What is a Ragdoll?
The Ragdoll is a large affectionate, semi-longhaired cat with captivating blue eyes. One of the largest breeds in the cat fancy, the Ragdoll gets along well with children and other pets, including dogs, often living up to its name as it gets carried around the house in a child's arms. These sturdy cats have no extreme features and blend easily in to the busy modern household.
Ann Baker of Riverside, California developed
the Ragdoll breed in the early 1960s. A pure white
longhaired cat named Josephine is believed to be
the matriarch of the breed along with a seal mitted
male named Daddy Warbucks and a solid black cat
named Blackie. Daddy Warbucks was bred to a
daughter of Josephine named Buckwheat and her
half sister, Fugianna. These cats are the foundation of
the Ragdoll breed. Ann insisted Josephine's genes
were altered at a nearby medical center where she was
taken after being hit by a car. Litters born after her
return from the hospital had the limp, loving personalities
Ragdolls are known for, unlike her "normal" kittens
born prior to her hospitalization. Baker's breeding
program consisted of a handful of breeders contracted
as franchises under her. As time went on, Baker
became more eccentric and breeders broke away from
her so they could continue to develop the highly
affectionate and consistently patterned cats.
Denny and Laura Dayton were among the breeders
who distanced themselves from Baker and went on to
play a major role in making the Ragdoll into a
legitimate breed recognized by all the major registries.
The Ragdoll is a relaxed, happy cat and, like a child's
ragdoll, many of these cats will go limp in your arms
and flop like a stuffed doll when cuddled. Generally,
the Ragdoll cat is a loving, quiet cat with a very
laidback disposition. If you are looking for a very active
cat or a talkative cat, a Ragdoll probably is not the
breed for you, although kittens and young adults can
be very rambunctious and most Ragdolls are always
willing to play. Ragdolls are known for their tolerant
attitudes with other animals and especially children and many will allow themselves to be dressed in doll clothes and carried around by youngsters with absolutely no resistance. They are often compared to dogs because of their friendliness and intelligence and have even been taught to play fetch.
The Ragdoll's medium length, silky coat has a soft rabbit-like texture. There is little shedding of the coat except in the spring and fall. Its soft texture means it stays on top of surfaces and is easy to pick-up with a hand or damp cloth. All pointed Ragdolls have beautiful blue eyes and come in three patterns: color point, bicolor, mitted. The Ragdoll color pallet consists of seal, blue, chocolate, lilac, cinnamon, fawn, red and cream along with the tortoiseshell and lynx (or tabby) variations. Color point Ragdolls have classic markings like the Siamese with no white anywhere on the body; mitted Ragdolls have white feet in the front looking like mittens and white to the hock on the back legs looking like boots along with a possible white blaze on the face; bicolor Ragdolls have more white extending higher up the legs than on the mitteds, splashes of white on the back, a white underside and an inverted white V on the face.The Ragdoll is one of the largest of the cat breeds and takes up to four years to reach full maturity. Fully developed males weigh from 15-20 pounds with the proportionately smaller females weigh from 10-15 pounds. These gentle cats have long, substantial bodies with sturdy boning to match. They have a sweet expression emphasized by the large eyes full of love and devotion. Their features are composed of soft curves and transitions with nothing extreme or exaggerated.The Ragdoll's plush, silky coat requires little routine grooming,although it should be brushed or combed weekly with a steel comb to remove dead hair from their coats and separate any tangles. During shedding season, be sure to watch for some tangles under the armpits.
Mink Ragdolls are born with color, unlike the traditional Ragdolls which are born white and develop their color over the next few days to weeks. The coat of a Mink is smoother and much softer, and develops a darker and richer point color, than the Traditional Ragdoll. The body color of a Mink is a few shades lighter than their points. Minks come in the same traditional colors...Blue, Seal, Lilac, Flame, Chocolate and Tortie. Mink Ragdolls also have the traditional coat patterns of mitted, colorpoint, bicolor and can be accompanied by a lynx pattern. The eye color of a Mink is a normally a stunning bluish-green or aqua color. A Mink Ragdoll can give birth to both traditional and Mink kittens in the same litter as they carry the gene for the pointed traditional variety of Ragdoll. Mink to Mink breedings can produce what is known as a Sepia. These are much darker and richer in color than the Minks. A Sepia mated with a Traditional Ragdoll will produce 75% mink kittens and 25% traditional kittens. Sepia kittens come in all the traditional colors as well and can be accompanied by lynx pattern, with smoke or silver shading. The Sepia eye color can vary from green to gold - also referred to as chartreuse.