About Ragdoll Cats
About Ragdoll Cats
The Ragdoll cat breed is the perfect combination you can get. Ragdolls are beautiful, super soft, playfully fun, intelligent, mild mannered, and friendly.
Unlike most cats who are solitary creatures, ragdolls characteristically want to be with people. They want to sit on your lap or at least sit with you. They seek human companionship.
We think that ragdolls are the best possible cat to have.
Ragdoll cats are technically a long-hair cat, but the hair is more of a semi-long length when compared with breeds that have very long hair.
Their eyes are a beautiful blue color.
Fully grown males can weigh between 12 and 20 pounds. Fully grown females can weigh between 8 and 15 pounds.
Ragdoll cats require 3 to 4 years to reach full size.
When they are born, Ragdoll kittens are completely white. The pattern will start to emerge within several days, with their color appearing in a couple of weeks of birth. Their coloration will be fully developed by the time they are 2 to 3 years old.
They are renowned for their extraordinary personality. They are friendly and want to be with people, making them excellent family pets. Some people refer to ragdoll cats as “the golden retriever of the cat world” because they are such good natured cats. Our young children play with and carry the kittens around and the kittens tolerate the immature handling remarkably well. Our children get a few scratches from time to time when a kitten wants to change position or jump down, but it isn’t from an aggressive action on the part of the kitten.
Here is an interesting video clip from a DVD published years ago by Ragnarok cattery. This is Ann Baker (the creator of the Ragdoll breed) demonstrating how docile the ragdoll breed is, by swinging, handling and tossing an adult cat.
The Ragdoll Breed was created in the 1960s by a woman named Ann Baker who lived in Riverside California. She passed away in 1997.
In 1963, Ann’s neighbor (Merle Pennels) had a feral cat named Josephine who lived outdoors. Since Josephine was feral, she wasn’t any particular breed, but rather was a mongrel mix of whatever circulated in that area. Josephine was white colored and reportedly had the appearance of a white or Turkish-Angora cat. However, being feral, Josephine was almost certainly not purebred and was definitely not registered. Her genetics were never tested because that technology didn’t exist in the 1960s.
First, Ann borrowed a male cat from Merle Pennels that had the appearance of a Birman breed cat, also known as the “Sacred Cat of Burma”. It is believed that this cat was feral and it is therefore important to emphasize its “appearance” – it was not registered or known with any confidence what its breed truly was. Ann bred this cat to Josephine who and Daddy Warbucks was born.
- Daddy Warbucks was solid black male, and became the foundational male for the Ragdoll breed.
Later, Ann mated Daddy Warbucks (Josephine’s son) back to Josephine and Fugianna was born.
- Fugianna was a seal pointed bicolor female, and became the foundational female for the light side of the breed.
Ann also acquired Josephine’s daugher, Buckwheat, from the Pennels. It is not clear which male was bred to Josephine to sire Buckwheat, but it is believed to be a different feral cat than the one who sired Daddy Warbucks.
- Buckwheat was a black and white mitted female, and became the foundational female for the dark side of the breed.
In the summer of 1965, Ann mated Daddy Warbucks to Buckwheat, and they produced a litter of four kittens:
- two pointed kittens, a seal mitted male named Kyoto, and a seal colorpoint female named Tiki.
- two solid-colored kittens, that she named Gueber & Mitts. The two solids were never registered as Ragdolls.
Josephine, Daddy Warbucks, Fugianna, and Buckwheat are the cats from which the Ragdoll breed was established over a several-year period of selective breeding.
All of them were “alley cats” as Ann herself stated. Of these four, only Daddy Warbucks and Fugianna were registered as Ragdolls in the National Cat Fanciers Association (NCFA) on December 30, 1966. NFCA was the first cat association to recognize the Ragdoll as a breed.
Click here if you want to read more, see some photos or watch video of Ann Baker tell the story of how she created the breed.
Colors, Patterns and Features
The TICA Registration lists more than 4800 color, pattern and feature combinations that can be used to register Ragdoll cats. Here is that list if you really want to read it.
Our beautiful Ragdolls come in the following colors, patterns and features:
- Colors: Seal, Blue, Cream, Red (“Flame”), Chocolate and Lilac
- Patterns: Point, Mitted and Bicolor
- Features: Lynx, Tortie
Check out this page with photos that show examples of the colors, patterns and features.
Myths about Ragdoll Cats
The Ragdoll cat breed was created in the 1960s, which is relatively new compared to many other cat breeds. As a result, many of the historical details of the creation of the breed are documented, unlike most other long-established breeds which started hundreds or thousands of years ago. The relative newness of the breed also allowed for myths about ragdolls to be perpetuated, some of which are quite amusing.
Check out this page to read about some of the myths and the truth about each one.
There has been significant interest in the genetics of the many cat breeds that exist.
Dr. Solveig Pflueger received both a PhD in linguistics and a MD from The University of Texas. She worked as a cytogeneticist and pathologist at Baystate Medical Center. Dr. Pfluegerwas an active member of the Broad Brook Opera House, The International Cat Association and many other organizations. She passed away in 2014, but not before making a significant contribution to the understanding of cat genetics. One key detail about ragdolls that she determined is that the Ragdoll’s white spotting gene is not the same as in the Birman breed. Her work scientifically proved that the Birman breed is not a direct ancestor of the Ragdoll breed.
One of the scientific studies on the subject of cat genetics is available online to read:
- Patterns of molecular genetic variation among cat breeds
Genomics, January 2008
Check out this page if you want to see an important detail about the ragdoll cat breed that is demonstrated in this paper.