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The Ragdoll Cat

| March 4, 2011


Seal Mitted Ragdoll Cat

Seal Mitted Ragdoll Cat

Character: Ragdolls are very clever and with a little bit of training will soon be playing “fetch” with their owners, come on command and walk on a harness.

Care: As with any other cats, great care should be taken to ensure that the Ragdoll pet is confined to a very secure house and garden.

Ragdoll breed description :
Four decades ago, Ann Baker of California, USA founded the Ragdoll breed. No purebred cats were ever used to “create” the Ragdoll. Due to the first offspring being very loving and relaxed, Ann named the breed after little girls’ ragdolls. This left the impression that they could be dangled from one hand. The Ragdoll does not have a “floppy gene” and conscientious Ragdoll breeders carefully study and secure those Ragdoll lines that not only have good health, strong immune systems and great size, but that also produce extremely loving and trusting kittens.

It is a fallacy that the Ragdoll is immune to pain. On request by The British Ragdoll Cat Club, a study was performed in 1988 and the two Ragdolls presented were found to be no different from any other cats in their perception and response to painful stimuli.

Ragdolls are very clever and with a little bit of training will soon be playing “fetch” with their owners, come on command and walk on a harness. Unlike some other cat breeds, the Ragdoll is not an adventurous breed and thus will do well as an indoor-only cat, provided that it has enough stimuli to keep it entertained. As with any other cats, great care should be taken to ensure that the Ragdoll pet is confined to a very secure house and garden.

The ideal Ragdoll temperament is that of a cat that will greet your guests, follow you around the house to “inspect and help” and in general, keep you company. The typical Ragdoll pet is not a vocally loud cat, but would rather talk to you in a soft, sweet voice. Although the Ragdoll has been labeled a “lap cat”, all animals have individual personalities. There are some Ragdolls that would like nothing better than to sit on your lap or be loved all day long; and then there are others that prefer to sit next to you, or by your feet.

All purebred cat breeds have a Standard of Points (SOP) for showing and breeding purposes. The South African SOP describes the Ragdoll’s appearance as a well-balanced cat with no feature overpowering another. The ideal Ragdoll should be a large, imposing and strongly built cat with type, size and conformation being the three most important attributes to be assessed.

The Ragdoll head has a broad modified wedge with slightly rounded contours and an appearance of a flat plane between the ears. The forehead is slightly rounded, merging into a gentle concave that ends in a straight medium length nose with a slightly retrousse tip. Ears are medium sized, wide set, slightly flared with rounded tips tilting slightly forward. Eyes are large, oval in shape, slightly oblique and set wide apart. The Ragdoll should have a short and strong neck to match a substantially boned, large and long body and a solid, muscular and broad chest. A fat pad (greater omentum) is allowed on the lower abdomen. Legs are medium to long and the hind legs are slightly longer than the front legs. The plumed tail should be long, in proportion to the body, tapering slightly to the tip.

The Ragdoll has a silky soft, dense coat of medium length. A ruff and “trousers” (knickerbockers) are preferred. The coat is non-matting, and just like with any other cat, it’s shedding occurs with seasonal changes. Daily grooming is not required although regular grooming is recommended as it not only removes loose hair (which will prevent hairballs), but it is also a wonderful way to bond and relax with your Ragdoll. Ragdolls are very clean cats and unless you are showing your cat, regular bathing is not required.

The Ragdoll only matures at around four to five years of age and point colouring is set by the age of two years. The ideal Ragdoll is impressive in size with altered males averaging 9Kg and spayed females noticeably smaller, averaging 6 Kg. A diet of high premium kibble, fresh water and healthy treats is recommended.

Ragdolls are mostly available in Seal and in Blue. Chocolate and Lilac Ragdolls are rare and not available in South Africa. In recent years, the Red and Cream colours, as well as the Tabby and Tortie patterns, have been imported to South Africa.

Colourpoint Ragdolls – Mask, ears, feet and tail are coloured and no white is allowed on the cat

Mitted Ragdolls –   Mask, ears and tail are coloured. Chin and underbody are white, front feet have white mittens and back legs are white preferably up to the level of the under body

Bicolour Ragdolls  Except for a white inverted “V” on the face, the mask, ears and tail are coloured. Under body, front and back legs are white

South African Ragdoll History :
During mid-1997 the first Ragdolls for breeding were imported to South Africa, and in November 1999 the Ragdoll breed achieved full championship status in the South African show halls. Early in 2000, the non-pointed Ragdoll was awarded full championship status. At the 2001 Cat of The Year competition, NQ SP PM Raglin’s Mille Miglia, a Blue Colourpoint altered female, was the first Ragdoll to compete in this prestigious competition and she was placed joint 6th Best Alter.

There are very few Ragdoll breeders in South Africa. Unfortunately, as the breed gains popularity, backyard breeders have been offering so-called “Ragdolls” for sale to the public. Potential Ragdoll pet owners are advised to confirm the validity of the Ragdoll breeder by either contacting SACC at 011-616-7017 or the CFSA at 011-792-0676. If the breeder cannot produce a certified pedigree and kitten registration form, then your kitten is not a purebred Ragdoll. One advantage of only purchasing a registered, purebred Ragdoll kitten is that the breeder can inform you of the line’s history of health, temperament and size.

Ratings out of 10

Compatibility with children and other pets 8
Attention Need5
Activity Level6

Copyright & Credit:
Breed Profile and Photos copyright & courtesy: Linn Currie, Raglin Ragdolls –

Breed Profile and Photos copyright & courtesy:

Category: Feline Resources

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