Since the 1960s, cat enthusiasts have been charmed by blue-eyed and affectionate ragdoll kittens. Now one of the most popular cat breeds, ragdolls are loved for their calm personalities, intelligent minds and unique appearances. These qualities make the breed great for potential pet owners that want an easy-to-care-for, docile and attractive cat.
Ragdolls are one of the largest domestic cat breeds. Adult females weigh an average of 3.6 to 6.8 kilograms, but males are generally much larger and weigh between 5.4 and 9.1 kilograms. Other than their size, the most stunning trait of ragdolls is their large blue eyes that are oblique in shape.
This breed is also known for their medium to long coat that is softer than most other cats. They also stand out from other long-haired breeds because the coat of a ragdoll does not mat. These cats do require regular grooming and brushing, but the process is less intense than other cats with fur of a similar length.
Ragdoll kittens are born white but slowly develop color as they age. Colorpoint ragdolls have a light body color accented by darker fur on the face, tail, feet and ears. Mitted ragdolls are characterised by their white paws and legs. Bi-color ragdolls have darker fur on the tail and ears and an inverted V-shape on the face. The body of any of these ragdoll types can be chocolate, seal, lilac or blue. The cats are described using these color terms in conjunction with one of the aforementioned pattern.
Ragdolls are almost an anomaly in the cat world. Their personalities have often been compared to dogs, as ragdolls can be quite affectionate, loyal and relaxed. The breed is also highly intelligent. Unlike most cat breeds, ragdolls can be taught to walk on a leash and perform simple tricks.
Their mild temperament means they are easy to handle and are gentle with children and other pets. In fact, the breed got its name because they flop like a ragdoll when held. Other cats may fight being held, but ragdolls seem to love snuggling with their owners.
Sadly, ragdoll cats have a shorter lifespan than most other common cat breeds. About 65% of ragdolls live over ten years. The most common cause of death in ragdolls is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, or more commonly known as HCM. This heart disease can affect all cat breeds but is common in ragdolls. Luckily, this genetic disease can be avoided by purchasing a ragdoll for a reputable and responsible breeder who tests their cats for the known HCM gene.