The Ragdoll Cat
Big is Beautiful

Female lilac tortie point Ragdoll cat
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The Ragdoll cat breed is large and muscular, but oh so gentle and friendly. These cats love to spend time with their people and will often greet them at the door.

During the mid-nineteen hundreds, an American breeder developed a new cat breed.

These cats were so laid back and relaxed that they would hang limply like a cloth rag doll when people picked them up and held them. For obvious reasons, the breeder called these cats the Ragdoll cat.

As is often the case, there are several accounts of the ancestry of these elegant and gentle cats and myths abound. The "go limp" factor has been disputed as well.

Some sources say this breed was developed from a Birman cat and a longhair cat with an unknown ancestry.

According to the book, For the Love of Cats, the line was bred from a white Persian cat. According to the Cat Fancier's Association (CFA), though, Ann Baker developed the breed by breeding a domestic white longhaired female stray with "other cats she owned or found."

Although the Cat Fancier's Association did not recognize these first cats as the Ragdoll, their descendants became the gentle Ragdolls we know today.

Along with the Maine Coon cat, this breed is one of the largest of the domestic cat breeds, weighing between ten and twenty pounds. It is no surprise that such heavy cats have big, muscular bodies. What is surprising, perhaps, is their calm, relaxed nature in contrast to their size.

Their heads are slightly round, their ears are small and rounded, and their large eyes are in a brilliant blue color. This breed's tail is slightly bushy and tapers at the end.

These cats do not come in a wide range of colors and patterns. In fact, there are actually only four colors accepted by the Cat Fancier's Association... Seal, Chocolate, Blue, and Lilac. You can find these colors in pointed, mitted, or bicolor patterns, but it's said that some breeders avoid mitted cats because they look too much like the Birman (hinting at their true ancestors? Maybe, in part).

The Ragdoll has a calm demeanor, which helps make it a perfect choice for families and busy homes. These cats are almost dog like in their behavior, often greeting family members at the door.

Your cat will also likely follow you through the house, supervising your work. Your Rag will also snuggle beside you on the sofa or in bed as these kitties love attention.

This is a generally healthy breed, but a lifetime commitment to a pet can sometimes bring surprises. If you're a new cat owner, you'll want to get up to speed on common cat illness symptoms and of course learn more about cat health in general.

If you do not believe in de-clawing your cat, but are concerned about having your furniture ruined, you may want to consider the Ragdoll cat breed as well. Some Ragdoll owners say their cats have been much more quick to learn to use a scratching post instead of furniture arms to sharpen their claws than other cat breeds.

Since these cats seem to make an effort to keep from scratching people, as well, they may be less prone to scratch furniture in the first place. Of course, all cats are individuals, as you know.

While this cat breed does not seem to need the company of other pets and sometimes seems to prefer to spend time with human family members over cats, it does not mind living with other cats.

It's been speculated that perhaps this is because this breed is so much larger than other cats, but it is most likely because the Ragdoll is just so sweet natured. They like people and enjoy spending time with their family.

Since the Ragdoll is a semi-longhair cat, some prospective cat owners are a bit hesitant about choosing this breed. If you're afraid you won't have time for the frequent grooming most longhairs require, don't worry. Surprisingly, this breed's silky coat texture makes it a very low care cat.

Photo of chocolate bicolor Ragdoll cat face
Unlike their Persian cousins, their coats are not subject to matting.

Combing through your cat's hair weekly to remove stray hairs or debris and perhaps a daily touch-up is usually all that is necessary to keep her coat looking fantastic. Although most longhairs are prone to hairballs, these cats are said to be less likely to develop them.

If you want a sweet tempered, family oriented cat, then the big Ragdoll cat may be the ideal breed for you. Don't let the soft look of fluffy fur fool you, this is a large cat breed and very sturdy.

More Ragdoll videos

If you're considering a Radgoll as a pet, or you're interested in breeding them, you'll want to know all you can about them. Here's a Radgoll cat ebook with the information you'll need.

Matilda is a famous member of this breed. And she was succeeded by Matilda III.

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