The Ragdoll - The Cat Who Thinks It's A Dog!

If you are looking for a beautiful, sweet and playful cat as a companion, then look no further. The loyal and devoted Ragdoll could be the cat for you. One of the most popular cat breeds, these gentle giants are easy to care for and will give you hours of fun. Docile, calm and even tempered they absolutely adore humans, crave attention and are definitely not the calm and aloof type of feline! Introduced to the world by Californian based cat breeder Ann Baker back in 1963, the Ragdolls acquired their name from their reflex action of flopping like a ragdoll when held. This delightful breed was first imported into the UK in 1981 and they have grown in popularity since then, both as pets and as show cats.

Appearance

One of the largest breeds of domestic cat, the Ragdoll is BIG with a large head, wide cheekbones, a broad chest and big round paws. They always have oblique shaped bright blue eyes although these can vary from the brightest sapphire to a much more muted china blue. They grow to a very large size, males averaging around 20lbs, with the females a smaller 14lbs, although males have been reputed to weigh as much as 30lbs and have appeared in the Guinness Book of Records notably for their size. With a soft and silky coat similar to that of a rabbit, Ragdolls can have either medium or long hair which rarely mats due to a lack of a dense undercoat. However this does not mean that you shouldn't groom them regularly, apart from the fact they love it, this will help to stop hair balls, but certainly they do not need as intensive grooming as some other longhaired breeds of cat. They are also characterised by a deep ruff of fur around their necks and so called 'knickerbockers' on their hind legs. The first Ragdolls way back in the sixties, reputedly a mix of Persian and Burmese, came in just three colourways, however they now come in a myriad of colours: cream point, red point, lilac point, chocolate point, blue point and seal point. Colourpoints have a light body colour which is accentuated by darker fur on their face, tail, feet and ears. You can also get the so called 'mitted' cats which have white paws and legs and bi-colour with darker fur on the tail and ears. Ragdoll kittens are completely white in colour when they are born; their colour doesn't start to show until around day ten and it can take up to three years for it to fully develop its final colour.

Personality

Although beautiful to look at, it is their personality that makes this breed so adored by their owners. Ragdolls have a larger than life 'purrsonality'. Fun and mischievous, at times they almost appear to have a sense of humour. They just love to play, especially with toys, but more particularly with their owners. They will chase balls and generally have fun. They are totally interested in you and your life and will follow you around, snuggle up close with you or simply relax curled up on your feet. They think humans are absolutely wonderful and as such make perfect pets for children. Highly intelligent, they can learn simple tricks and have even been known to walk on a leash with their owners. They also love to roll on their backs and have their tummies tickled. They tend to be fairly non-vocal only meowing when they require feeding, although some will chatter with you and when they do make a noise they have a sweet and delightful voice. Being totally non-aggressive, they won't fight with other cats over territory. In fact they won't fight at all even if challenged. They don't chase birds and are very unlikely to bring you half eaten mice as unwanted presents. However cat experts have suggested that because of this inbuilt instinct not to fight even when they are attacked, it is best to keep your cat indoors.

Finding your own Ragdoll

If all this has whetted your appetite for owning a Ragdoll, how do you go about obtaining a kitten? As when choosing any animal for a pet, it is important to find a reputable breeder. This may be especially important when acquiring a Ragdoll as it is said that the kittens take on human personality traits in their first twelve weeks of life, therefore you should look for breeders who are loving, kind and gentle! You can find a good Ragdoll breeder with kittens for sale via our Ragdoll pages.

Health considerations

Ragdolls tend to have a slightly shorter lifespan than some other cats with 65% living over ten years. A common cause of death is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) a congenital heart disease which can sometimes appear in kittens as young as six months and result in death by the age of three. This is another reason to check that your kitten is from a reputable breeder and that both parents did not carry the HCM gene. So if you are looking for a cat that will fall madly in love with its owner, greet you at the door when you come home from work, chatter to you, and think that it owns you rather than the other way round, then consider a Ragdoll for a pet. But be very careful - Ragdolls are extremely addictive and before long you may just find that you have a family of them living with you!!


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