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Ragdoll Cats & The Ragdoll Breed: Why To Pick a Ragdoll As a Family Pet

Updated on March 28, 2014
kittythedreamer profile image

Kitty has been around animals since she was a little girl. She lived on a farm for over fifteen years. She likes writing about animals.

A picture of our ragdoll cat Smeagols.
A picture of our ragdoll cat Smeagols.

Intro to the Ragdoll Breed

Have you ever had the privilege of meeting a Ragdoll cat? A lot of people have never even heard of this breed of cat, as it is a fairly new breed...the first successfully bred ragdoll being bred in the 1960s. The lady who started the Ragdoll legacy (Ann Baker was her name) is a very interesting individual to read about and there is a lot of controversy surrounding her beliefs about ragdolls and also her death...but that would make up a whole different hub on its own.

I will quickly lay out the cons to owning a Ragdoll cat...which are not many at all. One of the downsides of owning a Ragdoll cat (if one could even consider this as a con) is that one almost cannot leave them for a long period of time due to the extremely strong bond that the ragdoll cat will develop with its owners. They tend to get kind of moody and upset...once the owner returns from a long trip. The ragdoll may even totally ignore his owner for a couple of days. It is like ragdolls are little children in certain ways. Another downside to some is that they should never be let outside or let to roam around a farm, as I do not believe they could handle the outside world. Ragdoll cats are so docile that they tend to barely even fight back, if provoked. And the last con to owning a Ragdoll cat is that the long-haired kind will shed...A LOT. They will leave little tufts of fur on your furniture, all over your clothes, and sometimes randomly floating through the air. Some websites claim that the Ragdolls' hair is non-matting, but I have found this to be untrue (from my own personal experience). Usually when summer rolls around, we have our cat's hair clipped into the lion's cut to keep him cool and non-matted...which works out wonderfully and you should do the same if you purchase or already own a long-haired ragdoll.

Now that the cons have been properly discussed...let's talk about the reason one should own a Ragdoll cat...actually, reasons !

This is not Smeagols but a beautiful Ragdoll nonetheless.
This is not Smeagols but a beautiful Ragdoll nonetheless.
Another pretty ragdoll.
Another pretty ragdoll.
And another sweetie.
And another sweetie.

The Many PROS to Owning a Ragdoll

The number one positive attribute of owning a Ragdoll cat is their docility! Ragdolls are exactly what you would picture them to be...loving and playful. They are also very calm and relaxed, which plays into the whole docility thing. Pick them up, flip 'em around and over your head and they will just go totally limp and be your furry doll. Ragdolls grow very attached to their owners, which will make you feel that this cat is undoubtedly a part of your family. Ragdolls may not lay right on top of your lap, but trust me...they will lay between your feet at night while you sleep!

As previously mentioned, there are cons to having the long-haired ragdolls as they tend to shed constantly and can get mats in their fur; however, there is a positive side to a ragdoll's fur coat...they seem to be hypoallergenic! I cannot prove this, but anytime we have had allergic friends or family visit our house they tend to not even notice that we own a cat. I expect them to start sneezing or getting the watery, itchy eyes when they walk into our home, but I have not seen this occur once! My husband swears our ragdoll's fur is hypoallergenic, but I, of course, cannot prove that to be a scientific fact...but it is well worth taking into consideration when purchasing a feline as the new addition to your family.

Although ragdolls can become very attached to their owners, they can also sometimes be quite independent in nature. Our cat, Smeagols, tends to want to be left alone most of the day until about 9 pm...then he wants all of the attention his little self can get! For a long time he would not even come up to me to be petted, but now he does it on a schedule every single night. At 9 pm, as I am sitting on the couch relaxing with my husband, Smeagols mosies on over and jumps up right beside me and meows until I begin our nightly routine of petting and scratching behind his ears and on his neck. I have grown to be really fond of Mr. does everyone else who spends any time with him.

A MAJOR positive to owning a ragdoll cat is their wonderful temperament towards children. We have a three year old daughter who sometimes tortures our poor Smeagols, including:  pulling his tail, sitting on top of him as if he were a pony, and even tugging on his fur. Do I allow this? Of course not! But sometimes I do not always see it happen...but nevertheless, Smeagols just lies there and takes the abuse. He has only smacked our daughter once...very lightly that it did not even leave a mark on her. Our cat is very sweet and it is like he almost understands, "Okay...I do not like having my tail pulled, but she is a little girl so I guess I can let her get away with it this time." I have a feeling that when our daughter grows up a bit and stops torturing our cat, they will become lifelong fact, Smeagols will probably forget all about our nightly petting routine!


Physical Attributes of Ragdolls

Every ragdoll cat is considered either "pointed" or "counterpointed". Pointed means that they have a nose that looks as though it has been dipped in charcoal...and counterpointed is the exact opposite - it looks as though the cat's body has been dipped in charcoal except for its nose. There are different colors of ragdolls, as well. Our cat (pictured at the very top of this hub) is considered "blue". The other colors of ragdolls are Chocolate, Lilac, Seal, Red, and Cream...and sometimes they can even be found in Tabby patterns. The most rare colored ragdolls to come across are the lilac and chocolate. Another physical characteristic that a ragdoll can have is to be "mitted". This means that they have white paws and legs, resembling mittens. Our cat is mitted....and I love it. It makes me think that he is ready for the snow...if we ever actually got some snow in Florida.

