Ragdoll Cat

Ragdoll
Overview
Characteristics
Ragdoll
Temperament
? The breed’s dominant personality traits. While each individual has a unique personality, breed-specific genetics affect qualities like sociability, playfulness, and intelligence.
Sweet, easygoing, gentle, relaxed
Origin
? Where this breed was first established.
United States
Other Names
? In addition to their official names, most breeds earn a few nicknames.
Gentle giant
Group
? Breeds are grouped by their size and coat type.
Large-sized long-haired
Height
? The typical adult height among individuals of this breed. Height is measured from the top of the head to the bottom of the front paws.
9"-11"
Body Length
? The typical adult body length among individuals of this breed. A cat’s length is measured from the base of the tail to the tip of the nose.
17"-21"
Weight
? The typical adult weight range of this cat breed.
10-20 pounds
Life Expectancy
? The average lifespan of the breed. While life expectancy is fairly consistent across all cat breeds, some breeds tend to live shorter or longer than others.
18-20 years
Price
? The average price.
$1200 - $2300
Affection Level
? Breeds with a high affection level want to give and receive a lot of attention, while less-affectionate breeds are not as interested in petting and snuggles.
0 100%
80%
Activity Level
? Breeds with high activity levels will engage more in active play and demand more space and attention.
0 100%
40%
Pet-Friendly
? How well the breed tends to get along with cats, dogs, and other pets.
0 100%
80%
Kid-Friendly
? Breeds with a higher rating in this area tend to be gentle and patient, while lower-rated breeds may feel uncomfortable with children.
0 100%
80%
Sociability
? Breeds with a higher sociability rating will want to spend time with you all day, while less-sociable breeds seldom seek out human interaction.
0 100%
40%
Intelligence
? Breeds with higher intelligence ratings are more curious, investigative, and easy to train. Less-intelligent breeds are less trainable but often laid-back and easygoing.
0 100%
80%
Playfulness
? Breeds that score higher in this area have strong hunting instincts that make them great playtime companions.
0 100%
60%
Independence
? Breeds that score higher in this area are able to spend hours alone, while less-independent breeds require plenty of attention.
0 100%
40%
Vocality
? A higher rating in this area indicates a breed prone to plenty of meowing and other vocalizations, while less-vocal breeds are happy to stay quiet.
0 100%
40%
Grooming
? Breeds with higher grooming scores require more maintenance like brushing and bathing, while lower-scored breeds are virtually maintenance-free.
0 100%
80%

About the Ragdoll Cat

While some kitties dislike being held, the Ragdoll cat seems to live for cuddles. And while many cats are content to keep themselves entertained, Ragdolls actively seek the company of their favorite humans, following family members from one room to the next. These cats are not particularly nosy, but they do enjoy participating in daily life, often observing activities with happy, bemused expressions on their adorable faces.

If you are concerned about breakage that might happen after bringing an active cat into your family, the Ragdoll will gently put your fears to rest. These affectionate kitties prefer to be where you are, perhaps catching a favorite show on the couch or working on a project in the office or garage. Instead of breaking your collectibles, they're far more likely to offer reassuring purrs. These kitties are one of a handful of cat breeds that like water, so they're likely to follow you to the shower or sit on the edge of the bathtub, where they'll keep you company and perhaps get their paws wet.

Steadfast companionship isn't all you'll get from a Ragdoll: These gorgeous kitties live to make us happy, often repeating behaviors that elicit favorable responses from us. With positive reinforcement, it's possible to teach a Ragdoll cat certain tricks and behaviors.

If you are someone who likes cats and dogs but who can only bring a single pet into the family, the Ragdoll might be the ideal choice. After all, these cats have a well-earned reputation for displaying doglike behavior while offering the easy care that comes with choosing a cat as a family pet. Just in case you think you might miss walking a dog, rest easy: Ragdoll cats easily learn to walk on leashes and will happily accompany you through your neighborhood!

Speaking of dogs, Ragdolls get along with them just fine. These cats get along well with other felines, and they're capable of making friends with your entire family, including very young children.

About the Ragdoll Cat

Care

Ragdoll Cat Care
Nutrition
Nutrition
Grooming
Grooming
Exercise
Exercise
Health
Health

Ragdoll cats do not have any special nutritional needs, but the focus really needs to be on quality as these kitties are fairly low energy and can gain too much weight quickly. Offer a high-protein, low carbohydrate diet that incorporates real meat or fish as the main ingredient.

Because Ragdoll Cats have luxurious double coats, they require regular grooming. These kitties highly appreciate daily brushing not only because it helps prevent mats from forming and keeps excess shedding and hairballs at bay, but because it provides an added opportunity for them to bond with their favorite people.

