Families looking for the perfect cat to introduce into their fun-loving home need to look no further than the Ragdoll. This large, easy-going cat is a favorite among cat fanciers and first time cat owners alike. Ragdolls have a distinct look. They have large bodies, piercing blue eyes and a colorpoint coat. They get their names because they tend to go limp like a rag doll when picked up.
The Ragdoll got its start in California in 1963 when a feral white Persian/Angora female mated with a male with Siamese-style points. The resulting kittens were calm, gentle, affectionate cats that had a tendency to go limp when they were picked up. Breeder Ann Baker set out to create a breed with these specific characteristics.
The Ragdoll is big boned, to say the least. It is one of the largest breeds of domesticated cats, with some males weighing in at as much as 35 pounds. Most females weigh eight to 15 pounds while males weigh 12 to 20 pounds. In general, Ragdolls are two to three times the size of other breeds. All Ragdolls have blue eyes and pointed coloration on their face, legs, ears and tail. They come in many different color variations, including chocolate, seal, red, flame, blue, lilac, cream and tortoiseshell. These large cats have a wide chest, big paws and large hindquarters.
As previously mentioned, the Ragdoll has a calm, relaxed nature. They are incredibly gentle animals that do very well in homes with children and other pets. The Ragdoll has been described as “dog-like” because of its tendency to follow family members around wherever they go. They are playful through their adult years and love being in the company of their human family as well as other animals.
Caring for the soft, rabbit-like fur of Ragdolls is surprisingly easy. Their fur rarely mats, but they do shed quite a bit, especially in the spring. Although they look rather fluffy, their fur isn’t that long. It’s easy to maintain with a brushing every few days. The gentle nature of the Ragdoll should mean that it’s easy to get them to adjust to a grooming routine, but every cat is different. Try different grooming brushes and combs until you find the one that’s right for your cat. Bathing once a month is adequate to remove the accumulation of oils in the fur. To keep the area around the eyes clean, wash the face daily using a warm wet washcloth.
The Ragdoll is a fairly healthy breed, but like all purebreds, they are susceptible to several conditions. Urinary problems are frequent among Ragdolls, but the most common condition is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (heart disease). Regular visits with the vet are important for any pet, particularly those that are susceptible to heart conditions.