A Ragdoll cat can have you falling into the depths of its glowing, sapphire eyes. It is a large and muscular semi-longhair cat breed that is best known to be docile and has an affectionate nature. This cat breed is popular both in the United Kingdom and its native United States. They are often known as “dog-like cats” or “puppy-like cats” because of their behaviors such as following people around and being easy to be handled physically. If you want to know more about the Ragdoll cat breed, then read on and we will tell you about its history and characteristics.
In the 1960’s, Josephine, a regular, non-pedigreed, light-grey, domestic longhaired cat, produced several litters of typical cats. She was a Persian type of cat and her litters were sired by different unknown male Birman or Burmese-like cats and one had the Siamese point coloration.
Later on, Josephine produced kittens with a docile, placid temperament that are affectionate in nature and have a tendency to go limp and relaxed when handled. Her subsequent litters produced more of the same kittens. Ann Baker, neighbor of Josephine’s owner, then purchased several kittens because she believed that they had something special. She set out to create what is now known as the Ragdoll.
For many years, the breed was selectively bred to achieve desirable traits such as gentle demeanor, large size, pointed coloration, and a tendency to go limp when picked up. Out of all the early litters that were produced, Blackie came, which was an all-black Burmese-like male, and Daddy Warbucks which was a seal point with white feet. Daddy Warbucks then sired the founding bi-color female named Fugianna. Blackie on the other hand, sired Buckwheat which was a dark brown Burmese-like female. Fugianna and Buckwheat were both daughters of Josephine. All of the Ragdolls came from Baker’s cats through mating from Daddy Warbucks to Fugianna and Buckwheat.
Ann Baker trademarked the name Ragdoll and she set up her own registry which was the International Ragdoll Cat Association in 1971. She enforced strict standards on anyone who wanted to breed or sell cats under the Ragdoll name. Also, Ragdoll cats were not allowed to be registered in other breed associations. In the present time, the IRCA still exists but it is quite small, particularly since Ann Baker died in 1997.
Since the spread of the Ragdoll cat breed in the United States, a breeding pair of Ragdolls was sent to the United Kingdom. Then, they were followed by eight more cats to fully establish the Ragdoll breed in the UK. There, it was recognized by the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy.
Other people had begun breeding Ragdolls as well and they broke away from Baker. In 1993, they formed the Ragdoll Fanciers Club International with the goal of standardizing the breed and achieving recognition through registering the cats. In 2000, the Ragdoll was given full recognition. Today, the RFCI is the largest international Ragdoll breed club.
Characteristics of a Ragdoll Cat
Average weight: 10 – 20 pounds
Life Span: 12 – 17 years
The Ragdoll is a large cat breed, in fact, it is one of the largest domesticated cat breeds. Females can weigh from 10 to 15 pounds while males can weigh up to or even more than 20 pounds. They have sturdy bodies, large frames, and proportionate legs. They have distinctive blue eyes because of the genes for point coloration.
Ragdolls come in six different colors which are chocolate, red, seal, blue, lilac, and cream. They are born white and when they reach 8 to 10 weeks, they will have good color, and full color and coat at 3 to 4 years. They have a silky coat that is moderately long but short on the face and blossoms around the neck and then shortened again on the shoulder blades, then lengthens toward the tail.
Ragdolls are known for collapsing into the arms of anyone that will hold them even if they are cradled on their back. They also love people and they will greet your visitors at the door and follow them around the house. They also love to leap into a lap or snuggle in bed if given the chance. Just like puppies and dogs, Ragdolls often learn to come when called or to retrieve toys that are thrown for them.
A lot of people describes them as docile but that does not mean they are inactive because they also love to play with toys and join family activities. A Ragdoll has a small and sweet voice that will remind you of mealtime or ask for petting, but they are not excessively vocal. They have nice manners, making it easy to live with them. They are perfectly suited for homes with children and with cat-friendly dogs as well because of their friendly disposition.
Caring for a Ragdoll Cat
Ragdolls have a moderately long fur and a little undercoat, meaning, it is less likely to mat and shed. But they also need grooming such as combing them twice a week using a stainless steel comb. This will help remove dead hair that can cause tangles. Remember to include the fur on the legs when combing them because that is where mats are most likely to occur. After combing them with a stainless steel comb, smoothen their fur using a rubber curry brush. You can bathe them as needed, which can range from every few weeks to every few months.
Remember to brush your Ragdoll’s teeth every day to avoid periodontal disease. Trim their nails every two weeks. Also, keep them indoors to protect them from attacks by dogs and other animals outside, and from being hit by a car as well.
Since Ragdolls are one of the largest breeds of domestic cats, it’s important to feed them foods that are rich in fatty acids and Omega 3s to reduce swelling and prevent joint pains. These can also help them maintain a healthy heart because Ragdolls can have a genetic predisposition to develop heart issues. You can visit a vet to get advice about the kinds of food and amount you should give to your Ragdoll cat.
The Ragdoll cat is indeed a lovely and enchanting pet. If you’re looking for a quiet and laid-back cat to accompany you at home or travel with you in an RV, then the people-loving Ragdoll cat might be the perfect choice for you.