June 11

Ragdoll Cat – The Gentle Giant

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This website is littered with photos of my Ragdoll cat, Dyson. As I often get asked about this breed I thought I would compile this post about some Ragdoll Cat information. You can then decide if a ragdoll will fit into your family.

About the Ragdoll Cat

Ragdoll Cat Information - Blue EyesAs you might have noticed large bright blue eyes are a trait of this breed. Ragdoll cats also have a very silky medium to longhaired coat and beautiful soft “smiley” faces. They are extremely affectionate cats and love to be around people – in fact they will follow you about like a dog and to be honest Dyson has been the most dog-like cat that I have ever lived with.

They get their name from their ability to go limp and flop when picked up. But not all ragdolls will go completely limp. This is though usually a sign of complete trust and how happy they are to be held and picked up.

Due to this floppiness and their extremely soft and silky coats people often think that ragdolls are fragile cats. This is very far from the truth. Ragdolls are one of the largest of the cat breeds with females reaching about 10-15 lbs in weight whilst males are much bigger and will range in size from 12-20 lbs. Definitely a gentle giant. They are also very muscular – feel underneath the ragdoll’s fur and you have a very firm body.

History

The ragdoll is a pretty young cat in breeder terms after having been bred in the US in the 1960s by Ann Baker who mated an angora like female with a Birman or Burmese. Subsequently she also mated with a Persian like male. The Birman male was then mated with the female offspring producing the ragdoll. The breed was then introduced into the UK in the early 1980s.

Physical Looks

Apart from the muscular bodies and long silky fur which is rather distinctive, the ragdoll has a ruff that goes between the front legs like a Persian and does get thicker during the winter. They also have very fluffy hind legs and a long tail which is covered in long fur. The ragdoll also comes in four different fur patterns:

  • Pointed – This is when there is one color which is on the cat’s extremities, nose, tail, ears and paws. Dyson is an example of a color point ragdoll and she has a deep brownish/gray coloration to her legs and paws, her entire tail, her face and ears. The rest of her body is a soft beige.
  • Mitted – This is almost the same as pointed but the ragdoll has white paws and abdomen (almost like wearing mittens).
  • Bicolor – The ragdoll has a distinctive white V on its face and white legs. They will also have a white abdomen.
  • Lynx – this is a tabby looking version of the bicolor.
A Blue BiColor Ragdoll
A Blue BiColor Ragdoll

There are very few color options for ragdolls, for example you will never see a pedigree black ragdoll. The colors you will see are:

  • Seal – dark brown which has a sooty dark gray/black look to it – this is Dyson’s coloration.
  • Blue (a lovely soft dark blue-grey color) which is a dilute color of seal.
  • Chocolate – This is a lovely deep chocolate brown.
  • Lilac – This is a dilute of chocolate and is a much lighter blue gray with a pinkish tinge.
  • Red – This is also sometimes called Flame and is a delicate red/ginger color.
  • Cream – This is a red dilute and is a very very light shade of the red.

Ragdoll Kittens

If you have ever seen a ragdoll kitten then you would wonder if you have seen the right color as ragdolls are all born completely white. By 10 weeks of age they might just have small pinpoints of color on their fur. This means that it can be difficult especially with the Red and Cream varieties to tell exactly what color the ragdoll will become. Their full color maturity is not reached until about 3 or 4 years of age.

Blue Colorpoint Kittens
Blue Colorpoint Kittens

As the color points mature so does the rest of the ragdoll’s fur – when they are born they are completely white but their other fur then becomes beige or darker cream. Some such as the chocolate point have very cream colored fur whilst seal color points become quite beige in coloration.

Ragdoll Cat Information on Personality.

Ragdolls are extremely intelligent and affectionate. As previously said they will follow their owner round the house and almost have dog-like traits. They are very gentle cats and are extremely laid back – they are definitely one of the most chilled out cat breeds.

Because of their easy going attitude, ragdolls are much better at being an indoor cat only (or outdoors with supervison). They are definitely not road savvy and are very trusting so will follow almost anyone.

Due to their extreme intelligence they do need to be kept entertained and they don’t like being left alone for long periods. This is why if you are out at work all day people are advised to get two cats so that they keep each other company. But a ragdoll will be happy with all sorts of company, not just another ragdoll, and they will get on with dogs (hopefully the dog will get on with them).

So is a Ragdoll cat for you?

Well a ragdoll will fit into most homes, but as said they prefer companionship so if you are out all day then think about getting them a companion. They are very loving and enjoy being brushed and groomed. Furthermore, they are perfectly happy being indoor cats only. If you want more information about indoor cats then I have written a post here about keeping indoor cats entertained.

Health wise ragdolls can be susceptible to Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) which is a hereditary heart defect but most breeders have their cats tested negative for this before breeding. Therefore when getting a ragdoll kitten please check that the parents are negative for HCM.

