Ragdoll Cats United!

Ragdoll Cat Discussion => Frequently Asked Questions about The Ragdoll Cat => Topic started by: Desi on November 03, 2016, 12:32:36 am

Title: Is My Cat a Ragdoll?
Post by: Desi on November 03, 2016, 12:32:36 am
Is My Cat a Ragdoll?

This is by far the most common question on a forum such as this.  The answer is plain and simple:  No.

Unless you have papers showing that your cat is indeed a Ragdoll, there is such a low possibility that your cat is a Ragdoll that it's practically impossible.  And even if you have the papers, check them carefully, as it still might not be a Ragdoll, especially if the cat is mink, solid, or sepia (http://ragdollcatsunited.com/smf/index.php?topic=50.0), or any sort of cat that is not pointed or has eyes that aren't 100% blue.  Having papers isn't even a guarantee that you *really* have a Ragdoll!  There are plenty of backyard breeders out there (or new hobbyist breeders who don't know what they're doing, don't have a mentor, etc) who are breeding Ragdoll-looking cats and calling them Ragdolls, but they aren't really Ragdolls.  Due to the way cat registries work, there are ways to flub the papers and call a cat a Ragdoll when it's not really a Ragdoll.  But more on the Registries thing later. (http://ragdollcatsunited.com/smf/index.php?topic=54.0)

The chances of finding a Ragdoll in a shelter are extremely small.  If, due to some unexpected life event, someone has to give up their purebred Ragdoll, a good breeder will usually ask for a Ragdoll back long before there is a possibility of it going to a shelter--this is often written into the breeder's contract.  Although home escapes can happen, a Ragdoll is not the type that will survive long on the streets of your city, in your woodsy neighborhood, or even in your backyard, without some sort of human assistance; they are just not built that way and will likely flop over belly up in the face of danger, or love an enemy to their own detriment.

A Ragdoll is *not* "a cat that happens to look like a Ragdoll cat."  There are many cats--random bred as well as other breeds--that can resemble a Ragdoll (see Birman, Himalayan, Snowshoe).  But people are more familiar with Ragdoll as a description, so shelters often "market" their shelter cats as "Ragdoll" or "Ragdoll-mix" or other name that is familiar to someone seeking a pet.  But Ragdolls are more than just big, floppy, long haired cats.  The thing to remember about breeding, is that while breeders do breed to type, they also breed for unseen characteristics, such as personality and health.  So breeding is more than just a cat that looks like a Ragdoll or flops on its back or has a laid-back personality.

Upon bringing a cat to the vet for a checkup, some people are told by the vet that their cat is whatever breed.  But veterinarians are not a good source of information about cat breeds.  A vet once told me, "your cat doesn't look like a long-haired Siamese, how do you know it's a Ragdoll?"  I tried to assure him his parents were Grand Champions but he didn't care.  Another vet repeatedly insists my Ragdoll is obese, and refuses to acknowledge that Ragdolls come with a fat pad on their belly, big shoulders and a wide face.  Check out What is a Ragdoll cat? (http://ragdollcatsunited.com/smf/index.php?topic=122) 

But you've come here because you believe you have a Ragdoll-like cat, and you learn that your cat isn't a Ragdoll.  Don't be sad!  You are to be congratulated for finding a beautiful pet that you love, and even though your cat isn't a Ragdoll, you are very welcome here.  You don't have to own a Ragdoll to discuss them.  In fact, many times someone will get a pet from a shelter that looks or acts like a Ragdoll, and they will love the cat so much that when it's time to add another cat to the family, they'll seek out a Ragdoll breeder.  So it's good to be here, to know and learn about Ragdolls, and to look at pictures :D 

Oh, and SHARE your pictures, we really don't care if your pets are or are not Ragdolls, we lurve pictures!

Title: Re: Is My Cat a Ragdoll?
Post by: Linda on November 03, 2016, 02:14:11 pm
Thank you Desi. So many people will benefit from this very informative and well stated post. :)

With the breed still being relatively new and so many shelters/rescues/uneducated or backyard breeders listing their cats as "Ragdolls", it is important for anyone (not privy to knowing better) to be properly informed as to what they are and are not actually getting. Not that the Ragdoll is better than any other cat, as all cats are wonderful, but an understanding of the difference (since there has been so much effort made to create and maintain the breed standard) is something that every perspective owner should have, especially when they are paying top dollar for their kitty.
We have seen so many people be taken in by false advertising and even being asked to pay a higher price for what is falsely described as a "rare" Ragdoll, when in fact they are getting unrecognized variants or cats that have been "mixed" with other similar breeds. It's heart breaking when you learn the truth after the fact, even when you end up with a beautiful pet that you adore. The health risks that can and often times do come into play, as a result of bad breeding, can also be heart breaking and very costly. This information is meant to help many people from becoming a victim of false advertising or paying an outlandish price for a "Rare Ragdoll" that isn't really a Ragdoll at all.

I adore both of my moggies just a much as I do my Ragdoll. I'm also relieved to know the difference.

Title: Re: Is My Cat a Ragdoll?
Post by: Codysmom on November 03, 2016, 04:50:23 pm
Lovely explanation, really clear and helpful to anyone interested in learning more about Ragdolls. Thank you!
Title: Re: Is My Cat a Ragdoll?
Post by: my3girls on November 04, 2016, 03:06:29 am
Desi, not only is your thread extremely informative, but very educational re: the Ragdoll breed & worded so kindly. I can't imagine anyone truly wanting a Ragdoll not taking your comments to ♥.
Thank you for the post I wish I had been able to be that informed before getting Lily, but I ADORED her all the same :'(. 
Title: Re: Is My Cat a Ragdoll?
Post by: Desi on November 04, 2016, 08:00:43 am
Thank you for the post I wish I had been able to be that informed before getting Lily, but I ADORED her all the same :'(. 

