT…I repeat, DO NOT, get a Ragdoll cat. It is not fair to them to be left outside.
I’ve said it before, and I will say it again, personality is somewhat genetic.
However, for the most part, it varies from cat to cat.
One excellent example is these foster kittens we have. They are from the same litter, same breed, same age.
But their personalities could not be more different.
One is sweet and calm and just wanted to be held, where the other one wants to run, jump, play, and is fearless.
So while I like to mention the personalities that are related to the breeds, take that with a grain of salt. You could end up with a very energetic Ragdoll.
Are Ragdoll Cats Good Pets?
Ragdolls cats are great additions to families solely based on their laidback personality. The usually are the breed that will be easiest to play dress-up with, or make them dance on a TikTok video.
Ragdoll cats are also great with other cats as well as adding dogs into the family. You still want to be careful how to introduce a Ragdoll to other cats or dogs and it is important to still pet proof your home when you get a new Ragdoll cat.
Fun Facts About Ragdoll Cats
Let’s wrap up this section with something that I know most people will probably skim to.
Fun facts about Ragdoll cats that you may not know.
- Ragdolls can be trained to retrieve toys and enjoy doing so.
- Taylor Swift’s third cat, Benjamin Button, is a ragdoll.
- They all have beautiful blue eyes
- They are all born white and don’t really get their true coat color until between the ages of 3-4.
- Ragdolls are not hypoallergenic, though many like to think they are.
- Ragdoll cats will need a lot of love and attention
Should I Adopt A Ragdoll Cat?
Ragdoll cats are a relatively new breed with many distinctive features.
If you are looking for a sweet, large cat, then this breed could be perfect for you!
If you are looking for an outdoor cat or one that does not need much of your attention, Ragdoll cats are not great for you.
They have an interesting history that makes their current population relatively small and mostly reside in the Unites State and some in the UK.
Like hearing about this cat breed? Check out the other cat breeds below:
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You may want to further your knowledge on Ragdolls. Ragdolls can live far longer than 12-15 years. The life span used to be shorter in the past due to the HCM gene being prevalent, but it’s been weeded out by ethical breeders doing genetic testing. Ragdolls can live 15-20 years now. Also, 2 new colors : cinnamon, and fawn. And the mink/sepia varieties, as well as the Blue Eyed White, and the Solid Ragdoll. Ragdolls are also not that rare, CFA has had more Ragdoll registrations than any other breed. Other than that, your info was pretty accurate.
Thank you for adding to this!
I don?t even know how I ended up here, but I
thought this post was good. I do not know who you are but
certainly you are going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already 😉 Cheers!
My Ragdoll cats will soon be 17 yrs old. I got 2 brother’s they were the only 2 in their litter. But they needed to be 16 weeks before I could get them. So on a trip to my parents my husband and I stopped in to visit he had only seen pics. Then we found one lil girl for his mom. They are so great.
Sadly, 2021 May 17th one of my boys he had HTC heart condition he was a year old when we found out. All vets said he wouldn’t live long. I tried so hard to help him but he was 15yr and 6 months old. Before he even got sick my mother in law had dementia and I took her in, so it was a little adjustment but she is still with me and my other boy is still grieving as much as I am over his brother dying. By this time I was divorced, anyway I can’t stop myself from missing my sweet boy and his brother will be 17 Dec 28 and the girl is their 1st cousin she was born a week later. I have to say I’m glad I got her back. She was forgetting to feed her and give her water. She’s a trooper. I was scared she wouldn’t make it she is smaller but some girls are. My boy was 23lbs until his brother passed last year. He’s lost about 3-5 lbs. They eat good and indoor only. Also they travel really well on vacations trips to my parents. We could say I’m an overprotective cat mom. Oh only travel in crates.
Enjoyed your article. Saw it accidentally but it helps seeing others Ragdolls. At 21 human years my Ragdoll passed away in his sleep a week or so before Christmas and I miss him greatly but am also grateful for the decision I had to make that allowed me to have months of extra time with him. He had a tumor on his leg and the decision was between putting him to sleep or surgery which at 20 unlikely to survive. He was alert and didn’t seem sick I made my decision. He was out of character for a Ragdoll as he did not like to be picked up and wasn’t as affectionate as characterized. But definitely my cat. It makes me smile when I member the vets face after his surgery. So surprised by his survival. He was my designated companion and since my husbands death I talked to him a lot. Thanks for the article.
I have two amazing rag dolls that are 4 yrs. Siblings brother & sister. They do act like dogs. Mine don’t collapse.in my arms but flop on the floor in front of me. Another is rag doll get very attached to one human. I am followed by both of them. They like my bf but I am there’s