Ragdoll Cats, Sweet and Loving

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Sweet, docile, affectionate, and calm, Ragdoll cats are a great fit for someone looking for a special companion. This article will give you more information about the history, characteristics, and care of the breed.

History

Ragdoll cats were developed in the 1960s in California by a breeder named Ann Baker. It is believed that the cats originated from a pure white longhair cat named Josephine along with a combination of a seal-mitted male and a solid black cat. Denny and Laura Dayton also played a major role in the development and breeding of Ragdolls. In the year 2000, The Cat Fanciers Association gave full recognition to the breed. The calm and docile nature of the Ragdoll is thought to be derived from Persian and Birman breeds. “Ragdoll” cats were named such because of their tendency to be very relaxed and limp when held.

Characteristics

Ragdoll cats are large, sturdy cats with long, silky fur and beautiful blue eyes. Male Ragdolls can range between 15 and 20 pounds in weight, while females tend to weigh between 10 and 15 pounds at maturity. Ragdolls present in six different colors: red, seal, chocolate, blue, lilac and cream. Most are born white and their colors will begin to show in eight to ten weeks with their full coat and color presenting at around three to four years of age.
Ragdolls are very sweet, affectionate cats who are very interested in and loving towards humans. They will sleep with you, cuddle often, and generally be very devoted and happy. They are great with other animals and with children. Although they are mostly docile and relaxed animals, they do have a playful side, playing without extending their claws, which makes them a great option for people who have children. Ragdolls are not fighters and should strictly be kept indoors as they will not do well in defending themselves against other animals.

Health and Care

Just like other breeds, Ragdolls can be predisposed to certain diseases. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a form of heart disease that is naturally inherited by Ragdolls and a DNA test can be performed to find out if a cat carries the disease. Ragdolls are also at an increased risk for the development of bladder stones and feline infectious peritonitis. Their lifespan is 12 to 17 years.

Ragdolls have little undercoat, so their fur will not mat as easily as for other breeds with long hair. Nevertheless, they should be brushed regularly to lessen tangles and to remove any excess hair. Ragdolls will shed with the change of seasons. If you notice the fur becoming greasy, you can bathe the cat. Claws should be trimmed regularly and it is recommended that you brush your cat’s teeth once per week. Also, keep the litter box clean as most cats are very picky about having a clean place to relieve themselves.

Finding a Ragdoll

It is recommended that one find a reputable breeder if looking for a Ragdoll to have as a pet. Also, consider the many rescue organizations that are available, including ones that are specific to Ragdoll cats. These can all be found with a good online search.

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