By Dr. Becker
While some breeds of cats can be traced back hundreds of years, Ragdoll cats date back just over five decades.1 The first litter was born in the early 1960s in California, and quickly grew into a beloved breed.
Ragdolls are known for their silky, rabbit-like fur (that surprisingly sheds very little), bright blue eyes (in the pointed pattern) and their laid-back, docile personalities. As their name suggests, Ragdolls are so easy going that they’ll let a child carry them around the house like a, well, rag doll.
If you’re interested in learning more about Ragdolls, Paw Nation has put together 10 fascinating facts, below.2
10 Ragdoll Facts Every Cat Lover Should Know
1. They’re from the West Coast
Ragdolls were created by Ann Baker in Riverside, California in 1963. She wanted to develop a large cat with a long coat and gentle personality. While the breed grew in popularity quickly, Baker reportedly invented wild stories about the breed’s origins and set up her own registry to try and enforce strict standards on the breed.
2. Ragdolls Go Limp When You Pick Them Up
Many people love Ragdolls because they go limp when you pick them up, just like a Ragdoll. They love to be held and cuddled, and they’re one of the most affectionate cat breeds.
3. They’re One of the Largest Domestic Cat Breeds
Like the Maine Coon, Ragdolls are a large breed. Males may weigh up to 20 pounds while females may weigh 15. But their large size doesn’t stop them from seeking affection – they love to be carried around (which can be a workout for you!).
4. Bright Blue Eyes
Ragdolls are known for their striking blue eyes. However, not all Ragdolls have them. Some Ragdolls have blue-green or gold eyes, depending on their pattern. Ragdoll kittens are all born with blue eyes but some will deepen as the cat grows older.
5. Fur Can Be Many Different Patterns and Colors
There are many variations of Ragdoll coats, but in general they will have a lighter body combined with a darker face, legs, tail and ears.3 Ragdolls may be lilac, red, blue, chocolate, cream, or seal, and there are four possible patterns:
- Mitted, with white paws (like mittens)
- Van, which is a solid body with darker coloring on the head, ears and tail
- Bicolor, which is a white chest, legs, stomach, and neck along with a face mask in the shape of an upside-down “V”
- Colorpoint, which has darker-colored “points” on its face, ears, legs, and tail
6. Perfect Lap Kitties
If you’re looking for a snuggler, look no further than a Ragdoll. While some cats prefer to explore and get into mischief, Ragdolls like to stay by your side.
7. The Algonquin Hotel Cat Is a Ragdoll
The Algonquin Hotel in New York City has had a resident cat (actually 10 of them) since the 1930s. Matilda, a Ragdoll, is the historic hotel’s current reigning cat.
8. They Love Running Water
Ragdolls are intrigued by the sound of running water (although they enjoy all forms of water). When you turn on the shower, bath or tap, your Ragdoll may come running.
9. They’re Surrounded by Mystery
There are many myths surrounding Ragdolls, although most of them are thought to have been started by their creator Ann Baker. Among them, Ragdolls are said to be fearless, impervious to pain, alien hybrids, and products of genetic modification.
10. A Perfect Family Cat
Ragdolls’ docile personalities make them a perfect breed for families with children. They also get along well with other cats and cat-friendly dogs. Ragdolls are even sometimes called “puppy cats” because they like to follow people around and even play fetch.
Mixed-Breed Cats Often Have a Wonderful Mix of Traits
If you have your heart set on a certain color pattern or personality trait in a cat, you might be surprised to find it at your local shelter. Along with the occasional purebred, shelters are packed with mixed-breed cats, have some mix of purebred cat in their background, along with domestic cats, which is a term used to describe cats of unknown breed.
You’ll find all mixes of colors and personalities, cats that fetch, and cats that love to cuddle. So before going purebred, you might want to make a trip to a nearby shelter. If you have a certain trait in mind, be sure to talk with the workers and volunteers. They’ll probably be quite familiar with each cat’s personality and can help you find the perfect match for your family.