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rec.pets.cats: Ragdolls Breed-FAQ
Posting-frequency: 30 days
Last-modified: 12 Mar 1997
All the cat breed faqs are available as ASCII files either on rec.pets.cats
or via anon ftp to rtfm.mit.edu under pub/usenet/new.answers/cats-faq/breeds/*
They are also viewable on the World Wide Web at
Author: Jill Keating, MTN-TOP Ragdolls, 01 Jun 94
Copyright (c) 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997 by Jill Keating, All Rights Reserved.
Assistance from: Patricia Steckman, TLC Cattery
Ragdolls are large, docile cats. They are sweet-faced and muscular,
with an overall impression of elegance and balance. They have a
medium-long, non-matting coat with a soft texture like rabbit fur.
They are pointed in color (like the Himalayan or Siamese) and appear
in seal point, blue point, chocolate point, and lilac point, with or
without white markings.
IS THIS BREED FOR ME?
If you want a large cat which is non-aggressive, loves to be with
people, and is very placid, you may want to consider a Ragdoll. Also,
if you love the look of a long-haired cat, but do not want the
constant grooming associated with breeds such as the Persian, a
Ragdoll would be a good choice. The gentle Ragdoll is also good with
children and is easy to introduce into a multi-pet household.
If you want a very active or talkative cat, then you might not be
happy with the less-active Ragdoll.
[INLINE] DGC Samazmo of DJ's Fancy Free, a seal mitted Ragdoll. Image
Copyright 1995 Ed Ausevich.
(This is an informal description. Precise breed standards are
available from the various associations. If you plan to show or breed
your Ragdoll, you should obtain breed standards from the associations
in which you want to show, and read them carefully.)
Ragdolls are large, heavy cats, with broad chests and large
hindquarters. They are slow-maturing, and do not reach full maturity
until approximately three years of age. Females are smaller than
males, weighing about 10-15 pounds on average. Males weigh an average
of 12-20 pounds as adults, although some may grow to be larger.
Ragdolls have large, oval, blue eyes and sweet expressions. Their
large, rounded ears are set with a slight forward tilt. They have a
curved profile with the look of a "ski slope" as it merges to the top
of the head.
Their medium-long coats and bushy tails have a soft texture that feels
like rabbit fur. In general, Ragdolls have longer fur around the neck
(a "ruff") and on the back of the hindquarters (sometimes referred to
as "britches"). The fur does not tend to mat, and is easily combed. It
does, however, require occasional grooming.
Ragdolls are pointed cats. Like other pointed breeds such as the
Himalayan and Siamese, Ragdoll kittens are born all white and slowly
develop color. The color continues to deepen as the cat ages.
In most associations, Ragdolls are accepted in 3 patterns and 4
colors. The three patterns are "colorpoint," "mitted," and "bicolor":
* A "colorpoint" has dark points (ears, tail, face, and feet) with a
body of a lighter shade. The nose leather and pawpads match the
point color. Colorpoints do not have white markings (although the
pale body color may appear white on some cats).
* A "mitted" has dark points and lighter body like a colorpoint, but
also has white "mitts" on the front paws, white "boots" on the
back legs and feet, a white chin, a white strip on the stomach,
and a white ruff.
* A "bi-color" has the dark points (ears and tail), but the mask is
interrupted by an inverted "V" running between the eyes and
expanding into the muzzle. The body color forms a "saddle" on the
cat's back and the remainder of the cat is white. Bi-colors have
pink nose leather and paw pads.
The four colors are "seal," "chocolate," "blue," and "lilac" (also
known as "frost"):
* A "seal" has dark seal brown points with a light tan body color.
* A "chocolate" has milk chocolate points with an ivory body color.
* A "blue" has dark gray points with a pale gray body color.
* A "lilac" has pinkish gray points with a frosty white body color.
To describe a Ragdoll, combine the color and pattern names. For
example, a seal Ragdoll, depending on the pattern, might be a "seal
colorpoint," "seal mitted," or "seal bi-color."
CHARACTERISTICS AND TEMPERAMENT
Ragdolls (as their name implies) are extremely "laid-back," docile,
non-aggressive cats. They tend to relax when held. They are said to
possess a non-fighting instinct, which means that if attacked, they do
not defend themselves. They are very "people" oriented and love to be
around others, which often finds them greeting guests and/or following
their owners around in a fashion similar to a puppy. They are often
quite an attraction in a show ring because of their docile
dispositions and acceptance of the judge placing them on their backs,
holding them like a baby, etc.
