The Ragdoll is world famous for its alleged tendency to go limp when held. Although this particular characteristic is not a requirement in the breed, these cats are indeed very docile and relaxed. With their large size, silky coat and beautiful blue eyes, Ragdolls have become quite a popular cat breed.
Ragdoll Cats – Breed History
The Ragdoll’s history only begins in the 1960s; yet in the forty or so years that have gone by, it has managed to become intertwined with a series of myths and half-truths.
The breed’s founder was Ann Baker of California. She used to say that the extraordinary calm nature of this breed is the result of a car accident endured by the foundation cat, Josephine. Baker claimed that Josephine’s injury, a broken pelvis, had somehow caused a change that caused all Ragdolls to be especially docile.
This explanation is obviously not scientifically feasible. The more likely explanation is that the relaxed breeds, Persians and Birmans, used in the breeding program, created the Ragdoll’s personality.
Ragdoll Cats – Breed Description
The overall impression one gets from the Ragdoll’s physique is that of strength and muscularity. The Ragdoll is one of the largest cat breeds and Ragdoll cats reach their full size and weight only by the age of 3-4 years. The head is large and slightly rounded with oval blue eyes.
Ragdolls are semi-longhaired cats. That means the coat of the Ragdoll is long but not as long as a Persian cat’s. It is soft and rabbit-like and does not tend to mat.
The Cat Fanciers Association currently recognizes four color patterns, all of them based on the basic colorpoint pattern:
1. Colorpoint Ragdoll coat pattern
In this version, the cat presents the standard colorpoint pattern as seen in other breeds (most famously the Siamese). The body is light-colored with darker shades on the extremities: tail, paws and face.
2. Mitted Ragdoll coat pattern
Similar to the colorpoint, but with added white “mittens” on the cat’s front paws and a white streak along the chest and abdomen. The cat’s chin is white and a couple of small white patches on the face are acceptable.
3. Bi-color Ragdoll coat pattern
The lower part of the body is white, while the upper part maintains the colorpoint pattern. On the cat’s face there is a large inverted V-shaped white patch.
4. Van Ragdoll coat pattern
The colored pattern is limited to no more than 20% of the cat’s body and restricted to ears, tail and facial mask.
The Ragdoll’s personality is probably its most famous feature. These are relaxed cats, though they do not necessarily go limp when held. Ann Baker claimed that Ragdolls do not feel pain, but modern breeders say that this is not so. Remember that each cat has his or her own personality. If you adopt a Ragdoll cat, respect the cat’s preferences and personal boundaries and learn to know Kitty as an individual.
Ragdoll Cats – Special Needs
Because these cats are usually very docile and tend to be non-aggressive – sometimes lacking even the ability defend themselves – they should be kept strictly as indoors-only cats.
The plush coat of the Ragdoll cat does not require excessive grooming. A brush once every few days is usually enough to keep it bright and soft.
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