You'll want to teach your kitty to accept toothbrushing from a young age, and you may want to keep your Ragdoll cat's nails trimmed even though these kitties are particularly rambunctious.

Ragdoll cats love to nap and relax, however they do have a playful streak. These kitties appreciate scratching post and toys, and they like to have access to cat towers that provide them with a good view of whatever you are doing.

These kitties exhibit kitten-like behavior until they reach full maturity somewhere between the ages of 2 to 4 years. After that, it might be up to you to initiate play sessions and encourage your Ragdoll cat to engage in the exercise that's so essential to good health and longevity.

Ragdoll cats tend to enjoy good health and have an average lifespan of 12 to 15 years. However, they are prone to certain common health conditions and may carry a gene that predisposes them to a heart disease called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Ragdolls are also at risk of polycystic kidney disease (PKD), bladder stones, and obesity.

History

The Ragdoll cat breed got its start in Riverside, California during the 1960s. Breeder Ann Baker had a friendly white domestic longhair cat named Josephine, who had a reputation for giving birth to kittens with extraordinarily amiable personalities. Baker collected a variety of longhair cats of different backgrounds, focusing on excellent temperament, luxurious coats with Himalayan points, and large size as she worked toward developing the breed that would ultimately become the Ragdoll. It is likely that some of the cats that formed the foundation for the Ragdoll breed were Persians, Burmese, and Birmans. Part of the reason for this is that Persians and Birmans are noted for their relaxed attitudes.

Josephine wasn't the only famous cat to contribute to the Ragdoll line. Two other cats included Blackie, who was a solid black cat with features reminiscent of the Burmese. Daddy Warbucks was another famous sire. He and Josephine had a bicolor female offspring named Fugianna. Meanwhile, a litter that resulted from a pairing between Blackie and Josephine resulted in a dark brown female with Burmese traits, who was named Buckwheat. All subsequent Ragdoll generations are descendants of litters that resulted from pairings between Daddy Warbucks and Buckwheat as well as Daddy Warbucks and Fugianna.

Instead of introducing her new breed to traditional registries, Baker set up her own cat breed registry, which she called the International Ragdoll Cat Association (IRCA) in 1971. At that time, Ragdoll cats were not allowed registry by other associations. In 1975, a group of Ragdoll cat breeders decided to leave the IRCA in hopes of introducing their cats to major registries. They managed to develop non-IRCA Ragdoll breed standards, which were eventually adopted by CFA and other mainstream registries.

A second group of breeders left the IRCA and developed a new cat breed called the Ragamuffin, which shares many of the traits that make the Ragdoll so beloved.

IRCA is still in existence, however it has shrunk significantly since Baker's passing in 1997. IRCA Ragdoll cats are still considered separate from the mainstream and are not recognized at major cat shows or by mainstream cat breed organizations.

The Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) granted the breed registration status in 1993. Ragdoll cats gained championship status with the CFA in 2000. Today, these beautiful felines are recognized by cat breed registries worldwide.

Ragdoll Cat History

Did You Know?

The Ragdoll cat breed gets its name for its habit of relaxing completely when picked up and cuddled.

The breed's founder made some unusual claims about the origins of the Ragdoll cat, including stories that involved aliens, the combination of feline and human DNA, and even a suggestion that the CIA somehow influenced the breed's development. None of these claims were ever proven.

Ragdolls are among the largest domesticated cat breeds, with females sometimes weighing in at 15 pounds or more and males sometimes tipping the scales at 20 pounds or better.

The Breed Standard

About the Ragdoll Cat

Eyes

The eyes should be large, with an oval shape. All purebred Ragdoll cats should have blue eyes.

Legs & Paws

The legs should be of moderate length, and should be heavily boned. The front legs often display shorter fur, while the hind legs should show longer, feathery britches.

Tail

The Ragdoll cat’s tail should be long and full, with an attractive plume.

Body

The Ragdoll cat should be of medium to large size, with no extreme features. The body should be broad, solid, long, and full, with a muscular feel. A moderate stomach pad may be present on the lower abdomen.

Head

The head should be proportionately large with a broad, modified wedge shape that forms an equilateral triangle from the outside of the ears’ bases to the end of the muzzle. The muzzle should be gently rounded, and males may display jowls.

Ears

The ears should be medium sized, with wide bases and rounded tips. Ample furnishings may be present.

Coat

A Ragdoll cat’s coat should display far more non-matting guard hairs than wooly undercoat. Facial hair should be short and there may be a ruff. The coat’s length may be shorter in warm weather than in cold.