A good majority of ragdolls tend to look a bit larger than your typical household cat, with the males tending to grow the largest. Our cat, Smeagols, weights about ten pounds but he is very tall and muscular looking. As previously mentioned, the ragdoll's fur can be medium length to very long length...which aids Smeagols in looking larger than what he actually is.

A funny fact about the ragdoll cat is that you will find its coat to be completely white as a kitten, gradually changing color as they grow older in age. But, boy oh boy, are they ADORABLE kittens! Well, you will just have to see for yourself. Check out the links below to help you track down a legitimate ragdoll breeder...and remember to pick the kitten that you feel an immediate connection to.

Quick Tip for Owners

I just wanted to share a quick tip for Ragdoll owners or potentially future owners:

In the summer, get your ragdoll cat's hair shaved into the "Lion Cut". This means that his/her hair will be shaved close to the skin, except for around his/her face, legs, and tail. This cut keeps them so much cooler in the summer-time heat and you will see them act like kittens again! We do this for our cat, Mr. Smeagols, every summer and it not only keeps him cool but prevents his hair from getting matted.


Submit a Comment

  • profile image

    Christine 4 years ago

    Do you have to get the “Lion Cut” or can you just shave your ragdoll? What's the reasoning behind the lion cut?

  • profile image

    Kal 4 years ago

    Pick up our little Pearl- ragdoll girl in 2 weeks time. So excited. Cant wait!!!

  • kittythedreamer profile image

    Nicole Canfield 4 years ago from Summerland

    We get our ragdoll's hair cut...literally take him to a groomer and get the "lion cut". Keeps the hair down and keeps the cat cool in the summer.

  • profile image

    estusick 4 years ago

    I have two Ragdolls and am going hair crazy! They are 2 years old, pointed seal and a cream. They are brother and sister and when we picked up Mario when his sister, the cream one, Bella wandered over to my husband and he said we had to have both. Oh boy. I cannot keep up with this hair. Do you wash your ragdolls? I never bathed them. I just brush once a week or so. But when I touch them the hair flys all over so I do not touch them much. Help!

  • Klavdija Frahm profile image

    Kendi 5 years ago from Slovenia

    Just today me and my boyfriend pick Ragdoll kitten which will be ours in a month ;) We're so excited :)

  • kittythedreamer profile image

    Nicole Canfield 5 years ago from Summerland

    Shane - How short is the cat's hair? From everything I've read and researched it says there's no such thing as a short-haired ragdoll. Was the breeder reputable?

  • profile image

    Shane 5 years ago

    We have a 1year old Blue Point Mitted Ragdoll that we purchased from a breeder. With 2 young kids the cat and keeping up with chores, it's hard to give him the attention so I have been trying to find a good home for him. (obviously asking for an adoption fee as these cats are not cheap) But Because his fur is not wild and long I keep getting people telling me he is not a ragdoll and they keep trying to hinder my attempt at rehoming home (Trying to use Craigslist). Its so frustrating because I have been to the vet with him and I have the agreement we signed with the Breeder, who are telling me he is a purebred yet people "GOOGLED" pics and now think they are VETS trying to tell me my cat isn't a purebred. His fur is think and sheds Alot but it isn't long and fluffy. It makes him look short haired but he isn't. SO I guess my question is there a short haired version of the cat?

  • profile image

    Lisa 5 years ago

    I just luv my eleven month old male Ragdoll.Hes my sweet baaby boy,Im scared though hes gonna get outside hes neutured but still very curious.He goes out on very high fenced patio,but found a small part and got under fence,he thru a tantrum when I caught him just in time brought him inside.It was a cute tantrum ran in circle crying and wagging tail back and forth real fast.Hes not mean at all but was really peed off,poor thing .I FELT SO BAD CAUSE i just LUV that CUTE BOY too much.Its strange but Ihave never felt a bond with my kittys in the past like I do my Shaggy Waggy Ragdoll Boy.This scares me a little Im always worried about him being bored and stuff.I think Jesus for him everyday!

  • Klavdija Frahm profile image

    Kendi 5 years ago from Slovenia

    I love this cat breed :) Me and my BF will get one ASAP (our current landlord doesnt' allow as having pets :() vote up!

  • Efficient Admin profile image

    Efficient Admin 5 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    These cats are beautiful. Smeagols looks like a fluffy Siamese cat and has those pretty blue eyes.

  • profile image

    Smokey 5 years ago

    Were hoping his sneezing isn't anything to be concerned about.

  • profile image

    Smokey 5 years ago

    We just got a rag doll he's super cute but likes to get into everything he sneezes a lot to. He likes to cuddle at my feet!!! He's a blue point mitted rag doll to

  • kittythedreamer profile image

    Nicole Canfield 6 years ago from Summerland

    Diane - I am not'd have to see if there's any breeders in the Philippines. Google it. :)

  • profile image

    Diane Orcena 6 years ago

    Can I have a ragdoll even though I am in a tropical country like the Philippines?

