Ragdoll Cats & Ragdoll Cat Breeders
The Ragdoll is a very popular cat breed with blue eyes and a distinct colourpoint coat. It is a large and quite muscular semi-longhair cat with a soft and silky coat. The breed was developed by American breeder Ann Baker in the 1960's. Ann bred a domestic longhaired white female that had kittens with traits that were very endearing. The kittens were very affectionate, docile and placid, and had a tendency to go limp and relaxed when picked up. This tendency to go limp is where the name ''ragdoll'' actually came from. Ann selected individuals with the traits she wanted for her breeding program - large size, gentle demeanour, the tendency to go limp when picked up, as well as the striking pointed colouration.
Ragdoll Cat temperament
Ragdolls are well known for their affectionate and placid nature, and for being a true lap cat. They are said to be more interested in humans than some of the more aloof breeds, and are described as puppy like, much like a loving, loyal, indoor dog. They love to be where you are, they follow you around, sit on your desk while you work on your computer, will be waiting for you at the door when you arrive home, and love to snuggle up with you in bed.
Ragdolls are known to be social cats, who typically get along well with other pets, and quite gentle when they play. Overall, Ragdolls are well behaved, make excellent additions to the family and have become one of the most popular cat breeds.
The ideal home for a Ragdoll Cat
The ideal home for a ragdoll is with an individual or family that loves animals and can show affection and care. You would need to be willing to learn and understand the needs of this loving Breed, which includes keeping them indoors.
How much space & exercise do Ragdolls need?
Ragdolls are social cats and would prefer to spend time indoors with you and the family, rather than roam outdoors. They may appreciate supervised time outside from time to time. A cat enclosure or taking your Ragdoll on a walk with a lead provides additional enrichment and keeps them safe. They don’t need large spaces and could do well in apartment living. While they may have a short burst of energy from time to time, they will then likely just flop on the sofa or floor. Like all cats, Ragdolls will appreciate you extending their ‘vertical’ environment. Perches, cat trees and any shelf up high provides a perfect resting place for your Ragdoll.
The Ragdoll’s semi-long coat is plush and soft, and like other longhaired breeds, requires grooming to keep it looking its best. They should be combed on a regular basis (at least a few times per week) to find and remove any loose hair or tangles. Grooming should always be a positive experience for your Ragdoll – start by sitting with your cat on your lap and stroke and pat it, then gradually introduce the comb or brush. Alternate patting your cat with brushing until they are used to the brushing experience. Concentrate on grooming your Ragdoll more often on the change of season from Winter to Summer, as they lose their winter coat. Ragdolls will shed their coat, but don’t appear to moult as much as some other semi long hair breeds.
General facts about Ragdolls
Ragdoll Cat size
The Ragdoll is one of the largest domesticated cat breeds, second only to the Maine Coon. They have a sturdy body, large frame, and proportionate legs, and an average-size adult Ragdoll will be 23-28cm in height. Ragdolls are fully grown at 4 years of age, with a significant difference in weight between males and females. A fully-grown female weighs from 3.6 to 6.8 kg (8 to 15 pounds). Males are substantially larger, ranging from 5.4 to 9.1 kg (12 to 20 pounds) or more.
Feeding your Ragdoll kitten
Kittens grow rapidly, generally reaching their skeletal maturity between 10 to 12 months of age. It is important to ensure they are fed a high quality, complete and balanced kitten diet throughout this period to support healthy growth and development. It's important to be mindful not to overfeed your kitten in the first year, as excess weight can impact on their bones and joints as they grow. Monitoring their weight once or twice a month is recommended, and if unsure, speak to your veterinarian.
Ragdoll Cat colours
There are a number of colour variations and coat patterns in Ragdolls. Ragdoll kittens are all born white; they have good colour at 8–10 weeks and full colour and coat at 3–4 years. The genes for point colouration are responsible for the blue eyes of the Ragdoll.
Ragdoll colour variations
- Blue (dark bluish grey),
- Seal (dark brown)
- Lilac (is noticeably lighter shade of blue/grey with a slight pinkish tinge)
- Chocolate (chocolate brown)
- Red ( like most red cats)
- Cream (is noticeable lighter shade of red)
- Tortie (blue, seal, chocolate & lilac)
- Tabby (blue, seal, chocolate & lilac)
Ragdoll Cat coat patterns:
Colourpoints: Colour on paw tips, tail, ears, and face. Keeping in mind a colourpoint has a darker shade of colour over its body.
Mitted: A mitted cat has white on its paw tip, white on its rear legs, and a white chin and chest. The ears and tail remain coloured as in the colourpoint.
Bicolour: Bicolour cats have white paw tips, white on its rear legs, and white on its chin and chest. Bicolour cats have a white inverted “V” on the lower part of the face. The body of a bicolour ragdoll may be mostly white with splashes of colour or with solid colour covering the body.
Ragdoll Cat - Blue Lynx Point
Ragdoll Kitten - Blue Bi-Colour
Ragdoll Cat - Blue Bicolour
Ragdoll Cat - Blue Point Male
Ragdoll Cat - Seal Point
Ragdoll Kitten - Blue Lynx Point
Potential health issues in Ragdoll Cats
There are some conditions that Ragdolls may be at greater risk of developing including:
Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) - the most common form of heart disease in cats. While HCM can occur in any breed, the genetic mutation that causes the development of HCM in Ragdolls and Maine Coons has been identified and a DNA test is available for these breeds. An echocardiogram (an ultrasound of the heart) can also confirm whether a cat has HCM. Cats with HCM should be removed from breeding programs.
Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) is an inherited disease in Persian and Persian-cross cats. PKD causes multiple fluid-filled cysts on the kidneys. It has also been diagnosed in British Shorthairs, the Exotic Shorthair, Scottish Folds, Birmans, Ragdolls, and Himalayans. It is a slowly progressive, irreversible disease.
There are genetic tests for PKD and HCM. Always ask breeders if their breeding cats have been DNA tested clear, and if you can view the DNA results. Some breeders will have tested and established that their cats are clear by parentage or over a number of generations.
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) can affect all breeds. Cats who are infected with FIV may not show symptoms for many years. Although the virus is slow-acting, a cat's immune system is severely weakened once the disease takes hold. FIV is primarily spread by cats fighting, most commonly via saliva (and biting) during fights between undesexed (intact) males. Keeping cats indoors is the best way to prevent exposure. A blood test can diagnose the presence of the FIV and vaccines are available to help protect your cat.
Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) is a retrovirus that can infect any cat breed. If the cat's immune system succumbs to the virus, it can lead to diseases which can be lethal. FeLV can spread a lot more easily than FIV with transmission possible via salvia, urine, faeces, blood, and/or the mother’s milk. As with FIV, undesexed male cats are most likely to contract the virus. Vaccines are available to help protect your cat.
Please note that in order to guarantee that a kitten or cat is clear of these two viruses requires that all of the cats they have had contact with are also clear. In addition, because FIV can be latent for many years, and FeLV requires two blood tests 3 months apart, ensuring the absence of these diseases requires that the breeder has a very sound understanding of transmission and testing requirements.
A breeder can only guarantee that a cat or kitten is clear of FIV and FeLV at the time it leaves their premises, and prior to exposure to other cats. If you already have a cat, make sure they're tested for both of these diseases before you bring a new cat or kitten home. In addition, keep cats indoors, and make sure they're desexed. FIV and FeLV are rare, but they are deadly and preventable. Speak to your veterinarian about the vaccines available.
This Ragdoll health information has been reviewed by Royal Canin veterinarian Dr Mina Hamilton, BVSc (Hons), MVS.
Ragdoll Cat price - How much does a Ragdoll Cat cost?
In Australia you can pay anywhere from AU$1,800 to AU$2,600 for a Ragdoll that has Pedigree Papers from Pure Bred parents. In the United States the price can range from USD$850 for a pet ragdoll - up to USD$2700 for a show quality cat. Sometimes breeders will charge more for females because they are more expensive to desex.
Why are Ragdoll Cats so popular?
- Ragdolls are easy-going, laid back and affectionate.
- Ragdolls are big and cuddly - there's a lot to love!
- Ragdolls are puppy-like, and their human-loving personality makes them a great pet for anyone that doesn't have the time and space for a dog.
- Ragdolls are great with children and other pets.
Why are Ragdolls indoor-only cats?
Keeping cats indoors keeps them safe. Allowing your cat outdoors exposes to them to many dangers – these include but are not limited to encounters with cars on busy roads, getting into fights with other animals such as neighbourhood cats and dogs, and puts them at risk of contracting diseases such as viruses spread through fighting such as FIV. Ragdolls are a lot of things but they are not known to be street-savvy. Ragdolls are sociable and trusting which can make them even more susceptible to dangerous and unpredictable situations, as they are less likely to be cautious. If you want your Ragdoll to enjoy time outdoors, they can be quite easy to train to walk on a lead so you can safely take them with you for walks outside, or you could consider a cat enclosure in your garden.
Can Ragdolls be left alone?
Ragdolls are very social and enjoy the company of their humans so their tolerance for solitude is lower than many other cat breeds. If Ragdolls are left alone for long periods, or have very little interaction with their family or other pets, they may develop signs they are not coping such as being destructive or withdrawn. In your absence, ensure you provide plenty of enrichment for your Ragdoll to keep them busy through the day.
Is the Ragdoll the breed for me?
If you're after a cat that is:
- loves to be with people,
- is great with other pets and children.
- Is long haired and you are open to regularly grooming your cat
then a Ragdoll could be a great choice for you.
If you like a cat that is talkative and active you might like to look at other breeds. Bengals, Burmese, Ocicat, Siamese, Sphynx, and Tonkinese cats are all known for being chatty and more active than a Ragdoll.
Ragdoll fun facts
Ragdolls are intelligent cats that can be trained. You can teach them games like “Fetch” where you through a small soft ball and they race to get it and bring it back. They will also come when you call them by name, so give it a try! Games are great fun and provide stimulation for them too.
Ragdolls are very quiet cats. They are so quiet that for this reason, Realtor.com named them as one of the best cat breeds for apartment living.
All purebred Ragdolls have blue eyes. While Ragdoll eye colour may have different shades of blue, ALL purebred Ragdolls have blue eyes. If you see Ragdolls advertised with different coloured eyes - green or yellow, they are not a purebred ragdoll.
Special thanks to Rebekah Darmody - Affinity Ragdolls - for help with this page and sharing gorgeous photos of her ragdolls.
This content has been reviewed by Royal Canin veterinarian Dr Mina Hamilton, BVSc (Hons), MVS. Bringing home a new Ragdoll kitten? Learn more about Ragdoll nutrition here.
We welcome helpful comments and contributions to information about this breed by email or below...