Color

Ragdoll kittens are born white. At full maturity, which takes place between the ages of two and four years, Ragdoll cats display a variety of colors and patterns patterns in several beautiful hues including seal, chocolate, lilac, red, and blue as well as in tortoiseshell and lynx. Many have subtle white markings on their faces and undersides. Mitted Ragdoll cats have white "snowshoe" feet and may also have white markings elsewhere.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a Ragdoll cat cost?

Ragdoll cats cost between $1200 - $2300.

How big do Ragdoll cats get?

Ragdoll cats tend to be large in size. A fully grown Ragdoll cat might weigh between 10-20 pounds or more and range in height anywhere from about 9"-11" inches tall.

How long do Ragdoll cats live?

The Average lifespan for Ragdoll is 18-20 years.

Do Ragdoll cats shed?

Ragdoll are long-haired cats, so you do have to expect a certain amount of shedding from this breed, but they don't shed as much as other cat breeds.

24 thoughts on “Ragdoll

    1. Val

      Ragdoll Rescue website

      I adopted my Ragdoll cat on a Ragdoll adoption website after wanting one for over 30 years. He was six and very shy.

      Now he rules the house and is 10 years old. What a loving cat. I recommend this type of cat for one person. As they require a lot of attention and love ❤️.

      Reply
      1. SL

        How do you mean that he rules the house? How about the maintenance and caring for their hair or fur? I had finally gotten used to not having cat hair on my pants but now I’m thinking getting another cat. I really wanted one that walks on a leash like I saw this cat do. I think he maybe too high maintenance for me

        Reply
        1. Sharon House

          They do require regular combing to keep the shedding, I call it “Molting” and depending on what kind of climate you live in (I’m in Southern California where temperatures can vary wildly) and will determine how much they shed (“Molt”). I try to get ‘most’ of him done weekly (he’s a big boy at 16-pounds so it takes a bit to get all of him). However, I was introduced to an awesome ‘de-shedder’ called a “FURminator” that does an amazing job with the fine undercoat and doesn’t pull the skin or hurt them (do NOT use this in front of an operating floor fan, as I found out the hard-way and had fur everywhere!)
          I hope this doesn’t deter you from looking at a Ragdoll…. they are SO loving and ‘snuggly’ (Mine likes to sleep on the pillow over my head at night.)

          Take care and stay well.

          Reply
        2. anne montgomery

          I have recently suffered the devastating loss of my rag doll queen. These are an amazing breed, they are so different o other cat breeds, they require a LOT od attention ,care and understanding, and back up if necessary. Your returns?? The best and most loyal, trustworthy, intelligent best friend you will ever have. simples. A lot of dedication and care required, and the returns on that are beyond measure,, but the input is major, and the output,, well ,Ragdolls really are the best.

          Reply
  1. Toni Carlson

    I had a wonderful seal bi-color mitted male years ago. I now have a rescued seal lynx pointed male who was drooling add trembling when I got him, he was SO frightened. He spent the first 7 weeks after I brought him home under the bed in my guest room. Little by little (I would visit him several times a day, after the 7th week little by little he took baby steps every day, and each day he would come a little farther. He now will lie down on command (a very gentle command). I know these cats are in high demand, but if you have it in your heart to adopt a rescue, I recommend it whole-heartedly.. My last Rag (believe it or not was a stray………..I didn’t even know what breed he was until my vet told me he was a full-blooded Ragdoll. (we did the testing,and I tried to find the owner..none to be found). These are the most wonderful cats I have ever had the pleasure of sharing my life with….they are definitely EXTRENELY special.

    Reply
    1. Terri White

      I was able to adopt my blue point rag doll cat from a human society when he was 5 mo old! He just turned 2 yes old and is the most wonderful cat anyone could ever want! I highly recommend d the breed!

      Reply
    2. Tammy

      I just adopted a black and white one the breeder didn’t want. Very traumatized. Have had him a couple weeks and he is finally coming out to visit from under the bed. Such a sweet thing. I’m glad we adopted too.

      Reply
    3. Elizabeth Robbins

      I found my flame point Ragdoll on the streets. Someone had cared enough to neuter him, probably the breeder, but the owner didn’t care enough to keep him indoors. I didn’t know until I took him to my vet that the breed has hip problems which is a fault. That probably why he was neutered.

      Reply
        1. Karla Greenwalt

          Same here. Mine is 13yrs old and she hasn’t experienced any type of hip issues. She climbs, runs, jumps, as any other “2yr old” cat going on 14yrs old, lol.

