Ragdoll Cat Breed
The Complete Guide
At Pearl’s Ragdolls, each new kitten in my Ragdoll family is showered with love and care when raised in my home.
My goal is to breed beautiful, healthy, social, and loving Ragdolls while maintaining the Ragdoll standard set by TICA.
In this Ragdoll breed guide >>
You will learn more about the Ragdoll breed as well as how to care for a Ragdoll kitten.
Table of Contents
Ragdoll Cat Breed
Ragdoll Cat Breed
Ragdoll Cat Breed
Ragdoll Cat Breed
View pictures of the color patterns available at this cattery.
The Ragdoll is a large cat breed with semi-long silky hair and bright blue eyes.
The Ragdoll breed is a slow maturing breed reaching full size at 4 years and full coat color at 2 years. Full grown altered male Ragdolls usually weigh 15-20 pounds; full grown altered female Ragdolls usually weigh 10-15 pounds.
The Ragdoll is a relaxed, happy cat and, like a child’s ragdoll, many of these cats will go limp in your arms and flop like a stuffed doll when cuddled.
The Ragdoll cat breed gets its name from the breed’s relaxed temperament, but still have a playful personality when they are young. When Ragdolls play, they tend to be more gentle than other cat breeds by not extending their claws.
A Ragdoll’s calm nature makes them great pets for families with children or other pets.
Ragdolls tend to be a more social breed by following their owners from room to room. Since Ragdolls crave social interaction, it is suggested to have another cat for your Ragdoll to interact with if you plan to be gone the majority of the day.
The Ragdoll breed was first established in the 1960s by Ann Baker, a breeder living in Riverside, California.
To develop the Ragdoll breed, Ann first bred a white longhaired female domestic cat, Josephine, to a seal mitted male, Daddy Warbucks, and a solid black male, Blackie. The kittens from Josephine’s litters had the same loving and relaxed personality that today’s Ragdolls are known for.
Ann Baker continued to develop her Ragdoll breeding program by selecting cats that had the same look and temperament she wanted for the program. Her program continued to grow when other breeders contracted as franchises under her.
In 1971, Ann Baker started her own registry for Ragdolls, the International Ragdoll Cat Association (IRCA). Under this association, Ragdolls were not allowed to be registered in other registries. Eventually, some breeders broke off from the IRCA hoping to help the Ragdoll breed gain more recognition. Among these breeders included the husband and wife team, Denny and Laura Dayton, who helped with getting the Ragdoll breed recognized by major cat registries.
Since the Ragdoll breed joined major registries such as the Cat Fancier’s Association and the International Cat Association, the breed has continued to gain popularity worldwide.
A Ragdoll falls into one of four categories based on their coat type: traditional, mink, sepia, or solid. However, many people do not consider mink, sepia, or solid Ragdolls to be true Ragdolls, since they do not follow the standard set by the major cat association.
According to the Ragdoll breed standard, a Ragdoll is a pointed cat with blue eyes. Traditional Ragdolls are born in a variety of different standard colors.
At Pearl’s Ragdolls, I have kittens available for adoption only in the traditional standard colors accepted by CFA listed below. My current breeding plan can produce seal and blue colored kittens. However, I hope to be able to produce Ragdolls of each of the standard colors in the future.
TRADITIONAL STANDARD COLORS ACCEPTED BY CFA:
Seal ♥ Blue ♥ Chocolate ♥ Lilac ♥ Red ♥ Cream
TRADITIONAL STANDARD COLORS ACCEPTED BY TICA:
Seal ♥ Blue ♥ Chocolate ♥ Lilac ♥ Red ♥ Cream ♥ Cinnamon ♥ Fawn
Ragdolls come in three different patterns with three possible overlays. At Pearl’s Ragdolls, I have kittens for sale only in the bicolor and mitted patterns with and without lynx overlay. Listed below are the different Ragdoll patterns and overlays.
Colorpoint ♥ Bicolor ♥ Mitted
Lynx ♥ Tortie ♥ Torbie (combination of Tortie and Lynx)
Some Ragdolls may have a unique white marking on their nose called a blaze.
