The Internet is full of cats. Nobody needs to tell you that.
Yet it so happens there is so much unexplored territory in the cat kingdom.
So it doesn’t matter how much I deny it, the simplicity and mysterious nature of cats was one of the driving forces behind me starting this blog.
I have been sharing so much about Siamese cats lately, I was feeling I need to bring some variety into the mix.
And I feel there is no better feline to discuss than ragdoll cats.
One because they are so darn cute and attract the affection of so many cat enthusiasts.
Secondly, and more importantly, being a relatively new breed there is so relatively less that is known about them.
So, let me start with one of the most frequently asked questions.
Do ragdoll cats really ragdoll?
Unfortunately not all ragdoll cats go ragdoll on their owners. Not all ragdoll cats will go limp or will flop on you when you pick them up. Regardless, ragdoll cats are one of the most affectionate, laid back, and beautiful cats you can have the pleasure of owning.
While that does answer the basic question which is do ragdoll cats really ragdoll, that is just the beginning of scratching the surface with ragdoll cats.
Although I have discussed ragdoll cats here in Kitty County already, I haven’t discussed them as much as I should.
Let me change that today.
- Balinese vs Ragdoll Cats: How are the two breeds different?
- Best dog companions for ragdoll cats?
- Why are Siamese cats so vocal?
- Why are Siamese cats so needy?
- Are Siamese indoor cats?
Ragdoll Cats History
So, I feel the best way to approach really understanding ragdoll cats is by knowing how they actually originate.
Are ragdoll cats a natural breed or are they genetically modified?
As I remarked, ragdolls are a fairly new breed.
The origins of the first ragdoll kittens can be traced back to California in 1960. The breed was developed by Ann Baker.
The mother of these ragdoll kittens was named Josephine which was a Persian/Angora type domestic white long haired cat that Ann found running around loose in her neighbourhood.
Josephine sired litters with several Birman or Burmese type cats. Some of them also had Siamese type point colouration.
In one of these litters Josephine produced a very unique set of kittens that were inherently docile, laid back, affectionate and had the capacity to surrender and go limp when picked up.
This is what probably inspired the name ragdoll cats.
There were also some arguments that tried to credit a ragdoll’s tendency to an accident Josephine might have had.
But later when it was inferred that it is genetically impossible for injury effects to transfer in a way to give rise to the limping behaviour pattern.
And hence, the argument never really found substance.
Ragdoll Cats Personality
So that was how ragdolls basically found their paws into the world.
Now the majority of people know ragdolls are basically dolls.
You can’t wish for a more friendly, affectionate, reasonably playful, and laid back cat breed.
But what else does one need to know about their personality and behaviour pattern?
If you are someone who is looking to adopt a ragdoll kitten or cat, the next few sections are going to be very important.
Ragdoll cats are most known for their docility and submissive nature. Their surrendered demeanour is usually attributed to two factors.
- The majority of the reasoning tilts towards genetics, claiming their calm personality is the result of traits passed down from Persian and Birman genes.
- Many also attribute their docile tendency as a mere instinctive reaction to being picked up by their mother during kittenhood.
Whatever the reason maybe, one thing is sure, their affectionate, loving and tendency to get along with people, pets and children make them a very sought out cat breed.
Physically, ragdolls have a round kind of stocky build. But their build is very balanced and doesn’t have extreme features.
Probably this is the reason people like picking them up so much. Whether your ragdoll will go limp or not when getting picked up is subjective but you will never experience any resistance from their side when being picked up.
Ragdoll cats love engaging with their humans. Anyone who has had the pleasure of owning them will tell you how excellent they are as companion cats.
They will greet you, follow you around, flop on you, sleep on, around or on your lap.
Their gentle nature extends to play time too. During play if you observe closely you will rarely find them playing with their claws out.
Another reason why people with families prefer to have them.
Ragdoll cats aren’t jumpers, they don’t need an ecosystem similar to what you would want for a Siamese cat.
I started this article by answering do ragdoll cats really ragdoll. And I think this is the perfect time to address something really important.
To people who are looking to get a ragdoll purely because she ragdolls, there is a good chance you may be disappointed.
You see, as endearing as this quality is, know that NOT all ragdolls go flop or limp when you pick them.
I have had personal experience with both kinds of ragdolls. I came across a ragdoll cat that was an epitome of what a ragdoll is supposed to be.
Went limp the moment you pick her up, very calm, very submissive and utterly laid back.
I have also had the pleasure of engaging with a ragdoll that was well not all those things. The best she would give you is a short cuddle session after which she let me know very clearly, she wanted to be aloof, by herself.
The point that I am trying to make is that this tendency of ‘going flop’ should not be the only motivation to get a ragdoll cat.
