The Beginner’s Guide to Ragdoll Cats

Ragdoll Cats

Ragdoll cats are known for their gentle and loving nature. They are large and fluffy, with beautiful blue eyes and soft fur. Ragdoll cats are very friendly and often follow their owners around like shadows. They enjoy being held and cuddled, making them perfect lap cats. These cats are also playful and get along well with children and other pets. Ragdoll cats are a popular choice for families and anyone looking for a calm, affectionate companion.

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General Information

  • Origin: California, United States
  • Population: Almost 15000
  • Suitable Temperature: 15°C to 27°C
  • Grooming Requirements: Low
  • 1st Sighting: 1963
  • Price Range: $2000 to $3500

Characteristics Overview

  • Body Size: Big
  • Body Type: Muscular
  • Average Weight: 7 KG (15 lbs.)
  • Colors: 30+
  • Hair Size: Semi-Long
  • Life Span: 17 Years
  • Temperament: Friendly, Calm

Personality Overview

  • Intelligence: Medium
  • Vocalization: Low
  • Affectionate: High
  • With Kids & Other Pets: Good
  • Hunting Skills: Low
  • Climbing Skills: Medium
  • Dependency Level: Low


Where They Come From: Ragdoll cats were first bred in Riverside, California, in the United States. This means they are an American cat breed.

  • Important Person: A woman named Ann Baker was very important in creating the Ragdoll breed. She did a lot of work to breed these cats and make them known. We’ll talk more about this in the history part.


  • Not Very Old: Ragdoll cats are a relatively new breed compared to other cats.
  • How Many Are There: As of 2003, there were 1,376 Ragdoll cats officially registered. We don’t know the exact number of them in the world now, but it’s estimated to be between 10,000 and 15,000.


  • How Much They Cost: Ragdoll cats are larger and rarer than many other cat breeds, which makes them more expensive.
  • Kittens: A baby Ragdoll cat, or kitten, usually costs between $1,000 and $2,500. The price can change based on their age, color, and how they look.
  • Adult Cats: An adult Ragdoll cat might cost between $2,000 and $3,500.
  • Price Factors: Remember, the price can be higher if you buy from a well-known and respected breeder.


The history of the Ragdoll cat is quite interesting and unique. Let’s explore it in detail:

Early Beginnings

  • Not an Old Breed: Ragdoll cats are relatively new compared to other cat breeds.
  • Ann Baker’s Role: The development of the Ragdoll breed began around 1963 by Ann Baker, who was already breeding Persian cats. She had over 40 cats on her farm.

Key Cats in the Development

  • Josephine and Her Kittens: The story of the Ragdoll breed starts with Josephine, a white female cat thought to be a Turkish Angora. She had several kittens, including two notable ones: Blakie and Raggedy Ann Daddy Warbucks. These cats had a significant role in the development of the Ragdoll breed.
  • Unique Appearance: These kittens, especially Daddy Warbucks, resembled Birman cats, which are known for their striking appearance.

The Accident Story

  • A Turning Point: Another part of the story involves an accident. Josephine was reportedly hit by a car and was taken to Ann Baker for care.
  • Noticeable Changes: After this accident, Ann Baker observed that the kittens born to Josephine were different from other breeds in terms of temperament and appearance. This change was attributed to the effects of the accident.

Breeding and Recognition

  • Baker’s Breeding Efforts: Ann Baker played a crucial role in developing and promoting the Ragdoll breed. She started breeding them systematically.
  • Formation of a Registration Organization: In 1971, Baker founded an organization specifically for registering Ragdoll cats.
  • Official Recognition: The International Cat Association (TICA) recognized Ragdolls as a breed in 1979, and the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) followed in 1993.

Characteristics Overview

General Description: Ragdoll cats are known for their beauty, calmness, and attractiveness. They have some special features that make them unique.


  • How Long They Live: Ragdoll cats typically live up to 17 years.
  • Longevity Factors: Some Ragdolls may live longer if they are provided with a suitable environment, good care, and regular, nutritious food.

Size & Weight

  • Large Breed: Ragdolls are considered big cats, with males generally larger than females.

