Ragdoll Cats

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Breed: Ragdoll Cats
Temperament: Placid
Lifespan: 15 years
Recommended for: Families, single or elderly people

The Ragdoll’s unusual name is derived from their peculiar habit of going limp in their owner’s and even complete stranger’s arms.

Appearance: Ragdolls are large cats, weighing up to 8kg (18lb) when fully mature, which can take three years. They are a semi-longhaired breed, lacking the thick undercoat of the Persian, but retaining a soft, silky outer coat which is resistant to matting.

There are four colours: seal, chocolate, blue and lilac, and three patterns: colourpoints, which have the darker Siamese-like markings (points) on the face, paws, legs and tail; mitted, which have the points with white front feet and long socks on the rear legs; and bi-colours, which have points but with the faces marked with a white inverted ‘V’.

Temperament: This breed enables complete strangers to walk into a house, pick up the cat and cradle it. They are a very placid breed, tolerant of children and other cats.

Housepet potential/ideal owner: Breeders describe Ragdolls as “apartment cats” a term adopted from the US, meaning they do not seem to need the outdoor life like most breeds. Their semi-longhaired coat is resistant to matting and they are said to be ideally suited to people with small homes, as well as people who love the longhaired look but may be unable or unwilling to devote time to grooming.

Ragdolls shed hair but not to the extent of other longhaired breeds such as Persians. Some owners have found the long hair around the anus can catch faeces, so breeders recommend trimming the hair to 1-2cm (1″) around this area. Ragdolls are a quiet breed, becoming vocal usually only around dinnertime.

Health: Cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart muscles, while uncommon, has been detected in some Ragdoll lines. Breeders have outcrossed to reduce this problem. Cardiomyopathy is a fatal disease, and affected cats are likely to die within a year.

Grooming: Minimal attention is needed, although a brush once weekly when the coat is shedding helps remove loose hair.

History: The breed began quietly in early 1960 when a Californian woman crossed a white Persian-Angora named Josephine, with a Birman. It was claimed, the breed’s distinctive ‘floppiness’ happened when Josephine was hit by a car, a genetic improbability. In reality the Ragdoll’s laidback character is more likely the result of a crossing of two placid breeds, the Persian and the Birman.

Ragdolls were recognised as a breed in the US in 1967 and in Australia in 1991. There are believed to be 500 Ragdoll breeders worldwide, and individual breeders in every state in Australia.

Further information

Australian and International Ragdoll Advisory Club
President: Angela Irvine
PO Box 1627
Canning Vale, WA, 6155
Phone: (08) 9455 5656
Fax: (08) 9455 5660

Australasian Ragdoll Cat Club
PO Box 1179
Dickson, ACT, 2602 New South Wales: Waratah National Cat Alliance Inc.
Phone: (02) 9527 3695

Queensland: Queensland Feline Association Inc.
phone: (04) 3395 1013

South Australia: Governing Council of the Cat Fancy of South Australia Inc.
Phone: (08) 8449 5880

Western Australia: Feline Control Council of Western Australia
Phone/Fax: (08) 9452 2885

Tasmania: Cat Association of Tasmania Inc.
Phone: (03) 6261 4432

Northern Territory: Cat Association of the Northern Territory
Phone: (08) 8932 5225