Why are Ragdoll cats called “puppy cats”? How did their name come about and what is their lifespan? Find out more about the Ragdoll cat breed.
It’s easy to fall under the spell of the Ragdoll’s sapphire eyes, but the real charm of these pointed cats with their silky, medium-length fur lies in their affectionate and sweet nature. The Ragdoll has a reputation as a cat that is best as a sloth, and many of them love to be carried and cradled like a baby. The Ragdoll is one of the larger cat breeds, weighing from 10 to 20 kg or more, but is surprisingly small and gentle.
People looking for a calm, easy-going cat to fill their “empty nest,” travel with them in the RV, or be a companion when working at home will find a good choice in the people-loving Ragdoll. While he doesn’t mind napping all day when you have to go to work, he will want to be with you or near you when you are home.
Life with a Ragdoll cat
Ragdoll cats love to stay at sofa level with their humans. Photography by Tetsu Yamazaki.
- Ragdolls love anything that involves being with a human, including playing with a ball, running up when called and exploring the outdoors on a leash.
- Choose this breed if you want a cat that stays at floor or sofa level instead of climbing to the highest point of your home through the curtains.
- In terms of grooming, the ragdoll’s coat is not easily tangled because it has no undercoat. Brush or comb it carefully twice a week to keep it healthy, beautiful and tangle-free. Ragdolls molt in spring and autumn.
- Ragdolls that have access to outdoor play areas have been known to chase squirrels and chase insects. Ragdolls that go outside should be confined to a well-fenced area or kept on a leash.
- Ragdolls thrive in families where children are gentle with them. They are also known for their attachment to dogs – they are not called “puppy cats” for nothing – and to other cats.
What you should know about the breed
- A healthy Ragdoll cat lives to be over 15 years old. A Ragdoll cat, which is of course called Rags, lives to be 19 1⁄2 years old.
- Ragdolls can be prone to a common feline heart disease called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Fortunately, cats carrying the gene that causes this disease can be identified through DNA testing. This allows conscientious breeders to produce cats free of the disease.
- It is not true that ragdolls are resistant to pain. Like all cats, they can get hurt or feel discomfort.
- People who take best to a Ragdoll cat will love combing its beautiful, rabbit-like coat. They love having a cat on their lap, and don’t mind if the Ragdoll is constantly watching their activities.
History of the Ragdoll
The Ragdoll cat breeds traces its roots to the 1960s. Photography by Tetsu Yamazaki.
The origin of the Ragdoll breed dates back to the 1960s, when a California woman named Ann Baker mated a free-roaming white long-haired cat with a stray black and white cat with white paws, or mittens. Their kittens – a solid-colored black cat, a bicolored tabby cat and a long-haired brown cat – became the ancestors of the ragdolls, whose name comes from the fact that cats tend to lie on laps or be carried without resistance.
Ragdolls are recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association, the International Cat Association and the American Cat Fanciers Association.
According to 2017 statistics from the Cat Fanciers’ Association, the ragdoll is the second most popular cat after the exotic. It is second only to the Bengal cat in the International Cat Association.
More interesting facts about the breed
- Ragdoll kittens are white at birth, but already at the age of 10 days they show spots and patterns.
- As with Polaroid photography, it takes some time for coat color and length to develop, usually peaking at 2 to 3 years of age.
- They reach their maximum weight around 4 years of age.
- Ragdolls come in four models:
- bicolour (white and one solid colour, both evenly spaced).
- Van (white with small patches of darker colour at the top of the mask, on the ears and tail and sometimes on the body)
- Mitted (four white legs, white chin and white belt on the abdomen)
- Colorpoint (classic pointed markings in solid color, lynx, tortoiseshell or tortoiseshell and lynx, no white on the coat).
- The patterns are available in six colours:
Tell us what you think: Do you have a Ragdoll cat? What do you like about this breed?
By Kim Campbell Thornton , January 16, 2018