Everything You Wanted To Know About the Ragdoll Cat

Do you know the Grumpy Cat meme? It was one of the most popular memes in the early 2010s, and as its name suggests, it featured a cat with a grumpy expression on her face. The cat’s name was Tardar Sauce, and she was probably the most famous cat in the world at the peak of its popularity. She was not a purebred cat, but it had genes and distinct features of a Ragdoll cat.

Most Ragdoll cats aren’t “grumpy,” though, but they certainly have an unusual appearance. This makes them interesting to many cat breeders and owners, so keep reading to learn more!

Ragdoll Cat Characteristics


Fur colorSeal, chocolate, red, lilac, blue, and cream
Fur patternColorpoint, bi-color, and mitted
Fur lengthLong
Eye color & shapeLarge and round blue eyes
LengthMales 17”-21”
Females 14”-18”
WeightMales 12-20 lbs
Females 8-15 lbs
Expected lifespan12-15 years


TemperamentGentle, friendly, placid, calm, loyal, moderately playful, easygoing, and quiet.
Kids and other petsKid-friendly and also friendly toward other pets.
Sociable and cuddlyVery sociable and cuddly and loves to be petted, carried, and handled.
Activity levelLow to moderately active cat

Requirements & Traits

FeedingMeat-based food 3-4 times a day for adult Ragdolls and 4-6 times for kittens. Wet food is a much better choice than dry food.
GroomingComb their fur with a stainless steel comb once or twice weekly. Trim the nails every two weeks and brush the teeth as frequently as possible.
SheddingModerate to high

History and Origins

Ragdoll history

A relatively young cat breed, the Ragdoll breed was created in 1963. A breeder Ann Baker wanted to create a new cat breed. She had a domestic longhaired cat named Josephine, a cat with Persian/Angora origins. 

Family Tree

Baker mated Josephine with several unknown males of Birman and Burmese origins. As a result, she gave birth to several litters. All of her kittens displayed placid, docile, and affectionate personalities. Apart from that, they would also go limp when picked up, and they didn’t resist being handled at all.

One of those kittens, a male name Blackie, had the appearance of a Burmese cat. Another male born from Josephine, Daddy Warbucks, was a seal point cat with white feet. Both Blackie and Daddy Warbucks were backcrossed with Josephine.

Blackie sired Buckwheat, and Daddy Warbucks sired Fugianna, both females. Then, Daddy Warbucks continued to breed with Buckwheat and Fugianna, and all Ragdoll cats descended from them. A family tree more complicated than the Targaryen’s one!

Fight For Recognition

However, the fascinating and somewhat awkward Ragdoll origin story doesn’t end there. In 1971, Baker decided to bypass traditional cat breeding associations. She trademarked the name Ragdoll and created her own International Ragdoll Cat Association (IRCA), enforcing strict standards on anyone who wanted to breed or sell Ragdoll cats.

Baker also didn’t allow Ragdolls to be registered in any other breed associations. Despite that, Denny and Laura Dayton decided to make an effort in getting more mainstream recognition for the Ragdoll cat. Using the pair of IRCA Ragdoll cats, they developed the Ragdoll standard, which is currently accepted by many cat breeder organizations.  

On the other hand, IRCA continues to exist up until today, but with fewer members each year, especially since Baker’s death in 1997. 

Internet Popularity

Ragdoll cats earned unexpected popularity in 2012 when a photo of “Grumpy cat” was uploaded to Reddit. The cat’s name was Tardar Sauce, and it was her owner’s brother, Bryan Bundesen, who uploaded the picture.

Tardar Sauce was a cat with typical Ragdoll features. It also had an underbite and feline dwarfism, and both conditions contributed to its “grumpy” appearance. The picture soon spread through the internet like a fire, and soon enough, thousands and millions of memes were made with this picture.

Tardar’s owners cleverly used this newfound popularity, and this cat appeared in many shows and had its own Youtube channel and accounts on all social media. The Grumpy Cat merchandise was extremely popular.

Sadly, Tardar Sauce died in 2019 from complications of a urinary tract infection. People from all around the globe mourned her death and paid tributes. The Grumpy Cat legacy still lives on, and Ragdoll cats are popular more than ever because of it.

Ragdoll Cat Personality

Ragdoll cats are well-known for their calm and placid personalities. They enjoy being around people and spending time with their families. Ragdolls are not particularly active or playful as some other cats, but they do enjoy sitting on laps and being petted. Additionally, they are relatively quiet cats, and they rarely vocalize except when they want attention.

These cats are so docile that it sparked a myth that they can’t feel pain. Some cat experts expressed their concerns over the Ragdoll docility, stating that it could be potentially dangerous for the cat’s well-being.

Ragdolls are so docile that they will put up with almost anything. Apart from allowing to be carried around, Ragdolls will also gladly participate in the dress-up and similar games.

Ragdoll Cat Appearance

Ragdoll appearance

Many people would agree that the Ragdoll’s most appealing features aren’t in their looks but in their personalities. However, these cats also have a unique and beautiful appearance that captures attention.  


