Ragdoll breed's portrait

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Origin and breed history

the Ragdoll is a young noble-cat-race from the USA. According to the stories its origin is based on a coincidence observation. It is reported that Ann Baker observed an Angora cat with a special coat coloration similar to a Siamese cat in the 1980s. As an enterprising breeder, she immediately tried to broaden the gene mutation that caused this coat coloration. So, the Ragdoll should have originated. Maybe Ann Baker also experimented with Siamese and Angora cats to get the special, new fur colors. The name Ragdoll is a play on words and means something like cloth doll. And that is very apt. The Ragdoll is the stuffed animal that has come to life.

However only from the look and from its plush fur. Otherwise it is of course a real cat and a very enormous one at that. According to Guinness book of records, the Ragdoll is regarded as the biggest house-cat of the world. Basically, it is an Angora-cat bred on size with the defect gene of the Siamkatze. As in all so called Seal Point cats, one gene is mutated, which is responsible for enzymes that produce the colorants in the skin, for example melanin. The production is only incomplete. This leads to a partial albinism, called acromelanism. This genetic defect was introduced into the population of Angora cats by cat breeders around Ann Baker. This was not possible without line-breeding and inbreeding, with the consequence that some cats of this breed today can be plagued by several hereditary diseases. In 1991 the Ragdoll was officially recognized by the Fédération Internationale Féline. Since then its popularity has been increasing steadily.


The Ragdoll is a large to very large semi-longhair cat. It is large-framed and has a long, bushy tail. The Ragdoll is considered the largest domestic cat in the world. The standard of the Fédération Internationale Féline determines that a Ragdoll is "a massive cat of medium to strong build". Thus, males with about 12 kilograms and 120 centimeters in length with a shoulder height of up to 40 centimeters are no rarity.

The medium-long, silken fur of the Ragdoll is also distinctive. This underlines their impressive appearance once again. The tail is long, bushy and well hairy. The eye color of a Ragdoll is always blue. As fur-colors, Seal, blue, chocolate, lilac, red and cream-point are allowed. All so called Seal Point cats like Siamese, Burmese or Ragdoll have an altered gene, which darkens the colors only on cold body parts, the points. The kittens are born all in white. The whole coat darkens only a little bit with growing up, while it only gets really dark on the cooler parts of the body like face, ears, legs, tail. Also the regular blue eye color is a consequence of this mutation.

Character and nature

Ragdoll cats are very people-oriented animals, extremely friendly and sociable. They are very socially oriented and do not like to be alone for long periods of time. Then they can also become uncomfortable. A Ragdoll is very human-oriented. So she is very talkative with her humans as well as with other dogs. It is intelligent, attentive and very interested in what is happening in its environment, in the apartment but also outside in the garden. She often goes for walks with her master or mistress like a puppy. She is always friendly and open-minded towards children and animal roommates and is ready to play. Aggressive behavior is practically foreign to her. One can call the Ragdoll an ideal family-cat from the nature.


The Ragdoll is an ideal house cat for the apartment. The long fur wants to be looked after intensively, especially at times of the fur-change. Otherwise, the Ragdoll is undemanding and modest regarding its attitude-conditions. However, it needs the intimate relationship with its two-legged friends and loves the common experience with the people or the animal partners in its family. The Ragdoll doesn't have to be a free rider to feel comfortable all around. A garden for observing nature and occasional small hunting trips she enjoys nevertheless.


The Ragdoll can be trained very well. The Ragdoll is very intelligent and human-oriented. Sometimes she follows her master or mistress like a dog without a leash. But she always remains a cat diva in her heart. If she comes from a serious breeder, who took good care of her parents and puppies and socialized them, she will fit in the rules and habits of her family by herself. With a little guidance she will be house-trained quickly and easily.

Care and health

The long, silky fur of the Ragdoll must be brushed regularly, especially at times of the fur-change daily. One can make the fur-brushing with some feeling and skill to a ritual of the social bond, that cat like people emotionally very well does.

Race-typical illnesses

The health of the Ragdoll can suffer occasionally from inbreeding. This often leads to immunodeficiencies, sickness and shortened life expectancy. Ragdolls have a number of hereditary diseases that are common in breeding, such as anemia, heart diseases like HCM or some eye diseases, which are a consequence of their acromelanism. These diseases do not occur in all cats of this breed.

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