In general, Ragdolls are not extremely vocal, but they do voice their
opinions concerning certain things (such as at mealtime!). Ragdolls
are generally placid cats, but they do love to play with all types of
toys and like to be involved in whatever "action" is going on.
CARE AND TRAINING
Ragdolls are intelligent and like to please their owners. Training
Ragdolls is much more successful when done with rewards. For example,
they can be trained easily to use a scratching post instead of your
furniture by lavishing attention on them whenever they use the post.
As with most cats, however, Ragdolls can be their "own boss" if they
They do not shed excessively, and need little care to keep their coats
in good condition. Their soft, rabbit-like fur does not tend to mat.
The fur does require occasional combing or brushing, and the longer
fur around the hindquarters should be combed regularly. In general,
Ragdolls do not mind being groomed and, in fact, often enjoy the
Because Ragdolls lack the instinct to defend themselves when attacked,
they must be kept as indoor pets only. However, they can be easily
leash trained so that they can go for walks with you outside.
Otherwise, good food, fresh water, regular vet-checkups, regular
vaccinations and lots of love is what they need to thrive. Bits of
fresh raw beef can also be fed, as it helps clean the teeth and gives
good nutrients, but be *very* sure of your supplier before doing this!
SPECIAL MEDICAL CONCERNS
No specific medical conditions have been noted with this breed.
However, as with all breeds, certain "lines" might have a tendency
toward specific health problems. It's probably a good idea to talk to
the breeder about whether his/her cats come from lines with any health
In the early 1960's, a woman from California named Ann Baker created
the Ragdoll by breeding a white female Persian to a male Birman. She
then introduced a female Burmese into the breeding program. This
combination resulted in the Ragdoll breed. She then founded the IRCA
organization in approximately 1971, which had very stringent "rules"
for owners of her cats. The IRCA still exists, but Ragdolls produced
by the IRCA are not accepted in any major association.
Fortunately, a husband and wife team bought a pair of the original
IRCA Ragdolls and realized that this breed needed to be standardized,
shown, and accepted by the various associations in the cat fancy. They
worked on an extensive, selective breeding program, out of which grew
the standardized Ragdolls. The Ragdoll Fanciers' Club International
(RFCI) was then formed to promote the breed and set specific
guidelines for Ragdoll breeders.
RFCI Ragdolls are bred Ragdoll to Ragdoll only, with no outcrossing to
any other breeds. They have specific breed standards, to which the
breeders must adhere. RFCI Ragdolls are now accepted for registration
in all cat registering associations.
RFCI Ragdolls have championship status in all associations except CFA.
In CFA, the bi-colors may be shown in the miscellaneous class, and the
colorpoint and mitted patterns can be registered but not shown.
Ragdolls have done well in the associations in which they are
accepted. The Number 1 Inter-American Alter for the 1992-93 show
season in ACFA was a blue bi-color Ragdoll, which exemplifies the
beauty and appeal of this breed.
The IRCA Ragdolls are not accepted in any association (except IRCA).
_The Ragdoll Fanciers' Club International_ (RFCI) is the breed club
for registrable Ragdolls. This club works with all the major cat
registering associations to further the Ragdoll breed. It puts out a
newsletter, Ragdoll World, and gives year-end awards for the highest
scoring Ragdolls, regardless of what association they are shown in.
* President: Wain Pearce
* Secretary: Nancy Gellerman
There are also Regional Directors who can be contacted. The RFCI
secretary would be able to help you with this information.
You can contact the RFCI for more information on Ragdolls or for a
list of registered RFCI breeders. You can also speak with breeders at
cat shows. Ragdolls are more commonly seen at TICA or ACFA shows.
Ragdoll breeders are also listed in such magazines as "Cat Fancy" and
"Cats Magazine". Be cautious as to whether you are contacting an IRCA
breeder or a breeder who produces the standardized, registerable
(RFCI) Ragdolls. When looking at the breeders' advertisements in
periodicals such as "Cat Fancy" or "Cats Magazine," note that the RFCI
Ragdolls are listed with the other breeds, but the IRCA Ragdolls are
listed in a separate area apart from the other breeds. To acquire a
standardized, registerable Ragdoll, consult the RFCI breeders section.
To contact Ragdoll breeders online, visit the Ragdoll breeders section
of the Fanciers Breeder Referral List at
Last updated 1/2/97.
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