Ragdoll Breed Highlights

A very fluffy white and light-grey Ragdoll cat sitting tall holding up her paw

  • The longest-living Janus cat (cat with two faces) was a Ragdoll named Frankenlouie. Usually, this rare congenital defect, called diprosopia, results in very short lifespans, but he lived until 15 years of age thanks to the care provided by his owner Marty Stevens.

  • The Ragdoll got its name because of the way it goes limp and heavy when picked up and held, much like a rag doll!

  • Often called a “puppy-cat” due to their temperament, Ragdolls absolutely love their people and prefer human company over the company of other cats (although they generally do well with other pets in the home).

  • Ragdolls were the most popular cat breed in 2018 according to the Cat Fanciers’ Association.

Unique Physical Features

Ragdoll cat illustration

  • Stunning blue eyes

  • Long fur that doesn’t mat easily

Color Patterns of the Ragdoll

Ragdolls come in 6 different colors and 4 different patterns, which means you can see lots of variety within the breed. Colors include cream, lilac, chocolate, blue, red, and seal. You’ll see Ragdolls in these patterns:

  • Bi-color (white and another solid color)

  • Van (white with small dots of color)

  • Mitted (white paws that look like mittens, often with white markings on face and chest as well)

  • Colorpoint pattern (no white markings, but can be solid color, lynx, tortoiseshell, or combination)

Unique Personality

Ragdoll cat illustration

Ragdolls are a charming and sweet breed that loves to spend time with you and will follow you anywhere you let them — including into the shower! Playful, yet calm and quiet, these cats make excellent cuddling companions, famous for going limp (just like, you guessed it, a rag doll!) when held.

Preferred Lifestyle

Energy Level

Cat breed energy level - low (mellow fellow)

Ragdoll cats are highly adaptable and easy-going, which makes them great for an indoor-only lifestyle. They’re ideal for urban homes with no access to outdoor spaces, including apartments. Ragdolls are laid-back and tolerant, which enables them to get along well with other cats and kittens, animals, and young children. They aren’t excessively demanding of attention but love their human companions, so even busy families can enjoy these kitties.

Average Lifespan
(Range)

10 to 15 years

Average Size
(Range)

Ragdolls are on the larger side:

  • Males: 12 - 20 pounds
  • Females: 8 - 15 pounds

Similar Breeds

  • Birman

  • Himalayan

  • Persian

  • Norwegian Forest

  • Snowshoe

History of the Ragdoll

A fluffy white-/cream-colored Ragdoll cat sitting on white furniture

The creation of the Ragdoll breed is attributed to Ann Baker of California, who started breeding for the breed traits she desired in the early 1960s. She used three cats found in her neighborhood as the foundation for the Ragdoll breed, a long-haired white female named Josephine, Daddy Warbucks, a seal-mitted male, and Blackie, a solid black cat. In an effort to keep control over the breeding standards of this new and adorable breed, Baker trademarked the name “Ragdoll” and formed her own registry for the breed, not allowing other breeders to register Ragdolls with other national or international registries.

Frustrated with Baker’s process, a small group of breeders broke rank and began developing the Ragdoll into what is recognized as the breed standard today by the Cat Fanciers’ Association and International Feline Federation. Another group split from Baker as late as 1994 due to her stringent rules and eccentric beliefs, creating another breed known as the Ragamuffin. The Ragdoll breed was not officially recognized until just recently in 2005, due to Baker’s registry and trademark of the word. But after her death, the trademark was not renewed, meaning breeders around the world could recognize their kittens as Ragdolls.

The Ragdoll has been very popular since its introduction to the cat world. Its temperament and physical traits are quite desirable, and it’s a top choice for apartment dwellers due to its quiet nature. The breed was named the most popular breed of 2018 by the Cat Fanciers’ Association.

Plays Well with Others?

The Ragdoll is extremely tolerant and mellow and has been called the most relaxed, mild-mannered cat in the world. It has also been described as being docile and loving. These personality traits result in cats who get along very well with other cats, family pets, and even young children. Ragdolls are devoted to their humans and are happy to greet you upon returning home and giving you some cuddle time should you need it, but they are not overly demanding for affection.

