Ragdoll is a beautiful large cat with a luxurious thick coat. She is delicate, calm, friendly and selflessly devoted to her master.
- Breed Name: Ragdoll
- Country of Origin: USA
- The time of the birth of the breed: 1960's
- Weight: cats 4-6 kg, cats 6-9 kg
- Life expectancy: 11-15 years old
- Ragdoll is one of the largest domestic cats, the third after Savannah and Maine Coon. Males significantly outnumber females in length and weight. If cats can be called massive, then cats are slender and graceful.
- A distinctive feature of the breed is low muscle tone, which determines the relaxed state of the animal and the ability to literally go limp in human hands. It is enough just to raise the cat to understand why it was called ragdoll (English "rag doll").
- Ragdolls are very gentle, affectionate, kind and peaceful. The center of the universe for them is the host, whose attention they constantly need.
- Cats get along wonderfully with all family members, they are sociable. The friendliness of ragdolls extends to other pets.
- Kids love to play with these live "rag dolls", and you don't have to worry that the animal will hurt the child – the cat is absolutely not aggressive.
- Ragdolls are extremely vulnerable and sensitive: shouting and scandals can cause them depression. Overly emotional people should not have this breed in the house.
- In conflict situations, ragdolls hide, they cannot fight back against other animals showing aggression.
- Loneliness depresses these cats: if no one is around for a long time, they yearn, lose their appetite and may get sick.
- The color of the ragdoll is strictly standardized. Felinological associations recognize three of its types: colorpoint, mitted, bicolor, each of them has 4 main varieties. Kittens are born snow-white, the full color will appear later, when the animal turns 2 years old.
- Ragdolls are developing slowly. For procreation, they mature by the age of 4.
Ragdoll is an exceptional breed of cats that combines the noble appearance of an animal and outstanding features of its character. You will not find such kind, intelligent, meek and sociable cats among other breeds. This touching creature with angelic eyes of piercing blue color, despite its aristocratic appearance, is absolutely unpretentious to living conditions. For ragdolls, the most important thing is that the beloved owner is there, they don't care about anything else. The beauty and devotion of these cats did not go unnoticed by people, and today, according to the CFA, ragdolls are among the five most popular breeds in the world.
History of the Ragdoll breed
The history of ragdoll began in the 60s of the last century. It is full of hoaxes and is associated with high-profile lawsuits. Ragdolls owe their appearance to an enterprising lady from California, Ann Baker, who bred persian cats , and the cat Josephine, a long-haired beauty of mixed breed (presumably persian and angora ), who lived with a neighbor breeder. Baker bought Josephine's kittens, many of which were distinguished by an unusually calm character. She used them in the future to breed a new breed.
Becoming famous, in her interviews, the breeder claimed that Josephine once got hit by a car and ended up in a clinic where she was exposed to secret genetic experiments conducted by the CIA. Allegedly as a result of this, the kittens she produced after the accident had special qualities: reduced muscle tone, increased pain barrier, amazing calmness. There were also incredible rumors that ragdolls have an alien origin. What was the basis of these stories – the eccentricity of Ann Baker or a publicity stunt by specialists promoting the breed – is not exactly known, but ragdolls are really different from all other cats in their physiology and character. According to experts who think rationally, most likely, Josephine simply possessed a special combination of recessive genetic traits. In the future, Ann Baker purposefully selected the most calm and balanced animals for mating.
The creation of a new breed began with the offspring of Josephine, who appeared after crossing her with Burmese cat , in the color of which there were coal-gray colors. Continuing the breeding work and wanting to "decorate" her pets in two other primary colors – white and brown – Ann Baker introduced to the mating Burmese with dark brown markings. Whether they were purebred is unknown, since the breeder did not document the first mating, but she liked to experiment.
In 1971, Ann Baker founded her own registry, called the International Cat Association – Ragdoll (IRCA). Thanks to this organization, the founder of the Ragdoll breed maintained control over the standard of these cats and the registered Ragdoll brand for several decades. The Baker company sold franchises to breeders, which meant that the breeders included in the IRCA had to pay licensing fees, engage in knitting ragdolls strictly according to instructions and pay 10% royalties for each kitten sold. The main American and international felinological organizations, in turn, did not recognize IRCA.
