The Ragdoll cat is a domesticated cat breed. Ragdolls cats are large cats with mid-length silky fur. It takes around three years for them to be fully grown and have the distinct colorpoint coat. Ragdolls are fairly quiet, affectionate cats. They are very social and people-oriented, incredibly curious and friendly.

Ragdoll CatCredit: pixabay

History of the Ragdoll Cat

The Ragdoll originated in America in the 1960s. American cat breeder Ann Baker started with a white Angora-like cat. This cat, Josephine, was owned by Ann Bakers neighbor.Josephine had many wild kittens. At one time she was hit by a car, but she survived the accident. After Josephine was hit by the car she was transferred to the local University of California, where her life was saved.

After Josephine was discharged she returned to her home and a short time later she got new kittens. These kittens were different from the litters before the accident. The kittens were noticeably very sweet, very playful and totally relaxed. They were also fond of human attention. Josephine’s owner wanted to give the kittens away. When Ann Baker found out about this behavior, as an experienced cat breeder, she became interested in them and decided to take some kittens from her neighbor. Buckwheat became her first cat.

Ann had borrowed an older son of Josephine to set up a new line in her breeding program. He was a black brown Persian named Blackie. During the visits to the owner of Blackie, she saw his brother, an impressive tom, despite his appearance that would suggest that he was a Birman, but he was not. So Ann borrowed this brother too for her breeding program. Ann called this tom Raggedy Ann Daddy Warbucks, or in short Daddy Warbucks. Both were sons of Joshepine but Ann suspected they had different fathers.

Because it is unknown who the father was of Daddy Warbucks, it is difficult to determine the origin of the Ragdoll cat. Buckwheat, a plain black cat, was a daughter of Blackie and Josephine. It had the appearance of a Burmese cat but with a thick coat. In addition to Buckwheat, Ann got another cat called Raggedy Ann Fugianna. Fugianna was actually a failed bi-color and her father was Daddy Warbucks.

So when Ann owned both Fugianna and Buckwheat and also held the rights of the coverage of Daddy Warbucks, it was inevitable what came next. The basis for the new breed had been laid. Ann realized that the descendants of these three founders were special and she called “her” breed Ragdolls. In 1975 Ann registered the name “Ragdoll” as a trademark.

Appearance of the Breed

A Ragdoll is a hefty cat. The cats of this breed got their name from their tendency to really let themselves go limp in the arms of their owner.

Its fur is medium length, silky and normally doesn’t tangle. Point Ragdoll kittens are born snow white when they grow older the colors slowly become clearer. It takes around three years for them to be fully grown and have the distinct colorpoint fur. Adult males weigh between 5 and 10 kilos, an adult female cat weighs about 3 to 6 kilos.

Ragdolls are a breed of the point cats called Colorpoint. This means that the points like the ears, legs, tail and mask are colored while the rest of the body is in a lighter color. Point Ragdolls have blue eyes.

The colors of the Ragdoll cats are Blue, Chocolate, Crème, Lilac, Red and Seal with the Tortoiseshell coloring pattern. All these colors are also present in the lynx (tabby).

The Ragdoll cats come in three main varieties, namely Colorpoint, Mitted and Bi-color:

  • Colorpoint: Mask, ears, legs and tail are colored. Body color is lighter, cream-colored. The breast is usually lighter than the rest of the body. A Colorpoint should not have any white.
  • Mitted: Mitted means gloved. Mitted cats have colored Points. In addition, they have white socks at the front paws and higher boots on the hind legs. There is a white stripe that runs from the chin to the tail, the so-called belly stripe. Some of them have a white blaze on their noses.
  • Bi-color: the mask is colored, but it contains a reverse, white “V”. The tail and ears are colored. The chin, chest, abdomen and legs are white.

Sepia and mink Ragdolls

The body (head, legs, tail) of mink Ragdolls are similar to that of the point Ragdolls, however, their coat is darker and warmer in color when compared with point Ragdolls. The ideal eye color is aqua-like, ranging from light to a darker aqua, but blue eyes can occur. The genes responsible for the mink are a point gene (cs) in combination with a sepia gene (cb).

The appearance of sepia Ragdoll cats are also similar to that of the point Ragdolls. The difference between the points and the coat color is minimal, but still present. The ideal eye color is yellowish, but aqua or blue or even odd-eyed (two different color eyes) also occur. Two sepia genes make a sepia Ragdoll. A sepia Ragdoll in combination with a point Ragdoll only make Mink Ragdoll kittens.

Unlike point kittens mink and sepia kittens are already born with a colored fur. The white of Mitted and Bi-color Ragdolls is usually visible at birth or at the most a few days after the birth.

Ragdoll cat personality

Ragdoll cats have a fairly placid temperament, and are very affectionate. They are not fond of sitting on your lap, but are always nearby, preferably next to you. They tend to follow your around like a dog so you have to watch out for tripping over them. They are very social, very people-oriented, very curious and friendly. Ragdolls remain playful during their entire life.

Ragdolls are suitable for families with children and they also get along well with other animals. They are very suitable as indoor cats but they would also love an enclosed area in your garden.