Specific Measurements:

Male Ragdolls:

  • Height: Between 9 and 11 inches (23-28 cm).
  • Length: Between 17 and 21 inches (43-53 cm).
  • Weight: Between 12 and 18 pounds (5.5-8 kg).

Female Ragdolls:

  • Height: Between 8 and 10 inches (20-25 cm).
  • Length: Between 16 and 19 inches (41-48 cm).
  • Weight: Between 8 and 15 pounds (3.5-7 kg).


  • Physical Description: Ragdolls are large cats with a pointed color pattern and a semi-long, silky coat.
  • Attractive Features: Their appearance is striking and tends to attract attention.
  • Tail and Body: They have a long tail and a strong, muscular body, adding to their attractiveness.
  • Eyes: Their oval-shaped blue eyes are especially beautiful and are a reason some people choose to have them as pets.
  • Facial Markings: Some Ragdolls have an inverted ‘V’ shape on their forehead.
  • Color Changes: Ragdoll kittens are born white and change color as they grow older.
  • Ears and Head: They have long ears set on a medium-sized head, forming a triangular face shape.
  • Overall Look: Their majestic appearance makes them a popular choice for pet lovers.
  • Color And Pattern
  • Ragdoll cats come in various colors and patterns, each adding to their unique beauty. Let’s explore these in detail:

Color Point Ragdoll

Description: These Ragdolls have color points similar to Siamese cats, where certain parts of their body are darker.


  • Chocolate Point: A light brown color on the ears, face, paws, and tail.
  • Cream Point: A pale cream color on the points.
  • Blue Point: A greyish-blue color on the points.
  • Lilac Point: A subtle, pinkish-grey color on the points.
  • Red Point (Flame Point): A bright red or orange color on the points.
  • Seal Point: A dark brown or black color on the points.

Tabby (Lynx) Ragdoll

Description: This pattern includes the typical ‘M’ shape on the forehead and striped patterns, common in tabby cats.


  • Blue Tabby
  • Chocolate Tabby
  • Cream Tabby
  • Seal Tabby
  • Lilac Tabby
  • Red Tabby (Flame Tabby Ragdoll)

Bi-Color Ragdoll

Appearance: Bi-color Ragdolls have white legs, a belly, and an inverted ‘V’ on their forehead, with the rest of their body being colored.

Common Bi-Colors:

  • Blue and White
  • Chocolate and White
  • Cream and White
  • Seal and White
  • Lilac and White
  • Red and White

Mitted Pattern Ragdoll

Unique Feature: The’mitted’ pattern means these Ragdolls have white ‘mittens’ on their paws and sometimes a white chin and belly.


  • Blue Mitted
  • Chocolate Mitted
  • Cream Mitted
  • Seal Mitted
  • Lilac Mitted
  • Red Mitted (Flame Mitted Ragdoll)

Each color and pattern brings a different aesthetic to the Ragdoll breed, making them incredibly diverse and appealing to a wide range of cat enthusiasts. The range of patterns and colors contributes to the breed’s popularity, as it offers a variety of looks while maintaining the Ragdoll’s signature gentle and affectionate nature.

The temperament of Ragdoll cats

The temperament of Ragdoll cats is one of their most endearing qualities. Let’s delve into this aspect in more detail:

Social and Loving

  • Affectionate Nature: Ragdoll cats are known for their sociable, calm, and loving behavior. They are often compared to other friendly cat breeds in terms of their affectionate nature.
  • Enjoy Human Company: They particularly enjoy being close to their human companions. When you pick up a Ragdoll cat, they feel loved and often relaxes in your arms, much like a baby.

Calm Behavior

  • Distinguishing Trait: One of the key traits that set Ragdolls apart from other breeds is their exceptionally calm demeanor.
  • Non-Aggressive: They are not known to be aggressive or defensive, even when handled by strangers. This can be a disadvantage because they won’t resist if someone unfamiliar picks them up, making them more vulnerable to being stolen. For this reason, it’s often advised to keep Ragdoll cats indoors.
  • Relaxed Lifestyle: Ragdolls tend to prefer relaxing over playing with toys or engaging in strenuous activities. This laid-back attitude makes them well-suited to people who lead busy lives and may not have a lot of extra time to play with their pets.

