Cat Ragdoll: traits, characteristics and origin

Developed by American breeder Ann Baker, it is best known for its 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


CategoryMedium & large breed
Country of originUnited States

It is a large and muscular semi-longhair cat with a soft and silky coat. 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 8 to 15 pounds (3.6 to 6.8 kg). Males are substantially larger, ranging from 12 to 20 pounds (5.4 to 9.1 kg) or more. The genes for point coloration are also responsible for the blue eyes of the Ragdoll. More intense shades of blue are favored in cat shows.


In the 1960s, a regular non-pedigreed white domestic longhaired cat named Josephine, who had produced several litters of typical cats, was injured in an accident involving a car and taken to the veterinary hospital at the University of California. 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. After Josephine recovered, her next litter 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, Baker purchased several kittens from the owner who lived behind her, and believing 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 demeanor, and a tendency to go limp when picked up, as well as the striking pointed coloration.


The docile, calm and floppy nature of the Ragdoll is a characteristic thought to be passed down from the Persian and Birman breed. Opinions vary as to whether this trait might be the result of genetic mutation. The extreme docility of some individuals has led to the myth that Ragdolls are pain-resistant. Breed standards describe the Ragdoll as affectionate, intelligent, relaxed in temperament, gentle, and easy to handle lap cat.


Having a Ragdoll cat is a rewarding experience, but it's important to understand the needs of this special breed before taking one home. Ragdolls are a large, longhaired breed with a gentle, laid-back personality, so they require a lot of patience and affection. They should be kept indoors and handled carefully, as they are not as agile as other cats and can be easily injured. It's also important to keep their coat well-groomed and free of mats, and to provide them with plenty of toys and scratching posts to keep them entertained. With the right care, Ragdolls make loving, loyal and affectionate companions who will bring joy to your home for years to come.

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