Ragdoll cats are a beautiful companion with so many endearing qualities. Most of which I have already explained in this personality section.
The best thing about cats is that each of them is unique.
Ragdoll cats are no different. They are highly affectionate, incredibly beautiful, and have a personality that gets well along with everyone in a family environment.
So adopt a ragdoll cat because of these innate beautiful qualities of their persona and not just because of their limping attributes.
But if for some reason the tendency to go limp is important to you then it’s best to go and see the litter in person and select the kitten based on your engagement with them.
But know that, kittens generally go limp when they feel safe and relaxed. You being someone new, there is a good chance, they will be slightly resistant to your presence, at first at least.
Ragdoll Cat Facts
As I said, the best reason to get a ragdoll cat is because of the innate beauty in their persona.
Well most of the personality traits I have already discussed above.
In this section let me share with you some of the lesser known facts about ragdoll cats. These facts I am hoping will act as some more reasons for you to consider adopting them apart from their tendency to limp and calm demeanour.
- You can teach them tricks
Apart from having a composed energy, ragdolls are incredibly intelligent. For this reason and also because they love human companionship so much they are often compared to dogs.
So yeah with some positive reinforcements you can easily train ragdolls to play fetch, roll over and even play dead.
- Ragdolls like to talk
I won’t keep them in the same category as Siamese cats. Siamese cats take the chattiness to a whole new level.
Ragdolls are a quiet breed but they know how to relay their point or their need using their voice. Their voice complements their personality.
Most regard their voice as sweet, soft and pleasant to the ears.
- Ann Baker started a new Cat Association owing to ragdolls
This one is more of a historical fact but an interesting one regardless. After successfully breeding ragdoll cats, Baker snubbed the usual registry route of identifying cats.
She trademarked the name ragdoll and started her own registry setup that goes by the name, International Ragdoll Cat Association in 1971.
The organisation setup strict standards for anyone willing to breed and sell ragdoll cats.
- Ragdoll cats are one of the largest domesticated cat breeds
In the beginning of the article I remarked that ragdolls have a stocky muscular build.
Well, you will be amazed at knowing that ragdolls are one of the largest breeds among domesticated cats.
They are fluffy too, but that contributes very less to them being large. They can reach around 20 pounds by weight.
Add to that their medium to long coat and even physically they start to feel like a small dog.
- They all have blue eyes
When it comes to eye colouration there seems to be a confusion among the cat community.
So, let me clarify this often asked question which is, do al, ragdoll cats have blue eyes?
The answer is yes, all purebred ragdoll cats have blue eyes. The International Cat Association has stated this very clearly that to be classified as a purebred ragdoll, the cat must essentially have blue eyes.
- Ragdoll Kittens are born pure white
At the time of birth ragdoll kittens are purely white. It takes around two to three weeks for the color pattern to develop.
The breeders can to a certain extent predict what the litter colouration is going to be like looking at the colour pattern of the parents.
- Ragdolls are what you may call ideal lap cats
Now I said, you shouldn’t go adopting a ragdoll purely because you want a cat that can limp.
But if you essentially want a lap cat, you probably won’t go wrong with a ragdoll. You see, ragdolls are softies of the cat world.
They love engaging with humans and are one of those cats that have almost zero resistance to engage with humans in ways humans like.
So they are thumbs up for cuddles, snuggles, sleeping with your body warmth and sitting on your lap.
Once again, I need to point out that the level of all these acts will depend on the individual cat’s personality but with ragdolls the likelihood is higher than any other cat breed.
Alright, so I hope I was able to bring forth comprehensive insights when it comes to ragdoll cats and their personality.
You see with this article, in addition to answering the core question of do ragdoll cats really ragdoll, I wanted to throw some more light onto a ragdoll cat’s personality.
I hope I was able to successfully do that.
So this is the conclusion I want you to take away from the article.
Ragdoll cats are one of the sweetest cats you can have the pleasure of owning. Yes, in general they do, out of an inherent sense of surrender, go floppy or limp when picked up. But this quality isn’t something written on stone as far as ragdoll cats are concerned.
If you wish to give a ragdoll cat a home, your motivation is well placed if you wish to get a cat that is calm, composed, gets well along with other cats, dogs, pets and family members including children.
Get a ragdoll cat if you want a companion that will love your company, sit on your lap, snuggle with you, talk to you when needed and can rest easy in your presence.
And hey who knows maybe she will go ‘ragdoll’ the moment you pick her up or maybe she will learn it as she becomes comfortable in your presence.
The likelihood of the ‘limp’ happening is anyway large when the cat is a ragdoll cat.
Take care of yourselves and I will see you in the next one.