Friday, January 5, 2018

Everything about your Ragdoll Cat

  His floppy, relaxed good nature gives the Ragdoll his name. He is a big, gentle cat with striking blue eyes who can get along with everyone, including other animals, traits that make him adaptable to almost any home. His semi-longhaired coat, which comes in a variety of patterns and colors, is easy to groom.

Overview

  The large, affectionate Ragdoll goes limp with pleasure when you cuddle him in your arms, the trait that led to his name. He’s a big kitty, with males ranging up to 20 pounds, females slightly smaller, starting at 12 pounds and going up to 15 pounds.

  The Ragdoll is a docile, gentle, unusually relaxed animal with a decidedly even disposition. When socialized correctly from birth, they will be friendly and endearing members of the family. Ragdolls can be welcoming to strangers and love being held and snuggled by people of all ages. 
  This breed tends to prefer the company of people more so than that of other pets. They normally are a good pet for young children, as they tolerate and appreciate affection and attention and typically can withstand a child's exploration and potentially unexpected behaviors. Nonetheless, Ragdolls generally prefer calm, rather than rowdy, living environments and are happiest housed entirely indoors. They are great companions for a modern, busy household.

Other Quick Facts

  • Ragdolls love people, including kids, and can get along well with dogs.
  • Ragdolls are big cats, weighing up to 20 pounds. They need to be supported with both hands when they’re being held.
  • Ragdolls can live to be 12 to 15 years or more.

Breed standards
Other names: Rag doll
TICA: Standard
CFA: Standard
Lap Cat: Yes
Physique: Large, intense blue eyes
Average lifespan: 12-17 years
Average size: 12-20 pounds
Coat appearance: Plush, Silky, Sleek, and Soft
Coloration: Blue, Chocolate, Cream, Lilac, and Red
Pattern: Bi-color, Colorpoint, and Mitted
Hypoallergenic: No
Best Suited For: Families with children, singles and seniors
Temperament: Lovable, affectionate, and docile. Very easy to handle

History 
  The Ragdoll breed is not quite 50 years old. The cats were created in California in 1963. Breeder Ann Baker wanted to develop a beautiful cat with a loving, gentle personality, and she started with domestic longhairs of unknown ancestry. Josephine, the foundation cat, was white with Siamese-type markings, and in her genes she carried a seal mitted or black tuxedo pattern. The Ragdolls of today descend from Josephine and her son, Daddy Warbucks, as well as other unknown domestic longhair males.
  The Cat Fanciers Association began registering Ragdolls in 1993, and they achieved championship status in 2000. Today Ragdolls are the fifth most popular breed registered by CFA.

Personality
  Unlike many cats, Ragdolls are notable for collapsing into the arms of anyone who holds them, even if they are cradled on their back. They love their people, greeting them at the door, following them around the house, and leaping into a lap or snuggling in bed whenever given the chance. They often learn to come when called or to retrieve toys that are thrown for them. 
  The word most often used to describe them is docile, but that doesn’t mean they are inactive. They like to play with toys and enter into any family activities. With positive reinforcement in the form of praise and food rewards when they do something you like, Ragdolls learn quickly and can pick up tricks as well as good behaviors such as using a scratching post. In a small, sweet voice, they remind you of mealtime or ask for petting but are not excessively vocal. 
  Ragdolls have nice manners and are easy to live with. You will find a Ragdoll on your sofa or bed, but generally not much higher than that. He prefers to stay on the same level with his people rather than the highest point in a room.

Health Predispositions
  The Ragdoll is a slow-growing cat that can take 3 or 4 years to reach full maturity, size and coloration. It is predisposed to developing a cardiovascular condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), which is most prevalent in middle-aged and older males.

Care
  A Ragdoll’s moderately long fur has little undercoat, which means it is less likely to mat and shed, but that doesn’t mean the cats need no grooming. Comb it twice a week with a stainless steel comb to remove dead hair that can cause tangles. Be sure to comb the fur on the legs thoroughly, especially where the leg meets the body, where mats are most likely to occur. 
  If you are gentle and don’t pull their hair, Ragdolls will love the attention they receive from you during grooming time. Note that seasonal changes as well as hormonal fluctuations in unaltered cats can affect the length of the coat. The coat will be at its peak in winter. Ragdolls that have been spayed or neutered will usually have a lush coat year-round because they lack the hormonal fluctuations that occur in unaltered cats. 
  Check the tail for bits of poop stuck to the fur and clean it off with a baby wipe. Bathe a Ragdoll as needed, which can range from every few weeks to every few months. If his coat feels greasy or his fur looks stringy, he needs a bath.
  Brush the teeth to prevent periodontal disease. Daily dental hygiene is best, but weekly brushing is better than nothing. Trim the nails every couple of weeks. Wipe the corners of the eyes with a soft, damp cloth to remove any discharge. 
  Check the ears weekly. If they look dirty, wipe them out with a cotton ball or soft damp cloth moistened with a 50-50 mixture of cider vinegar and warm water. Avoid using cotton swabs, which can damage the interior of the ear.
  Keep the Ragdoll’s litter box spotlessly clean. Cats are very particular about bathroom hygiene, and a clean litter box will help to keep the coat clean as well. Speaking of litter boxes, a large cat like the Ragdoll needs a box that is super-sized to ensure that he has plenty of room to turn around and squat.
  Don’t be deceived by the pad of fat on the belly, which is a trait of the breed. Until you are sure they have reached their mature size, make sure they always have plenty of food available to fuel their growth. It’s a good idea to keep the gentle Ragdoll as an indoor-only cat to protect him from attacks by dogs or coyotes, diseases spread by other cats, and the other dangers that face cats who go outdoors, such as being hit by a car. Ragdolls who go outdoors also run the risk of being stolen by someone who would like to have such a beautiful cat without paying for it.

