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Ragdoll kittens are a product of thorough breeding carried out not long ago. This breed has blue eyes and a colorpoint coat. Surprisingly, this breed has rather developed muscles, large proportions, and a semi-longhair coat. This breed was developed by Ann Baker, an American breeder. The name “Ragdoll” is derived from a funny fact: when being picked up, these cats go limp and relax as if you are picking up a ragdoll. Another sonorous name is “dog-like cat” or even “puppy-like cat” as the Ragdolls have a habit of following people wherever those go.
The History Behind the Breed
In the 1960’s, a white domestic non-pedigreed longhair cat named Josephine produced litters of typical cats. She was an Angora-Persian cat and had kittens sired by a male Burmese cat, one of which had Siamese point coloration. The kittens differed from others by their placid temper with a habit of relaxing when being picked up. When these kittens produced own litter, American breeder, Ann Baker, bought the kittens from the owner and decided to create a new cat, which is now known as the Ragdoll.
However, due to increasingly strict breeding rules, another group left the IRCA in 1994
Over many years, the breed was selected for its large size, gentlebehavior, and the characteristic tendency to go limp when picked up. Ann Baker later trademarked the name “Ragdoll” and set her own registry in the year 1971. She established the IRCA, International Ragdoll Cat Association, and set standards for everyone who wanted to sell and breed Ragdoll cats. In other associations, the new breed was not allowed to be registered. Nowadays, the IRCA is still operational but IRCA cats are not recognized by any major organization.
In 1975, Denny and Laura Dayton quit the IRCA in order to gain wide recognition for the Ragdoll. They made a team that led them to developing standards of the breed, which are accepted today in large registries such as the FIFE and the CFA.
In the early 1960’s, a pair of Ragdolls was brought to the UK. Another eight cats followed in order to establish an independent selection of the breed in the UK. This breed was recognized by Cat Fancy. However, due to increasingly strict breeding rules, another group left the IRCA in 1994. As a result, they created another new breed called the Ragamuffin. No newly bred cats, including those of every offshoot group, could be called Ragdolls due to the rights of the name being owned by Ann Baker. However, in 2005, the “Ragdoll” trademark was not renewed, and since then all cats bred within the same standard and breed have been called Ragdolls.
Temperament and Personality
Ragdolls are docile, floppy creatures that have characteristics inherited from Persian and Burmese cats. Their docility is an inherited trait, a result of genetic mutation. There is yet another exclusive trait – the Ragdoll’s limpness. When being picked up, a Ragdoll will remind you of laundry just picked out of the washing machine. This limpness can be very funny to look at. Ragdolls pile one on top of the other or don’t react at all when being accidentally pushed along the floor. The standards describe these cats as relaxed and gentle, and are easy to handle. The standard, however, doesn’t state all of the particularities that you may come across.
Ragdolls are viewed as phlegmatic versions of their owners, but don’t misunderstand them.
They are known as “puppy cats” due to their placid nature and affection common with many dog breeds.
They love being taken by any person – whether it be a member family or someone seen for the first time, providing that this someone has good intentions and behaves gently.
They’re good for families with children as they can withstand excessive attention and unexpected behavior.
Ragdolls prefer a calm environment to a busy household and must be kept indoors.
They are not as active as you would expect them to be. They prefer lying on the floor to leaping around.
Unlike other breeds, Ragdolls like to roll over and allow people to tickle their bellies. This is rather uncommon, as the majority of cats see the belly as the most vulnerable spot to a predator.
Ragdolls are viewed as phlegmatic versions of their owners, but don’t misunderstand them. Their inactivity does not mean they can go on without your presence. Ragdolls need attention just as any cat does.
Where to Buy a Ragdoll Kitten
Buying a Ragdoll kitten in a pet store is not recommended. There is always the possibility of purchasing a kitten who needs veterinary attention and urgent vaccination. Pet store staff will likely show you documents stating that the particular kitten you are about to buy is completely healthy. However, if you doubt the origin of the papers you may refuse and have full right to do so. Pet stores commonly deal with catteries that are in urgent need of customers. You should remember that reputable catteries that specialize in one breed only need no advertising. They keep records of buyers who desire to purchase a kitten long before its birth!
Buying a Ragdoll kitten from a breeder is the only way to ensure the safety and the quality of your purchase
In reality, this means that kittens are born two to three times a yearand every single one of them is taken proper care of, including vaccination and vet check-ups alongside health certificates. Moreover, breeders allow visiting to their catteries as often as you may need in order to make your choice and get acquainted with a certain kitten that you will eventually take home with you.
When searching for a breeder, visit the following sites:
TICA.org/find-a-breeder – official site of The International Cat Association
ACFAcat.com – The American Cat Fanciers Association
RFCI.org – The Ragdoll Fanciers Club
RFWClub.org – The Ragdoll Fanciers Worldwide Club
USApurrs.com – a reputable cattery
BreedList.com/breeders/ragd.html – here you can find several breeders with contact info
Buying a Ragdoll kitten from a breeder is the only way to ensure the safety and the quality of your purchase. Breeders thrive on their own popularity being spread mainly by hearsay, hence they do their best to satisfy any demands. Visiting an outstanding cattery, you may have a decent voyage around it with a profound lecture on the topic, and thus you will make up your mind about buying a Ragdoll kitten. Don’t be shy when asking the owner about the cattery, or for several visits in order to learn as much as possible about a particular kitten. Believe us – should the breeder understand how thorough you are in your searches, he will immediately tell you everything you want to know about the breed and will do his best to help you choose the loveliest kitten there is.
