The Ragamuffin is a variant of the Ragdoll cat breed and it was established as a separate breed in 1994. Though these breeds are similar in temperament and appearance, the Ragamuffin is more affectionate and it loves to be cuddled. They are popular because of their friendly personalities and thick, rabbit-like fur. Just like the Ragdoll cat breed, the Ragamuffin will also completely relax into your arms when held like a baby. If you’re interested to know more about the breed, then read on to find out about the history and characteristics of the Ragamuffin cat.
The Ragamuffin cat breed is a crossbreed between the Ragdoll and different other breeds, mostly Persian and Himalayan. During the 1970s Ann Baker decided to trademark the name “Ragdoll” and set up her own registry which was the International Ragdoll Cat Association or IRCA. She imposed strict standards on anyone who wanted to breed and sell cats under the name “Ragdoll”. Aside from that, Ragdolls from the IRCA were not allowed to be registered in other breed associations.
But in 1994, there was a group of breeders that decided to leave IRCA and form their own group because of the increasing restrictions. Since the name Ragdoll was trademarked, the group renamed its stock of IRCA Ragdoll cats to Ragamuffins. The original proposed name was Liebling, but the name Ragamuffin was put forth by one of the group’s founders and it was chosen.
The group aimed to make the breed improve its genetic health, personality, and temperament by our-crossing them to Persians, Himalayans, and as well as to non-pedigreed domestic long-haired cats. Aside from that, they also allowed out-crossing to original Ragdolls.
The United Feline Organization was the first cat association to accept the breed at full show champion status. However, some major cat associations still do not accept the Ragamuffin as a recognized breed because of its close association with the Ragdoll. But it was accepted into the American Cat Fanciers Association. In February 2003, the Cat Fanciers’ Association finally accepted the breed into the Miscellaneous class and in February 2011, they were advanced to the Championship class.
Characteristics of a Ragamuffin
Average weight: 10 – 20 pounds
Life Span: 12 – 16 years
The Ragamuffin is a medium-sized cat that has a thick fur which makes it look larger. Female Ragamuffins can weigh from 10 to 15 pounds while males can weigh up to or even more than 20 pounds. It has medium-sized ears which are set on the sides of the head to continue the triangular look of the face. It has a well-developed chin and oval-shaped blue eyes. Its legs are long and strong. It does not reach its full size until it reaches four years old.
Ragamuffins come in different colors and patterns. They have a color point pattern that has a light body color with contrasting, darker color on the mask, ears, and extremities. There are Bicolor Ragamuffins which exhibits dark points with an inverted V on the forehead with the stomach, all four legs, and the ruff in white. The Mitted Ragamuffin, on the other hand, shows points but has a color pattern where the feet and chin are white.
Their medium-long coats can vary in length from semi-long to long, and they are soft, silky, and plush. It is a bit longer around the neck, on the sides, belly, and on the hind legs. Their paws and ears are also furnished with tufts of fur.
Just like the Ragdoll cat breed, the Ragamuffin is huggable and it loves to follow its people around and sit on their laps. This breed is a combination of sweet and smart because it can learn tricks and it also greets visitors warmly. It also has a docile nature and it likes to be held like a baby where it will completely relax in your arms.
Ragamuffins also like to play but not so much and they are good at limiting their attention to toys and on scratching posts not your furniture at home. They are also calm and even-tempered, making them a great family cat. They will not mind being held or carried by a child or even dressed up and pushed in a baby buggy. Ragamuffins are also friendly toward other pets such as dogs, cats, rodents, birds, and even lizards. Everyone is a friend to this gentle giant.
Caring for a Ragamuffin
Ragamuffins, even though they are gentle cats, they also have a fearless personality that’s why it’s not a good idea to let them go outside. Another reason is that they have no notion that other people or animals might harm them. They might also be as risk of being stolen outdoors.
Ragamuffins have long and soft coats but it they are tangle-resistant that’s why only weekly brushing or combing is needed for you to remove dead hairs and keep their coats looking beautiful. Remember to always keep their litter boxes spotlessly clean to prevent them from getting dirty as well. Also, cats are very particular about bathroom hygiene and they would not use a dirty litter box. Instead, they may use other parts of your home.
You should also brush their teeth daily and trim their nails every two weeks. To clean their eyes and remove any discharge, use a soft, damp cloth. You should also check their ears weekly for dirt and clean them using a soft cloth moistened with a 50-50 mixture of cider vinegar and warm water.
When it comes to food, the nutrition of Ragamuffins should be controlled. They tend to have a fatty pad on the lower abdomen which is acceptable in the breed, but it’s not an excuse for letting them become overweight. Consult your vet about the kinds and amount of food you can give to keep your pet in good condition. Aside from that, they also need interactive exercise to stay in shape, therefore, you should dedicate a period of time playing with them.
The Ragamuffin is indeed another great cat breed. It is a great option for families with kids who are looking for a friendly and low-maintenance kind of pet.