The Ragdoll Cat is a Big, Beautiful, Fluffy, Love Machine

Looking at the Ragdoll cat as a possible companion?

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

Ragdoll with blue eyes and text overlay The Ragdoll cat is a Fluffy, Floppy, Love Machine

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.

Mindy the RagdollMindy the Ragdoll
Photo credit

You can find these colors in pointed, mitted, or bicolor patterns, but it's said that some breeders void 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 good choice for families and busy homes. These cats are almost (dare I say?) dog-like in their behavior, and have been known to greet family members at the door.

Your Rag may also follow you through the house, supervising your work. Who loves a furry supervisor? Why, you do, of course, or you wouldn't want one of these fluffy beauties.

Your Rag may also snuggle beside you on the sofa or in bed as these kitties love attention.

If you do not believe in declawing 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.


Rags don't seem to need the company of other pets, and sometimes seem to prefer to spend time with human family members over other cats. Even so, they do tend to get along well with other cats.

It's been speculated that perhaps this is because this breed is so much larger than many other cats, but it is most likely because the Ragdoll is just so sweet natured. They enjoy spending time with their family, furry or not.

This is a generally healthy breed, with suprisingly easy maintenance. Since the Ragdoll is a semi-longhair cat, you might be concerned you won't have time for the frequent grooming most longhairs require.

Don't worry. Surprisingly, this breed's silky coat texture and lack of undercoat makes it a very low care cat. Unlike their Persian cousins that require daily grooming, the Ragdoll's coats are not subject to matting.

While daily grooming is good for both you and your kitty, combing through your Rag's hair weekly (with a daily touch-up) is usually all that is necessary to maintain a fabulous looking coat.

Although most longhairs are prone to hairballs, these cats are said to be less likely to develop them, possibly for the same reason they are relatively easy to groom... the lack of an undercoat.

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


More Ragdoll videos

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

Adopting a Ragdoll Cat

As the Ragdoll has become more popular, it's easier to find Ragdoll breeders. I recommend, however, you first try to add one of these beauties to your life by finding one in need from a Ragdoll rescue.

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