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Getting to know the Ragdoll

Looking for a regal, loyal cat bred that loves to cuddle? Read more about the origins, features, and health of the Ragdoll cat.

Getting to know the Ragdoll

Looking for a regal, loyal cat bred that loves to cuddle? The Ragdoll may be the breed for you!

Origins of the Ragdoll Cat

The Ragdoll is a relatively new breed that traces its origin to 1963 in California. Breeder Ann Baker set out to create a beautiful, regal cat with a calm and loving personality. She began with domestic longhairs of unknown lineage. The breed’s foundation cat, Josephine, had Siamese-like mask and paws. All Ragdolls can trace their heritage to Josephine and her son, Daddy Warbucks, along with other domestic longhair toms.

Ragdoll Breed Characteristics

Ragdolls are large cats, with males topping out at around 20 pounds and females slightly smaller at 15 pounds. They have bright blue eyes and longish hair, often with a darker mask and points like the Siamese. Color patterns include mitted, van, bicolor, and colorpoint in shades much like those of the Siamese—chocolate, lilac, seal, and blue point. Ragdolls do go through a series of growth spurts, during which their appetite and food intake increase. If you’re raising a ragdoll from a kitten, don’t withhold food during this phase, as they need the increased nutrition to grow properly.

Personality of the Ragdoll

The Ragdoll got its name from the way it completely relaxes in the laps of the people it loves. So, it’s no surprise that the Ragdoll has earned the name “puppycat” for its tendency to follow its owner from room to room. Their chill personality makes them the perfect companions for the elderly, as well as for families with young children. They tend to get along well with both cats and dogs too. The Ragdoll’s energy level ranges from low to moderate, so they’re less likely than other bred to be destructive to furniture or drapes. They do vocalize, but unlike the Siamese, they tend to have soft, musical voices.

Cat Breed Profile: Ragdoll Cat


Ragdoll Health Problems

While generally healthy, Ragdolls do have a propensity toward the development of bladder stones and a heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM)—a condition where the walls of the heart become abnormally thickened, making it more difficult for the heart to do its job. Fortunately, there is a test for the presence of the genetic mutation that causes the disorder, and an echocardiogram can screen for signs of existing HCM.

Is the Ragdoll the Purr-fect Cat Breed for You?

  • They love their people and they don’t mind showing it. So, if you have the time for an affectionate lap cat, the Ragdoll may be your ideal companion.

  • They have very chill personalities, so if you want a cat that can stay out of trouble, consider the Ragdoll.

  • They do have luxurious coats that require grooming—though their lack of an undercoat means that they shed less than other longhaired breeds.

They are okay with kids and other pets, so if you want a cat that gets along with everyone and isn’t easily rattled, you may want to consider the Ragdoll.

Cecily Kellogg is a pet lover who definitely has crazy cat lady leanings. Her pets are all shelter rescues, including the dog, who is scared of the cats. She spent eight years working as a Veterinary Technician before becoming a writer. Today she writes all over the web, including here at Figo.

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