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Cat Breeds: The Ragdoll

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They’re gorgeous, gentle, and affectionate cats. One of the fastest growing cat breeds in the world, the Ragdoll breed ranks an impressive second in popularity in The International Cat Association

Here are 5 fun facts about ragdoll cats.

1) Ragdolls are the offspring of a cat named Josephine.

In the 1960s, a cat breeder named Ann Baker took in a longhaired white female cat who had been injured in a car accident. This cat, named Josephine, was treated at the veterinary hospital at the University of California.

After Josephine’s recovery, Ann bred her with a black-and-white male with white paws. Their three kittens became the ancestors of the Ragdoll breed. Over a period of many years, Ann bred the cats for gentleness, large size, and their distinctive coloration.

Ragdoll cats have a a lighter body and darker “points” (the ears, face, legs, tail). According to the Cat Fanciers' Association, they may have one of four coat patterns—bi-color, van, mitted, and colourpoint—in six possible colours. This provides a lot of variety in this cat breed’s appearance.

2) Ragdolls were named for their habit of going limp.

Ann Baker named these cats “ragdolls” because, when picked up, they go completely limp, as a rag doll would. They were also unusually gentle and affectionate.

Ann speculated that, during Josephine’s stay at the vet hospital, she was part of a clandestine genetic experiment by the government.

She believed that this experience made Josephine immune to pain, relaxed when she was picked up, and easygoing.

She also speculated that the kittens were relaxed because of their mother’s car accident when she was pregnant. However, no factual basis has been found for these claims. 

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3) Ragdolls love to hang out with their humans.

Known as one of the most affectionate cat breeds, ragdolls like to follow their owners around. They like to stay at ground level and generally don’t climb on the roof of cat houses. Some ragdolls have been taught to play fetch and enjoy this active game. Ragdolls need regular exercise to stay healthy, and they are an excellent fit for a family pet.

4) Not all ragdolls have blue eyes.

Although every ragdoll is born with blue eyes, some of them develop a darker eye color as they mature. This is why some ragdolls have gold or blue-green eyes.

5) Ragdolls love running water.

Believe it or not, ragdolls are one of the few cat breeds that love water. They are highly attracted to the sound of running water. If allowed, they will jump right in—whether it’s a swimming pool, river, or your kitchen sink!

They can play for hours in it without getting bored, but they should always be supervised around water.

Do you know any ragdoll cats? Would you choose one for a pet?

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