I feel the same...I wish I had done more research before getting my first Ragdoll -- Dante -- who, although he came with "papers" and from a breeder "registered with TICA" those papers were really messed up, and the breeder not very knowledgeable...and sadly he left us at way too early of an age, after having a not very happy (short) life.  Hopefully some of this information will help someone(s).
Title: Re: Is My Cat a Ragdoll?
Post by: Desi on June 21, 2018, 01:06:37 am
I answered a question from a guy who was told by Reddit that his cat was a Ragdoll:

me> Hi, just a quick FYI that you can't tell a cat is a Ragdoll just by looking at it. You can only know by pedigree (checking the parentage a whole bunch of generations). Many types of cats, and even many moggies (mixed breeds), can look like Ragdolls, act like Ragdolls, etc. But congratulations, you've got one pretty cat there! Thanks for sharing!

him> Wow haha I thought I was a cat nerd 🤓. I love it. Also thanks for explaining “Moggie” I was just having a conversation with my wife trying to remember what the cat equivalent of “mutt” is! I’ll remember that. All I really know about my cat is he doesn’t seem I look “Siamese” which is what the vet called him. Maybe he s a little Siamese and a little cuddle bug and a lot sassy son of a bitch 🐱

me> Welcome to the cat nerd club! Enjoy your kitty, usually people get their first "ragdoll-like" kitty by accident and for their second they search out a true Ragdoll cat just to make sure they get that same personality.

him> I totally believe it! Until this little Moggie I didn’t know cats could be so weird, meaning a very different personality then any other cats iv know. But that weirdness really is endearing and would be difficult to replicate. And yes this little guy was not on purpose or even by choice but here we are!
Title: Re: Is My Cat a Ragdoll?
Post by: Desi on September 03, 2018, 07:42:25 pm
The point of getting a purebred pet is to get as close to the pet you envision having as possible, whether that be looks or personality, as well as getting a healthy pet. If you can get there and rescue a life from the streets, all the better. On a side note, if the kittens you're seeing are over $1500, it's most likely you're looking at backyard breeders. You're more likely to get a healthy kitten from the streets than you are from a backyard breeder. Backyard breeders tend to inflate their prices (and do such things as sell "rare" cats marketed as Ragdolls that aren't actually Ragdolls) because their business is to make money. A legitimate, reputable breeder does so for the purpose of bettering the breed and is more interested in finding loving homes for their pet quality cats than making a quick buck. Breeding is an expensive hobby and is not a money maker--unless making money is your only objective, and then you'd have to cut corners pretty much everywhere to meet that objective.
Title: Re: Is My Cat a Ragdoll?
Post by: Desi on September 05, 2019, 08:36:31 pm
She's very cute, indeed.

But she's not a Ragdoll. Not having blue eyes or points, which is basic in Ragdoll genetics, makes that clear. It's also not likely that one of her parents is a Ragdoll, simply because there aren't a whole lot of feral Ragdolls running around outside, because Ragdolls do not do well in the great outdoors. But here's the thing: lots of cats look like Ragdolls, and lots of cats act like Ragdolls, and there are even plenty of cats that look and act like Ragdolls, and none of them are Ragdolls or have even a single Ragdoll relative. And when you're talking about pet cats, that's *perfectly fine* because you happened across the exact cat who looks and acts like the pet you envision, AND you saved a life. Congratulations!

"Ragdoll mix" is an invented term, as there is no such thing. Shelters use this term to better describe (aka market) their shelter cats so they will be more easily adoptable, because some people are looking for a cat with Ragdoll-like qualities. What they really mean is that the cat either looks or acts, or both looks and acts, Ragdoll-ish. They don't really mean that the cat is in any way related to a purebred cat. And a cat that is not from Ragdoll lines is not a Ragdoll at all, because breeding is all about genetics.
Title: Re: Is My Cat a Ragdoll?
Post by: Codysmom on September 05, 2019, 09:00:28 pm
Thanks for posting these Dawn, there is a lot of confusion out there when it comes to Ragdoll and purebred cats in general. x
Title: Re: Is My Cat a Ragdoll?
Post by: Desi on February 28, 2020, 03:31:30 am
>>>It’s not that I have doubts... I just fundamentally disagree with these approaches.

When you find a Ragdoll-looking cat at the shelter or elsewhere and have the desire to put a label on it, you're likely to disagree with this "approach."  You love your cat and want to use a label of value to describe him or her, whether the facts validate it or not.

When you decide one day that you want a real Ragdoll, one that has *all* of the Ragdoll characteristics that you've read about and/or seen, and one that is healthy, well-bred, and properly nurtured, you won't feel that way. Having a set of guidelines as to what a Ragdoll is and is not will be imperative. Knowing what is and isn't a Ragdoll will be particularly important after you've suffered from having "purchased" a falsely advertised "Ragdoll"-like moggie from a backyard breeder, or even an unknowledgeable breeder, or one that insists that a Ragdoll is something that it isn't who believes they are right when they are not.

It's frustrating to end up with a cat that isn't *quite* like the Ragdoll that you've heard so much about, even though it might look like one. Even more, it's heartbreaking to have a cat that dies at an early age, or to watch them suffer from an illness that could have been prevented.