If you already have a ragdoll then drop us a comment below (I love meeting other ragdoll cat lovers) or if you want to ask a question. If you want some more information about this great breed then have a look at the following informative books (and they have some very nice ragdoll pictures):

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  1. I am not a rag doll owner but the information you have given in this article certainly whets my appetite for owning one. I imagine as they are a pedigree breed of cat they are expensive to buy so they may be in excess of my budget to buy!

    Nice to know you have a cat that loves to cuddle up with you. In contrast Oscar our outdoor loving ginger tom cat is definitely not a lap cat and only shows signs of affection by rubbing against one’s legs just prior to his mealtime and that mode of touching is only a ‘hurry up call’ for me!

    Jim

    Reply

    1. Hi thanks very much for stopping by.
      Ragdolls are great cats but yes they are expensive to buy (I am currently thinking of getting another kitten as a companion and playmate for Dyson). They are very affectionate. Oh Oscar sounds lovely though – I used to have a ginger female and I still have a big soft spot for gingers

      Reply

  2. Gorgeous! I love cats and used to have Russian Blues which have short silky coats. Does the long fur of the Ragdoll take a lot of grooming and care to avoid a build up of matted clumps? Or are they not too high maintenance? Thanks. Love the name Dyson – guess it reflects a tendency to ‘hoover’ up food?

    Reply

    1. thank you – Russian blues are rather beautiful looking cats too. I find that because the fur is pretty silky that it does not take too much time to groom. The only part I find in Dyson that matts is her chest area and then it is just a small piece. You are right completely with the name Dyson – she hoovers up food and is able to go under furniture (or she did whilst a kitten

      Reply

  3. I absolutely adore these cats, they are so beautiful! The kittens too ..gorgeous! I have tabby cats and was considering a pedigree one day so wanted to find out the facts about different ones. Interesting that you say they prefer companionship- something I’d have to take into account too. Thanks!

    Reply

    1. thanks so much for commenting . I agree they are beautiful and they also have beautiful personalities and temperaments. For companionship if they can’t have a human they are happy with another cat and dare I say it even dog

      Reply

  4. Oh my
    You almost sold these kind of cats to me
    I felt like owning one
    Your writing was so inspiring
    I have a cat, dont know what they are called
    And she is an ordinary cat
    But very loving
    Enjoys sitting in my lap in the evenings
    Like to go outdoors
    But i make sure she is in at bedtime
    Follows me around when she wants too
    But she keeps herself entertained most of the time
    Does not mind to be left alone while we r at work as she has acess to go out and come back as she wishes
    I would love to be In her spot (lol)
    Enjoyed your website
    Just joined WA
    I wonder how people”s website look like
    And how they make money!
    So if you dont mind
    I wanted to ask if this is your main web site?
    And are you able to sell anything from here?
    I noticed some books about cats from amazon
    Is that the only thing you are advertising
    Or i missed other things!?
    Thank you

    Reply

    1. Hi Afsaneh
      Thank you for you comment – your cat sounds great. All cats are pretty great whether they are pedigree or not. Thank you for the nice comments about my website. Most of my reviews have links to the products that I have tried and liked (or not rated so highly)

      Reply

  5. I thoroughly enjoyed your article on the Ragdoll Cat. Looking at the pictures of these gorgeous kitties made me want to hold one.

    I live in a house full of kitties, all rescues, and all borderline alley cats. I used to think they kept me sane, but now I realize that they just didn’t say anything as I slipped off the deep end.

    Reply

    1. ha ha this did make me chuckle. I know ragdolls are just very cuddly. And so placid and laid back as well. Anyone wanting a pedigree cat will not go wrong with a ragdoll

      Reply

  6. First of all, Dyson is a real cutie!

    Presently, I have a flame point Siamese. I believe Siamese have basically the same point colors as the Ragdoll. I’m actually looking for a companion for my Siamese and I think a Ragdoll would make a great companion. I’d like to get a flame point Ragdoll. How hard are they to find?

    Reply

    1. flame color points are pretty tricky to find. One reason is because the color of a ragdoll develops over around 2 years. Therefore a flame and a cream can look almost the same color when kittens. I got a blue color point last year and she is still generating her colors even though she is a year old

      Reply

  7. Our kitties look exactly the same! Thank you for all the knowledge! I came across my beautiful baby 3 years ago, his name is Franklin and have been in love with him ever since! I don’t believe him to be a full bread rag doll as he was a stray, but he matches most of the descriptions

    Reply

    1. Sadly I lost the kitty in the photos about a month ago (she was called Dyson)… She had major surgery last year and we thought that the issue was resolved but it came back. I hope you and Franklin will have a lot of fun together as all cats are really rather wonderful

      Reply

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