Author Topic: I want a Ragdoll Cat or Kitten  (Read 4600 times)

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Offline Desi

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I want a Ragdoll Cat or Kitten
« on: June 21, 2018, 12:39:52 am »
If you want a Ragdoll from a breeder (as opposed to a shelter or rescue--see below), then you should make sure you get one from a reputable breeder. The problem with backyard breeders is that they're only interested in making a quick buck; that is, you stand a better chance of a healthy pet from a shelter than you do a "purebred" (that may or not be such) or mixed breed from a backyard breeder. There is nothing more devastating than to invest in a pet that is sick or dies from a genetic or other issue.

The best way to start looking for a Ragdoll is to find a breeder that is "reputable" or has a good reputation word of mouth, or through cat shows. A true (watch out for fakes!) Ragdoll Cat Club can also help you in your search (try: RCFI http://www.rfci.org/info/description.php or RCFA http://ragdollscfa.org). Even though you might not be looking for a show-quality cat, a breeder that shows their cats is more likely to know how to breed well-bred cats.  These breeders will also have kittens available that are not show quality for some reason or other (note: longer explanation required), but are otherwise well-bred and will make great pets. A good breeder may be able to point you to other breeders they have mentored or were mentored by in the event that they have no kittens or cats available.

While physical appearance of a purebred cat is important (indicates that the breeder is breeding to type and/or to better the breed and not just randomly), what is most important about a pet cat is personality. Ragdolls were bred for their personality as much as anything else. It's so worth it to go to the trouble to seek out a good, reputable breeder and make sure you're getting the right kitten/cat.

If you're going to start googling Ragdoll Cats or some such and want to look at breeder websites, the things you want to look for are: 1. a kitten contract that clearly spells out your rights if a deposit is required 2. a health guarantee against genetic illnesses 3. HCM testing of the kittens' parents 4. that the breeder considers the Ragdoll standards properly (see: http://ragdollcatsunited.com/smf/index.php?topic=122.0) and does not breed non-standard Ragdolls (see: http://ragdollcatsunited.com/smf/index.php?topic=52.0) 5. that the breeder makes no claims of "uniqueness" or "rarity" of non-standard cats, or attaches a higher pricetag to such cats, although a reputable breeder wouldn't be breeding/advertising nonstandard cats at all 6. the age that the kitten will be sent to its new home, recommended to be 16 weeks (and under no conditions is it safe to send home a kitten that is under 12 weeks! see: http://ragdollcatsunited.com/smf/index.php?topic=49.0) 7. whether the kitten will be speutered prior to being sent home (which means who pays for it), and when the blue slip will be provided (which you can send to the registry with $15 or so to get the pedigree). A reputable breeder that does not believe in early sp/neuter will require the pet cat to be speutered by a certain time, only backyard/bad breeders will not require this (which is why backyard breeders are able to start up so cheaply and are so prevalent, because it's cheaper/easier to get a nonstandard cat without a spay/neuter clause or no contract at all). In my experience, the quality of a breeder's website, and whether it has been recently updated, bears little relationship to the quality of the breeder's cats. In other words, someone with an outdated website might be a great breeder with no time or technical ability to keep the website updated, or someone with a flashy website might end up being a backyard breeder--just keep that in mind.

You'll want to talk to multiple breeders to educate yourself before settling on a breeder/kitten/contract. "TICA Certification" is something you might see but keep in mind that it means nothing at all, TICA is a registry that tracks cats, but depends on the information given by breeders to be accurate and true. (see: http://ragdollcatsunited.com/smf/index.php?topic=54.0) Not registering a litter with a registry is as much a red flag as using "TICA Certification" as some sort of validation of worthiness. 

Check the above points when you speak to the breeders. Reputable breeders will be willing to answer these questions and will ask you about you as well, they are interested in the type of home you can provide for their kitten, so be prepared to answer those questions as well. You know you've found a reputable breeder when they talk to you as a human...when you can reach them to answer a question, even if they sold you a cat 10 years ago. The best breeders will insist that if a time comes that you cannot care for your cat, they want you to tell them so they can help you place the cat in a new home.

Also in my experience, pet quality Ragdolls from a reputable breeder are no more expensive than other purebred cats. It's the backyard breeders that tend to inflate their prices--again, with the idea that their cats are somehow "rare" when in fact there is no such thing as a mink, sepia, solid, or white ragdoll, which is why they either mistakenly and erroneously think their cats are "rare" or knowingly mismarket their moggies (mixed breeds) as Ragdolls when they are not. Reputable breeders will also have different prices for purchasing a cat as a pet vs. with breeding rights; they will also only sell breeding rights to customers that they are planning to mentor or who already have someone mentoring them.