Graphic - multi-color feather toy for cats

Exercise Requirements

The Ragdoll, while lower energy and more docile than other breeds, still needs physical exercise to stay trim and healthy. While they aren’t big climbers, Ragdolls can learn how to play fetch and enjoy it since it’s a team activity with their family. Any type of exercise that involves contact with their people will be enjoyable for a Ragdoll, even just padding along behind you as you walk through the house, but mix it up with a toy to chase or a mouse toy to fetch.

Mental Enrichment Needs

Ragdolls are fairly intelligent and can be trained to stay off of counters and do tricks with little difficulty. Kittens are much more active than laid-back adults, but this breed does enjoy chasing after toys, particularly those wielded by their guardians. Adults prefer more gentle activities, so engage them in games that will stimulate the mind, like trick training, food puzzles (Ragdolls are known for their love of food), and exploratory opportunities. Providing these cats with various places to perch and nap would also be appreciated; a sunny window from which to watch the world go by will also surely be enjoyed!

Fun Activities the Ragdoll Enjoys

Ragdoll kitten illustration

While the Ragdoll tends to be a less active cat, there are plenty of activities that this breed can enjoy! Here are a few:

  • Pamper your Ragdoll with a grooming session that includes gentle brushing with a wire brush, nail trimming, and plenty of petting.

  • Ragdoll kittens can be very active! Let them chase interactive wand toys with feather and mouse lures. Adults also appreciate chasing toys occasionally, but their play sessions may be a bit more subdued.

  • Ragdolls love food! Give them treats and food in food puzzles or puzzle feeders. Start easy and make them more difficult as your cat figures out how to get the food inside. Easy DIY food puzzles to start with include putting food inside of ice cube trays or muffin tins, empty toilet paper tubes, and empty water bottles. Add toy “obstacles” in these containers that your cat has to work around.

  • Clicker-train your Ragdoll! This breed is fairly intelligent and combined with its love for food, can be trained fairly easily to perform tricks such as giving high-fives, fist bumps, performing sit, spin, and laying down, among other things.

  • As a less active breed, your Ragdoll will appreciate having several places from which to perch and view their environment. Give them places to climb and nap. Window beds and heated beds might become favorite napping spots.

VETERINARIAN TIP

Never leave your cat alone near an open window that doesn't have a secure screen. If it's on the first floor, your cat can get out of the house and get injured, lost or any of the other possible problems that outdoor cats face on a daily basis. If the window is on the second floor or above your cat is at risk of suffering from severe injuries of "high-rise syndrome," and you don't even need to live in a true high-rise building. The injuries of "high-rise syndrome" tend to be worst in falls from between the 2nd and 7th floors!

  • Since Ragdolls are relaxed, tolerant, and LOVES being around their people, this is a breed that can be handled and taught to enjoy trips with their humans. Taking walks in a pet stroller and going for car rides might be fun for your Ragdoll.

Coat Type

Medium

Shedding Level

shedding level - 3 of 5 piles of fur

3 out of 5 piles of fur

Grooming Requirements

  • Weekly Brushing
  • Seasonal

The Ragdoll has a medium-length coat that is kept healthy with weekly brushing, using a pin comb that reaches the skin and removes dead fur. They are excellent at keeping themselves clean, meaning they won’t need frequent bathing, but you will see an uptick in shedding usually twice a year during the shedding season. Brush them more frequently as they change between their summer coat and winter coat to prevent matting, especially under their armpits. Like all cats, Ragdolls benefit greatly from twice-monthly nail trimming, regular teeth brushing, and yearly well pet visits to the veterinarian to stay happy and healthy. Introduce your kitten to these experiences at a young age, keeping the experience calm and positive.

