Ragdoll Cat Breed Profile
Ragdoll cat breed at a glance
Breed code: RAG
Average lifespan: 14 to 15 years
Temperament: Loving, sensitive, intelligent, loyal
Weight: Males 6.8kg to 9kg; females 4.5kg to 6.8kg
Price of kittens: £500 to £550
Colours: Coat patterns are colourpoint, mitted and bi-colour, while colours include seal, blue, red, cream, chocolate, lilac, tortie and tabby.
About the Ragdoll cat breed
Linda Moore, honorary secretary of the Progressive Ragdoll Breed Cat Club, says: "They're extremely good with children too and react exceptionally well to them. They can sense personalities and boisterousness, and will play with them in different ways based on that. I have never, ever known a Ragdoll to scratch a child - they work out what to expect and retreat away if needed." The intelligence doesn't stop there: with the right training, Ragdolls can learn a whole list of 'party tricks', from recall to 'roll over' - you may even enjoy a few rounds of fetch!
Ragdoll cat breed history
Ragdoll cat breed looks
As John Harrison, PRBCC's vice president and show judge of 25 years, explains, there isn't a massive range of choice of colours or patterns with the semi-longhaired Ragdolls - although he cites this as proof of the breed's popularity as a pet and "not just a pretty cat".
Ragdolls are available in seal, blue, chocolate, lilac, red and cream, in either colourpoint, mitted or bi-colour patterns, with tabby and tortoiseshell options. John says: "The standard is very specific about where the white can be. Good breeders have got it down to a fine art!"
He adds: "There's nothing wimpy about them; you want strong, hefty cats. They have strong-boned legs, a flat head, good width between the ears, big cheeks, a shortish nose with a curving profile, and blue eyes. They must have a short neck and a long body - it sounds a bit odd but that's what the good ones are like!"
Ragdoll cat breed health and welfare
Ragdoll cats, along with some other breeds, have been known to suffer from Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) - an hereditary heart defect - and polycystic kidney disease (PKD), although the latter is rare in Ragdolls in the UK. Potential kitten owners are advised to check with breeders that both parents have tested negative for the HCM. Ask to see a certificate or test result for confirmation.
A Ragdoll kitten will cost around £500-plus and should be full of life. He will relax as he matures. Make sure the kittens were born and brought up indoors because this should mean they have been well socialized and have a good temperament. A Ragdoll's true coat colour does not develop until he is around 13 weeks old.
Is this the cat for you?
Ragdolls are ideal for the majority of households, from elderly owners to young families, single people to dog lovers, but it's still important to consider their need for companionship before you welcome one into your home. "It's not ideal for them to be the only pet in the house, especially if you're out at work all day," says Linda. "They do need some sort of companion. They're quite laid-back though and will happily settle with any animal."
Ragdolls are happy to live as indoor-only pets, but if you can let them out, try to cat-proof your garden as this breed isn't very road-savvy. Most importantly, Linda adds: "Do your homework before you get a Ragdoll - they may look beautiful but looks aren't everything!"
Living with Ragdolls
Rachel Mansel was looking for the perfect family cat - instead, she found two!
"I have known about the Ragdoll breed for some years; a friend adopted one and I instantly fell in love. Growing up as a child we were always a cat household and I had never been without one until I was living in Germany, as my husband is in the armed forces and we were stationed there. In the year before moving back to the UK, I did lots of research on the Ragdoll breed and decided they would be perfect for our family, especially our young daughter, Lottie.
"We were so excited after picking up our male seal-point Figaro. In the few weeks that passed, we had lots of contact with the breeder and decided that we would also home Figaro's blue-point brother, Midge - so once again we went to Linda and collected addition number two! They settled in well together after a day or two and we cannot imagine our lives without our boys... they are definitely lords of the manor!
"Our Ragdolls are now almost one year old and therefore full of mischief. I always thought I would only have the one but it's true what they say: Ragdolls love company and having two boys was definitely the right decision for us. We adore our boys, as does four-year-old Lottie. They are the most placid, friendly yet highly intelligent breed I have ever come across. Figaro will play fetch, bring his toy back to you and drop it at your feet to throw again; Midge is able to put his paws up on the drawer full of treats, lean back and pull the drawer open, so we have come home once or twice to find them tucking into their treats!
"They are the perfect companions and complete our family. Our boys are Lottie's best friends: wherever she is, they are, whether it be laying colouring, reading them stories, playing doctors and vets with them or playing hide and seek or chase! I don't think I have ever seen cats with such human-like traits.
"I am definitely a Ragdoll convert and would never have any other breed. They are the most strikingly beautiful and genuinely loving breed I have come across and I have recommended them to many cat-loving friends. The advice I would give is that if you are out of the house a lot, definitely consider a pair of Ragdolls: double the love! They are the best companions you could ever wish for, and yes, they do moult, but a good brush once or twice a week and good-quality nail clippers is all you'll need. If you are reading this and thinking about getting a Ragdoll then go for it... it will be the best decision you have ever made!"
Remember! All breed profiles are general and every cat is an individual.