What makes a cat a Ragdoll?


What makes a cat a ragdoll?

Ragdoll cats are known for their soft, silky colorpoint coat and bright blue eyes. These cats are medium to large felines. But, despite their size, they’re surprisingly cuddly and are true lap cats.

They make great companions to their family members, other house pets, and even children because of their docile and affectionate personalities.

History of the Ragdoll cats

The Ragdoll cat is a relatively new cat breed developed in the 1960s by a cat breeder- Ann Baker, in Riverside, California.

The Ragdoll cat breed’s foundation started with cats that Baker adapted and owned: a domestic longhair cat named “Josephine” and other varieties of longhaired cats without pedigree. Josephine had a white coat with barely noticeable features of a black tuxedo or seal mitted coat pattern.



Baker crossbred the cats with calm, docile, and affectionate personalities with cats with colorpoint coats or Himalayan patterns like those of the Siamese cat’s coat, such as Persian cats, Burmese, and Birmans.

The result was a new cat breed, which she named “Ragdoll” because this new cat breed loved to dangle happily like a doll whenever someone picked them up.

You might want to know this too: Will a Ragdoll Cats Scratch My Furniture?

How old is your cat in human years? Try our cat age in human years calculator.

Strange theories

However, despite the successful development of the Ragdoll cat breed by Baker, she also has a lot of very unusual claims about the process of development of this cat breed.

These weird claims include alien intervention, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) experiments, and mixing human genes with the cat genes. But her claims don’t come with any basis and are disregarded by other breeders and cat associations.

Official recognition

Years later, other people began developing and breeding Ragdoll cats as well. These breeders decided to part ways with Ann Baker. They organized the Ragdoll Fanciers Club International, which aimed to achieve the Ragdoll breed standardization and recognition from all cat registries worldwide.

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In 1993, the CFA (Cat Fanciers Association) began registering the new cat breed. In the year 2000, Ragdoll cats received full recognition from the same cat association. Today, Ragdolls still receive recognition from various cat registries, including The International Cat Association and the American Cat Fanciers Association.

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Physical appearance

Bright blue eyes

Ragdoll cats have a pair of remarkable bright blue eyes. According to the cat registries’ standards for the Ragdoll cat breed, all of these felines must have these striking blue eyes. So, if you see a Ragdoll-looking cat without blue eyes, then it’s not a real Ragdoll.

Some breeders advertise and sell a variation of Ragdoll cat without blue eyes. But this type of Ragdoll cat is not recognized and accepted by any Ragdoll cat association.

Soft and silky coat

Ragdoll cats have a soft, luxurious, silky, long coat. The characteristics of their coat are what made them remarkable among cat breeds. Despite their long hair, they don’t actually shed that much and they only require very minimal grooming.

Their shiny coat only gets a little matted under their armpits during their shedding season. And their hair can be easily cleaned up when shedding because of its soft nature.

Colorpoint coat

Ragdoll cats come in various coat patterns, including colorpoint, mitted, bi-color, and van. Their coat also comes in various colors, such as seal, chocolate, blue, red, lilac, and cream. At the same time, their colored points can be tortie, lynx, solid, or torbie.

However, even if Ragdolls come in various patterns and colors, the only accepted coat pattern of a Ragdoll from their breed standards is the colorpoint coat. The standard Ragdoll cat should have a light-colored body with darker colored extremities (the ears, tail, face, and legs).

Other pattern variations of Ragdoll cats

Mitted coat pattern

The mitted Ragdolls have belly stripes, white front feet, and white boots around and up to their knees. Mitted Ragdolls also feature a white chin and star or hourglass-shaped patch on their noses and foreheads.

Bi-color Ragdolls

These Ragdolls’ ears, tails, and the outer part of their face are darker than their whiter underbodies, paws, chest, and V-markings on their faces.

The Van pattern

The dark markings only show on their ears, tail, top of their face, and few body spots.

Ragdolls are large cats

Ragdoll cats are relatively large cats compared to the other domestic cat breeds. Male Ragdoll cats are typically larger than the females. Male Ragdolls weigh an average of 15 to 20 pounds, while female Ragdolls can weigh from 10 pounds to 15 pounds.

Personality of Ragdoll cats

Affectionate cats

These cats were named “Ragdolls” because they tend to flop or happily collapse into the arms of anyone who holds or picks them up. Ragdoll cats are affectionate to their owners. They love greeting their family members at the door, cuddling, sitting on their owners’ lap, or snuggling on the sofa or bed whenever they want or whenever they have a chance.

Docile but intelligent cats

Ragdoll cats are labelled as being docile because they follow instructions very well and can be easily trained.  These cats are also intelligent. They can quickly learn and do tricks, especially when receiving rewards when they’ve accomplished something.

The most common tricks or things that Ragdolls can learn is to come whenever called and retrieve toys that are thrown as an interactive activity. They love to play with their toys and join in interactive activities with their family members.

Ragdolls are well-mannered and have a sweet voice

Ragdoll cats can get along quickly with almost anyone because of their nice manners. They aren’t loud or vocal. They have a small sweet voice, which you’ll hear when they want to remind you about mealtime or whenever they need anything.

These cats aren’t fond of heights. They want to stay as close as possible to their human companion. You’ll usually find them on the sofa, bed, or any spot of your house that is on the same level as their family members’ height.

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Common questions about Ragdoll cats

Are Ragdoll cats high maintenance?

Ragdoll cats have a luxurious, long silky coat. Despite their remarkable coat features, these cats are not a high maintenance cat when it comes to grooming. They only need regular combing or grooming. And even if their coat is long, Ragdolls don’t shed that much. This makes Ragdoll cats an ideal pet for families or single people because they can be maintained easily.

Can a ragdoll cat be left alone?

There are solitary cats, which can be left alone for some time. Still, no cat should be left alone without any companion indefinitely. Ragdolls are an affectionate cat breed, which means they require a lot of attention from their owners. These cats can’t be left alone for a long time because they have a very low tolerance for solitude.

 Do ragdolls eat a lot?

Ragdoll cats’ diet is not that different from any other domestic cat breeds’ diet. However, these cats tend to eat more than the normal diet of a typical house cat.  Ragdolls tend to eat more because of their naturally large size. They need more food and nutrition for them to reach their average size.

How do you know if your cat is part Ragdoll?

It is easy to figure out if your cat is part ragdoll with a DNA test. Ragdoll cats do come in a lot of variations, so it can be tricky to figure out how big a part of your cat is really Ragdoll. With a DNA test, you can figure out what mix of breeds your cat consists of.

You can get a DNA test right here.

 Wrapping up

The striking bright blue eyes, large body size, and silky-soft, color-point long coats are the remarkable physical characteristics that make a cat a Ragdoll. A Ragdoll cat is also notably docile, affectionate, playful, intelligent, and low maintenance, making them a perfect fur-friend and companion for a single person or a big family.

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Rolf

I love animals. Growing up we had a lot of cats, rabbits and chickens.

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