          Reply
  2. Shana Sanders

    We rescued a blue eyed kitten from the SPCA 5 years ago. My daughter could not leave without her. She was unidentifiable in color, weighted less than a pound, and had very little hair because of ringworm. We were told she had a very small chance of survival. We stopped at our vet on the way home and got her medical attention, and while we were waiting the vet assistant said he knew of a kitten that needed to be adopted that also had blue eyes……you know, just in case………..so we stopped and got her on the way home. Long story short, after months of care and quarantine, our first kitten grew into a beautiful rag doll that is the love of my daughters life. And her sister, the second rescue, is a darker seal point and is the sweetest cat I have ever had. What a lucky day when we rescued our sweet girls.

    Reply
  3. Connie L Foster

    My boy, Zeke, has Ragdoll in him. He’s a big boy of about 18 pounds, but is not fat. He is not a purebred. He is the most loving and attentive cat I have ever shared my home with. He loves to go for walks on his leash, he is strictly an indoor boy unless I am with him. He acts as if he is nursing/suckling, his favorite place is my neck or elbow pit. I got him at 6 weeks old, he is now 4. He is adorable, loving and feisty when it comes to play. He prefers fresh catnip to the dried variety. He is a character.

    Reply
      1. Cheryl

        Our son is getting a ragdoll /tabby the breeder states it is a “ragdoll” will she still have the character of a ragdoll??

        Reply
        1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta

          I wouldn’t trust a breeder who tries to sell you a ragdoll/moggy cross as a ragdoll. For one, a tabby is not a breed. Secondly, a ragdoll “cross” isn’t a ragdoll, and anyone who says otherwise is ignorant or lying to you, neither of which are qualities you want in a breeder. Given that they’ve made this claim, I really can’t trust anything they say and, unfortunately, can’t say anything about the qualities you’re likely to see in this cat.

          Reply
  4. Anonymous

    I have been lucky enough to rescue two bonded Ragdoll brothers from a neglect situation. They are both such a joy! But, having said that, I would strongly argue against the statement that these cats don’t really have any health issues. It quickly became apparent when I brought these two home that there was significant digestive-related issues. Both cats have severe IBD and are on an extremely limited diet due to extensive food allergies. Also, before having their teeth cleaned, my regular vet had me have them genetically tested for the gene that causes hypertrophic cardiomyopathy as it runs rampant in this breed. Many Ragdoll kittens just drop dead from cardiac arrest before the age of 2. I’ve spoken to 3 vets, and 2 feline specific nutritionists about these boys and their health issues. All five specialists have said that health problems are extremely common in this breed.

    Reply
    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta

      Hello there. These are all good points and observations. I’ve updated the article to include some more specific information on the breed’s predisposition to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Thank you.

      Reply
  5. Jay Scott

    We adopted Fancy at 6 months old from our local shelter . She was white in color with blue eyes and listed as a Siamese but it’s pretty apparent that she’s most likely a Ragdoll . She’s turned progressively darker each of her 7 years , her coat is highly unusual . Everyone who sees her agrees with her name – she’s fancy ! They fetch like a dog , great indoor cats , goes outdoors but stays in the yard and comes in at dusk , sleeps all night . The only complaint is that she abused my 1940s leather club chair but we still love her !

    Reply
  6. Jay Scott

    Highly recommend breed – perhaps you’ll be lucky enough to adopt on , as they’re an obscure mix , even for vets – apparently expensive too!

    Reply
  7. Sharon House

    The 2 my-ex and I have were ‘foundlings’ when they were just weeks old…11-years ago. It’s true that they ‘pick-their-person’ as, when we got divorced, the larger of the 2, a tripoint, and contrary to reports that Ragdolls are not ‘very-vocal’ is TOTALLY the opposite and is VERY vocal…ALL the time!! His brother, a Lavendar-point, was more attached to my ex. and, for some reason, thought that I was the ‘Wicked Witch of the West”, even though I was the one that was calling the same animal control officers to get him out from between 2 cinder-block walls. Oh well, it all worked out…. both are happy and healthy in their own homes with either another cat or with multiple cats and a dog.

    My advice, and it’s COMPLETELY my opinion…. if you go to a shelter and find a kitten that has beautiful blue eyes and longer hair (than a Siamese), you have, more than likely, found a Ragdoll. I am by NO means ‘promising’ ANYTHING as the Ragdoll’s real markings don’t show through until they are about 3-4 years old BUT, even up to that point, if they don’t mind being picked up and go ‘limp’ when you do…chances are, they’re a Ragdoll and your will NEVER be disappointed!

    Reply
    1. Avatar photoKate Barrington

      Thanks for the insider info, Sharon! Animal rescues have their hands full and don’t always have the time or resources to dedicate to breed identification but these tips are very useful for those looking specifically for a Ragdoll!

      Reply
  8. Jean McDade

    I have a RagDoll she is sweet loving and very affectionate. I’m very glad I found her. She is very vocal. Especially when she wants food.

    Reply

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