Beginning as an experimental breed in California, the Ragdoll cat has gone on to become the second most popular cat breed in the United States.
An engaging looking cat with a large body, long hair, and piercing blue eyes, it is the personality and other non-physical characteristics of these cats that have many cat fanciers enchanted with this unique breed. Read on to learn more about this meowtastic kitty!
History of the Californian Beauty
The Ragdoll cat is a large cat breed with long, soft hair (often described as bunny soft). These cats are endlessly popular, partly due to their attractive appearance but also because of their loyal, playful, inquisitive nature.
A gentle cat with a surprisingly quiet voice, this cat is known to follow their human companions from room to room, and can even be taught to play fetch or come when their name is called.
The Ragdoll cat has a unique history, starting as little more than a breeding experiment in California. In the 1960s, Californian breeder Ann Baker started her own breeding program using a long hair domestic white cat named Josephine and other long-haired cats, some of whom she found wandering around the neighborhood.
Specifically choosing large cats with long hair and placid personalities, Baker’s unconventional breeding program eventually produced the first Ragdoll breed of cats.
What’s in a Name: Why are these Kitties Called Rag Doll Cats?
By deliberately choosing placid, long-haired breeding cats, Ann Baker created the ragdoll cat breed as a friendly, loyal, and almost baby-like breed.
Many Ragdoll kittens and adult cats alike enjoy being carried around like babies, and will even allow themselves to be dressed up, endlessly groomed, or pushed around in a baby stroller.
But it is this cat’s natural tendency to flop lazily into their human companion’s lap that earned them the name “Rag-doll”.
Appearance and Personality
Ragdoll cats and kittens have a unique appearance, being a larger breed of cat with piercing blue eyes and one of four distinct coat patterns. These cats can be bicolor, van, mitted, or colorpoint, all breeds of Ragdoll cats have a light-colored body with darker fur markings on the ears, tail, hind legs, and face.
But it is the personality of this cat that has drawn so much interest in the United States and worldwide.
With a sweet, loyal temperament and a lot of obvious love for the human companions, these cats and kittens will play with toys, come when called, and follow their humans from room to room.
What’s the Ragdoll Cat Size?
A relatively large cat breed, kittens of this breed will grow to be up to 15 pounds for females and potentially more than 20 pounds for males. This makes this cat one of the largest breeds of domesticated cats.
The kittens do take some time to grow to full size, though, with both the International Ragdoll Cat Association and the International Cat Association recognizing that ragdoll kittens don’t grow to full size until they are three or four years old.
As a kitten Ragdoll cats form a bond with their human companions that will last a lifetime. With a surprisingly small, sweet voice for their large size, this furry longhaired cat will follow his owner from room to room.
Interestingly, Ragdoll standard cats generally choose to stay on floor or bed height, and will not typically choose to scale curtains or benchtops to find the highest point in the room.
The Cat Fanciers Association recognizes that the perfect owners of a Ragdoll kitten or cat are someone who is looking for a lap cat and who would enjoy having their daily activities under almost constant “supervision”.
5 Fun Facts About Ragdoll Breeds
- These cats won’t fret if you leave him at home during the day, but while you are in the house he will generally follow you from room to room.
- Ragdoll cats can form bonds with cat-friendly dogs, with many pictures of these cats showing a canine companion by their side.
- A common misconception is that kittens of this breed are pain resistant. This is not true!
- Cat breeders confirm that all kittens are white at birth, and do not show any signs of being mitted or having any fur marking until they are about 10 days old.
- These cats love having children in the house, particularly those who will gently groom their fur and give them plenty of attention.
Are these Long Haired Beauties High Maintenance?
A traditional Ragdoll, especially one purchased from a reputable cattery, will not have a thick undercoat and will, therefore, be less likely to shed and have matted fur.
Despite their elegant long hair, these cats are surprisingly low maintenance and require only twice weekly grooming with a stainless steel comb. This regular grooming is made infinitely more enjoyable because ragdoll cats tend to love the grooming and attention.
Healthy or Not?
Like all cat breeds, these cats can be susceptible to a number of health problems. Of major concern of this breed is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a type of feline heart condition.
As the Cat Association notes, this heart condition is genetic and can be identified by way of a DNA test. It is important to ensure that, when choosing Ragdoll cats for sale, your breeder can provide evidence of the results of this DNA test.
Ragdoll Kittens for Sale Near Me
If you’re looking for Ragdoll kittens for sale, the good news is that the popularity of the breed among everyday people and cat fanciers alike has resulted in more breeding programs and kittens for sale.
On the other hand, there are also plenty of kittens for adoption and older, former breeding cats that need a new home.
Before visiting a breeder, consider an adoption shelter or cattery – your perfect mitted sepia Ragdoll with a white chin might be waiting for you at an adoption center.
Ragdoll Cat Breeders
If you’re looking for kittens for sale and have decided to use a breeder, it is important to stay open-minded, compare your options, and ask plenty of questions.
In particular, ensure that your breeder raises the newborn kittens underfoot (in other words, in the home) and that the breeder is willing to let you come and inspect the premises.
If you have children or dogs in your home, look for a breeder in a similar situation so that you know the kittens have been exposed to dogs or children before coming to live with you.
Ragdoll Cat Price Worth Paying for?
There’s no doubt about it, Ragdoll kittens are expensive. Whether you choose a sepia or a mink Ragdoll, or any other color or pattern combination, the Ragdoll Fanciers Club International notes that you can expect to pay more than $400 for a pet ragdoll kitten, and upwards of $1,000 for a show quality mink ragdoll kitten.
While kittens may be expensive, the general consensus is that they are worth every cent. More of a companion animal than many other breeds of cat, kittens of this breed ideally suit people looking for company or small children who dream of doting on and spoiling their pet kitty.
6 Tips for A Ragdolls Owner!
- If you plan to let your cat have time outside, ensure you have a secure, fenced area for them to roam in.
- These cats can be successfully walked on a leash, provided they are trained well and offered positive reinforcement for good behavior.
- Although these kitties are not known for excessive shedding, any hair that they do shed will come out in fall and spring.
- Maintain your kitty’s beautiful coat with a twice-weekly run-through with a stainless steel comb.
- Unlike many other cat breeds, these cats can be taught to come when called. Start training early and offer plenty of praise and food treats.
- These cats want nothing more than to be near their human companions and to “supervise” their daily activities. For a happy cat, allow him to follow you from room to room.
A True Long-Haired Beauty, These Cats Can Win Over Any Cat Lover!
By all accounts, Ragdoll cats are true beauties. Despite similar physical characteristics amongst all ragdoll cats, they come in four distinct fur patterns: colorpoint, mitted, van, and bicolor.
Within these patterns are six possible colors (cream, red, lilac, chocolate, blue, seal), allowing for an endless variety of pattern and color combinations. With their unique personality combined with their physical beauty, it’s no wonder that Ragdoll cats truly can win over any cat lover.