Colors and Patterns of Ragdoll Kittens
Ragdolls don’t have a huge variety of colors, unlike the two previously mentioned breeds. This small palette of shades and colors makes Ragdolls seem alike, but they do have distinctions. For some, it may be hard to tell the difference between two virtually similar kittens. Many people are confused by the different types of Ragdolls and think the seal point is the only type. It is the most popular, but there are different colors and patterns. Ragdolls normally acquire their full color when becoming an adult at the age of 2 years old. They come in 6 basic colors, with 3 patterns, 4 types, and 2 variations.
There are around 240 variations available, but breeders deal with traditional Ragdolls as dominant gene bearers which are likely to be born with certain colors.
Seal: shades of cream and brown all over the body with deep seal, which is dark brown and almost black.
Blue: silvery blue-grey of a light shade with deep blue-grey on the points.
Chocolate: light creams with brown, a deep brown on the ears, and light chocolate on the tail.
Lilac: a creamer shade of white on the body with light blue-lilac shade on the points.
Red: otherwise known as “flame,” this color shows red-orange on the points with cream colors on the body.
Cream: peachy cream on the points whilst the body is almost white.
Points: points/pointed/colorpoint is the most popular pattern.
Mitted: such kittens have different colored feet.
Bicolor: these kittens show definite borders in coloring.
Traditional: normal Ragdolls with blue eyes.
Mink: a richer color with common blue-green eyes and a thicker coat.
Sepia: dark colored with a plushy coat and any color of the eyes. Blue-eyed Sepias are a rarity.
Solid colors: deep rich color without shading. The rarest of these are solid white kittens with blue eyes.
Lynx or Tabby: tabby stripes over the top of another pattern.
Tortoise Shell or Tortie: may be of seal, blue, lilac, or chocolate colors.
There are around 240 variations available, but breeders deal with traditional Ragdolls as dominant gene bearers which are likely to be born with certain colors. As solid colors and Sepias are not bred regularly, they remain very rare types of Ragdolls which demand a higher price. Ragdolls are surprisingly abundant in terms of colors, even though you may find them looking almost alike.
Care Tips and Recommendations
Caring after your Ragdoll kitten is not challenging, but before you create a feeding, grooming, and bathing regime, it may take you some time to become accustomed to having someone else around who constantly needs your attention. Let’s surf through all of the must-to tips one by one.
You will learn to be more responsible from the very first day, should you bring a new fluffy friend home
Feeding: The breeder that sold you the kitten will provide you with all of the information necessary concerning the feeding regiment, including types of food, transition from one brand to another, dieting, and which products are allowed and which are strictly prohibited. No matter what the breeder suggests, you will be feeding your kitten both dry and wet food and track his weight and size to make sure the kitten isn’t getting obese (read more about healthy kitten food).
Grooming: A thorough grooming done twice a week is a sensible practice that helps keep the cat’s coat in proper condition. If you neglect this procedure, your Ragdoll’s coat will form knots. When your kitten begins its’ first shedding (around 4-5 months of age), thus loosing child fluff and acquiring its solid adult coat, grooming must be done thoroughly to prevent hairballs. Don’t worry – your kitten will certainly like being groomed.
Toilet habits: Your kitten should be using the same litter used by the breeder. When you get home, you should keep the kitten in one room only and open the other rooms for him gradually because he is still too little for big spaces and can easily get lost or stuck somewhere. The litter box must be kept in the same room where the kitten is being kept. If your kitten doesn’t know where the litter box is, it is better to keep him in one room for a while until the kitten learns to release himself in the litter box and knows where to find it.
Play: All kittens, no matter what their breed is, love playing with their owner, another pet, or with each other. Sometimes you may give him a toy and he will be preoccupied for hours to come. Ragdolls particularly enjoy balls, but be ready to keep retrieving it every time the kitten runs the ball under furniture. Play can be very tiring and only your kitten knows when to stop. Normally it may take up to 20 minutes before your kitten falls asleep like a log. Playing develops a kitten’s instincts, exercises him physically, improves agility, and positively influences his mood.
Vaccination: Ragdoll kittens are normally sold after reaching the age of 12 weeks. By this age, they will have already undergone necessary vaccinations against cat flu, panleukopenia, and enteritis. The majority of all breeders will provide you owners with the health certificates along with the vaccination history. In any other case, you should contact a local veterinarian clinic and pay a visit to a vet to find out whether any vaccinations are required.
As a conclusion of the topic, we would like to say that keeping a kitten at home is not a walk in the park but neither is it as challenging as you may have thought. You will learn to be more responsible from the very first day, should you bring a new fluffy friend home.
Learn more about other kitten breeds from the following articles: