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Breed Library
Ragdoll adult in black and white

Ragdoll

A relaxed and happy cat that is generally loving and laid-back.

About the Ragdoll

The Ragdoll is a loving, quiet breed with a very laid-back disposition. They are very sociable and love to be with owners and even household guests.

Ragdolls are known for their tolerant attitudes towards other animals and are especially good with children. They are often compared to dogs because of their friendliness and intelligence.

Their activity level is moderate and limited to a few minutes of active play a day. By far they prefer to play while lying on their backs.

Source: key facts and characteristics sourced from World Cat Congress (WCC)

Breed specifics

Country
United States
Coat
Medium coat
Size category
Large
Avg life expectancy
12–17 years

Affectionate / Calm / Sociable / Friendly

Key facts

  • Needs moderate grooming
  • Best suited to indoor life
  • Patient with children and other animals
Ragdoll adult in black and white

Origins of the breed

The Ragdoll was developed in the early 1960’s by Ann Baker. One of the cats she bred was a white, long-haired domestic called Josephine. Other cats used in the breeding programme were a seal point male, possibly a Birman cross, and a solid black cat.

Because of their docile temperament and the way the cats would go limp in the arms of anybody who picked them up, Ms Baker decided to call them Ragdolls. In 1975, other breeders, notably Denny and Laura Dayton, developed the breed further, with the aim of getting it recognised by the major cat fanciers in the U.S.A.

A Ragdoll's life story

Find out how to care for the Ragdoll in each stage of its life.

Up to 4 years

Ragdoll kitten

The Ragdoll’s striking blue eyes are one of their most recognised features, but another thing they are known for is their playful, friendly nature.

The Ragdoll is one of the largest of the cat breeds and takes up to four years to reach full maturity. That being said, the majority of their growth occurs in the first year of their life, and the subsequent years are dedicated to building muscle.

Ragdoll kitten standing

Training and behaviour

Ragdoll kittens respond well to positive reinforcement, quickly learning to use litter trays, scratching posts, and in some cases, even learning how to play games like fetch with their owners.

These kittens are incredibly loving. Even at a young age they will greet guests to their home with affection, allowing themselves to be cradled on their backs or curling into peoples’ laps. Thanks to their gentle, sociable nature, Ragdoll kittens are patient with other household pets, including dogs, birds and small animals.

From 4 years

Ragdoll adult

Adult Ragdolls are not receptive to change, and may get anxious if furniture is moved or their routine is altered.

Ragdolls are not particularly agile cats, so to avoid injury, shorter cat trees with wider ledges should be purchased for this breed. The Ragdoll’s clumsiness means that even as adults it is advised to keep them indoors to prevent any injuries or accidents away from the home.

Male
5 - 9 kg Weight
Female
4 - 6 kg Weight
Ragdoll adult sitting down

Grooming

The Ragdoll’s semi-long, silky coat requires regular grooming to keep it healthy. A weekly brush will remove tangles, mats and loose hairs.

Ragdoll health and sensitivities

While Ragdolls are known to be a healthy, robust breed, they may be prone to a hereditary health issue known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HMC). 

Due to their size, the Ragdoll cat asks more of their bones and joints than other breeds. This breed needs lifelong support to ensure that their bones are healthy. 

The symptoms of this can be an abnormal gait as well as discomfort to the cat. One of the best ways to prevent or combat this problem is through weight management and proper nutrition to support healthy growth.

Ragdoll senior lying down

Ageing

The Ragdoll’s calm nature is known to last well into old age. That being said, their health and nutritional needs will change as they grow older. It is a good idea to arrange regular check-ups with a vet at this stage, as they will be able to advise on any nutritional changes or health problems that ageing may bring.

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