The Ragdoll originated during the 1960’s when Ann Baker bred a cat called Josephine, a domestic, longhaired, white female in California to a black and white male cat. The offspring from Josephine had fantastic temperaments, and were sweet and people-oriented. The Ragdoll breed comes from free-roaming cats that Ann bred Josephine to. This breed is known for becoming heavy like a ragdoll when picked up. It is a favorite among all family members throughout the world.
Ann Baker, an American cat breeder chose certain cats with the temperament, look, and criteria that she was looking for, and bred them. The kittens were a black male, a bicolor sealpoint female, and a plain brown longhaired male. These kittens resulted in the wonderful Ragdoll cat breed. The International Ragdoll Cat Association (IRCA) ca. was set up in 1971.
Ragdolls at that time were not allowed to be registered elsewhere. By 1975, Denny and Laura Dayton bred two IRCA cats, resulting in the standard Ragdoll cat breed today. By 2005, the Ragdoll trademark had expired, and other offshoot groups were able to name their cats “Ragdolls.” Today the Ragdoll cat breed is recognized by the Cat Fancier’s Association, the American Cat Association, and the International Cat Association. It is one of the most popular cat breeds worldwide, and ranks right after the Bengal in popularity. The largest Ragdoll cat breed club is called the Ragdoll Fanciers’ Club International(RFCI)
The Ragdoll is a large, heavily boned cat breed with a sturdy and strong body. The legs are in proportion to the body. The back legs have long fur. The coat is thick and soft with long guard hairs. There is no thick undercoat, and no shedding. They are semi -longhaired cats. This is a pointed breed meaning that the body is lighter in color than the feet, tail, legs, and ears. The eyes are oval-shaped and piercing blue, with the head being medium-sized, and wedge-shaped. The muzzle is slightly rounded. Ears are of medium size, and have rounded tips. Ragdoll kittens are born white. They will get their proper color at around 3 to 4 years. This cat breed matures slowly, gaining its full weight by age 4. The wonderful coat colors are:
- Blue dilutes
- Lilac dilutes
- Cream dilutes
- Lynx variations
- Tortoiseshell variations
There are also several patterns that this cat breed may have. These are:
The Ragdoll is a relaxed and gentle cat breed that enjoys being around people. This breed does best indoors, and does well with apartment or home living. The Ragdoll cat breed enjoys hanging out next to you by your computer or on the couch. The Ragdoll prefers a quiet environment that is environmentally stimulating. Cat toys are a preference for this very intelligent cat breed that loves to play or go for a walk on a cat leash.
Ragdoll kittens are not over active, and tend to be more playful than hyperactive. The Ragdoll needs to be in a safe, cat friendly environment that is beneficial to its temperament. This wonderfully gentle cat breed does well with adoring cat parents, and should not be around aggressive dogs or rambunctious children, since they tend to enjoy a peaceful environment. This breed can be taught to bring back cat toys when called. Leash walking is also popular with the Ragdoll. This cat breed is easy to live with, as they are not overly vocal or quirky. Positive clicker training with rewards works best with the Ragdoll to prevent excessive scratching in the wrong places. This breed learns quickly, and is wonderful to live with. Providing your cat with scratching posts, clean litter boxes, stimulating and safe cat toys, help to ensure a well-balanced and happy Ragdoll!
The Ragdoll does best as an indoor cat. This cat breed thrives on affection, and plenty of cat toys. The Ragdoll is a gentle cat that loves to cuddle, and is non-aggressive with other cats. Eye tearing may be a problem with this cat breed. Sedentary Ragdolls tend to pick up weight, and are prone to more medical conditions, like liver disease. Daily grooming needs to be a priority with this cat breed.
Exercising cats is more difficult than with dogs, yet cat parents can do so by purchasing certain cats toys to promote exercise. Litter box training needs to start during kittenhood. All cats are super clean animals, so it is very easy to litter box train. Litter boxes for the Ragdoll need to be kept clean, or your cat may not use it. All cats will need parasite control and routine health care throughout its life. This means vaccinating your cats. This is an important part of keeping your cats healthy throughout their lives. Your Ragdoll will also need to be spayed or neutered. Consult with your veterinarian, and always consider veterinary health insurance for your Ragdoll.
Possible Health Concerns
The Ragdoll is a healthy and moderately active cat breed that may be susceptible to the following health conditions:
- Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: This is a heart muscle disorder where the heart walls of the left ventricle thicken. This results in the walls becoming stiffer. This is a common primary heart disease in cats. It tends to noticed at around 3 months to 17 years of age. Most cats will be middle aged when this disorder occurs. This disorder tends to affect males more than females, and it is an inherited genetic defect. Symptoms may include difficulty breathing, weakness or paralysis of the hind limbs. Fluid may also accumulate in the lungs, and in the space between the lungs and chest wall. Veterinary treatment will aim at improving cardiac function, and reducing blood clots. There is a good longterm outlook for mildly affected cats. Consult with your veterinarian for advice.
- Calcium Oxalate Bladder Stones: Small amounts of calcium oxalate is always present in a cat’s urine. When presented in high amounts, this will pose a problem. Oxalate bladder stones will generally affect one out of two cats in the same household, though both will be eating the same feed. Genetic predisposition may partially contribute to cats being prone to getting bladder stones, although diet and environmental conditions have been considered important contributing factors as well. Consult with your veterinarian for advice.