Ragdolls Cat Breed Genetics
Today, you’ll learn how to predict Ragdoll kitten colors based on the genetics of their parents.
A Ragdoll’s color is defined by its genes which can either be dominant or recessive. The genes that define the Ragdoll colors seal, blue, chocolate, lilac, cinnamon, and fawn are:
B = Black b = Chocolate b’ = Cinnamon
D = Undiluted d = Diluted
The black gene (B) is dominant to the chocolate gene (b) and the chocolate gene (b) is dominant to the cinnamon gene (b’). The undiluted gene (D) is dominant to the diluted gene (d). The diluted colors of seal, chocolate, and cinnamon are blue, lilac, and fawn. Making fawn the rarest Ragdoll color.
A recessive trait requires two of the same recessive genes to be visible, whereas a dominant trait only requires one dominant gene to be visible. For example, bb dd means the Ragdoll will be lilac colored, because it carries two recessive chocolate genes and two recessive dilute genes. Bd DD means the Ragdoll will be seal colored, because it carries at least one dominant black gene and two dominant undilute genes.
A Ragdoll would need to submit a DNA sample to a testing facility to determine its genetic make up. Once you know the genetics of your adult cats, you can look at the table below to determine what colors are possible for any offspring. Based on the example above, a lilac male (bb dd) and a seal female (Bd DD) would produce either seal or chocolate colored kittens.
Ragdoll Color Prediction Table
The best way to acclimate a new Ragdoll kitten to your home is to choose a bathroom or a small area where there is no where for the kitten to hide. Put food, water, and litter in the room for when the kitten arrives. Leave the kitten in this small area for at least a few hours. Take the kitten out as often as you want, but keep them on your lap while petting them to make them feel safe.
Once you are sure your kitten is eating, drinking, and using the litter box correctly, then you can slowly allow them to explore the rest of the house. You should repeatably take the kitten back to the area with its litter box to make sure it knows its location.
Be patient with your new kitten. It can take a few days for kittens to settle in and feel safe in their new home.
Introduce other pets in the household gradually. Ragdolls typically are fearless and love everyone, so it shouldn’t take long for them to become accustomed to interacting with other pets. However, remember every cat is different. Some may take longer than others.
Kitten Proof Your Home Checklist
Eliminate escape routes
Before your Ragdoll kitten arrives, check all windows and doors to make sure they cannot escape the house. Ragdolls are indoor cats that should remain inside at all times. If you decide to take a Ragdoll outside, they must be supervised.
Remove poisonous plants
Some indoor plants are poisonous to cats. Check ASPCA’s list of toxic plants to know which plants should be removed or kept out of reach from your Ragdoll kitten.
Secure other poisonous substances in safe locations
Other poisonous substances such as cleaning supplies, nail polish remover, medication, paint, etc. should be secured in safe locations where your Ragdoll kitten can not get to them.
Secure breakable items in safe locations
Make sure breakable items are secured in safe locations. Don’t leave items you don’t want falling on the ground too close to the edge of counters, tables, or shelves.
Secure sharp objects in safe locations
All sharp objects such as knives, needles, scissors, etc. should be secured in safe locations out of reach from your Ragdoll kitten.
Secure all wires in safe locations
Ragdoll kittens loves to play with wires and sometimes chew on them. Secure wires out of reach of kittens to prevent wire damage.
Leave all toilet seats down
Develop the habit of always leaving the toilet seat down. You don’t want a Ragdoll kitten to accidentally fall in or drink water from the toilet.
Familiarize yourself with possible hiding spots
Ragdoll kittens love to find places they can hide. You should familiarize yourself with possible cat hideouts throughout your home such as underneath beds, behind furniture, in laundry baskets, etc. Confirm all these locations are safe. You wouldn’t want your new kitten to accidentally get stuck behind a washing machine.
All my kittens are currently being fed Royal Canin Kitten dry food. I suggest switching to Royal Canin Ragdoll Adult dry cat food and Royal Canin Digest Sensitive wet cat food at 12 months of age.