In 1975, shareholders and breeders, dissatisfied with the Association's business strategy and Ann Baker's dubious statements about the origin of ragdolls, broke away from IRCA, and founded the Ragdoll Society (RFCI). The new organization has set itself the goal of achieving official standardization of the breed and its recognition by eminent felinological associations of the USA. The "divorce" was accompanied by a loud scandal, followed by many years of litigation.
It took several decades until RFCI managed to achieve the status of championship participants for ragdolls in all major North American cat associations, and only in 2000 ragdolls took part in the CFA (International Association for breeding new breeds of cats) championship.
However, not only disputes over the rights to own the Ragdoll trademark have been a problem of this breed for a long time. Because of the similarity of ragdolls with burmese cats many judges at the championships constantly had problems with the identification of these animals: some breeders, breeding Burmese , presented their pets that did not meet the standards as ragdolls. The similarity of ragdoll with Balinese cat also created problems for the breed at exhibitions and when registering with various feline associations. Some confusion between Burmese , Balinese and ragdolls are still the subject of controversy in felinology circles today.
Despite all the twists and turns that accompanied the emergence of the Ragdoll breed, millions of people in the USA, Europe, Australia, gave their hearts to these beautiful, intelligent, gentle and devoted cats. They appeared in Russia about ten years ago, but despite all their charm, they are not yet among the most popular cat breeds among Russians.
Ragdolls impress not only with their beauty, but also with their size. Cats can reach a meter in length, and the largest of them weigh about 12 kg. Cats are smaller – their weight is limited to 7 kg, length – up to 80 cm.
It happens that redgalls are mistaken for their closest relatives – Burmese cats, since they are very similar in color. However, ragdoll standards are decidedly different and strictly outlined. Three classic color standards are allowed: colorpoint, mitted, bicolor. Each of them has 4 varieties: light (dark brown), chocolate, blue, purple.
The body of ragdolls is long, muscular, massive (especially in the back). Chest – powerful, protruding, neck – short, strong, bone – wide. At the same time, the muscle tone is lowered, so the animal's body is relaxed. The abdomen may sag – as a rule, after the age of eight.
Medium length, strong. The hind limbs are slightly longer than the forelegs. The feet are round, large, with tufts of wool between the toes on the pads.
The head is quite massive, proportional, the chin is well developed. The muzzle with plump cheeks is pointed, the nose is of medium length.
Oval, large, wide open. Located moderately wide. The eyes are barely noticeably slanted to the bridge of the nose, which gives the cat's look some playfulness and a surprised look. Pronounced obliquity of the eyes, as well as their almond-shaped shape, are a defect of the breed. The color of ragdoll's eyes, depending on the lighting, is blue or bright blue.
Medium-sized, wide at the base, rounded at the tips, which are sometimes decorated with tassels. The ears are slightly tilted forward.
The tail of the ragdoll is long, commensurate with the body, gradually tapering to the tip. Densely covered with fur. A short, knobby tail is a breed defect.
Moderately long, thick, soft. The undercoat is minimal, so the fur does not fall into tangles. On the forelimbs, the coat is short and of medium length, on the hind legs – medium and medium-long. There is a thick collar around the neck. The length of the fur on the trunk increases from the shoulder blades to the tail.
By winter, ragdoll's "fur coat" becomes even thicker. Animals living in cold climates have longer coats.
Ragdoll kittens are born completely white, and only at the age of two acquire an established color. With age, the colors become deeper.
Colorpoint ragdolls have muzzles, ears, tails, and the lower part of the paws painted in a darker color than the main, light, part of the trunk. The noses and paw pads are in the same dark colors.
The mitted color also implies a combination of the dominant light color of the coat and dark fragments. At the same time, cats have white "socks" on their paws, a white stripe on their stomach, and a chin and a luxurious collar are painted in the same color.
Bicolor ragdolls also have dark markings, but on the muzzle dark fur is combined with white, which runs between the eyes and captures the cheeks, forming a triangle. The cat's paws are completely white. The nose and paw pads are pink. The "saddle" is painted in a dark color.
