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What Is A Ragdoll Cat?
It was in the early 1960’s that an American cat breeder created a cat breed that was so relaxed and laid back that it would literally hang like a cloth doll when it was held. This behavior gave it the name of the Ragdoll.
The breed was developed from a white longhaired cat with an unknown ancestry, possibly a Turkish Angora and a Birman cat. The cats were christened with the breed name of Ragdoll because of their relaxed and calm nature.
Although the CFA (Cat Fancier’s Association) did not recognize or accept these first cats as the Ragdoll, their descendants have become the gentle Ragdolls that we know and love today.
Ragdolls Can Be Huge Cats!
The Ragdoll is one of the largest cat breeds, weighing from 10 to 20 pounds. They have heavy muscular bodies with a slightly bushy tail that tapers at the end. Their heads are somewhat round and their ears are small and rounded.
What Does A Ragdoll Cat Look Like?
One of the most appealing features of the Ragdoll breed is it’s pretty blue eyes. They can range in color from a pale grayish-blue – to a deep, dark blue. The darker the eyes, the better when it comes to showing, however they are all beautiful.
This breed is a pointed cat, meaning it’s ears, face, legs and tail are a darker shade than it’s body color.
The Ragdoll cat does not come in a wide range of patterns or colors. There are actually only four colors recognized by the Cat Fancier’s Association (CFA), and they are Seal, Blue, Chocolate and Lilac.
These colors can be found in three different patterns which are Mitted, Bicolor and Pointed patterns. The patterns come about because of a special “white spotting factor”, which also appears on the cats “points”.
- A Bicolor Ragdoll like the Seal Bicolor pictured here on the right, has a white inverted V on the face. The white on it’s body appears as if the cat has been dipped in milk. The white covering the paws and legs and the underbelly.
- A Mitted Ragdoll has mittens (of course) which cover only the paws in the front legs, and on the back legs the white goes up to and includes the hock. It also has a very cute white chin plus a white belly.
- A Pointed Ragdoll has no white at all, just the darker areas on it’s points.
Who Are Ragdoll Cats Good For?
The calm demeanor of the Ragdoll makes it a perfect family cat. This breed is almost dog-like in it’s behavior. They will greet their family members at the door, follow them around throughout the house and snuggle down beside them on the couch.
Ragdolls are very smart cats, and as such it is a good idea to provide them with plenty of toys to keep them occupied. And a good scratching post is a must. Most Ragdoll owners say their cat learned to use a scratching post much more readily than other cat breeds.
This breed does not require the company of other pets and prefers to spend much of its time with family members.
However, it doesn’t have a problem if it has to live with other cats. This may be because the Ragdoll is so much larger than most cats. But more likely than not, it is because the Ragdoll cat is so sweet natured.
So, if you want a relaxed, sweet tempered, family oriented cat, the Ragdoll might be the ideal cat breed for you.
Below is a segment from an Australian TV show featuring Gail of Raglace Ragdolls, showing off and discussing the traits this beautiful and friendly cat.
Further reading and references: