About the Ragdoll Cat
While some kitties dislike being held, the Ragdoll cat seems to live for cuddles. And while many cats are content to keep themselves entertained, Ragdolls actively seek the company of their favorite humans, following family members from one room to the next. These cats are not particularly nosy, but they do enjoy participating in daily life, often observing activities with happy, bemused expressions on their adorable faces.
If you are concerned about breakage that might happen after bringing an active cat into your family, the Ragdoll will gently put your fears to rest. These affectionate kitties prefer to be where you are, perhaps catching a favorite show on the couch or working on a project in the office or garage. Instead of breaking your collectibles, they're far more likely to offer reassuring purrs. These kitties are one of a handful of cat breeds that like water, so they're likely to follow you to the shower or sit on the edge of the bathtub, where they'll keep you company and perhaps get their paws wet.
Steadfast companionship isn't all you'll get from a Ragdoll: These gorgeous kitties live to make us happy, often repeating behaviors that elicit favorable responses from us. With positive reinforcement, it's possible to teach a Ragdoll cat certain tricks and behaviors.
If you are someone who likes cats and dogs but who can only bring a single pet into the family, the Ragdoll might be the ideal choice. After all, these cats have a well-earned reputation for displaying doglike behavior while offering the easy care that comes with choosing a cat as a family pet. Just in case you think you might miss walking a dog, rest easy: Ragdoll cats easily learn to walk on leashes and will happily accompany you through your neighborhood!
Speaking of dogs, Ragdolls get along with them just fine. These cats get along well with other felines, and they're capable of making friends with your entire family, including very young children.
Ragdoll cats do not have any special nutritional needs, but the focus really needs to be on quality as these kitties are fairly low energy and can gain too much weight quickly. Offer a high-protein, low carbohydrate diet that incorporates real meat or fish as the main ingredient.
Because Ragdoll Cats have luxurious double coats, they require regular grooming. These kitties highly appreciate daily brushing not only because it helps prevent mats from forming and keeps excess shedding and hairballs at bay, but because it provides an added opportunity for them to bond with their favorite people.
You'll want to teach your kitty to accept toothbrushing from a young age, and you may want to keep your Ragdoll cat's nails trimmed even though these kitties are particularly rambunctious.
Ragdoll cats love to nap and relax, however they do have a playful streak. These kitties appreciate scratching post and toys, and they like to have access to cat towers that provide them with a good view of whatever you are doing.
These kitties exhibit kitten-like behavior until they reach full maturity somewhere between the ages of 2 to 4 years. After that, it might be up to you to initiate play sessions and encourage your Ragdoll cat to engage in the exercise that's so essential to good health and longevity.
Ragdoll cats tend to enjoy good health and have an average lifespan of 12 to 15 years. However, they are prone to certain common health conditions and may carry a gene that predisposes them to a heart disease called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Ragdolls are also at risk of polycystic kidney disease (PKD), bladder stones, and obesity.
The Ragdoll cat breed got its start in Riverside, California during the 1960s. Breeder Ann Baker had a friendly white domestic longhair cat named Josephine, who had a reputation for giving birth to kittens with extraordinarily amiable personalities. Baker collected a variety of longhair cats of different backgrounds, focusing on excellent temperament, luxurious coats with Himalayan points, and large size as she worked toward developing the breed that would ultimately become the Ragdoll. It is likely that some of the cats that formed the foundation for the Ragdoll breed were Persians, Burmese, and Birmans. Part of the reason for this is that Persians and Birmans are noted for their relaxed attitudes.
Josephine wasn't the only famous cat to contribute to the Ragdoll line. Two other cats included Blackie, who was a solid black cat with features reminiscent of the Burmese. Daddy Warbucks was another famous sire. He and Josephine had a bicolor female offspring named Fugianna. Meanwhile, a litter that resulted from a pairing between Blackie and Josephine resulted in a dark brown female with Burmese traits, who was named Buckwheat. All subsequent Ragdoll generations are descendants of litters that resulted from pairings between Daddy Warbucks and Buckwheat as well as Daddy Warbucks and Fugianna.
Instead of introducing her new breed to traditional registries, Baker set up her own cat breed registry, which she called the International Ragdoll Cat Association (IRCA) in 1971. At that time, Ragdoll cats were not allowed registry by other associations. In 1975, a group of Ragdoll cat breeders decided to leave the IRCA in hopes of introducing their cats to major registries. They managed to develop non-IRCA Ragdoll breed standards, which were eventually adopted by CFA and other mainstream registries.
A second group of breeders left the IRCA and developed a new cat breed called the Ragamuffin, which shares many of the traits that make the Ragdoll so beloved.
IRCA is still in existence, however it has shrunk significantly since Baker's passing in 1997. IRCA Ragdoll cats are still considered separate from the mainstream and are not recognized at major cat shows or by mainstream cat breed organizations.
The Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) granted the breed registration status in 1993. Ragdoll cats gained championship status with the CFA in 2000. Today, these beautiful felines are recognized by cat breed registries worldwide.
Did You Know?
The Ragdoll cat breed gets its name for its habit of relaxing completely when picked up and cuddled.
The breed's founder made some unusual claims about the origins of the Ragdoll cat, including stories that involved aliens, the combination of feline and human DNA, and even a suggestion that the CIA somehow influenced the breed's development. None of these claims were ever proven.
Ragdolls are among the largest domesticated cat breeds, with females sometimes weighing in at 15 pounds or more and males sometimes tipping the scales at 20 pounds or better.
The Breed Standard
Legs & Paws
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a Ragdoll cat cost?
Ragdoll cats cost between $1200 - $2300.
How big do Ragdoll cats get?
Ragdoll cats tend to be large in size. A fully grown Ragdoll cat might weigh between 10-20 pounds or more and range in height anywhere from about 9"-11" inches tall.
How long do Ragdoll cats live?
The Average lifespan for Ragdoll is 18-20 years.
Do Ragdoll cats shed?
Ragdoll are long-haired cats, so you do have to expect a certain amount of shedding from this breed, but they don't shed as much as other cat breeds.