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Frequently Asked Questions about The Ragdoll Cat / HCM in Ragdolls (and all cats)
« Last post by Desi on February 27, 2021, 04:59:14 am »

HCM is a very common disease of *all* cats, it is not a disease specific to Ragdolls. However, Ragdoll breeders worked very hard to eliminate genetic HCM from their lines some time ago, because HCM was becoming rampant in the Ragdoll world, and it needed to be stopped. The result was that scientists were able identify the gene associated with HCM, specifically for Ragdolls (Maine Coons also did the same thing, this all applies to them as well). So testing exists for genetic HCM for Ragdolls (and Maine Coons), and any reputable breeder would make sure that the HCM gene is not in their lines, and that all breeding cats and kittens are free of this gene.

A reputable breeder breeds *to better the breed.* Someone not breeding for this explicit purpose is not someone you want to trust to provide you with a healthy cat.

HCM is still a very, very common disease for *all* cats. The point here is that if a Ragdoll does not come from a reputable breeder that has tested their lines through the generations, there is a significantly higher chance that the cat will have genetic HCM. The chances of a non-well bred "Ragdoll" from an unknowledgable or backyard breeder having genetic HCM are even much higher than a moggie having HCM. This is why your odds of getting a healthy cat are exponentially higher with a shelter moggie that looks like a Ragdoll than a Ragdoll-looking cat advertised as a Ragdoll from an unknowledgeable breeder.

Genetic HCM is the worst form of HCM as it can come on suddenly and severely and without warning. And it affects kittens and young cats, most of whom do not grow up to be adults. It's heartbreaking.

There are also forms of HCM that cats can get as a result of age, disease, and improper nutrition, but these forms are typically found in older cats. Certainly not in a 2 year old. Again, I'm sorry for your loss.

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HCM is a fairly common killer of cats of all breeds/mixed breed. Among *true* purebred Ragdolls it should be pretty rare, as cat fancy Ragdolls have worked hard to eliminate HCM from their lines, such that there is a test for a Ragdoll-specific HCM gene that should be performed on all breeding cats and therefore produce kittens that are free of congenital HCM. Amongst backyard breeders of so-called Ragdoll "variants" HCM is likely to be more common than among the general mixed breed cat population, where it is already a high %.

There is more than one form of HCM. HCM can be genetic, but typically (not always) these cats will die fairly young, under 3 years. HCM can also be a progressive disease due to diet and exercise type factors, typically affecting older cats. Both types of HCM are prevalent amongst all cats, purebred and mixed breed.

A reputable Ragdoll breeder will ensure that their breeding cats do not have genetic HCM by getting them tested, as there exists a test for Ragdoll and Maine Coon HCM genes. As for the other type of HCM, you can minimize the possibility by providing a healthy diet for your cat. http://catinfo.org


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4 Year old passed away while we were sleeping in the afternoon :(

I'm very sorry for your loss.

If he came from a breeder, the parents should have been checked for the Ragdoll-specific HCM mutated gene. A well bred Ragdoll should not have this mutation. If his parents were negative for HCM and yet he had HCM, there are several organizations studying this disease that would be interested in this information. If you're up for it, it would be worthwhile to get in contact with them. UC Davis: https://www.vgl.ucdavis.edu/services/cat/HCM.php NC State: https://cvm.ncsu.edu/nc-state-vet-hospital/small-animal/genetics/submit-dna-testing/nc-state-veterinary-hospital-small-animal-veterinary-genetics-cardiac-health/ragdoll-cat-hypertrophic-cardiomyopathy-hcm/ and Winn Feline Foundation: https://www.winnfelinefoundation.org/docs/default-source/cat-health-library-educational-articles/hypertrophic-cardiomyopathy-for-breeders.pdf?sfvrsn=2 You should also contact the breeder, as they should know that there is potentially an issue with one or both of their breeding cats.

Unfortunately HCM is a common disease in the general cat population, and it can go years without being noticed. When it is diagnosed, there are medicines that can slow the progress of the disease (and add years of life). It's unfortunate that you weren't able to do this. Again, I'm sorry for the loss of your boy.
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Ragdoll Kittens / Re: Introducing Wesley ....
« Last post by Rebecca on December 20, 2020, 06:50:08 pm »
I am so bad at not checking the forums anymore
Loving these photos of your new cutie, almost gives me kitten fever lol
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Ragdoll Kittens / Re: Introducing Wesley ....
« Last post by Linda on November 08, 2020, 03:07:00 pm »
This is a PURE CUTENESS OVERLOAD!!  I am so thrilled for both you and Wesley, Colleen!  What a joy it will be to have that precious little face finaly arrive to your home!  I AM SO EXCITED FOR YOU!!!  and Wesley could NOT BE ANY MORE ADORABLE!!! 
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Ragdoll Kittens / Introducing Wesley ....
« Last post by Codysmom on October 24, 2020, 09:41:37 am »
I had not planned this at all, but suddenly out of the blue the breeder I got Fozzy and Katy from contacted me and said he had a litter of beautiful kittens, would I be interested in taking one? Well, I took a few days to consider it and after thinking that it might help me to get over the grief of losing my Fozzy almost a year ago and Mittens not too long after that. I decided to take the plunge and get this gorgeous seal mitted boy whom I've named Wesley. :)

The photo the breeder first showed me:
Wesley and his brothers (I've marked which one he is with a heart)

3 WEEKS OLD




6 WEEKS OLD




7 WEEKS OLD


Now at 8 WEEKS OLD - the breeder sent me these yesterday.
Wesley on the left with his brother Otis on the right. My friend is taking Otis. They are so adorable!



