Ragdoll is a large, semi-long-haired breed of domestic cat with blue eyes. The color of this breed is color point, which means that their body color is lighter than points (dark spots on the legs, tail, ears and mask on the face). The name of the breed comes from the English word Ragdoll and translates as a rag doll.
These cats, with their blue eyes, silky, long fur and color point color, have fans all over the world, whose breeders were struck by both the beauty and the affectionate nature of the cats.
Despite the vague past, ragdolls were able to get out of the unknown and become one of the most popular breeds among long-haired cats, in some countries second only to Persian and Maine Coons.
The history of the breed is actually confusing and full of contradictions. Instead of facts, it has hypotheses, theories, rumors and science fiction.
The story begins in 1960 in California with Ann Baker, a Persian cat breeder. In fact, how, from whom, why, and why the breed developed, only she knew for sure.
But she left this world, and apparently we can no longer find out the truth.
She was friends with a neighboring family, which fed a colony of domestic cats, among them a cat of Josephine, Angora or Persian breed.
Once she had an accident, after which she recovered, but all the kittens in the litter were friendly and affectionate.
Moreover, this was a common property for all kittens, in all litters. This can be explained by the fact that all the kittens had different fathers and a fortunate combination of circumstances, but Ann explained this to the fact that Josephine had an accident and was saved by people.
This is a very vague theory, but it is still quite popular among fans of these cats.
However, Ann herself said that the cat became the object of secret military experiments, and the evidence of these experiments was destroyed.
Despite criticism, and the fact that at that time the very possibility of such experiments was doubtful, Ann insisted.
And over time, she said an even stranger thing, they say these cats are crossed with skunks, to enhance the color and get a more fluffy tail.
That's why their name is ragdoll or rag doll:
Having collected as many kittens as possible born of Josephine, Anne began work on the creation and consolidation of the breed, and especially character traits. She called the new breed the angelic name Cherubim, or Cherubim in English.
As the creator and ideologist of the breed, Baker set the rules and standards for everyone who also wanted to do it.
She alone knew the story of each animal, and made decisions for other breeders. In 1967, a group broke out of it, wishing to develop their breed, which they called ragdoll.
Next, years of confusing disputes, courts and intrigues followed, as a result of which two officially registered, similar, but different breeds appeared - ragdoll and ragamuffin. In fact, these are very similar cats, the difference between which is only in the variety of colors.
This group, led by husband and wife, Danny and Laura Dayton, has set out to popularize the breed.
Coming from the organization IRCA (the brainchild of Baker, now in decline), they developed and implemented the standard of the ragdoll breed, now relevant and recognized by organizations such as CFA and FIFe.
After being consolidated in America, the couple was imported to the UK and registered with the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy.
Since Baker owned the rights to the Ragdoll trademark, no one could sell cats under that name without her permission until 2005, when the ownership was not renewed.
Currently, the world's largest amateur association is the Ragdoll Fanciers' Club International (RFCI).
These are cats of medium or large size, with a long, wide body and strong bones, leaving an impression of grace and hidden power when moving. The body is large and long, wide and strong, muscular, with a wide bone.
Its shape resembles a triangle, where a wide chest flows into a narrower pelvis. These are not fat cats, but a fat bag on the stomach is acceptable.
Feet of medium length, with the front slightly longer than the rear. The head is proportional, in the form of a wedge, with medium-sized ears, set apart quite wide, visually extending the head line.
Ears are wide at the base, with rounded tips inclined forward. The eyes are large, oval and blue.
Ragdolls cats are large in every sense, but without extreme sports. Cats weigh from 5.4 to 9.1 kg, and cats are smaller and weigh from 3.6 to 6.8 kg. Castrated cats are more likely to reach maximum weight, sometimes exceeding 9 kg.
The coat is semi-long, and is characterized by abundant back hair, with minimal undercoat. Such wool sheds little, which is even recognized by the Cat Fanciers' Association. The coat is shorter on the face and head, longer on the stomach and tail.
On the forelegs it is short and medium, and on the hind legs of medium length it turns into a long one. The tail is long with a magnificent plume.
All ragdolls are color points, but in some colors the points can be replaced by white. They come in 6 colors: red, strength, chocolate, blue and purple, cream. Tortoise is also allowed.
Traditional kittens are born white, they begin to repaint at 8-10 weeks of life, and are completely painted by 3-4 years.
The main four types of points include:
- Color point: dark nose, ears, tail and paws.
