The emergence of the Ragdoll
The Ragdoll was first bred in the 1960s. A lady named Ann Baker from California fell in love with the character of a litter of very gentle kittens and later crossed them with an Angora male. The result of her breeding program became an extraordinary new breed of cat: the Ragdoll. Big cats with beautiful blue eyes and a half-long and silky coat.
Where does the name Ragdoll come from?
Ann named the breed Ragdoll (Dutch: lappenpop) because of its character. Because as soon as you take a cat of this breed in your arms it immediately relaxes, just like a rag doll. So these cats love to be picked up and cuddled.
The appearance of a Ragdoll
Ragdolls are large and muscular cats. Males are at their full weight around their third year of life and weigh between five and ten kilo. Females stay smaller, they weigh about three to six kilo. The tail of these cats is long and fluffy. Just like their coat, which is half long and wonderfully soft.
The coat of a Ragdoll
Ragdolls have many different colors, designs and patterns. Nice to know: a Ragdoll kitten is born completely white. The coat only gets color after two to three weeks and only when the cat is fully grown – around his 3rd year of life – the coat color is complete and finished. And then this cat is really beautiful!
The Ragdoll is bred in these colors
Blue – steel blue, with grey ‘pads’ on the feet
Chocolate – beautiful chocolate brown
Seal – dark brown with black points (mask, ears, legs and tail)
Red – red points tortie (red tortoiseshell pattern) in females
Cream – like Red, but lighter in color
Lilac – light steel blue with purplish glow
And with these patterns
Colourpoint – the coat on most of the body is light, usually cream colored. So is the chest. The mask (head), ears, tail and paws are colored. Ragdolls with this pattern do not have a true white coat anywhere.
Mitted – The legs of these Ragdolls are colored and look like gauntlets. And also the points are colored. You can distinguish a Mitted Ragdoll from a Colorpoint because the front legs have white gauntlets and the back legs have white boots. And from their chin to where the tail starts runs a beautiful white stripe. A white blaze on the nose also occurs.
Bi-colour – these Ragdolls have an inverted white V on their head that runs from their forehead past the outer corners of their eyes through their cheeks to their chin. The mask on their face is colored, as are the tail and ears. Their front legs are white to their elbows and their back legs white to the line where their tail begins. The back is usually a shade lighter than the points. Extra sweet on these: the foot pads and nose are pink.
The character of the Ragdoll
Ragdolls are ideal roommates, because they are social and get along well with everyone – with their owners, of course, but also with children, other pets and visitors. This is because they are so calm, stable and relaxed. They can handle change and adapt easily.
Ragdolls are fine if they are always kept indoors, as well as in an enclosed garden or on a safe patio. Because they are such beautiful cats, it is better not to leave them outside without supervision. Then anyone can take the cats with them.
This breed is affectionate. You can tell because they follow their owners closely and like to be cuddled and petted. And they remain curious and playful for a long time.
How do you care for a Ragdoll?
The coat of a Ragdoll is half long. You might think that the coat of this breed needs a lot of grooming, but it’s not that bad. A few times a week brushing with a good brush or comb is enough.
With food you have to be a little bit careful. Because this breed has a natural tendency to be a bit fat, the food must be dosed properly. This will prevent overweight.
As mentioned earlier, a Ragdoll is very relaxed. This also means that (s)he is not very active. But, this breed is curious and playful and needs some daily challenge. Therefore, play with this cat every day and make it extra exciting once in a while – vary with different kinds of toys, move scratching posts and make him work for his kibble by hiding it or putting it in an empty egg box.
And furthermore, take care of this cat like any other. Good nutrition, clean litter boxes, enough drinking bowls with fresh water, de-fleaing, worming and chipping are always important. And their teeth and overall health should be checked at the vet at least once a year.
And you’ll also need a cat tree that is suitable for Ragdolls. These cats are much larger and heavier than other breeds, so need a scratching post that is stable and tall, won’t fall over and is made of sturdy materials.
Diseases and disorders
Any cat can get sick and so can a Ragdoll. This breed is extra sensitive to cystitis and bladder infections. So always keep a close eye on his urination behavior. You must also be extra alert for serious hereditary diseases. Kidney failure due to cystitis (PKD) and heart failure (HCM) occur more often in Ragdolls. So are basal cell and mast cell tumors. So check your cat’s skin regularly.
How old does a Ragdoll become?
Ragdolls have a long life – they can live up to twelve to seventeen years! Super cute of course, but something to keep in mind when you buy this breed of cat. That cute kitten will eventually become a big cat that needs good care. And above all: lots of love and attention.
Buying a Ragdoll
If you want a pedigree cat, you should of course buy it from a good cattery or a recognized breeder. And never on Marktplaats/Ebay or at a breeder. They often exploit the mother cats and do not take good care of the animals – these people only breed for the money and not out of love for the breed. The kittens that come from there are often not healthy. Do you want a Ragdoll with a pedigree? Buy your cat from a breeder who is a member of a breed association. Make sure you inform well in advance where you will buy your new cat!
Petrebels is not a veterinarian or behaviorist: all content, information and tips on this blog are meant to inspire you and are informative in nature. Does your cat have complaints or problems and are you unsure about your cat’s health? Then always go to the vet or a behaviorist.