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Feline Health / Re: Is it normal for his fur to get really wet from grooming?
« Last post by Codysmom on October 24, 2020, 09:25:24 am »
Not sure whether it's normal or not, but I've noticed at times my babies will be quite wet from grooming too. Not every time, but I have noticed it.
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Hi I'm New Here / Re: Hello! These are my boys
« Last post by Codysmom on October 24, 2020, 09:23:35 am »
Hello and welcome Livie, your boys are gorgeous. So happy you joined us. :)
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Frequently Asked Questions about The Ragdoll Cat / Re: Is My Cat a Ragdoll?
« Last post by Desi on October 11, 2020, 06:51:19 am »
>>>>It bothers some people to hear a cat incorrectly called a ragdoll but IMO if itís just for your pet then it doesnít matter.

This is an oversimplification. Sure you can call your pet whatever you want. The problem with doing it in a public forum, though, is that it perpetuates the myth that big fluffy, floppy cat equals Ragdoll (see OP for evidence). The damage that is done is that people end up paying money--often exorbitant prices--to backyard breeders for what they think is a Ragdoll but at best is not a Ragdoll and at worst a sick kitten that suffers and dies too soon, and costs the family a lot of money and pain attempting to care for it.

Further, unsuspecting and unknowledgeable people buying fake Ragdolls from backyard breeders perpetuates the backyard breeder problem, making it easier to breed more mixed breed cats that might maybe look like Ragdolls and hopefully aren't sick. Given that there are plenty of lovable, floppy cats in shelters needing homes, there isn't *any* need for backyard breeders to exist, other than their own greed. Cat breeding is an expensive hobby, and if you're making money at cat breeding, you're cutting corners that should not be cut.

So yeah, call your cat what you want--I call one of mine "Pooh butt" in private all the time--but realize that the only reason that breeds exist is the Cat Fancy, and the whole point of breeding is "to better the breed" (healthy kittens bred to the breed standard). If your public language is perpetuating a myth that perpetuates backyard breeders that perpetuate pain and suffering (of kittens and cats and owners who have to deal with repercussions), you might want to think before you speak.

>>>>However doesnít mean he doesnít have a ragdoll parent or grandparent somewhere down the line.

This is highly unlikely. Reputable breeders do not rehome their cats unspeutered, and typically include in their contracts that their cats be returned to them in the event an adoptive parent/family cannot care for the cat. But as you are aware, Ragdolls did originate from mixed breed cats (as did many pedigreed cats) so the likelihood of a big floppy cat that is a mixed breed cat is highly likely.

The reason people seek out Ragdolls as pets is to get a cat that has specific characteristics, and while it is possible to get a cat that looks and acts like a Ragdoll without getting an actual Ragdoll, you're more likely to get the pet you envision if you get one from someone breeding to breed standard and to better the breed, ie. a reputable breeder that participates in the Cat Fancy.
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Frequently Asked Questions about The Ragdoll Cat / Re: Is My Cat a Ragdoll?
« Last post by Desi on October 03, 2020, 06:36:28 pm »
And yet another way to say it:

The Ragdoll breed is not defined by what a cat looks or acts like. The Ragdoll breed is defined by a specific lineage of cats, as set out by the cat fancy (RCFI, TICA, CFA, etc). The thing is that Ragdolls did originate from mixed breed cats with specific characteristics, but that's how most breeds start out, and then breeders get together to decide what a Ragdoll is, and from then on all breeding is done to this standard. Even if you had papers for your cat, they would not qualify him as a Ragdoll simply because he is neither blue eyed nor pointed, which is what a Ragdoll is at the most basic level. And since the Ragdoll breed standard specifies "Outcrosses: None," even if a Ragdoll does end up breeding with a non-Ragdoll by some accident or fluke or even on purpose, the offspring is not a Ragdoll. More information here: http://ragdollcatsunited.com/smf/index.php?topic=121.0

"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 lineage.

