What is a Ragdoll Cat? As of 2018, according to the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA), the Ragdoll is the most popular breed of domestic cat. Ailurophiles (more commonly called cat lovers) know that this breed is called Ragdoll because the kitty tends to go limp in a human’s arms when picked up. One of the largest breeds of domesticated kitties, the Ragdoll is quite a special one, indeed. Here, we will discuss some of the traits that make the Ragdoll so unique!
Size of Ragdoll Cats
The Ragdoll Cat is one of the largest of all domestic cat breeds. It is a muscular, well-balanced cat, with males tending to weigh from 15 up to 20 lbs. by adulthood, while females typically are 10 to 15 lbs. They may also be as long as 21 inches (and that’s not even including their tail!) Adulthood or full-grown size is usually reached by three to four years of age.
Colors and Patterns in Ragdoll Fur
The semi-long hair of a Ragdoll Cat creates a soft, silky coat of fur. Ragdoll fur coats do not typically mat like other longer haired kitties tend to do. Because of this, they require less frequent grooming than many other long-haired cats.
Regardless of the color they end up as adults, all Ragdoll Cats are born white. After birth, in the first few days, their fur starts to take on a color as pigment develops. It can take up to two years for a Ragdoll’s color pattern to fully develop. There are six primary colors in Ragdoll fur: blue, chocolate, seal, lilac, cream, and red (often referred to as flame). Newer colors for Ragdolls include mink, solid and black (which has not yet been accepted by The International Cat Association as a Ragdoll color).
You will find four main patterns in Ragdoll fur: colorpoint, mitted, van and bi-color. They may display solid, lynx, tortie or torbie (tortie mixed with lynx) pattern points as well.
Eye Colors of Ragdoll Cats
Most Ragdoll Cats have blue eyes, which is considered standard for this breed. There are some exceptions, but odds are, your Ragdoll Cat will have blue eyes.
Personality Traits of Ragdoll Cats
The Ragdoll is known for being a sweet, laid-back, intelligent cat with a great personality. They like nothing more than to curl up in your lap. The Ragdoll is one of the most affectionate cat breeds you can own, and is good with children and families. It has been described as “dog-like” as its affection resembles that of a canine. Some Ragdoll cats have been seen playing fetch with their humans, but typically, the Ragdoll is not a high-energy cat. The Ragdoll often trills and chirps in lieu of meowing, but is still considered quiet in comparison with other breeds. It is a happy, friendly, contented indoor cat. (The Ragdoll should never be left alone to roam outside, as its docile temperament means that it lacks the fighting instincts of other cats and cannot defend itself against outdoor predators).
Origination of the Ragdoll Breed
In the 1960s, breeder Ann Baker of Riverside, California developed the Ragdoll breed. She bred a domesticated longhaired white female, Josephine, a free-roaming Angora-type cat she found running around her neighborhood, with another cat she had, a Seal Point Birman. One of the male offspring that was produced was bred with a Burmese, creating the Ragdoll. This cat had a temperament she particularly loved. She further enhanced the breed by selecting individual cats that had the look and temperament she desired in offspring, ultimately creating the Ragdoll cat.
Why do Ragdolls go limp? One story (yet to be validated) says that Josephine had been hit by a car before she was used to create the Ragdoll. After her treatment for her injuries, she became docile, going limp like a rag doll when she was picked up, and seemed immune to pain. Baker claimed that Josephine’s genes were altered through her treatment for her injuries (and that the government performed experiments on her in the lab, which is a controversial claim that has never been proven).
How Much Do Ragdolls Cost?
Ragdolls are a purebred breed that is in high demand. According to the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA), pricing of the Ragdoll depends on a number of factors, including type, markings, and bloodlines (such as Grand Champion, National Regional winning parentage or Distinguished Merit parentage). Prices for Ragdoll Cats can range from $400 to $1100.
You can also seek out a Ragdoll cat rescue or may potentially find a Ragdoll at your local shelter if you’d rather not pay the exorbitant prices for purebred Ragdolls.
Diseases and Health Issues Commonly Found Among Ragdolls
If you own a Ragdoll, you can expect it to live from 12 to 17 years (some have lived as long as 20 years). It is known to be a fairly healthy breed – unless, that is, it comes down with one of the diseases or health conditions to which Ragdolls seem to be prone, such as:
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (inherited heart disease)
- Obesity (tendency to become fat – make sure to keep an eye on your Raggie’s diet)
- Urinary tract issues (especially bladder stones)
- Hairballs (due to their longer fur)
Fun Facts About Ragdolls
- One interesting fact about Ragdoll fur: they do not have an undercoat. Unfortunately, they are still shedders and are not hypoallergenic. Some people who are allergic to cats do well with Ragdolls due to the lack of undercoat.
- Contrary to popular belief, Ragdolls are not all deaf. This misconception comes from the fact that they have blue eyes, and that deafness is more popular in pure white kitties with blue eyes.
- Ragdoll Cats do feel pain (despite what Baker claims was originally done to Josephine’s genes in the lab). They may not howl or vocalize when they are in pain, however, so owners need to be vigilant in noticing differences in behavior that could indicate your Raggie is in pain.
Famous Ragdoll Cats
- In 1999, a Ragdoll Cat with two faces, called a Janus cat, was born. He was named Frank and Louie (or Frankenlouie) and had two eyes, two noses and two mouths. He had a condition known as diprosopia and wasn’t expected to live long, but lived for 15 years and holds the Guinness Book record as the longest-living Janus cat.
- Singer Taylor Swift has a Ragdoll named Benjamin Button.
- Musician Lisa of the South Korean girl group Blackpink owns two Ragdolls- Lily and Luca.
- The former mascot of the Algonquin Hotel in New York City, Matilda III, is a Ragdoll.
- The late Grumpy Cat wasn’t a purebred Ragdoll, but had some Ragdoll in her according to her owners.