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    Ragdoll Cat - Facts, History and Health Problems

    The Ragdoll cat breed is a popular breed originating from the United States. These furry felines are known to have gregarious personalities and adore being held by their owners. 

    Read on to learn more about these affectionate pets and why they make the perfect companions.

    Quick Facts about Ragdoll Cats

    Ragdoll cats are one of the largest cat breeds out there. They are also known to have outgoing personalities with a docile nature. If you want the loving attention of a cat with a dog-like personality, this breed certainly won’t let you down.

    Here are some other facts on Ragdolls you may not know:

    • They are a relatively new breed of cats: The cat breed has only existed since 1967.
    • They are lap cats: This breed thrives on human companionship and loves being held. This is where they get their name from.
    • They are one of the largest cat breeds: Depending on their gender, these cats can weigh between 10-20 pounds.
    • They have blue eyes but come in all shades of colors: Ragdoll coats are often characterized by four main patterns including van, bi-color, colorpoint, and mitted. The six predominant colors of these friendly cats include blue, seal, red, cream, chocolate, and lilac.

    Breed Overview

    WEIGHT:10 to 20 pounds
    LENGTH:9.0”-11.0"
    COAT COLOR:Many different patterns and colors
    COAT:Mid-length and silky
    EYE COLOR: Blue
    LIFE EXPECTANCY: 13 to 15 years or more

    History

    The Ragdoll cat was created in California in the 1960s by a woman named Ann Baker. She found a long-haired white female cat in her neighborhood and mated it with another long-haired cat, resulting in kittens that were the first of this new breed. She then selected traits like a friendly personality as well as long hair. After a few generations, she eventually bred the big, fluffy, and sweet cats we know and love today.

    There is a lot of speculation surrounding the original breeds selected by Baker because it is unknown to this day. One of the cats in the original Ragdoll bloodline is said to have had Siamese markings. Others say Baker mated either a Birman, Burmese, or Persian cat. 

    Common Health Problems

    All cat breeds are prone to different health or genetic problems, including mixed breeds. It's important to understand their susceptibility before selecting a cat. Ask your breeder about appropriate testing. You may also want to consider purchasing cat health insurance before doing any tests.

    • Weight Issues: Like most big cats, this breed easily gains weight, and managing it is very important. Make sure they get enough play and be sure to ration their food. 
    • Heart Disease: These cats may develop hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or HCM, a heart disease that causes a thickening of the heart muscle. Unfortunately, you will not be able to do proper testing until the onset of HCM.
    • Bladder Stones: Ragdolls are vulnerable to bladder stones. Ensure you feed them lots of high-quality food and that they drink plenty of water.

    Ragdoll Cat Care

    Ragdoll cats require a specific care routine to make sure they stay their healthiest and happiest. 

    To start, the breed has a single layer of fur that’s silky, which makes it less prone to matting. However, you will still need to groom them about twice a week. Be sure to clip their toenails regularly and keep a scratching post around so they can scratch her nails after clipping. 

    Additionally, these cats require frequent ear cleaning depending on how dirty they become. Simply take olive oil or an ear cleaning solution, use a dropper to put in their ear canals, and gently massage the base of their ears. After, take a cotton ball and wipe the dirt and debris away. 

    This breed is very sociable and has a great deal of energy. Accordingly, keeping these cats occupied with interactive toys such as puzzles and wands is definitely important. Not only does it help to keep their weight down, but it also keeps them from getting bored and strengthens your bond with them. 

    Personality of Ragdolls

    Ragdoll cats are typically friendly, easy-going, and just want tons of love and affection. Here are the main characteristics exhibited in this breed:

    • Affection Level: High
    • Friendliness: High
    • Pet-Friendly: High
    • Trainability: High
    • Intelligence: High
    • Kid-Friendly: Medium
    • Exercise Required: Medium
    • Playfulness: Medium
    • Energy Level: Medium
    • A tendency to Vocalize: Medium
    • Amount of Shedding: Medium

    Pros

    • Friendly Personality: If you want a dog-like cat, this breed should definitely be considered. They are also great around kids.
    • Very Affectionate: These cats thrive on the relationship with their owners and want nothing more than to be held and pet.
    • Highly Intelligent: Ragdolls are smart cats that are known to be both communicative and easy to train. 

    Cons

    • Price: The Ragdoll cat price is among the highest of all breeds. Kittens can range anywhere from $400-$2,500.
    • Hypoallergenic: Unfortunately, Ragdoll cats are not hypoallergenic.

    Prone to Health Problems: These cats are likely to gain weight, develop heart disease, and have bladder stones.