Famous Owners of the Ragdoll

  • Taylor Swift (Singer)

  • Seth Green (Actor)

  • Holly Willoughby (TV Host)

  • Joe Rogan (TV & Podcast Host)

  • Lalisa Manoban (Singer)

  • Fredrik Backman (Author)

  • Anne Rice (Author)

  • Freddie Mercury (Singer)

  • Jodie Marsh (Model)

  • Giada De Laurentiis (Chef)

Famous Ragdolls

  • Grumpy Cat, while not purebred, had some Ragdoll in her

  • Matilda III was the former mascot of New York City’s Algonquin Hotel

  • Merlin the unimpressed social media celebrity

Ragdoll in Books, Music and TV

The cat in the film based on Fredrik Backman’s novel, A Man Called Ove

Non-Endorsement Statement: The social media posts displayed here do not imply any endorsement of these people or products, nor does it imply they endorse Trupanion or our product.

Common Health Conditions for Cats

Use the chart of Trupanion claims data below to find out what health conditions happen most frequently for cats. Every cat is unique, but understanding what health conditions are likelier to occur can help you be a more prepared pet owner.

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Here's what our
cat-loving members say about Trupanion

Trupanion member Rexford

Rexford

Gwynn Oak, MD

Condition: Urinary obstruction

The Trupanion policy paid: $19,031.43

"When my cat, Rexford, became ill, it was a great relief knowing I had Trupanion. It allowed me to focus on Rex and get him the care and treatment he needed without worry. Rexford required multiple surgeries and extended hospitalizations; to know that we had the support of this wonderful company was such a comfort. I will never have a pet not covered by Trupanion."

- Juliana H.

Trupanion member Gator

Gator

Calgary, Alberta

Conditions: Ear infections, diarrhea, enteritis, allergic reaction to medication

The Trupanion policy paid: $4,672.13

"Gator struggled with a weak immune system, ear infections and chronic diarrhea. After months of medical intervention, she was healthy enough for her spay. At the beginning of the procedure she had an allergic reaction to the medication and her airway swelled. She had to receive emergency drugs and luckily she recovered! We cannot thank Trupanion enough for being with us. I will always have Trupanion for my cats."

- Heather M.

Trupanion member Mason

Mason

Peyton, CO

Conditions: Giardia, Pancreatitis, infection, lymphoma

The Trupanion policy paid: $17,057.92

"Mason got what seemed to be a UTI but ended up being an intestinal disease. He has also been treated for giardia, trichomonas, irritable bowel disease, pancreatitis and a UTI. Throughout this entire ordeal, Trupanion stood by us all the way. Trupanion continues to pay for Mason’s care and when I call, I get such personal service! I even got a handwritten card from the staff, expressing their thoughts for Mason!"

- Carrie B.

Here's what our cat-loving members say about Trupanion

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Sources
The information in the Trupanion Breed Guide is robust and always expanding. You can learn more about this breed by exploring this list of all the resources used in its creation:

https://tica.org/
https://cfa.org/
https://www.wikipedia.org/
https://cattime.com/cat-breeds
https://www.youtube.com/user/AnimalPlanetTV
The Original CatFancy Cat Bible, by Sandy Robins. i-t Publishing, LLC, Irvine, CA. 2014, 544 pp.
Encyclopedia of Cat Breeds, 2nd Edition, by J. Anne Helgren. Barron's Educational Series, Inc., Hauppauge, NY. 2013, 384 pp.
The Complete Cat Breed Book, Kim Dennis-Bryan, editor. Korling Kindersley, New York, NY. 2013, 256 pp.
Cool Cats: the 100 Cat Breeds of the World, by Desmond Morris. Ebury Press, London. 1999, 256 pp.
Beyond Squeaky Toys, by Nicole Nicassio-Hiskey & Cinthia Alia Mitchell. Smart Pets Press, LLC, Lafayette, OR. 2013, 160 pp.
Brain Games for Cats, by Claire Arrowsmith. Firefly Books, Buffalo, NY. 2016, 96 pp.
Getting Started: Clicker Training for Cats, by Karen Pryor. Karen Prior Clickertraining, Waltham, MA. 2001, 81 pp.