You might also consider a retired breeder from a reputable breeder. This happens often, that a beautiful, lovely breeding cat can no longer breed (for a variety of reasons) and a breeder wants to put the cat in a good pet home for retirement. These aren't necessarily old cats either; sometimes cats have issues in pregnancy and are retired for that reason as well.

If you decide to go with the shelter route, that is also a great way to go, there are many ragdoll-like cats in shelters waiting for homes. I was at the shelter last weekend and saw several ragdoll mixes or lookalikes that would make awesome pets. But do not let anyone discourage you or make you feel guilty for wanting a purebred Ragdoll, many of these same people have no problem with purebred dogs but somehow purebred cats shouldn't be allowed? (it's a strange racism, and it's everywhere)

I hope this helps, and good luck in your search.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2018, 10:58:32 pm by Desi »
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Offline Desi

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Re: I want a Ragdoll Cat or Kitten
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2019, 09:39:54 pm »
The value of a pedigree for a pet (dog, cat, rabbit, whatever) is to verify:

1. Did the breeder know what they were doing when they put the two parents together genetically? Did the breeder make sure the pet will have the right personality and characteristics which is the whole reason I'm looking for this breed to begin with?

2. Did the breeder introduce or continue any genetic diseases or issues that might harm the pet? (do they understand the pedigree of the pets they are mating?) Do they have the knowledge (or desire) to stop mating parents that breed offspring with issues? Do they even know what those genetic diseases and issues are, and do they care (see #5)?

3. Is the breeder someone I'd otherwise want to do business with or give my money to? Are they charging too much money for something that isn't what it's supposed to be?

4. If the breeder was flat out lying about genetics or reasons for breeding, what else are they lying about? Would I give a large sum of money to a liar or disreputable business person to buy something other than a pet? (a sick pet will cost thousands, maybe even tens of thousands, more than the initial purchase price, which is important to know at the outset)

5. If they're lying (or just clueless) at the outset, when something goes wrong with the pet, will they ignore my calls and emails, or will they be helpful and supportive (and honor a written contract, if necessary)? Will they take the steps necessary to warn other customers and make sure this problem doesn't happen in future offspring?

Those are right off the top of my head. Personally, I'd rather have a random-bred pet than one from an unknowledgeable, or backyard breeder, as the odds are better, at least in a "survival of the fittest" sort of way.

If a a breeder is breeding minks, and either doesn't know, OR misrepresents them as "ragdolls," then they pretty much fail the entire test. I wouldn't trust them with a ten foot pole. They might even be a nice person, but even if they're not lying, or misrepresenting, they're still have no idea what they're doing, so buying a "pedigreed" pet from them is pointless at best, tragic at worst.
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Re: I want a Ragdoll Cat or Kitten
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2019, 09:39:54 pm »

Offline Desi

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Re: I want a Ragdoll Cat or Kitten
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2019, 08:17:55 pm »
Choose the kitten (or let the kitten choose you) based on personality and fit with you rather than color or pattern.  It's hard to a resist a kitten that reacts to you by sitting on your lap and taking a nap in your arms. 

The breeder is more important than color/pattern.  Start by choosing the breeder and then choose the kitten based on temperament, including what you find out about temperament from the breeder. Only then choose based on sex/color/pattern.  Ask specific questions, because if you ask about being loving and attentive, all the kittens are likely to be that. Ask things like which kittens come to sit on the family, first to arrive and last to leave, cuddling and sleeping, up for play, begging for treats and active with toys. Whatever you think will be most important to you on a day to day basis. If the family is out for the school/work day, then perhaps a less needy kitten is the best fit -- or get two to be company for each other when the family is out.

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Offline Desi

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Re: I want a Ragdoll Cat or Kitten
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2019, 08:41:35 pm »
If you're looking for a pet cat, the goal should be a healthy pet cat. Secondary goal should be personality of healthy pet cat, color of pet cat should be somewhat low on the list of goals. But health is always primary. How do you find a healthy pet cat? You find a reputable/responsible breeder. How do you find a reputable/responsible breeder? You find one that is knowledgeable and current on cat breeding. In this case, a Ragdoll breeder that is knowledgeable and current on Ragdoll breeding is going to be one involved in cat fancy (ie. a legitimate club/showing their breed). Why would someone belong to a club and be showing their breed and not follow the standards that are being judged? They wouldn't, unless there is some underlying motivation other than being a hobbyist breeder, which is generally not a profitable "business"...so if the person is breeding cats as a way to make money, the only way to do that is to cut corners. The first corner to be cut is to start with less than well-bred, pedigreed cats, because well-bred, pedigreed cats *that are sold with breeding rights and are not speutered* come with a high price tag and the requirement of having a mentor. Club memberships and cat shows are also expensive, so forget that, no keeping current on Ragdoll things. The next few corners to be cut on the path to "making money from breeding cats" are things like the food that is fed, the medicines that are given, the space the cats occupy, the time that the "breeder" has responsibility for the cats (ie. adopting them out too young), socialization, leaving purchaser responsible for vaccinations and speuter...etc. Registering a litter (~$20) cuts into profits too, and if the breeding cats may have questionable origins, why bother? How many of these cost cutting strategies are acceptable to you? Particularly when a well-bred pedigreed Ragdoll from a reputable breeder will not be more expensive, and in many cases is less expensive, than a backyard breeder's falsely advertised "ragdoll" moggie.

