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The large fluffy Ragdoll cat is one of the most aesthetically beautiful breeds around today. Along with their luxurious looks, their placid temperament and affectionate nature make them a popular feline companion for families in the UK and beyond.
The most famous trait of the Ragdoll is their ability to go limp or floppy upon picking them up. They are one of the biggest “lap cats” and love to cuddle, snuggle and curl up next to their owners. Therefore, they remain a popular cat breed for cat lovers looking for an affectionate, cuddly companion.
Meet the Ragdoll
Ragdolls grow to be large cats, with the males reaching up to 20 pounds and females reaching 15 pounds. However, Ragdolls grow slowly, and it takes them roughly four years to get to their final size.
Along with being hefty, they have a sturdy, muscular body frame with a broad chest and short neck. Their coats are silky, dense and semi-long with extra bushy tails, giving them an even fluffier appearance.
Most Ragdolls will be a creamy white colour with a colour point pattern where their fur is darker at the extremities (nose, ears, tail, and paws). However, although uncommon, they can come in other colours; red, seal, chocolate, blue, and lilac. They can also possess different patterns, but again, these are less common.
Ragdoll kittens are usually born white, with their colouring and patterning developing around 8–10 weeks. Then, their colour may continue to change until they reach full maturity between 3 and 4 years old.
Another gorgeous physical characteristic that Ragdolls have is their vibrant blue eyes. They are also large and round, making them stand out against their light fur. They have medium-sized ears with rounded tips and a slight forward tilt.
The temperament of a Ragdoll
The Ragdoll’s floppiness is thought to be down to an instinctive reaction that reminds them of their mother picking them up as a kitten. However, some people believe it is due to a genetic mutation. Most cat breeds will go limp when you “scruff” them by the neck, but Ragdolls are bred to go floppy when picked up and held in any way.
The Ragdolls gentle nature is a trait passed down from the similar Persian and Birman breeds. However, Ragdolls are much more submissive than these breeds, which can be both a good and bad thing. It means your Ragdoll will never harm a small child or start fights with other cats, but it also means they cannot defend themself if they get into trouble.
Though Ragdolls will act docile when held, this doesn’t mean they are inactive cats. They love playtime and will happily play with their toys alone and engage in family play. However, they will not jump and climb all over your house like more energetic breeds, and their play sessions are usually short.
Ragdolls are also extremely loyal and devoted to their owners, which is why they are known as one of the dog-like cat breeds. This does mean they can be quite clingy, though, so they need to be with a human who can give them regular attention.
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- Surprisingly, they don’t shed much - Although Ragdolls have a long, plush coat, they lack an undercoat which significantly reduces their shedding and matting rate.
- They have excellent manners - Ragdolls are incredibly well-mannered, will listen to you, and rarely create problems, so they are a breeze to live with.
- They are soft and cuddly - These teddy-like cats are not only big and soft. They adore cuddles and will never wriggly out of your arms, unlike some of the more aloof breeds.
- You will never feel lonely - If you live alone, a Ragdoll will be the best company as they will stay by your side, follow you around, and comfort you when you’re feeling down.
- They will greet you at the door - Like a puppy, they listen out for your car and will be eagerly waiting by the door as you turn the key.
- They won’t harm a fly - Okay, maybe they would hurt a fly, but they would certainly not lash out at any human or other pet.
- You can teach them tricks - Ragdolls are intelligent cats that can quickly learn tricks, develop recall, and even play fetch. Plus, they understand how to walk on a leash, so you can let them safely explore the outside world.
- They love water - Ragdolls are one of the few breeds that like to play in water. Running taps make them curious, so don’t be surprised if they dive in the sink as you’re doing the dishes.
- They are quiet - Ragdolls are not a very vocal breed, so they will not meow at you every time you move or get up. This makes them an ideal choice for someone who lives in an apartment.
- They don’t need much grooming - Despite having long hair, their coat tends to stay in excellent condition with two short combing or brushing sessions a week.
Best homes for a Ragdoll
Ragdolls do best in homes where they will receive lots of attention and cuddles. They will quickly get lonely if neglected, which can be harmful to their well-being.
It’s also vital that you keep your Ragdoll as an indoor-only cat and do not let them roam. As Ragdolls have been bred for their gentle nature and floppy trait, they do not retaliate if they get into a fight with another cat. This can make life outside very dangerous for them, so it’s best to keep them indoors.
Being so easy-going, Ragdolls look to make friends with other cats and dogs. However, they will do much better with another cat of a similar gentle nature, rather than a more aggressive feline who could dominate or even hurt them. Finally, they are gentle with children and super playful. So, a Ragdoll could be an ideal companion for a young, active child.