The Ragdoll: A Huge Remarkably Sweet and Amenable Cat

The Ragdoll is one of the largest of all cat breeds, their name is derived from their tendency to be very placid and relax when handled. Very quiet cats!

Ragdoll Cats

The name is well chosen, because few cats are easier to handle or more ready to sit on a lap than a Ragdoll. One of the largest of all cat breeds, this cat has a confused history—supposedly, the original Ragdolls were developed from a litter of kittens born in California that became unusually limp and “floppy” when picked up.

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It is thought that long hair in domestic cats arose as a genetic mutation. In cooler climates this trait would be advantageous and so its frequency in the cat population probably increased, and was later selected for by cat breeders. Wild cats have thicker rather than longer coats and have no role in the ancestry of domestic longhairs.

Breed History

For this recently developed breed there is a considerable lack of consensus as to the exact origins of early progenitors.

What is proposed is that in the 1960s this breed arose in California as a result of a breeder starting with two foundation males, Raggedy Ann Daddy Warbucks and another she called Blackie. Both of these were offspring of Josephine, a white (Persian or Turkish Angora type) cat; Warbucks and Blackie were fathered by two different sires.

Those sires continue to be an unknown, with one theory reporting that it was a Persian that had Birman type markings and others saying the white Persian was crossed with a seal point Birman in one of the progenitor crosses, and that this offspring was bred with a sable Burmese.

The coat texture does not match Persian cats, so at some point it is likely either Birman or Burmese, or perhaps both were crossed with the white Persian-type, or perhaps this occurred at another point in breed development.

The Ragdoll name derives from the tendency to be calm, resulting in relaxed muscle tone when handled. They have become a popular breed.

In The International Cat Association (TICA), 2002 registration numbers topped 23000 and this breed was fourth in popularity in that registry behind Maine Coon, Persian, and the Bengal. In Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA), recent registration placed this breed twelfth in popularity with much smaller numbers registered (761).

No outcrosses are allowed in CFA.

The Fédération International Féline (FIFé) recognized the breed in 1992 and the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF) in 1991.

The Ragamuffin is a more recently developed breed of cats that utilized some Ragdoll influence in development. Though the Ragdoll breed has a resemblance to the Birman, the latter is a smaller cat, is produced in only the mitted pattern and possesses a less angulated face.

Physical Characteristics


Female 10-14 lb (4.5-6 kg), male 12-20 lb (5.5-9 kg).

Coat Patterns


Blue-vivid, moderately large sized, oval.

Points of Conformation

These are large cats, heavy-set build both in fore and rear. A modified wedge shaped medium sized skull, full muzzle and a medium to short straight nose, and wide set ears are medium - large sized with rounded tips. Paws are large, round, and body musculature is well developed. Tail is long and bushy and tapers slightly. Legs are long, with hind limbs being longer than the forelegs.


These cats have low tendency to mat. They have low-moderate grooming needs. They have a moderate shedding tendency only. A steel comb or other tool can be used gently twice a week.

Breed Behaviour and Traits