Affectionate with family?
Compatible with other animals?
Ragdoll cats are large animals that were bred in America and are said to be the descendants of the Persian cat. They do not have a thick undercoat like that of a Persian cat, but are bestowed with a semi-long overcoat that is soft, like that of the rabbit. These friendly cats carry a calm and pleasing expression. They are different from other cats and are said to have a personality similar to that of dogs, as they are believed to be loyal and caring towards their owners. The reason behind the name 'Ragdoll' is that they tend to relax or go limp when someone picks them up.
1. The first Ragdoll cat was introduced by a Californian Persian cat breeder Ann Baker in the 1960s. There are many theories surrounding the origin of this breed. One theory is that Baker bred her female Persian and Angora mix cat named Josephine to a Seal Point Birman.
2. The second and more ridiculous 'theory' was developed after Josephine was hit by a car. It states that after her accident, she was taken to a vet's clinic at the University of California and altered genetically, resulting in her not being able to feel pain and relaxing automatically when picked up, which was all a part of some secret Government experiments. However, with no scientific proof to support this theory, it was labeled as impossible and untrue.
3. Josephine was mated to two toms: Blackie, a black cat, and Raggedy Ann Daddy Warbucks, who was cream-colored and had dark points. She produced two toms, one each from these two. Daddy Warbucks was mated with a female from another litter of Blackie's and also one female from another litter of Josephine's, and these cats were registered as the first Ragdolls with the Cat Fanciers Association.
4. These kittens had long hair, fur that did not matt, blue-colored eyes, and a very loving and sweet personality. Ann Baker laid very strict rules for people who wanted to breed this cat species. Blackie and Daddy Warbucks are considered as the fathers of this breed.
5. In 1975, a couple, Laura and Denny Dayton, bought a pair of Ragdoll cats from Baker and bred them to develop the standard breed accepted today. They wanted to popularize this cat breed and hence, started an association known as the Ragdoll Fanciers Club International. They also laid several rules and procedures for breeding this cat species. Today, these cats are recognized by most cat breeding associations.
- These cats are heavy animals, with males weighing between 12-20 pounds (5 to 9 kg) and females weighing between 10-15 pounds (3 to 6 kg) on an average.
- They can be short-coated or medium/long-coated.
- They have characteristic blue eyes that are ovular in shape.
- They achieve complete maturity when they turn four.
- When they are born, they are white in color.
- They obtain their coat color when they are two years old.
- Neutered males and spayed females can weigh a little more than normal. However, the males are always bigger than the females.
- Ragdolls are also known as Siamese-colored cats, as they have a combination of light and dark colors on their body. They are found in 6 colors, namely, cream, blue, flame, seal, lilac, and chocolate, the last two being relatively rare.
- They also have tabby and tortoiseshell patterns. These colors mostly appear on the face, tail, feet, and ears and are categorized into three patterns, namely colorprint, mitted, and bicolor.
» Colorprint means that there is no white color present on the coat.
» Mitted means that the front paws and half the hind legs are white, as is the chest and chin, with a small patch on the stomach. The rest of the coat is colored.
» Bicolor means white on the stomach, chest, legs, feet, and on the muzzle in the form of an inverted V, with points on the ears and the tail.
- Generally, cats are known to be independent by nature, and they like to roam in the open air. Also, they are believed to be selfish.
- However, these cats are a huge contrast from the normal ones. They are warm by nature and like to stay at home with their owners.
- They are attention-seeking animals and are said to walk behind their owner around the house.
- They socialize very easily with strangers and love to be in the company of children.
- It is better to keep them indoors as they cannot protect themselves from other cats and animals because of their mild nature.
However, it is important to remember that their nature and personality also depends on early grooming and the experiences that they have. If these cats are brought up in loving families, they develop a docile and gentle nature. Although they are said to be social animals, they can be choosy about making friends depending upon their individual personalities.
These cats can be easily trained as they are not aggressive animals and will do anything to gain love and attention from their owners. Unconditional love from the owner makes them an ideal pet. In the same way, grooming these cats is not a very difficult task as they do not tend to shed much like the other cats. Brushing or combing their coat once in a while is necessary to avoid knots or matting.
Ragdoll cats are generally healthy animals and have a lifespan of 15 - 20 years on an average. They are not reported to have any genetic disorder or any specific ailment. However, it is better to keep them in a secure environment of the home, as they may become victims of other animals, road accidents, or may catch an infection when they go outside.
One should also avoid overfeeding these cats as it may affect their health, giving rise to arthritis, liver diseases, heart diseases, diabetes, etc. Sterilizing these cats will protect them from developing any type of cancer or other diseases. Taking your pet to the vet for regular checkups and vaccinations will ensure its well-being.
If you are planning to bring home a Ragdoll cat, it is important to do some research and choose a good and authorized breeder. This unique animal with its cute looks and gentle nature will surely fill your home with love and warmth.