Ragdolls have long, silky, and plush fur. Their coat can come in several colors, including seal, chocolate, red, lilac, blue, and cream. The most common coat pattern is colorpoint, but some ragdolls can be bi-color and mitted.


The most striking features of Ragdoll cats are their intense blue eyes. Ragdoll’s eyes are large, round, slightly slanted, and wide-set. The intense blue eyes are even more accentuated in color point Ragdolls because their faces have darker fur than the rest of the body

Such an interesting color scheme creates a contrast and makes the eyes pop even more. Ragdolls with more intensive blue eyes are more valued among breeders and cat associations.


Ragdoll cats are one of the largest house cats that take up to 4 years to reach full maturity. Males are significantly larger than females, with an average weight of 12-20 pounds and a body length of 17-21 inches. Females, on the other hand, usually weigh 8-15 pounds, and their body length is 14-18 inches. 

Other Body Characteristics

Ragdoll cats have broad and muscular bodies. Their heads are large and wide, with well-developed chins and heavy, strong necks. Ears are medium-sized, widely set, and moderately flared. These ears are also slightly slanted forward and rounded at the tips. 

Legs are strong and medium long. Hind legs are slightly stronger than the front legs. Paws are large, round, and tufted. The tail is long and slightly tapered. 

Daily Life With Ragdoll Cat

Ragdoll cats are perfect pets for first-time cat owners as they are low maintenance and extremely easygoing. However, there are still some general requirements that you should follow to keep your Ragdoll cat happy and healthy. 


Ragdolls are large cats that need to eat more than some other cat breeds to keep their bulky frame. As with other cats, Ragdolls’ diets should consist of meat. At least 70% of Ragdoll’s diet should be animal protein, and the remaining 25-30% animal fat. Up to 5% of Ragdoll’s diet can include carbohydrates.

Ragdoll cats should be fed with both wet and dry food, but they need to eat wet food much more to stay hydrated. They can also eat raw meat, but only if you are 100% certain that the meat contains no bacteria and other pathogens.

As your Ragdoll grows old and reaches the age of above ten years, its metabolism will slow down, and the cat will have a reduced appetite. You should reduce its portion size by approximately 20% when that happens. 


Ragdoll cats have silky, medium to long coat that needs to be combed and brushed at least once or twice a week. Due to its texture and length, Ragdoll’s fur can become matted and tangled. You should use a comb to detangle the fur first and then use a brush to gently brush it. 

Nail trimming is also important, and you should trim your Ragdoll cat’s nails every two weeks. If you can’t do it alone, you can bring your cat to a professional pet groomer. 

Ragdoll cats are prone to periodontosis, a condition that affects gums and teeth. To prevent periodontosis from happening, you need to brush your cat’s teeth as frequently as possible.

If you train your cat from an early age so that it accepts teeth brushing, the whole process will be much easier for both of you. Use vet-approved cat toothbrushed and pet toothpaste. Don’t use human toothpaste. 


When compared to other cat breeds, Ragdolls don’t require as much activity. They will be content with playing a little bit and then snuggling somewhere near you.

Nonetheless, provide your Ragdoll cat with cat toys, scratching trees, and enough space to run, climb, jump, and hide. Take some time every day to play with your Ragdoll cat. 

It is not recommended that you let your Ragdoll outside, at least not too often or for prolonged periods of time. Outside, your Ragdoll cat can contract a disease or be attacked by another cat. If you decide to let your Ragdoll out, try to keep your eye on it until it comes back inside.

Since Ragdolls are so affectionate and attached to their owners, they won’t be thrilled to be left alone for more than a few hours. If you can’t always have someone at home with your Ragdoll, consider getting more pets to keep it company. 

Most Common Ragdoll Cat Health Issues

Ragdoll health

Ragdoll cats are a relatively healthy breed, but they can still be prone to some health issues. To make sure your Ragdoll cat lives a long and happy life, keep your eye on these conditions:


This is the most common form of dental disease that affects domesticated cats. The plaque on the teeth builds up, and eventually, it gets between the teeth and gums. With time, the plaque buildup causes the gums and teeth to separate permanently, thus creating pockets filled with bacteria. 

Bacteria cause infections and gum swelling and reddening. The affected gum parts can also become painful, and the cat will have problems chewing food.  The infection can also spread to some other parts of the body, including the internal organs, which can be fatal.

To prevent that, brush your Ragdoll’s teeth regularly and while doing so, inspect them for any signs of swelling and reddening. Another telltale sign of possible infection is bad breath. If you notice any of these signs, take your cat to the vet. 


Ragdoll cats are among the largest house cats, and they need to eat a lot to maintain their bulky frame and large muscles. Still, it can be easy to overfeed your cat, especially when it begs for food with those piercing blue eyes.

If you are unsure how much food your Ragdoll needs, consult your vet. They will be able to give you the exact portion size and the optimal feeding frequency.

Obesity can be a serious problem if left untreated. Apart from putting a lot of pressure on your cat’s spine and joints, obesity can trigger diabetes and various cardiovascular diseases.

