A young seal lynx-pointed Ragdoll. (CC Image credit: BlackIceNRW on Wikipedia.) Let’s be real, in general cats aren’t exactly known for their warm, friendly demeanors. If you want tons of affection at first sight, you stick with puppies. And then there’s the Ragdoll cat. This appropriately named breed is equal parts stunning and warmhearted, which is probably why it’s inspired so many devoted fans, breeders, and even social media accounts! So what makes Ragdolls such a coveted breed?
The Origins of the Ragdoll May Surprise YouAnn Baker, primary originator of the ragdoll breed, with some early members of the bloodline. (Image credit: 't Hammerboskey) 't Hammerboske Hammerboske Spynx & Ragdoll Cattery Unlike the Egyptian Mau cats, a breed that used to hang with pharaohs in ancient Egypt, the Ragdoll has only been around since the 1960s. A breeder named Ann Baker accidentally ran over a white longhaired domestic cat running around her Riverside, California neighborhood. She helped the cat recover and named her Josephine. Baker found Josephine’s sweet and docile traits so appealing that she started breeding her with other equally calm and beautiful cats in the area to develop the majestic breed we know today. Baker named her breed ‘Ragdoll’ because these cats are so friendly they have a tendency to collapse like a ragdoll in your arms or curl up in your lap any chance they get. That’s just one of their signature characteristics.
Ragdoll Characteristics & CareEven though Ragdolls were purposefully bred for their calm and relaxed temperaments, they’re not lazy house cats. Just as curious and interested in your daily activities as a dog would be, Ragdolls greet you at the door, follow you around the house, and even sleep on top of you at night. Give them positive reinforcement and they can be taught to play fetch or come when their name’s called. These cats are pretty large; males can reach 20 pounds and females usually weigh 10–15 pounds when they’re mature. Ragdolls are known for their striking blue eyes and their silky coats, which can vary in color and hair length. It can take up to two years for a Ragdoll to develop their true coat color! Though most Ragdolls have medium to long hair, their coats don’t need constant grooming. You’ll just have to pay close attention to your Ragdoll’s ears to make sure their long hairs aren’t trapping dirt, debris, and small insects inside. Compounding that with ear wax and a moist environment makes Ragdolls susceptible to ear infections. Always use an all-natural, chemical-free ear cleaning solution such as EcoEars to keep ear infections at bay without creating excess moisture inside your cat’s ear. The antimicrobial and disinfecting properties will handle bacterial, yeast, and fungal infections, and will even eliminate ear mites. Check out our article on Longhaired Cat Care for more grooming tips!
Ragdoll Fans Online
Breeders and Ragdoll owners can join The Ragdoll Fanciers Club International to connect and enter their cats in competitions. Jenny Dean, creator of the website Floppycats, dishes up everything Ragdoll from breed-specific health care and product reviews to rescue info. Submit your photos to their Ragdoll Kitten of the Month and their Ragdoll of the Week contests! Fill your Instagram feed with @sky_the_ragdoll, a male Rag who looks more like a cloud of marshmallows; @ragdollgino, the account of three darling Ragdolls; and by searching the hashtag #ragdoll. You won’t be disappointed. :-) If your family can’t decide between adopting a playful puppy or a handsome kitty, consider a Ragdoll and have the best of both worlds.