The Ragdoll is large-sized cat with a discreet, gentle personality, which was developed in the United States in 60s of the XX century. This communicable, good-natured breed with remarkable blue eyes is well-known for its adaptability and usually gets on perfectly well with all types of pets. It possesses semi-long coat, which comes in a wide range of colours and patterns and requires a rather basic grooming.
Photo: © cattery Art House (arthouse-cats.com)
The initial developer of the Ragdoll was Ann Baker, a cat lover from Riverside, California. In the 60s of the XX century she was inspired by the idea of inventing a good-looking cat with an affectionate, placid character and she began her breeding experiments with Domestic Longhairs of uncertain origin.
Eventually she bred the longhaired cat with desirable qualities and named it Josephine. This female possessed white coat with typical Siamese-type spots and was the carrier of the genes, which were responsible for a seal mitted or black tuxedo pattern. Actually all modern-day Ragdolls traced their ancestry back to Josephine and her son, Daddy Warbucks. Ann Baker named the resulting cat the Ragdoll because of its inclination to flop readily into the lap of anyone who lifted it up.
Baker made lots of eccentric statements about the Ragdoll’s origin, including alien interference, injections of human genes, and CIA trials. Nonetheless she didn’t manage to provide any proofs to this kind of allegations. Eventually other cat breeders demonstrated interest in breeding this cat so they seceded from Baker and established the Ragdoll Fanciers Club International.
Thanks to the efforts of this organisation the Ragdoll finally received the status of pedigreed cat and was fully recognised by the Cat Fanciers Association in 2000. Majority of feline registries today accept this cat, including the International Cat Association and the American Cat Fanciers Association. The outcrossing of the Ragdoll to any other feline variety is highly disfavoured.
The Ragdoll is apt to be highly open and trustful with both familiar and unfamiliar people. Naturally it forms especially close bonds with its master and craves to become an integral part of its human family. The word, which suits best to portray this cat, is biddable. This purports that it can be taught to come when called or to play fetch. With its calm and sociable nature this breed can be kept together with a cat-friendly dog as well as other domestic animals. It prefers to interact with well-mannered kids and doesn’t like too boisterous games.
Despite its seemingly laid-back attitude this cat is far from inactive. Make sure to give your Ragdoll enough interesting and diverse toys so it will be able to entertain itself while you are at work. This quick-witted cat usually easily adopts desirable behavioural patterns such as using a scratching post if you encourage its efforts by its favourite treat. The breed is not a climber and tends to rule its domain from the level of your sofa or bed. In quiet, pleasant voice it will try to attract your attention to its needs but it’s not excessively talkative.
Thanks to its docile and serene personality the Ragdoll makes a highly agreeable housemate. This cat usually experiences stern separation anxiety without human company so it shouldn’t be acquired by the people with too busy schedule.
The most common problems for the breed include:
· hypertrophic cardiomyopathy;
· increased risk for calcium oxalate bladder stones;
· a predisposition to FIP (feline infectious peritonitis).
The Ragdoll has average grooming requirements. Its semi-longhaired coat has minimal undercoat so it’s much less prone to matting and tangling. It’s quite sufficient to comb this cat with a stainless steel comb twice a week to get rid of loose hair, which can lead to tangles. This breed is a moderate seasonal shedder, which means that more thorough and frequent brushing is highly advisable in these periods.
The only other maintenance it needs is systematic nail trimming and ear cleaning. The owner of the Ragdoll should trim its nails every 10 days to two weeks. A weekly brushing of cat’s teeth is an effective preventive measure against a vast majority of periodontal diseases. The cat is an extremely neat creature so keep its litter box spotlessly clean at all times.