Ideal for Busy Owners

  • Low Maintenance in Terms of Play: Their calm behavior and lack of demand for constant activity mean that Ragdoll cats can be a perfect fit for individuals who are busy but still want the companionship of a pet.
  • Indoor Companions: Since they are indoor cats and do not require outdoor adventures for their well-being, they are easier to manage for people with limited time.

Personality Overview

Independent: Ragdolls are known for their independent nature. They usually don’t bother you while you’re working.


  • Moderate Intelligence: These cats are moderately intelligent. They are good at understanding and socializing. For example, they can learn tricks like rolling over.
  • Limitations: However, they might not be as good at solving puzzles or learning hunting techniques compared to some other breeds.


  • Loving Nature: Ragdolls are generally very loving and show affection to their owners.
  • Mood-Dependent: Their level of affection can depend on their mood. Sometimes they might be very cuddly, and other times they prefer to be alone.

Behavior with Other Pets and Kids

  • Good with Families and Pets: They are great for homes with dogs because of their calm and gentle personalities. They don’t usually try to fight with other pets.
  • Kid-Friendly: Ragdolls are also known to be good with children, enjoying playing and cuddling with them. They are a suitable choice for families with young kids.


  • Generally Quiet: Ragdolls are typically quiet cats, but this can vary. Some might meow more than others.
  • Reasons for Meowing: If a Ragdoll meows a lot, there might be a specific reason, such as a need or a health issue.


Not Overly Dependent: While Ragdolls form strong bonds with their humans, they are not overly demanding or dependent. They like being around people but don’t constantly seek attention.


Not Natural Hunters: These cats are not known for their hunting skills. They might play with their prey rather than hunt it aggressively.

Easy to Handle

Low Maintenance: Ragdolls are easy to care for in terms of feeding, grooming, and training. This makes them an ideal choice for first-time pet owners.

Health issues of RagdollCats

Let’s break down the health issues that Ragdoll cats might face, explaining each disease, its symptoms, and treatments:

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

  • What It Is: A condition affecting the heart muscles, causing blood clots and irregular heartbeat.
  • Symptoms: Disturbed heartbeat, coughing, difficulty in breathing, lethargy, and weakness.
  • Treatment: It’s important to see a veterinarian if these symptoms appear. Treatment often involves medication and routine monitoring of blood pressure and weight.

Polycystic Kidney Disease

  • What It Is: A genetic kidney disease where fluid-filled cysts develop in the kidneys.
  • Symptoms: Increased thirst, decreased appetite, vomiting, and a swollen abdomen.
  • Treatment: There’s no cure since it’s genetic, but management includes a special diet, fluid therapy, pain relief as needed, and regular vet checkups.


  • What It Is: Excessive fat accumulation can lead to other health problems.
  • Symptoms: Noticeable weight gain, difficulty walking or climbing, and potential development of diabetes.
  • Treatment: A balanced diet, regular exercise, and controlling treats that are high in fat.


  • What It Is: A fungal infection that occurs due to a weakened immune system, affecting various body parts such as eyes, ears, skin, respiratory system, bones, and joints.
  • Symptoms: Symptoms vary depending on the affected body part but can include vomiting, swelling, sneezing, redness in the eyes, and discharge from the nose, eyes, or ears.
  • Treatment: Anti-fungal medication, pain relief as needed, a healthy diet to improve the immune system, and following the vet’s instructions.

Respiratory Diseases

  • What They Are: A group of diseases affecting the nose, airways, and lungs, including asthma, respiratory allergies, and airway syndrome.
  • Symptoms: Reduced oxygen levels, sneezing, coughing, nasal discharge, snoring, wheezing, gagging, and behavioral changes.
  • Treatment: Veterinary examination and appropriate medication are crucial. Isolating the affected cat may be necessary, especially if the condition is contagious.

Caring for Ragdoll Cats 

Caring for Ragdoll Cats involves several key steps, similar to other cat breeds. Let’s explore these in detail:

Enriched Environment

  • Suitable Space: Providing a comfortable and suitable environment is crucial. This includes a large water bowl, appropriate food and treats, and a comfortable, spacious bed.
  • Soft Surfaces: Since they are big cats, ensure that their living space, including resting areas, is sufficiently large and comfortable.