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Another common condition among house cats in general, is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, it is a disease in which the walls of heart muscles are abnormally thick.

This malformity, in turn, causes the heart to work not properly and as efficiently as it should. Eventually, it can lead to heart failure or other heart issues that will significantly reduce your cat’s lifespan.

If you notice your cat is lethargic, has decreased appetite, its pulse is weak and breath is short, and its heart makes strange noises, you should take your cat to the vet as soon as possible. 

Urinary Tract Diseases

Ragdoll cats can also suffer from various diseases that affect their urinary tracts. This includes various infections, injuries, cysts, and bladder stones. 

If left untreated, urinary tract diseases can cause serious discomfort to your cat, significantly reducing its quality of life. In the most severe cases, urinary tract infections can even lead to death.

Noticing a urinary tract disease in your cat is not always easy, but there are some signs to watch out for. Those signs include difficulty urinating, blood in urine, urinating outside the litter box, showing pain while urinating, reduced urinating, or no urine at all.

In many cases, urinary infections go away by themselves, but you shouldn’t rely on that. Instead, you should take your cat to the vet as soon as possible.


Owners of long-haired cats are certainly familiar with hairballs. When cats groom themselves, they ingest some of their hairs, which end up in their stomachs, where they build into hairballs. Usually, the cat will vomit that hairball every now and then.

However, sometimes the hairball remains in the stomach for prolonged periods of time. In that situation, the hairball can cause intestinal congestion and constipation. Other symptoms include ongoing vomiting and gagging without producing a hairball, lack of appetite, lethargy, and diarrhea.  

If you notice any of these symptoms, take your cat to the vet as soon as possible, where your cat will receive the help needed for expelling the hairball out of your cat’s body. 

Ragdoll Cat Name Suggestions

Picking a name for your new cat is never an easy task, but it is fun to choose from so many cool names. Here are my top picks for Ragdoll names:

  • Gareth
  • Cassidy
  • Aldo
  • Dewey
  • Hannah
  • Sandy
  • Tofu
  • Reese
  • Zephyr
  • Bubs

Buying or Adopting A Ragdoll Cat?

If you find a ragdoll in a local shelter, you can adopt it for $75-$150. However, if you want to buy it directly from the breeder, it can cost you anywhere between $500 and $5000.

The exact price depends on several factors, such as the cat’s age, color, and other physical attributes that determine if the cat is bred for shows or as a pet. While pet quality Ragdolls can be found for $500-$2500, show-quality Ragdolls can cost you $1500-$5000.

No matter which type of Ragdoll cat you choose, it is important to research the breeder before you make the purchase. Check their reviews, if they are approved by any cat breeder association, and if they offer any health certificates when selling their cats.

Ragdoll Cat Alternatives

Ragdoll cats are common in the US, and you can easily find one in a shelter or at a breeder. Still, they can be quite expensive if you buy them from breeders, or there can be other reasons why you would like to get a different breed with similar looks.

Ragdoll, Birman, and Himalayan cat breeds look quite similar, and someone who doesn’t know much about cats could easily think they were the same breed. Alternatively, you can choose a Persian or Turkish Angora cat instead.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What Is So Special About Ragdoll Cats?

Their piercing blue eyes and almost cartoonish faces are something you will notice about Ragdoll cats right away. However, these cats are mostly known for their calm and placid nature.

Which Breeds Make A Ragdoll Cat?

Ragdolls descended from a white domestic shorthair cat named Josephine, which was bred with males of Persian, Birman, and Burmese origins.

Are Ragdolls Indoor Cats?

Yes, Ragdolls are intended to be kept indoors because outdoors could be too dangerous for docile cats such as Ragdolls.

How Big Does A Ragdoll Cat Get?

Ragdolls are among the biggest house cat breeds, with the largest males having 20 pounds!

Do All Ragdoll Cats Have Blue Eyes?

All purebred Ragdoll cats have blue eyes, but mixed Ragdolls can have green or gold eyes.

Ragdoll Cat Fun Facts

  1. Ann Baker, a cat breeder that was responsible for creating the Ragdoll creation, was a peculiar woman. She also created and believed in a conspiracy theory saying that her cat Josephine was hit by a car and then taken into some secret labs, where it was subjected to various genetic experiments. As a result, Josephine became limp when handled, and she was also pain resistant. However, this was never proven as true, and Ragdolls can definitely feel pain.
  2. Ragdolls got their name due to the fact that they go completely limp and relaxed when carried around, looking like rag dolls. 
  3. Ragdoll cats like water and they enjoy baths and being around water, and playing in it in general. 


If you are a first cat owner, or you don’t have the time or energy to deal with a highly active cat, consider getting a Ragdoll cat, These cats are placid, docile, calm, and compliant. They won’t resist when you try to pick them up, or when you try to groom and clean them.

These cats are also gorgeous, with their most distinctive feature being striking blue eyes. Ragdolls are friendly, quiet, and cuddly, which makes them the perfect pets. It makes no wonder that the Ragdoll is the sixth most popular cat breed in the USA. If you buy or adopt one, you will certainly not regret it!