Breed Introduction: Ragdoll Cat
The Ragdoll is a cat breed with blue eyes and a distinct colour point coat. It is a large and muscular semi-longhair cat with a soft and silky coat. Like all long haired cats, Ragdolls need grooming to ensure their fur does not mat. Unlike many cats, Ragdolls are notable for collapsing into the arms of anyone who holds them, even if they are cradled on their back. They love people! Ragdolls love greeting humans at the door, following them around the house, and leaping into a lap or snuggling in bed whenever given the chance. They often learn to come when called or to retrieve toys that are thrown for them. The word most often used to describe them is docile, but that doesn’t mean they are inactive. They like to play with toys and enter into any family activities.
The cats were first developed by breeder Ann Baker in Riverside, California, in the 1960s. Baker’s foundation stock consisted of Josephine, a domestic longhair whose white coat concealed the genes of either a seal mitted or black tuxedo pattern, and various other longhaired cats of unknown ancestry that she owned or found in her neighbourhood. Baker selected for cats with gentle, placid personalities, large size, and beautiful long coats characterized by a Himalayan pattern, the name for the “points” seen on Siamese-type cats.
The Cat Fanciers Association began registering the cats in 1993 and gave them full recognition in 2000. Most registries now recognize the breed, including the American Cat Fanciers Association and The International Cat Association. Ragdolls are not outcrossed to any other breeds.
Females usually weigh 10 to 15 pounds, and some males weigh more than 20 pounds.
Ragdolls have nice manners and are easy to live with. You will find a Ragdoll on your sofa or bed, but generally not much higher than that. He prefers to stay on the same level with his people rather than the highest point in a room.
The breed may be affected with the following problems:
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a form of heart disease that is inherited in Ragdolls. A DNA-based test is available to identify cats that carry one of the mutations that cause the disease.
Increased risk for calcium oxalate bladder stones
A Ragdoll’s moderately long fur has little undercoat, which means it is less likely to mat and shed, but that doesn’t mean the cats need no grooming. Comb it twice a week with a stainless steel comb to remove dead hair that can cause tangles. Be sure to comb the fur on the legs thoroughly, especially where the leg meets the body, where mats are most likely to occur. A rubber curry brush will smooth the fur after you comb it and remove any remaining loose hairs. If you are gentle, Ragdolls will love the attention they receive from you during grooming time.
Ragdolls stand out for their large size, semi-long coat in a pointed pattern, and sparkling blue eyes. They are among the largest of the domesticated cats, with some males weighing in at 20 pounds or more. A Ragdoll has a light-coloured body with a darker face, legs, tail and ears. He comes in three patterns: mitted and bicolor, both of which have white, and colour point, which has no white. Ragdolls don’t reach their full size and coat development until they are three to four years old.