  • profile image

    Gilang 6 years ago

    Hello, how pretty ragdoll of yours, really!

    I have ragdolls too, and I just shaved one of them because of the hot weather. that's my first time I shave cat. by the way, how long does it take to grow the hair back like normal again? thanks

  • kittythedreamer profile image

    Nicole Canfield 6 years ago from Summerland

    diagirl10 - Thanks so much for sharing your story about ragdolls. They really are wonderful cats to have!

  • profile image

    diagirl10 6 years ago

    Great article, so glad I found it while searching for tips on de-matting. I have two ragdolls and one has slightly longer hair than the other, and thus is prone to hairballs and mats. I will ask around for a professional groomer that can do a lion-cut, though sadly, I am yet to find cat grooming experts here in the Philippines. I went to a nearby branch of a major local chain of pet groomers / vets and asked about mats on cats and the staff had blank expressions on their faces. They did not even have hairball remedy products! Also most of these places smell strongly of dog. I wish there were cat-only places here. On a different topic, I agree that ragdolls are ideal pets! I have taken care of many cats in my lifetime and each one had a unique personality, but I noticed that ragdolls are the most sociable breed. They love people and hate being alone. They follow me around the house like little puppies and they do the same to my mom when she's here, and it drives her nuts! They greet visitors at the door too! They're very gentle with kids, and even with me. I noticed that when they climb over me on the couch, their nails remain inside their little claws, even when they end up falling. They'd rather fall on their little butts than scratch me, it seems. They are also intelligent and can learn words (albeit selectively). My cats respond to "no", "come", and oddly enough, "vitamins" (since they love it I guess- they go crazy for vitamins time). This is the first time for me to take care of long-haired pure-bred cats and although it is harder work, I am finding the experience very rewarding. Definitely recommend ragdolls in every cat-loving household.

  • kittythedreamer profile image

    Nicole Canfield 6 years ago from Summerland

    Donna - No, there is no difference between when our ragdoll has his hair shaved and when it grows out. In fact, it looks a lot healthier once it has grown out from a lion cut. I'm sure the occurrence with your dogs is due to the dog breed and is totally different than how it effects the ragdoll cat. No problem at all! Good luck! :)

  • profile image

    Donna 6 years ago


    i have two minature aust sheppards and we get them shaved every summer but it has runed their hair. It no longer grows long just out,like an afro. I have two ragdolls that I would love to shave because it's just too much hair. my husband does not want me to because of what it has done to the dogs. Do you find his hair is different after it grows out?

    Thanks for the advice!

  • kittythedreamer profile image

    Nicole Canfield 6 years ago from Summerland

    Hey, em! So nice to hear you have such a wonderful kitty. Ragdolls seriously cannot be beat in the lines of a sensitive and sweet laid back cat!

    I have to agree, the lion cut is essential for a ragdoll, especially in the summer and especially if you live in a warm climate. Wonderful comment. Thank you so much!

  • profile image

    Em 6 years ago

    I have a ragdoll cat, and he is exactly like that!

    He lets you do basically anything, and he just lays there - limp like a doll.

    I would recommend a ragdoll cat for anyone, even someone not too fond of cats! They are great around young children, and lightly paw stuff (Not fiercely claw at something) like when you play with him/her.

    I do get the "Lion Cut" done to my cat every summer, it decreases

    1) Matting

    2) My cat's heat, it cools him down

    3) Hair loss (Fur on furniture)

    All great reasons to get your cat cut annualy.

    All in all, a ragdoll cat is 10/10. They're the best cat EVER.

  • kittythedreamer profile image

    Nicole Canfield 7 years ago from Summerland

    whoa, 40 strays? that's a lot! that's very sweet of you, though. it always shows a person has a big heart when they help animals in need. thanks for stopping by, parduc! :)

  • parduc profile image

    parduc 7 years ago from Kos island, Greece

    Wonderful hub, thanks for all the good info-I only knew about the name, not the specifics. Love cats in all their different forms and personalities - I have about 40 strays I'm feeding regularly:)) I voted up your great hub, useful, awesome.


  • kittythedreamer profile image

    Nicole Canfield 7 years ago from Summerland

    thank you, svea! you should definitely think about getting a ragdoll if you do decide to add to your family.

    cats are wonderful doesn't matter what breed...i love them all! thanks for sharing and have a wonderful day!

  • Svea profile image

    Svea 7 years ago from Florida

    Oh what a beautiful cat! We have two beautiful orange strays with extremely long hair. They are strays adopted years apart but people come to our house to look at our "twins". If we add to our household I will look for a ragdoll!

  • kittythedreamer profile image

    Nicole Canfield 7 years ago from Summerland

    thank you, shygirl! smeagols is a wonderful sweet and caring of our family. do you have any cats?

  • profile image

    shygirl2 7 years ago

    I have heard of the breed. Very pretty cat! Great info you have shared with us all. Thanks!! : D


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