Behavioral Traits
  In the early days of the Ragdoll breed, it earned the far-fetched reputation of being genetically insensitive to pain. The first Ragdoll kittens supposedly inherited this resistance to painful stimuli from their white longhaired mother, Josephine, who successfully gave birth to that litter despite being severely injured in an automobile accident. We now know that Ragdolls are not insensitive to pain. 
  They do, however, have an unusual ability to become extremely relaxed, especially when being stroked lovingly or held by their owners or by others. Ragdolls are known for becoming “limp as a ragdoll” when they are picked up, which is the basis for the name of the breed. The Ragdoll’s specialized temperament is probably due to the fact that the breed developed primarily or only from prearranged matings of cats with especially loving dispositions.
  Ragdolls often run to greet their owners at the front door and have been known to learn to play fetch and come when called. They are gentle creatures and typically play without extending their claws.

Activity Level
  As a breed, the Ragdoll is not an especially active animal. They tend to prefer being on the floor rather than jumping or leaping to high places. Still, these are playful cats that love attention.

Grooming
  The Ragdoll has a medium-long silky coat with a soft texture that is easy to groom. Use a stainless steel comb to groom it once or twice a week to prevent or remove any mats or tangles. Be gentle, and with his accepting personality, he’ll enjoy the special attention. Like all cats, the Ragdoll’s coat sheds, but not excessively.
  The only other grooming he requires is regular nail trimming and ear cleaning. Trim the nails as needed, usually every 10 days to two weeks. Cats can be prone to periodontal disease, so it’s important to brush their teeth at home with a vet-approved pet toothpaste and schedule veterinary cleanings as needed.

Children And Other Pets
  The laidback Ragdoll is perfectly suited to family life. He rarely extends his claws when playing, and he usually doesn’t mind playing dress-up, riding in a baby buggy or being a guest at a tea party. Because of their large size, males are an especially good choice for families with children. 
  Of course, you should always supervise young children to make sure they don’t torment the cat. And with a cat this size, it’s essential to teach children how to support the cat, with one arm beneath the front legs and one beneath the hind legs. Never hold a Ragdoll with the hind end hanging down. He is happy to live with other cats and cat-friendly dogs, too, thanks to his amiable disposition. Introduce pets slowly and in controlled circumstances to ensure that they learn to get along together.

Is the Ragdoll the Right Breed for you?
Low Maintenance: Occasional grooming is advised to keep its coat in good shape. Though we see cats regularly lick their coats to clean themselves, some regular grooming can be good; it removes hair, prevents matting, and stimulates circulation. Frequency should be once a week.
Constant Shedding: Shedding will occur often for this cat breed. It is suggested to brush and comb its coat regularly to reduce the risk of it developing hairballs. Be prepared also to vacuum often.
Generally Healthy: It doesn't have as many known illnesses and conditions as other cats. Best for owners who do not want to worry about long-term medical costs.
Low Vocalization: It is known to be quiet. Therefore, owners shouldn't be concerned of excessive and undesirable crying or meowing, especially at night.
Moderate Attention: This breed needs a moderate level of attention. It provides the appropriate balance for owners who like involving their cats in activities but are also able to be independent. Time alone spent can be 4 to 8 hours per day.
Slightly Active: It does not mind lounging around and being lazy. Some exercise may be necessary to maintain its health. Nonetheless, this breed is perfect for owners who desire non-active cats.
Good With Others: It is usually good with everyone and can be very affectionate towards them.

Did You Know?
  The Ragdoll loves to be cuddled and is much more accepting than many cats of being carried around in his owner’s arms.

In popular culture
  • The cat in the Swedish movie A Man Called Ove is a ragdoll.
  • Matilda III, the current mascot of  The Algonquin Hotel - Autograph Collection in New York City, is a ragdoll.