The Ragdoll cat can be described in three words: big, beautiful and friendly. With silky, medium-length fur that resembles a Persian or Angora and the large body and affable personality of a small puppy, the Ragdoll is a favorite breed among cat lovers. Here are eight facts about America’s second most popular cat breed.
1. THEY ARE TOWER CATS.
Ragdolls thrive on human companionship, and unlike some other felines, they to like be retained. In fact, the breed is said to have gotten its name because the first litters of the docile and friendly cat became soft and supple like rag dolls when picked up.
2. THIS IS A RELATIVELY NEW BREED.
Ann Baker, a breeder who lived in California in the 1960s, is responsible for the creation of the Ragdoll. Baker took a long-haired domestic white female that was found feral in her neighborhood and mated her with another long-haired cat. The resulting kittens were the ancestors of the Ragdoll breed. By selecting traits like a friendly personality and long, plush fur, Baker ultimately produced the big, soft cat we know and love today.
One of the cats from the original Ragdoll line may have had Siamese-like markings, or Baker mated this first cat with Burmese, Burmese, or Persian cats. However, since no one is quite sure what breed of cat Baker used to create the Ragdoll, the origin of the breed’s classic colored spiked coat (a term used to describe a lighter body than its “spikes”, including face, legs, tail, and ears) remains a bit of a mystery.
3. RAGDOLLS HAVE BEAUTIFUL BLUE EYES (BUT ARE AVAILABLE IN MANY SHADES AND COLORS).
Besides its plush fur and large body, the Ragdoll is known for its bright blue eyes and colorful coat. Ragdolls also come in a variety of shades, ranging from seal (brown) and blue to red and cream. Variations like tortoiseshell and tabby markings are also common. Ragdolls come in several patterns, including colorpoint (no white on their coat), bicolor, and mitted (meaning they have white “mittens” on their paws). They are born pale and their coat gradually darkens into their permanent hues as they age.
4. THEY ARE ONE OF THE LARGEST CAT BREEDS.
According to the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA), male Ragdolls typically weigh between 15 and 20 pounds and females between 10 and 15 pounds. This makes them slightly larger than other feline heavyweights like the Maine Coon, which can weigh up to 18 pounds, and the Norwegian Forest Cat, which can weigh up to 16 pounds.
5. RAGDOLLS ARE QUIET CATS.
Ragdolls are affable and calm kittens. Thanks to this trait, Realtor.com named them one of the best cat breeds for apartment living. However, this trait also has a downside: your Ragdoll may not meow if he is in distress or in pain, so be sure to treat him with care.
6. A RAGDOLL WAS THE WORLD’S MOST LIVING ‘JANUS CAT’.
A feline born with two faces is called a Janus cat, a name inspired by the Roman god Janus, who is often depicted as having two faces. The world’s most famous two-faced cat, Frank and Louie (also known as Frankenlouie) was a Ragdoll. It had two functioning eyes, a central blind eye, two noses, and two mouths.
Frankenlouie’s deformity was caused by a very rare congenital condition known as diprosopia. He wasn’t expected to live very long, but a woman named Marty Stevens saved him from being shot. Frankenlouie lived for 15 years before passing away in 2014. Thanks to his long lifespan, Frankenlouie is listed in the Guinness Book as the longest-lived Janus cat.
7. RAGDOLLS ARE CATS “LIKE DOGS”.
Ever wanted a pet that will play with you, follow you from room to room, and sleep with you in your bed? If you’re allergic to dogs (or love cats), consider a Ragdoll. “They can sometimes look more like dogs than cats,” wrote one Quora user. “My cats greet me at the door, follow me from room to room, snuggle next to me on the couch and in bed, wait outside while I take a shower…etc., etc. They love the stuffed animals and small toys that they will carry from room to room.One of them even plays fetch.If you are looking for a more independent animal, the Ragdoll is not for you; he asks and needs a LOT of ‘attention and game.’
Additional source: The Cat Encyclopedia: The Definitive Visual Guide
This article was originally published in 2016.