There are lots of cats that look or act very "Ragdoll-like" that aren't actually Ragdolls, but that is why so many seek out the breed, wanting their next pet to act/look just like the pet they had that had so many Ragdoll characteristics. Knowing what a Ragdoll is will help you if you ever decide to go that route in the future.
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Frequently Asked Questions about The Ragdoll Cat / Re: Is My Cat a Ragdoll?
« Last post by Desi on October 03, 2020, 06:33:42 pm »
Another way to say it:

In order to be a Ragdoll, a cat must meet the standards set by the cat fancy, ie. RCFI, TICA, CFA, etc. Part of the standards describe what a cat looks and acts like, but also they describe the lineage of a Ragdoll, and that currently says "Outcrosses: None" (in other words, which cats are mated does matter in the breeding of Ragdolls, it can't just be cats that look or act like Ragdolls). To say it simply, a Ragdoll is not just a cat that happens to look like a Ragdoll.

A breeder that is not breeding to these standards set by the cat fancy, or in other words, not breeding to better the breed, is considered a "backyard breeder." These people are typically breeding cats just to make money from the sale of kittens, which, if you're breeding kittens properly, is not a money making venture, it's a very expensive hobby. There are lots of backyard breeders around who are breeding cats that might look and/or act like Ragdolls that really aren't Ragdolls, and some are even using cats that don't even look like Ragdolls and then claiming that they're "rare Ragdolls" and marking up the price. Even worse, there are many more backyard breeders around than there are reputable breeders (breeders that actually breed Ragdolls), and some are quite clever in hiding that they are backyard breeders.

To make things even less clear, shelters, in wanting to rehome their cats, will label their cats "Ragdoll mix" if they sort of look or act like they think a Ragdoll might look or act like, in order to make them more desirable to potential adopters. Unfortunately, in the same way you can't tell a cat is a Ragdoll by looking at it, there is also no such thing as a "Ragdoll mix"...for a whole bunch of reasons.

Here is a bunch of information that you might find useful, including the standards set by the cat fancy: http://ragdollcatsunited.com/smf/index.php?topic=121.0

Anyway, the point is that you can't tell a cat is a Ragdoll just by looking at it, and the chances that you have one are slim. But honestly, does it matter? She is your pet, and as long as she is the pet you love, that is all that matters. I hope you have many happy years together!
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Frequently Asked Questions about The Ragdoll Cat / Re: I want a Ragdoll Cat or Kitten
« Last post by Desi on September 24, 2020, 03:54:18 pm »
How to find a Ragdoll cat breeder. Here is one way to approach finding a reputable breeder. This is likely good for any breed of cat, but will address Ragdolls since this is the Ragdoll subreddit.

A cat is only a purebred cat because it meets the standards set by the cat associations. The standards set by the cat associations include things such as physical characteristics and personality, but they also include lineage and whether outcrosses are permitted. Ragoll standards for all clubs/registries currently state: Outcrosses: none. This means that a kitten with one Ragdoll parent is not a Ragdoll. A cat that happens to look like a Ragdoll is not a Ragdoll. A cat from a shelter is not a Ragdoll. Note that these other options are still great pets, but if you are trying to buy a Ragdoll, it's likely that you'd actually like to get a Ragdoll for your money.

The best way to make sure you get an actual Ragdoll (and not a cat that happens to look like a Ragdoll but isn't one) is to find a reputable breeder. A reputable breeder is one that participates in the cat fancy: is a member in good standing of a cat club, participates in cat shows, and has a standing (not just "membership" but actual standing) in at least one cat association--in the US, that would be TICA, CFA, or ACFA. Note that "member of TICA" means nothing if the member has no standing within the organization. TICA does not certify any breeders as fit and even state on their website that it is up to prospective buyers to do their own due diligence on any potential breeder before conducting business.

The best way to find a reputable breeder is to attend cat shows and talk to breeders. Since attending a cat show isn't exactly easy in this year of the pandemic, the next best way is to research past cat show entrants and talk to them. This isn't as hard as it might seem, as TICA and CFA publish lists for your convenience: Here is The Cat Fancier's Association (CFA)'s "Top cat list" https://cfa.org/ragdoll/ragdoll-top-cats/ and TICA's "list of champions" https://ticamembers.org/standing/2019/RD/

You might be tempted to check out club "member lists" but remember the caveat above, membership in a club is not enough, the breeder should also have standing--proof that they've participated in cat fancy activities. They do not need to have grand champion lines (but wouldn't it be nice?), but when a cat is shown, the pedigree is checked, because a cat can only be shown in a category for which it is eligible. Telltale signs that they're a backyard breeder include no standing in any association (other than "member of" or the false "TICA certified" which does not exist), "rare" colored cats, or any cats that are mink, sepia, solid, or white, as none of these cats would be eligible to be shown, since they are mixed breeds and not Ragdolls, and they do not meet the standards set by the cat clubs.

Remember that your goal is to find a breeder that breeds to breed standards and "to better the breed," which essentially means breeding healthy cats that meet those standards. Every Ragdoll cat standard starts with the assertion that a Ragdoll is a blue eyed, colorpointed cat. Only a colorpointed cat will have blue eyes; only blue eyed cats will be colorpointed. Many reputable breeders prominently display a website badge that says "True Ragdolls Have BLUE Eyes Because they are a Pointed Breed."



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