Quality Foods

  • Balanced Diet: A well-balanced diet is important. Look for food that includes amino acids, and fish oil, and is preferably grain-free.
  • Portion Control: Pay attention to their diet and ensure you’re feeding them the right amount. Ragdolls might overeat if not monitored.

Fresh Water

  • Clean Water: Always provide fresh water. Their water bowl should be large and cleaned daily to prevent bacterial diseases.
  • Playful Behavior: Ragdolls might play with their water, so it’s essential to keep it fresh and clean.


  • Regular Grooming: Bath them weekly after brushing their back, tummy, and legs to remove excess fur.
  • Nail Trimming and Oral Care: Regularly trim their nails and brush their teeth. Cleaning their ears is also important for overall health and appearance.


  • Physical Activity: Although Ragdolls are calm and may not engage in much physical activity, they need regular exercise to prevent obesity.
  • Walking: A daily 30-minute walk is beneficial for their physical health.

Social Interactions

  • Responding to Their Needs: Ragdolls are independent but do seek social interaction at times. It’s important to respond when they approach you.
  • Recognizing Their Signals: They might come close and lie down near you or meow softly to get your attention.

Stress Reduction

  • Attention and Care: While Ragdolls are relatively independent, they still need your attention. Ignoring them or leaving them alone for extended periods can lead to stress and related health issues.


  • Easy to Train: Ragdolls are known for being responsive to training, fundamental commands, and house rules.
  • Easy to Handle: Their calm nature makes them easy to handle, even for grooming and veterinary visits.
  • Easy Grooming: Despite their long fur, Ragdolls have relatively easy coats to maintain with regular brushing.
  • Calm Personality: They are known for their gentle and relaxed demeanor, making them great companions for a peaceful home environment.
  • Low Shedding: Ragdolls shed less than many other long-haired cat breeds, which is beneficial for keeping the house clean.
  • Good Adaptability: They generally adapt well to different home environments and lifestyles.
  • Social and Affectionate: Ragdolls are very affectionate and enjoy being around people, often forming strong bonds with their owners.


  • Need Big Space: Due to their large size, Ragdolls need more space than smaller cat breeds.
  • Not Highly Intelligent: While they are smart in some areas, they may not be as quick to learn complex tricks or solve puzzles as some other breeds.
  • Expensive: Ragdolls are generally more expensive to purchase, and their care can also incur higher costs.
  • Indoor Cats: They are best kept as indoor cats due to their trusting nature, which could be a disadvantage for those looking for an outdoor pet.
  • Health Issues: Like all breeds, Ragdolls are prone to certain health issues, such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and polycystic kidney disease, which require monitoring and can lead to additional veterinary costs.


Ragdoll cats typically live for about 12 to 17 years. With proper care, some can live even longer.

Yes, Ragdoll cats are known for their gentle and affectionate nature, making them excellent pets for families with children.

Ragdolls have semi-long, silky fur that requires regular grooming. However, their coat is less prone to matting compared to other long-haired breeds, making grooming relatively easy.

Ragdoll cats are best kept indoors. Their trusting and calm nature makes them less suited for the outdoor environment, where they may be more vulnerable.

Common health issues in Ragdolls include hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, polycystic kidney disease, and obesity. 

The price of a Ragdoll cat can vary, but typically they cost between $1,000 and $2,500 for a kitten. Prices can be higher for cats with specific desirable traits or from reputable breeders.


Ragdoll cats are a unique and charming breed, well-known for their gentle, affectionate nature and striking appearance. They are excellent companions for a wide range of families, including those with children, due to their sociable and loving temperament. While they do require regular grooming and an indoor environment, their maintenance is relatively manageable compared to some other long-haired breeds. Prospective Ragdoll owners should be aware of the breed’s specific health needs and ensure regular veterinary check-ups to maintain their health and well-being. With their easy-going personality and beautiful features, Ragdolls make a delightful addition to any home, offering both companionship and the joy of having a calm, affectionate pet.

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