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Ragdoll Breed Summary

Gentle, Calm, Sociable

With their floppy, relaxed nature, it's no surprise this cat is called the Ragdoll! This big, gentle cat can get along with just about everyone – even other animals and children – just one trait that makes this kitty suitable to almost any home. With positive reinforcement, and maybe a treat or two, the Ragdoll is quick to learn good behaviors and even some tricks.

This is a laidback cat that's sweet, docile, and always happy to sit on their favorite human's lap for a cuddle – they're likely to greet you at the door, too! As the Ragdoll loves to be snuggled, they're a lot more accepting of being picked up than other cats.

Fun Fact: The name 'Ragdoll' comes from this cat's tendency to go limp in your arms when they're picked up!

Lifespan 9 – 15 years
Height (at the withers) Males: 15.7 – 26in, Females: 15in – 22.8in
Weight Males: 12lb – 17.6lb, Females: 7.7lb – 9.9lb
Coat Semi-longhaired, plush silky coat that requires regular grooming to prevent knots and tangles
Color Ragdolls have a relatively pale body with darker markings on their face, ears, tail or lets. Colors include chocolate, seal, blue and lilac, with three different pattern variations
Eye color Blue, blue-green, gold
Common health issues Mouth and gum disease, respiratory tract disorders, heart disease, kidney disease, gastrointestinal disorders
Ragdolls are wonderfully friendly cats that love their people; they'll often greet them at the door and proceed to follow them around the house, finally settling down on a comfy lap when their favorite human sits down. Somewhat 'dog-like', they can learn to come when called and even retrieve toys that're thrown for them.

These kitties are sometimes described as docile, but that doesn't mean they're inactive! They like to play with toys and get involved with family activities, they're also great at picking up new tricks and behaving well, especially if positive reinforcement (in the form of food and praise) is used. Ragdolls get along with just about anyone and due to their gentle temperaments and good manners they're very easy to share a home with. You'll likely find this cat relaxing on your sofa or bed, but generally not much higher as they prefer to stay level with their people.

In the history of cat breeds, Ragdolls are relatively new on the scene. The cats were first developed in the 1960s by California breeder, Ann Baker. Baker's foundation stock consisted of a domestic longhair cat called Josephine - whose white coat hid the genes for either a seal mitted or black tuxedo pattern – bred with various other longhaired cats that she found in her neighborhood.

Baker selected large cats with beautiful long coats characterized by a Himalayan pattern and also cats that had gentle, calm natures. The result? A cat she named the Ragdoll, due to its habit of flopping happily in the arms of anyone that picked it up. Persians, Burmese and Birmans may have also contributed to this cat's development. An unusual twist in this tale is the claim that Baker made about the Ragdoll's development, which including CIA experiments, alien influence, and the infusion of human genes! These are all claims of course, with no hard facts… Quite the tall tail tale!

After the Ragdoll was developed, other people began to breed this cat and they broke away from Baker's own formed Ragdoll Fancies Club International, with the goal of standardizing the breed and achieving recognition by cat registries.

In 1993, the Cat Fanciers Association began registering Ragdolls and they gained full recognition in 2000. The breed is now recognized by most registries, including the Cat Fanciers Association and the International Cat Association. These days, Ragdolls are no longer outcrossed with any other breeds.