The Ragdoll is a cat breed with a colour point coat and blue eyes. They are large and muscular semi-longhair cats with a soft and silky coat. Developed by American breeder Ann Baker in the 1960s, they are best known for their docile and placid temperament and affectionate nature. The name "Ragdoll" is derived from the tendency of individuals from the original breeding stock to go limp and relaxed when picked up.
In the 1960s, a regular, non-pedigreed, white domestic longhaired cat named Josephine produced several litters of typical cats. Josephine was of a Persian/Angora type and had litters sired by several unknown male Birman or Burmese-like cats, one of which had the Siamese point coloration. Josephine later produced kittens with a docile, placid temperament, affectionate nature, and a tendency to go limp and relaxed when picked up.
When a subsequent litter produced more of the same, Ann Baker purchased several kittens from her neighbour who lived behind her and, believing that she had something special, set out to create what is now known as the ragdoll. The breed was selectively bred over many years for desirable traits, such as large size, gentle demeanour, pointed coloration, and a tendency to go limp when picked up.
The Ragdoll is one of the largest domesticated cat breeds, with a sturdy body, large frame, and proportionate legs. A fully-grown female weighs from 3.6 to 6.8 kg. Males are substantially larger, ranging from 5.4 to 9.1 kg. The genes for point colouration are responsible for the distinctive blue eyes of the Ragdoll. More intense shades of blue are favoured in cat shows. The breed has a plush coat that consists mainly of long guard hairs.
Coat & Colouring
Ragdoll's come in six different colours: red, seal, chocolate and the corresponding "dilutes", including blue, lilac, and cream. This also includes the lynx and Tortoiseshell variations. Ragdoll kittens are born white; they have good colour at 8–10 weeks and full colour and coat at 3–4 years.
The three different patterns are:
- Colourpoint – One colour darkening at the extremities (nose, ears, tail, and paws).
- Mitted – Same as pointed, but with white paws and abdomen.
- Bi-Colour– White legs, white inverted V on the face, white abdomen and sometimes white patches on the back.
The Ragdoll is marketed by breeders as having a docile, calm and floppy nature. They are affectionate, intelligent, relaxed in temperament, gentle, and an easy-to-handle lap cat. The animals are often known as "puppy-like", "dog-like cats", "cat-dogs", etc., because of their placid nature and affectionate behaviour, with the cats often following owners from room to room as well as seeking physical affection akin to certain dog breeds. Ragdoll's can be trained to retrieve toys and enjoy doing so.