Each color type may have its own colors. According to American standards, there are four:
- strength: the main color is "light tan", the markings are dark brown;
- chocolate: dominant color – ivory, markings – milk chocolate;
- blue: the main color is light gray, the markings are dark gray;
- purple: the main color is white, the markings are pinkish-gray.
Huge luxurious ragdoll moustaches are always snow-white.
The description of the ragdoll includes the color and the name of the color. For example, cats of the color of forces are represented as forces colorpoint, forces mitted, forces bicolor.
Some European felinological associations also recognize the following colors in the color of ragdolls: red, cream, tortoiseshell, tabby.
Character of ragdolls
Ragdoll is an incredibly calm and friendly cat. She may seem lazy and phlegmatic, but this is not so, rather, the state of her soul can be characterized by the word "pacification". Ragdoll feels especially comfortable when the owner is around. He is the center of the universe for the cat. Ragdolls follow their "master" literally on their heels, for which they have earned the nickname "dog cat", "puppy cat", "cat-dog". These cats treat all family members with love, love to "talk" with them, caressing them with their gentle, deep gaze. Their voice matches their character – quiet, gentle, like a whisper.
Ragdolls are playful, but not overly so. They are very peaceful, they cannot be angered even by annoying children who treat them like toys, dragging them everywhere with them. Cats in such cases simply relax as much as possible, taking any poses depending on the imagination of a playful baby. Sometimes it really does not cause them any discomfort, but sometimes they just show patience, despite the fact that such games can be dangerous for them.
Ragdolls avoid conflicts, so if they feel that a quarrel is brewing in the house, they hide, waiting for the storm to subside.
They are very friendly to other animals in the house, even birds and fish do not awaken their predatory instincts.
Ragdolls are very vulnerable creatures with a delicate mental organization. You should not shout at them, because they will take it very personally and may become depressed, lose their appetite. These cats do not tolerate loneliness at all and miss their owners very much, whose long absence can even lead to the death of the animal. But they will go on a trip with their owner with pleasure: they tolerate the change of living conditions quite calmly, as long as the owner is there.
Puberty in ragdolls occurs by the age of 3-4. But they do not show their instincts violently – they will not bother the owners with heart-rending screams and a desire to jump out the door.
Ragdoll lovers are true gentlemen, they will never offend their object of passion and are ready to wait for the cat's location as long as they want, patiently caring for her and gently persuading her. Many of them are real monogamous. Kitties accept courtship favorably, although they are demanding to the choice of a partner and can be capricious. They will be more lenient if the acquaintance takes place on the territory of the "cavalier".
Education of ragdoll
Ragdolls have high intelligence and good memory. They subtly feel intonations, quickly remember their name and wonderfully understand what the owner wants from them. Actually, they do not need special education, because delicacy is in their blood.
Get a scratching post for your pet: redgalls like to sharpen their claws, although they scratch extremely rarely. Teach the cat to the toilet from an early age. Immediately buy a bigger tray – based on the future size of the animal.
It will be useful to teach the cat to have fun with toys – this will help him somehow brighten up the hours of loneliness.
Care and maintenance
Ragdolls are very neat and tidy. They lick their beautiful fur for a long time and carefully. It is recommended to bathe them only as a last resort if the wool is pretty dirty with something, since this procedure causes stress in redgalls. But you can comb them at least every day – they like it.
For everyday procedure, use a brush for siberian cats . During molting, the animal should be combed with greater care: first, comb the head and chest with a frequent comb, then the neck, back and sides, finally the paws and abdomen, do not touch the tail. Continue the gloss-setting session by brushing with a massage brush. Finally, run wet hands over the entire coat of the cat to remove the remaining fallen hairs. During molting, you can use a furminator – a special device for caring for the fur of cats and dogs.
Ragdolls have an excellent appetite, but they are not prone to obesity. It is necessary to feed these large cats abundantly, especially up to 4 years old, since they continue to grow up to this age. Adult animals are fed 2-3 times a day, kittens – up to 5 times.
Ready-made premium food and natural products are suitable for feeding your purebred pet. Boiled meat (beef, veal, rabbit, chicken), sea fish, which should also be boiled, are useful for ragdolls. Twice a week, you can give eggs (raw and boiled), especially kittens. Boiled vegetables must be in the diet. If the cat starts acting up, displace them with meat. Porridge (semolina, oatmeal, buckwheat, wheat) is useful in a small amount. Meat and vegetable components in food should have proportions of 2:1 for adult animals and 3:1 for kittens.
