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Cat Facts: Ragdoll Cats

By Wendy Rose Gould
published: July 17, 2018 - updated: August 8, 2022 • 3 min. read
ragdoll cat breed

If there’s one thing you ought to know about the Ragdoll cat it’s that this silky, long-haired, blue-eyed feline is an exceptionally loving and affectionate breed. True to its given name (and its nickname as the “puppy cat”) they adore being held, carried around, and perched atop their owner’s lap. In fact, when you pick them up their body becomes relaxed and limp just like a ragdoll, and when they’re not being held, you can bet they’re very close by.

Breed Personality and Physical Description

As mentioned, Ragdoll cats are known for being very sweet and loving toward their owners, but they also get along very well children, strangers, and even other animals. This, of course, makes them quite special in the cat realm, as many other felines often prefer to be on their own and can have skittish or standoffish personalities.

Like a puppy, they’ll greet their owners at the door, cuddle up on the couch, curl up on laps, and sweetly follow their human around from room to room. As a general rule, ragdolls are mellow, easygoing, and very adaptable. They can be led around on a leash, are okay with getting dressed up, and definitely love to play. Add a treat to the mix and you’ll be their favorite, for sure.  two ragdoll kittens

In terms of physical traits, they are definitely a very beautiful breed with their long hair, plumed tail, and piercing blue eyes. Though their name might make you think they’re small, that isn’t the case. Ragdolls are considered a larger cat breed with females weighing between 10 to 15 pounds, and males sometimes weighing over 20 pounds. To put that into perspective, the average cat weighs between 8 to 10 pounds.

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Breed History

Let us give thanks to Ann Barker, the Californian who brought us one of the most precious cat breeds the world has ever known. The story goes something like this… In the 1960s, a beautiful white, long-haired cat named Josephine had several litters of cats with an assortment of gentleman callers.

Barker discovered that one of these litters contained cats that were exceptionally docile and would go limp when you picked them up. Josephine had a second litter that produced the same, and Barker took it upon herself to seize the unique characteristics of these precious kitties. She purchased several of the cats and begin breeding for the traits Ragdolls are known for today, including their mild temperament, large size, pointed coloration, and affectionate tendencies (you can read an even more in-depth explanation, but we’ll save you the specifics).

In 1993, the Cat Fanciers Association began registering Ragdolls, and the breed was fully recognized in 2000. Today, the American Cat Fanciers Association and The International Cat Association formally recognize the breed.

Common Health Issues

Ragdolls are prone to a few health concerns, including an inherited heart disease that’s called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. You can have a DNA test performed on your cat to see if it has a predisposition towards developing this disorder. This breed also has a higher risk of getting bladder stones and Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP). Tip: Signing up for pet insurance while your cat is young and without pre-existing conditions could help you save up to 90% on future vet bills.

Because of their long hair, ragdolls require a weekly combing and monthly bathing, otherwise their fur can become easily tangled and matted. As with any cat, a yearly veterinary appointment, consistent dental hygiene, and healthy, balanced diet is integral in a long had happy life. Their lifespan is generally 12 to 17 years.

ragdoll kitten

Fun Facts

  • In the same way it takes Dalmatians time for their spots to appear, it takes time for a Ragdoll to grow into its coat. By about 10 days old, their points start coming, but it can take up to three to four years for them to fully mature in terms of size and coloring.
  • Ragdoll cats are known to have a fascination with water. They love to play with the faucet and may even try to join their humans in the bathtub or shower!
  • Though the most famous type of Ragdoll is white and caramel hued, this breed can take on four different types of patterns, including mitted, van, bicolor, and colorpoint.

Proud pet parents, share a picture of your ravishing Ragdoll with us on Instagram by tagging #gohealthypaws.

wendy gould
By Wendy Rose Gould

Wendy Rose Gould is a freelance lifestyle reporter based in Phoenix, Arizona. She has been in journalism for over a decade, and has been freelancing almost that entire time. In addition to lifestyle reporting, she also works with brands to create marketing content for their websites and blogs.

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