The ragdoll is a popular breed of medium to large cats that were developed in the United States in the 1960s. They are characterized by point coloration, blue eyes, and a marvelous long-haired coat. The name "ragdoll" refers to their gentle character and the fact that they tend to collapse in your arms when you pick them up. They love to be cuddled and they really are the ultimate laidback cat.
The ragdoll is famous for being extremely sociable with humans. There've been referred to as a dog-cats or puppy-cats because many of their behaviors resemble more that of a dog than a cat. They follow humans around, they look for interaction, and they are very good at communicating their needs. They can be quite vocal and have a soft voice.
These are very intelligent cats that are typically very easy to train. It's fairly simple to teach them tricks and to get them to retrieve things. They also learn to come to you when called and can be trained to take walks around the neighborhood on a leash.
One peculiar thing about the ragdoll is that their appearance changes as they grow. As kittens, they are usually one color, and point coloration appears after a few weeks. Additionally, they are slower in their growth than other cats and can be considered full adults only when they are around 3 to 4 years old. So you can expect kitten antics to last for a while.
Ragdolls' coats come in 4 patterns: bi-color, van, mitted, and colorpoint. These patterns can be found in six colors: seal, blue, tortoise, chocolate, lilac, red, and cream. They have a plush and silky coat that doesn't mat easily because they don't have an undercoat. Their tail is long and fluffy.
While they are surely very social and active animals, Ragdolls also like to snooze. They love to spend many hours asleep and don't mind it too much if you leave them home alone. They are suited for indoor living and don't necessarily need outside space. They love meeting and playing with visitors but will always move on to find a comfortable spot next to you where they can take a nap.
A peculiar ragdoll trait is that these lovely animals prefer to stay at ground level. They'll happily enjoy the sofa or the bed, but you won't find them trying to go any higher than that. This is great if you are looking to adopt a cat that will spend a lot of time with you and that doesn't particularly care to climb your curtains.
Ragdoll cats don't have special dietary requirements, but there are a few things you might want to keep in mind. If you are opting for dry food, feed them dry food meant for long-haired cats. Also, like other large breeds, it's important to ensure a good intake of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D to protect their bones. In any case, cats' diet can vary a lot with age and size, so consult your veterinarian to decide on what's best to feed them.
For a long-haired cat, the ragdoll needs little care. Brush them a couple of times a week with a steel comb to prevent tangling and matting and to distribute their natural oils evenly on their coats. Ragdolls have longer fur during the winter, but spayed and neutered individuals have it the same length the entire year because they don't experience hormonal fluctuations.
Ragdolls are in most cases very healthy cats. They aren't particularly prone to any specific feline disease, but some individuals might develop hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, an enlargement of the heart muscle. This is a genetic disorder, and responsible breeders try to avoid it being passed down through generations. Ragdolls can live very long, with some of them having reached even 20 years of age.
Ragdoll kittens can cost up to $1,500, but it varies greatly with bloodlines. In terms of shows and pedigree, Ragdolls are like royalty and it's very unlikely that you will find an individual whose ancestry is unknown. So be prepared to invest some money in this beautiful cat, because it will surely be worth it.
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