Exclude salt, spices and sugar from the cat's diet, milk is also not recommended, but sour cream, fermented baked milk, low-fat cottage cheese should be present in your pet's diet. Make sure that the water bowl is never empty.
Ragdolls like walking. They calmly walk on a leash, and even more like to travel in the hands of the owner. These gentle, trusting creatures should never be left unattended on the street: they are not able to fight back against other animals. And if ragdoll gets lost, he may not find his way home. Most likely, the cat will hide somewhere, and will wait patiently until its owner finds it.
Ragdoll's Health and Diseases
Ragdoll owners should always remember the main physiological feature of their pets. Muscle relaxation does not allow these cats to group when falling, and, unlike their counterparts, they do not always manage to land on their paws. Ragdolls just fall on their side, and this can lead to injuries. It is necessary to tell children about this distinctive feature of the breed, who are usually amused by unusual feline clumsiness.
Despite the fact that these cats prefer to sleep with the owner, the best place for them to sleep is a low soft crib. In this case, they will not have to jump on the master bed and jump off it, exposing themselves to danger. It is necessary to accustom them to their own sleeping place from childhood. Kittens should never be allowed to climb to a height – a fall can end fatally for babies.
The most common disease among ragdolls is hip dysplasia (a congenital anomaly of joint development that leads to subluxation or dislocation of the femoral head). This defect can lead to lameness, and in some cases animals may be immobilized.
Another danger that lies in wait for this breed of cats is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (thickening of one of the walls of the ventricle of the heart). The disease can cause heart failure and sometimes leads to instant cardiac arrest. Animals of respectable age are at risk.
Watch your pet carefully: ragdolls tend to hide their ailments. It is not known exactly what this is connected with. Among the main versions are innate delicacy and an increased pain threshold. None of them has scientific confirmation.
Ragdolls, like other cats, can get infected with infectious diseases. To protect against them, it is necessary to vaccinate in time. A healthy and strong kitten is vaccinated for the first time after 3 months. If the baby is sick, the procedure should be postponed until recovery, which should be confirmed by a veterinarian.
How to choose a kitten
The choice of a real ragdoll is facilitated by the fact that it is not so difficult to determine whether a purebred kitten is. Just take the baby in your arms, and if he hangs like a rag, you will see a true representative of this amazing breed. However, make sure that the kitten has a sharp muzzle and plump cheeks, a pointed tail, rounded ears, and bright blue eyes.
The color of the kitten will not tell you anything – they are all completely white and no different from the kittens of Burmese cats. The color scheme of ragdolls begins to appear very slowly and indistinctly, month after month, and will manifest itself fully no earlier than your pet turns 2 years old.
The physical development of ragdoll kittens is somewhat slowed down, as, indeed, is the full maturation of representatives of this feline breed. The eyes of babies finally open only two weeks after birth, the period of feeding with mother's milk is longer than that of other breeds. And although kittens begin to be sold when they turn 2-3 months old, opt for a four-month-old sturdy ragdoll. By this time, mother's milk will help him acquire immunity to various diseases, in addition, the mother cat will have time to teach her cub basic useful skills, and it will be easier for him to master a new habitat.
Photos of ragdoll kittens
How much is a ragdoll
There are not so many nurseries in Russia where ragdolls are bred, but if you set out to acquire this unearthly creature, you can find a breeder with a good reputation. There are several narrow-profile professional sites on the Web dedicated to ragdolls, where detailed information is provided on the intricacies of the formation of the cost of this cat breed, and, by the way, it can change even depending on the intensity of the color of the animal's eyes.
On average, the price of pedigreed ragdolls with pedigree having a "pet" class (a perfectly healthy baby, but not selected by the breeder for breeding) will cost from $200 to $400 (age 3-4 months). Kittens of the breed class, recommended as participants in breeding breeding, can cost many times more expensive.
Ragdoll kitten without documents – what is called "with hands" – can be purchased for $50. You have the right to take the sellers' stories about his famous parents at their word. By the way, the baby may well be purebred.