Ragdoll Breed Guide
Middle Age: 6 years
Life Span: 8 to 12 years
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Ragdolls are some of the sweetest, largest, and fluffiest domesticated cats and have soared in popularity since their inception in the 1960s. A California native, Ragdolls are laid back, relaxed, and a great family cat.
History of Ragdolls
Ragdolls are a young breed compared to cats like the Siamese and Persian because they only date back to the 1960s. Ann Baker, a breeder from Riverside, California, stumbled upon these beautiful kittens by breeding various long-haired, free-roaming cats.
After a few generations, Ann was able to breed for the look and temperament she desired and hence, the Ragdoll was born. And cat lovers everywhere are grateful for Ann’s creation because today’s Ragdolls are a wonderful family pet.
Ragdoll Cat Size and Physical Appearance
One of the Ragdoll’s most notable characteristics are their large size. Males can get up to 20 pounds, and average 10-16 pounds. Females average 8-12 pounds and as slowly maturing kitties, Ragdolls might not even reach their full size until they are four years old.
Ragdoll cats have long hair, but this hair is long without being dense, which means that their hair mats less than other long-haired cat breeds. This also means that they shed a lot less too. Their coats are luscious and fluffy, and don’t require a lot of maintenance needed to keep this beautiful look.
Ragdolls come in a few primary color patterns: pointed, mitted, bi-color, tortoiseshell, or solid. This beautiful fur has been compared to cashmere because of its softness.
The most common pattern in Ragdolls is pointed, which is when a cat’s ears, paws, nose, and tail are a darker than the rest of their coats. The most common colors with this pattern are seal point, blue point, chocolate point, lilac point, red point, and cream point.
An important note about caring for your Ragdoll kitten is that they grow irregularly and while most cats will get bigger by age, your Ragdoll may grow, stop, have a growth spurt, grow again, and stop.
Make sure to pay close attention to the calorie recommendations from a vet and on the wet and dry food you feed your kitty to ensure that they are getting complete nutrition. Healthy Ragdolls are meaty and solid, not skinny and scrawny.
Ragdoll Cat Personality & Temperament
Ragdolls are one of the sweetest domestic cats and are named for their tendency to just flop in your arms like a ragdoll. They love being held and cuddled and warm up to strangers instantly.
This also makes them great for households with young children or cat-friendly dogs because they are always looking to make new friends. They are gentle giants and love to follow their owner around the house like a puppy.
Ragdolls are also quite lazy, and while they do enjoy some play, they are more likely to be found lounging on their cat tower on the floor right next to your feet. They love being the center of attention and enjoy any affection their owner wants to give them.
Common Ragdoll Cat Health Problems
When they come from a reputable breeder, Ragdoll cats are actually very robust cats and live a long and healthy life. Their lifespan ranges from 12-15 years, often times longer.
There are some health problems associated with this breed, though, including bladder stones, feline mucopolysaccharidosis, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (or HCM).
Bladder stones are deposits that build up in a cat’s bladder or urinary tract. The two most common are called struvite stones and calcium oxalate stones.
Mucopolysaccharidosis is a group of metabolic disorders not specific to Ragdoll cats, but a symptom that presents itself in this, among other, breeds. There are many different branches and types of these metabolic disorders and some present themselves as bone disease, dwarfism, eye cloudiness, and enlarged livers. This is because mucopolysaccharides help with building a kitty’s bones, cartilage, skin, tendons, and more.
Not specific to Ragdoll cats, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is the most common heart condition in cats. It causes the walls of the heart muscle to thicken and can cause the heart to increase in size.
This is a genetically inherited condition, and breeders can check their lines for this condition. HCM is something always to be aware of, even if your kitty has a clean bill of health. HCM ranges in severity and can be treated with supplements, herbs, and other natural remedies.
Even though Ragdolls boast soft, fluffy coats, they are relatively low maintenance. Their fur is long and silky, yet not as dense as some other breeds so it doesn’t accumulate dirt and oil as much.
This means fewer mats, fewer baths, and less shedding. But, your Ragdoll cat may shed a little more during the spring and fall as he’s getting ready for the upcoming season.
As with any cat, Ragdolls require regular nail trimmings, ear cleanings, and coat brushings. Ragdoll owners might always want to give their kitties a sanitary clip, which clips just the hair around the private parts. This helps prevent waste from getting stuck to their beautiful hair.
Are Ragdolls Good With Kids?
One of the most lovable qualities of Ragdolls is their sweet temperament and patience. They are dog-like in this way and love to play around, even with young kids. As long as your children know how to properly and safely hold a cat, they will be best buds in no time.
Ragdolls are great with children, dogs, other animals, and really anyone who wants to show them a little love. They will even walk on a leash and play fetch like a puppy.
So is a Ragdoll kitty right for you and your family? This breed is low-maintenance, sweet, and loves to be part of the family. If you enjoy fluffy bellies and a cat blanket on your lap or feet, the Ragdoll is the perfect fit.