ragdoll catThe Ragdoll is an American cat breed that has medium-length, silky, and rabbit-like coat. The term "Ragdoll" is derived from the popular misconception that these cats go completely limp and relax when picked up, more often than other cats. It is also mistaken that Ragdolls are pain-resistant because of its sturdy body.

A result of years of selective breeding, the Ragdoll’s origins have been shrouded with mystery. Although it took quite a while before cat associations accepted the Ragdoll as a unique breed, it is nonetheless popular among cat owners especially because of its playful personality. It is best known for its docile and placid temperament and affectionate nature.

Breed  Origin

It is uncertain how the Ragdoll came into being. The only detail of the breed’s creation that has been confirmed is that the Ragdoll was created in the 1960s by a breeder named Ann Baker of Riverside, California. This confirmation is solidified as all genuine Ragdolls can be traced back to the bloodlines she developed.

It is suspected that this cat breed was created out of crosses between unpedigreed longhair cats that possessed the recessive gene for the pointed pattern, although some say that the breed was created out of crossbreeding Persians, Birmans, and Burmese cats with random domestic cats. The foundation cat from which the breed originated, named Josephine, was a semi-feral longhaired white female cat whose parents were unknown.

Even Baker herself does not seem to clear the air about the real origins of the Ragdoll, as she claimed that Josephine was genetically modified by scientists. The story goes that Josephine produced unremarkable kittens until she was struck by a car in the early 1960s.

As Baker claimed, Josephine was taken to a facility where she was genetically altered in an experiment conducted by the government. She also said that she followed a strict breeding program created by the early breeders of the Ragdoll. What is known, however, is that this breed was selectively bred over many years for desirable traits like a large size, gentle demeanor, and a tendency to go limp when picked up.

Appearance

The Ragdoll has a long, broad, and solid body with heavy boning. The head is large and broad, with large and vividly blue eyes. Its ears are wide-set and moderately flared with rounded tips. Ragdolls tend to develop slowly, as they attain their full size and weight at around three years of age. Males generally weigh between 15 to 20 pounds, and that is still not considered obese. Meanwhile, females are smaller but still hefty at 10 to 15 pounds.

The breed has medium-long and silky coat that is naturally non-matting. Its chest is decorated with a ruff and a magnificent plume adorns the tail. Three coat patterns are accepted in shows: colorpoint (similar to a Siamese), mitted (pointed pattern except for four white feet), and bicolor (pointed pattern with areas of white, including a white inverted "V" on the face). A fatty pad under the abdomen is typical.

Color

The Ragdoll comes in four traditional colors: seal, chocolate, blue, and lilac. However, the Cat Fanciers’ Association also accepts red and cream.

Personality

Fanciers fancy the Ragdoll for its tolerant disposition and docile temperaments. They are also gentle and trusting towards its owners. Ragdolls make ideal indoor companions. They are playful but not too overactive, as well as enjoys spending quiet time with their chosen humans. Without being overly demanding, they love to be cuddled and pampered. Ragdolls are considered intelligent, as they are easily trained and able to adapt to new environments.

Grooming

The Ragdoll’s coat may look like it needs a lot of attention, but in reality it is not. The semi-long fur resists matting, and a good combing twice a week using a quality steel comb would remove loose hair.

Cost

Average price for a pet-quality Ragdoll kitten ranges between $400 to $750, depending on the breeder, location, gender, color, and pattern. Meanwhile, breeder-quality cats are usually priced from $1000 and above, depending on the pattern, color, show prospects, and lineage. Some breeders place their retired breeder and show cats to good homes only for a modest fee or the cost of neutering or spaying and vaccinations.