Are you interested in getting a Ragdoll breed of cat? Then you found the right place to learn more about what there is to know about this very loveable breed. In this article I am going to tell you about their origins, appearance, personality, healthcare and grooming, and more interesting facts about this adorable breed.
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The Ragdoll is a relatively young breed, having come to existence sometime in the 1960s. A breeder named Ann Baker who was from Riverside, California developed this breed with a domestic longhair named Josephine and other longhaired cats within the vicinity of Baker’s home. Josephine’s long white coat was dominant enough to conceal a seal mitted or a black tuxedo pattern.
Its ancestors had gentle and placid personalities, were of large sizes, and had beautiful Himalayan-patterned long coats. And thus, the breed began. Their name was taken from the fact that these cats loved to go limp into the arms of any human that picked them up, very much like a ragdoll.
Ann Baker made quite a few strange statements regarding the cats’ development like CIA experiments, alien influence, and human genes being infused into them, but really those were all just claims without any concrete basis. The other breeders seceded from Baker and started the Ragdoll Fanciers Club International, aiming to standardize the breed for it to be recognized by cat registries.
They started registering the breed in 1993 and gained full recognition by 2000. Now, most registries recognize the breed. It’s also not bred with other breeds.
Ragdolls are one of the largest cat breeds, with females weighing up to 4-7 kg (9-15 lbs.), and males from 7-9 kg (15-20 lbs.). They are considered as half or semi long haired cats. Their fur is very soft and silky, with longer ones near their neck and rear, and a long and bushy tail. They have rounded ears which are large and have strong bodies.
It is a kind of pointed cat, which means that their fur is completely white at birth. The first traces of their true color only appear after 10 days, and will not fully develop until the age of 4. The oval, blue eyes of the Ragdoll are there from day one.
They come in a variety of colors, and can be sorted by the original and new breeding. Color aside, this breed is relatively easy to take care of as compared to other long haired cats. Brushing and combing can be done at least twice a week.
Cats belonging to the Ragdoll breed are gentle, docile creatures. As mentioned above, they flop over in the arms of practically anyone who holds them, even children. They are very trusting, so it’s somewhat hard to leave them unsupervised because every stranger is a friend.
This breed love their humans, snuggling with them, following them around, joining in family activities, and more. You can even get them to learn tricks as they are surprisingly good at learning new things. They’re not even that vocal, and even their meow is gentle and sweet.
They have really nice manners, and love to stay on the same level as their humans, unlike most cats. One might even say that this cat breed has the temperament of dogs.
Health & Grooming
There are certain health problems that this breed may face, and the cause can possibly be genetic. These include: hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a heart disease that comes from a genetic mutation. You can have your cat’s DNA tested to see if they have inherited this disease. Also included are a risk of calcium oxalate bladder stones and FIP (feline infectious peritonitis).
Ragdolls have to get used to being groomed from a very young age. Since they’re pretty laid back, it won’t be a problem as long as you’ve conditioned them early on. In fact, they will love the attention.
To clip their nails, make sure that your cat is absolutely still, then take one paw and press on the pad of their foot to extend their claws. Cut the nail between the pink tissue within the nail and the tip. Keep your nail clippers in a vertical position to avoid splintering your cat’s claws.
Apart from regularly clipping their nails, you have to comb out their long fur to remove dead hair and prevent them from getting hairballs. You will need a wide-toothed comb and a slicker brush, and using these two brushes, comb your cat’s fur once a week.
If you don’t do this, their fur will get matted. The areas you should really focus on are the armpits, behind the ears, and the neck. Matted fur is harder to comb out and will hurt your feline friend. They may not like the experience and it could make it harder for you to groom them again in the future.
Interesting Facts To Know
The breed comes in a variety of coats, but generally they have a light colored body with a dark face, legs, tail, and ears. There are different colors like lilac, seal, chocolate, cream, blue, or red. They also come in four patterns: mitted, van, bicolor, and colorpoint. These specifics may matter more to breeders and those interested in putting their cat in the spotlight, but all Ragdolls share the same laid back personality.
They love any form of water, but are exceptionally privy to the sound of running water. Their curiosity is piqued when they hear this sound and they would most likely come running to investigate.
Algonquin Hotel Cat
There is a historic hotel in New York City named the Algonquin Hotel. This hotel has had 10 resident cats ever since the 1930s. The current reigning cat of this hotel is… you guessed it, a Ragdoll named Matilda.
It is the best type of kitty if you want a snuggler. Most cats are independent and prefer exploring by themselves. They even get into mischief and sometimes act as if they are the boss. They aren’t like this. They prefer to stay close to their humans and love cuddling and snuggling with them.
If you’re worried about it getting along well with your family, don’t worry. They do well with humans of all ages, cats, and even cat-friendly dogs. As I mentioned before, they have the temperament of a gentle puppy. You can even get them to play fetch if you teach them right.
Ragdolls are just one of the mixed breed cats that you can choose from when picking the right kitty for your household. But they really are one of the best cats to have around, even in a home with other pets and young children in it. While they’re a relatively young breed, that doesn’t mean that they are any less adorable than the other cat breeds out there.