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Ragdoll Cats & The Ragdoll Breed: Why To Pick a Ragdoll As a Family Pet
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 !
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. Smeagols...as 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...so 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 friends....in 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.
Your Connection to Breeders
- Ragdolls of America Group the Original CFA Ragdoll Breed Club
Ragdolls of America Group home page for our CFA club of catteries for owners and breeders of ragdoll cats containing pictures and information about the ragdoll along with a ragdoll breeder's directory .
- Ragdoll Cat Breeders: Fanciers Breeder Referral List
Information, links, and international breeder contact information for the Ragdoll cat breed.
- Ragdoll Fanciers Worldwide Club- For Ragdoll Cat Breeders and Lovers
Photo Gallery of Ragdoll cats and kittens in each color and pattern. Listing of Ragdoll breeders by location. Available Ragdoll kittens and adults. Articles and suggestions on Ragdoll care, bathing, showing.