If you wish to use a different type of cat food, you should gradually transition to a new brand by mixing in a small amount of new food on day one, increasing the amount of new food over 7 days time until transition is complete. Failure to provide the food your kitten is accustomed to during the first several days in its new home can result in upset stomach, diarrhea, weight loss and/or constipation, which can lead to other, more serious health issues.
Another important note is Ragdolls tend to have a more sensitive stomach than other cat breeds. I suggest not feeding them too many treats or human food. Otherwise, it will cause them to have diarrhea.
Your kitten has been litter-box-trained using Tidy Cat Clumping Litter. Please purchase at least one bag of this or similar litter to use on top of other type of litter you want to change to.
The litter box should be shown to the kitten several times until you’re sure they know where it is. New kittens are often very excited about exploring their new home and may forget the location of the box if not taken to it multiple times. As the kitten gains access to the whole house and becomes familiar with the layout, the box can be moved from the small area you placed the kitten in to a more discreet, permanent location.
My adult cats use the Litter Robot – an automatic, self-cleaning litter box. My kittens are also trained to use the Litter Robot before they go to their new home. They do not weigh enough to activate the Litter Robot on their own until about 4 – 5 months old, but the Litter Robot is still a more convenient litter box method. You just have to press the cycle button until they weigh enough to activate the cycle timer. If interested in ordering a Litter Robot, click here to get $25 off your purchase.
If not starting with the Litter Robot, I suggest starting your kitten off with a flat or cubby hole entry litter box. The most frightening for a kitten is the flap style litter box, so I do not recommend this type until the kitten is older. Otherwise, the kitten may be too scared to go through the flap and start using the floor for a litter box or some other obscure location, like your bed.
Please DO NOT declaw your kitten.
I suggest trimming your kitten’s nails regularly. It keeps your kitten from getting their nails caught in fabric which can be painful to the kitten. When the kitten is quiet, gently massage her feet to get her use to being handled. Then, gently push the claw forward and use cat nail trimmers or ordinary nail clippers to nip off the end. Be extra careful not to get too close to the quick. Watch this Video to learn more about how to trim a kitten’s claws.
I also suggest bathing, blow drying, and brushing your kitten regularly. If you are planning to show your cat, it is important to get them used to being washed and blow dried. You will want them to look their best when it comes time to show them.
Kittens should also have their teeth regularly cleaned to prevent dental issues in the future. Start by using your finger with cat toothpaste to clean your kitten’s teeth. Once your cat gets used to your finger, you can try using the small toothbrush included with the toothpaste.
To clean your cat’s ears and eyes, use a cotton ball with warm water to gently remove wax and eye discharge.
Signs You Should Take Your Ragdoll Kitten to the Vet
When caring for a Ragdoll kitten, it is important to know the signs when your Ragdoll should be taken to a veternarian. Knowing the early signs of bad health conditions can help prevent further complications. Here are some early signs your Ragdoll kitten should see a veternarian:
Always trust your instincts. If you notice changes in your kitten’s behavior such as being lethargic, avoiding interaction, or increasing vocalization, you should take your Ragdoll kitten to a veternarian. Changes in behavior could be signs your kitten has health issues.
Changes in litter box use
If your Ragdoll kitten starts going to the bathroom outside of its clean litter box, take them to the vet to be checked. You should also take your kitten to the vet if you notice changes in urine or stool such as diarrhea or blood. These could be signs your kitten has a health issue.
Changes in eating habits
You should watch your Ragdoll kitten’s eating habits to make sure they are eating properly. If you notice a loss of appetite or vomiting, take your kitten to the vet to be checked.
Changes in appearance
Extreme hair loss or discolored gums are also causes concern. Take your kitten to the vet if you notice these changes.
Cold symptoms: sneezing, coughing, or eye discharge
Sneezing, coughing, and eye discharge are signs your Ragdoll kitten has a cold. If these symptoms persist or worsen, take your kitten to a veternarian. They might prescribe an antibiotic if your kitten has an upper respiratory infection.
To help with early detection of health issues, I suggest taking your Ragdoll to the vet for yearly checkups as well as for their dental cleanings and vaccines.