At first the first glance, Ragdoll cats resemble a cross between a Persian and a Siamese cat, but they are completely unique with their own distinct characteristics. Find out why Americans are so enamored of this adorable feline breed. From their steady and predictable temperaments, to their camaraderie and easy rapport with humans of all ages, it is impossible to find anything negative to say about the Ragdoll cat.
Facts About Ragdoll Cats
- Though there are few details known about how the Ragdoll came to be, this breed originated in Riverside California, in the 1960’ A fully white street cat was found by a Persian breeder named Ann Baker, who took her in and named the cat Josephine. When Josephine gave birth to a litter sired by a Birman tom cat, Baker noticed that the kitties were more docile, gentle and calmer than the uppity Persians she was used to raising. This piqued her interest, and Baker began breeding more of these cats to develop this new breed.
- In 1971, long after Josephine had passed away, Baker created the name “Ragdoll” for her breed, because of their comfort with being held, and going limp when picked up. Baker set up a cat registry for the Ragdoll breed, which was eventually recognized by the Cat Fancier’s Association. Currently, the biggest Ragdoll club is the Ragdoll Fancier’s Club International.
- As one might imagine, Ragdolls are very cuddly, and do not have issues with personal space. They are even known to sleep stacked up on each other, or in a large pile of their sisters and brothers. One of their most distinguishable features, is their instinct to lay as relaxed as a rag doll whenever they are picked up. With a species that is known for enjoying independence, and not always wishing to be held, this is a unique and valuable trait for a cat.
- Ragdolls not only rank as one of the most popular cat breeds in the United States, but they are also considered one of the friendliest cats money can buy. They are great with children, and even get along well with other cats and some dog breeds. (Provided the pups don’t take advantage of their doll-like mannerism and easy-going natures, by biting them or dragging them around!)
- While many breeds are curious explorers who are likely to get into mischief, the Ragdoll would much rather trot along your side, or cuddle up with you on the couch, rather than climb up on your bookshelf to take a swing at the potted plant.
- The only thing that might tempt a Ragdoll from your lap, is if there is a dripping faucet or running water. They are interested in the way water moves, meaning that they might even try to join you for a shower if you let them!
- Like their Persian and Birman ancestors, Ragdolls tend to be cream/white colored with brown or black tips on their ears, faces, boots, and tail tips. However, this breed can actually come in 6 colors including: red, seal, chocolate, cream, clue and lilac. Even the traditional coloring of Ragdolls (white and cream), can also come in bi-color coats, mitted, van or print patterns.
- These cats are one of the larger breeds, averaging between 15-20 lbs for males and 10-15 lbs for females. While the Ragdoll does have a long coat, the thin fur does not easily get matted, nor does it shed as much as course-hair breeds.
- This nap-lovers enjoy being with their owner, and are very loyal pets. Almost dog-like, these cats will play with their owners for lengthy stints, entertaining them with their humor and their enthusiastic efforts with toys.
- Unfortunately, a Ragdoll’s health issues (which often include kidney and ureter diseases), mean the breed has a lower life expectancy than others. This could also be due to a fair amount of in-breeding, since nearly every Ragdoll cat can trace its roots back to Ann Baker’s pet Josephine. While some felines can live up to 16-20 years, only about 63% of these silky beauties live beyond 10 years or more.
Myth: Some people believe that Ragdolls are impervious to pain, simply because they don’t howl, scratch or retaliate as often as other cat breeds do. This however is not the case; these cats needs to be treated with the utmost care and gentleness.