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 toward 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)
Size category: Large
Avg life expectancy: 12-17 years
Calm / Sociable / Friendly
Best suited to indoor life
Patient with children and other animals
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 program 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 recognized 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.
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.
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.
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 and avoid any disease or damage to the joints.
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.
Training and behavior
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.
The Ragdoll's semi-long, silky coat requires regular grooming to keep it healthy. A weekly brush will remove tangles, mats and loose hairs.
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 aging may bring.
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