- Feline Infectious Peritonitis: This is caused by a virus in cats. Infection results in an infection of the stomach, the liver, and inflammation of the blood vessels(vasculitis). Some symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhea, jaundice, abdominal effusion, and fever. Consult with your veterinarian for advice.
The Ragdoll cat breed needs daily exercise combined with plenty of mental stimulation through active play and interaction with people. Cat parents can use cat toys like the Mousr or Cat Dancer to get their Ragdolls to play. This will encourage your cat to play. Finding a variety of mentally stimulating cat toys will allow for your Ragdoll to lead a well-balanced life, with the right amount of exercise and mental stimulation. Cat harnesses also allow for daily walks.
The Ragdoll is an active cat breed, that rarely displays claws when playing with family members. This cat breed goes limp when picked up. Cat gyms, cat scratchers, and interactive cat toys within a cat friendly home environment work best for this fabulous cat breed.
Look out for the latest cat toys like Ripple rug play mats, the Feather Whirls, pet cube toys, food trees, turbo scratcher toys, cat companion interactive toys, and electronic motion toys. All these and many more will keep your Ragdoll kitty entertained when you’re out and about.
The Ragdoll cat breed will need proper nutrition. That said, a high-quality diet that is appropriate for the specific life stage of the cat is necessary. Protein as an ingredient, needs to come first. Dry cat food is a popular choice because it promotes healthier gums and teeth. Yet wet food is more often recommended by veterinarians because it provides more moisture to cats. Cats don’t drink a lot of water and tend to sometimes get dehydrated. Wet cat food also has its benefits. By choosing a well-known name- brand cat food that has scientific backing, as well as quality control, cat parents can be assured that they are providing a well-balanced diet.
All cat breeds need high- quality fat and protein in their diets. They also need amino acids, including taurine that cannot be found in either human food or dog food. There are also numerous specialty diets for your cat that are formulated specifically for certain medical problems like urinary tract disorder, obesity, or kidney disease.
All cats do well by being fed twice daily. During kittenhood, kittens will need to be fed every few hours. Growing kittens need more calories, nutrients, vitamins, protein. Your Ragdoll should be able to enjoy a peaceful meal in a quiet corner of the house. Some cat parents prefer to leave cat kibble out 24/7. When looking for a high-quality cat food, here’s what to look out for:
- No low-quality fillers
- No artificial additives
- Low grade ingredients or toxic ingredients
- All cat food has to be meat-based because all cats are carnivores
- No garlic
- Plant-based ingredients should be listed after the protein-based ingredients
Consult with your veterinarian for the best dietary advice for your Ragdoll.
The Ragdoll needs daily grooming to remove shedding hair, and to prevent hair from matting. Because this breed has moderately long fur, extra grooming care is required. Stainless steel combs help to remove dead hair. Care must be taken when grooming leg hair and body hair to avoid missing spots that could tangle or mat easily. Curry brushes help with grooming, and will remove dead hair and debris from your Ragdoll’s coat. All cat breeds will groom themselves several times throughout the day. Daily grooming is necessary because it limits the amount of hair that your cat will consume. This helps limit the development of hairballs. Your Ragdoll will enjoy being groomed. Coat hair always looks best during the cold winter months. Cats that have been spayed or neutered will have great coats year- round. This is because hormonal changes in cats affects coat length and thickness.
Cat parents can remove mats by using cat clippers which are safer than using scissors. Daily cleaning with pet wipes beneath the tail is necessary. Ears should be checked weekly for cleanliness and sensitivity. If there is a build-up of wax and dirt, organisms can lead to an ear infection. Consult with your veterinarian about safe and gentle ear cleaning techniques. Nail trimming is necessary every few weeks. Eyes should also be cleaned gently every morning with cotton wool or a soft wipe. Each eye should be cleaned with different wipes or cotton balls to avoid eye infection contamination in both eyes.
Healthy Ragdolls need minimal bathing with a gentle cat shampoo. Your Ragdoll will need dental care as well. By feeding dry food, and having professional dental cleanings with your veterinarian throughout your cat’s lifetime, your Ragdoll will have less of a chance of developing gingivitis or gum disease.
Adopting a Ragdoll
Ragdoll’s are one of the most popular cat breed around the world! With their super sweet personalities, and easy going attitude, adopting a Ragdoll will be extremely rewarding. With so many cats up for adoption, it is the only way to go! There are so many cats in shelters today that desperately need a good home. When choosing your Ragdoll, ask questions, and look for a great temperament! That said, numerous cats can be quirky at shelters, but soon settle down in their new homes, and become very friendly and sociable. In addition, kittens should be playful and curious. Sickly kittens that have bad odors or plenty of diarrhea stains, and a dull coat need to be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible. Kittens when ill, can go downhill very quickly. However, the rewards of adopting a sick animal and caring for it are tremendous, provided that good veterinary care is provided right away. Keep in mind that vaccinations and parasite control are an important part of feline health care. Consider pet health insurance for your Ragdoll. With so many great and affordable pet health plans available today, there’s no reason to avoid keeping your pet covered in case of an emergency.
Your cat will also need to be protected from household hazards, most especially electrical cables, poisonous plants, medication, and open windows. The Ragdoll makes for a wonderful adoption! As usual, make sure that children are always gentle and quiet around the Ragdoll.
Give your cat time to adjust to his new surroundings. As with any cat adoption, make sure that you have the time and resources to take good care of your Ragdoll.