- Mited (Mitted): The same as color points, but with white spots on the legs and stomach. They can be either with a white spot on the muzzle or without it, but a white strip is required going from the jaw to the genitals and a white chin.
- Bicolor: white paws, white inverted V on the muzzle, white belly and sometimes white spots on the sides.
- Lynx (Lynx) - similar to bicolors, but with a tabby color (dark spots and stripes throughout the body that are diverse in form and appearance).
Obedient, cute, neat, so the hosts speak about this large and beautiful breed. Justifying its name (rag doll), ragdolls will relax in their arms, calmly transferring any poses.
Playful and responsive, these are ideal domestic cats that adapt easily to any environment.
They find a common language with adults, children, cats and adequate dogs, and are also easily trained (as for cats). They are cute, calm, love people, and usually behave well. Silent, they will not annoy you with cries, but if there is something important to be said, they will make it in a soft, polite voice.
Average in activity, they like to play and find a common language with the kids, as they are soft and practically do not scratch. However, very young children need to be taught that this is still a cat, and she can be hurt, despite her patience.
As already mentioned, they get along with other cats and friendly dogs, provided that they are given time to get to know and adapt.
And, although many can be trained to walk on a leash, they remain kittens throughout life, and love to play.
They love people, they meet at the doors, and follow them around the house in the wake. Some will climb onto your lap, while others will prefer to just sit next to you while watching TV.
Maintenance and care
How ragdoll kittens will grow is hard to predict. Some of them grow slowly and confidently, but this is rare, for most of them, a growth spurt alternates with periods of calm. Basically, there are several periods of rapid growth, with pauses between them.
Some grow instantly, reach their full size by the year of life, and then stop. Such peaks are possible with a kitten in the first four years of life, since the breed is large enough, and they grow up slowly.
Due to explosive and unpredictable growth, ragdolls need special nutrition. Most manufacturers of dry and canned cat food, offer their own rate of feed consumption, depending on the weight of the kitten. And in the case of this breed, this norm itself can be a disaster.
The fact is that they can gain a growth period of up to 1.5 kg per month, and insufficient feeding will lead to starvation and growth retardation.
Naturally, at this moment they need much more food than other breeds that grow more evenly.
Moreover, their fat bags on their stomachs can deceive owners (and veterinarians), as they seem to be well-fed. But, this bag is genetically predisposed, and not the result of abundant feeding.
Even if the cat is thin, skin and bones, such a bag will still be present. A healthy kitten must be muscular and firm, it is a fighter, not a marathon runner.
Therefore, in order to avoid sudden hunger and related growth problems, ragdoll kittens should have unlimited access to dry food in a very large bowl. Canned food should be given in a slightly larger amount, which the kitten can eat at a time. A clean, shiny bowl is a sure sign that the kitten has remained hungry, add a few more pieces until he stops eating.
Will such a kitten overeat and this will lead to obesity? Not. Knowing that the food is always available, it will eat as you starve, because when there are no restrictions, there is no need to overeat. Such kittens are always well-fed, but not fat.
Remember that they have a genetically packed fat sack on their stomach. By the way, such feeding can last up to 4 years of life, because these cats grow up to this age.
Adult cats need a minimum of care, and practically do not require much effort and expense. They naturally have wool that does not fall off, a semi-long, tight-fitting body. Rich outer hair, and the undercoat is not thick and does not stray into tangles.
If the tartar happens, then, as a rule, in the collar zone or in the armpits. However, it is enough to comb it regularly, and there will be no tricks, especially since in the case of ragdolls this is not a problem.
Grooming ragdolls to prepare for the show is quite simple compared to other breeds. All you need is shampoo for cats and warm water. It is advisable to first treat cats, especially large ones, with a dry shampoo for oily hair, then rinse several times with an ordinary one.
Due to its weight, when handling cats, you need to act with two hands, avoiding the usual gestures with one hand.
Studies in Sweden showed that ragdolls, along with Siamese cats, have one of the lowest percentages of survival after 10 years of life, among other breeds of domestic cats.
So, for Siamese cats, this percentage is 68%, and for ragdolls 63%. These studies showed that a large number of animals suffered from urological problems, mainly with the kidneys or ureter.
It is not clear whether the data are relevant for other countries (Denmark, Sweden, Finland took part in the study), and whether the genes of the Persian cat (with its tendency to PCD) were affected.
The fact is that due to the very limited number of cats, serious inbreeding occurs in the breed, and the blood of other breeds has to be added.