So when you see a "breeder" advertise "Rare Mink Ragdolls" you know for certain that the cats are neither Ragdolls, nor are they Rare...they're just a money making venture, which cat breeding is not. Cat breeding is an expensive hobby. And part of the cat breeding hobby is to find responsible pet homes for the kittens that the reputable breeder is not going to use in their breeding program. The reputable/responsible breeder is working to better the breed, keeps the kittens with the most desirable traits as future breeders, and adopts out the others. And producing just the right combination of genetics and characteristics takes time and patience, and lots of kittens. And a responsible breeder will want the best of pet parents for their little offspring kittens. Which is why the price of a well-bred pedigreed pet kitten from a reputable breeder is not going to be a crazy, exorbitant price. Sure, you might have to wait a bit to get the kitten you're looking for, but waiting it worth it.

If none of this has convinced you, then consider the case of HCM, which is a disease of all cats. Ragdoll breeders in the cat fancy worked hard to eradicate HCM from their lines, which is a huge achievement. They even identified a gene specific to Ragdolls that can be tested for. Why go to a "breeder" who is not breeding in keeping with these practices and keeping their cats free from HCM? It's predictable when someone says their "ragdoll" has HCM that the cat is not
« Last Edit: October 27, 2019, 04:04:34 pm by Desi »
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Offline Codysmom

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Re: I want a Ragdoll Cat or Kitten
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2019, 10:50:26 am »
Thanks for posting this, it's such important information when looking for a kitten. I've come across so many sad posts where people have been either exploited or have kitten with heath issues. It's always so sad!
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Re: I want a Ragdoll Cat or Kitten
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2019, 07:04:32 am »
everytime I read through this - something "new" jumps out at me...
and I find myself nodding my head in agreement...

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Offline Desi

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Re: I want a Ragdoll Cat or Kitten
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2020, 10:16:54 pm »
Someone who advertises kittens for sale on Craigslist or on Reddit is most likely not a reputable breeder.  Find a breeder somewhere where there are other breeders around to avoid backyard breeders.  A reputable breeder has no need to find "a new market" for their kittens, they're very likely to have a waiting list for their kittens and have no need to "advertise" on Reddit.

A good breeder attends cat shows.  This is why going to cat shows will get you good exposure to good breeders.  The best breeders have won cat shows.  Look for their cats to be listed as "Grand Champion" or "Supreme Grand Champion."  Remember that the whole point of cat breeds is that they are the result of cat clubs that are breeding to better the breed, and the way to know that a breeder is accomplishing this objective is whether their cats are winning awards. 

Pet quality kittens are sold by breeders for this purpose, so that they can continue to better the breed.  A breeder breeding solely to make money is not working to better the breed and will not only not have the knowledge required for the best kittens, but also is most likely to cut corners and pass expenses on to unsuspecting "customers."
« Last Edit: May 01, 2020, 12:10:19 am by Desi »
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Re: I want a Ragdoll Cat or Kitten
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2020, 08:56:05 pm »
More questions about Ragdoll kittens for sale.  This prospective pet parent was told by "a reputable breeder" to buy a mixed breed cat from a "home breeder that only had one or two litters" and something about HCM concerns, but the story didn't add up.

Initial answer>If you want a Ragdoll kitten, why are you paying money for a mixed breed cat? Beware that a sick kitten can cost way more than the cost of a well bred cat. And that's not even including the emotional cost, not recommended in the least.
There is no such thing as a part Ragdoll kitten. Because the people who determine what a Ragdoll is specifically state Permitted Outcrosses: None. Anyone who is telling you otherwise is either ignorant or lying. What is a Ragdoll Cat? http://ragdollcatsunited.com/smf/index.php?topic=122.0  Avoid backyard breeders, and anyone who advises you to pay money to one. You're only perpetuating backyard breeding. What is breeding? http://ragdollcatsunited.com/smf/index.php?topic=421.0

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This kitten will be pet-only and altered - with no plans of breeding or shows whatsoever. I was also initially under the impression that purebred breeds were unhealthier (due to my experience with dogs), so I thought that having a mix would somehow equate to me having a healthier kitty. Obviously, I now know this is not correct as having healthy genetic reports of the two purebred parents assures the absence of HCM and other genetic disorders - hence this post.

Another breeder (one that is reputable and follows all the guidelines in your third link) told me she believed my breeder didn't have ill-intentions and was simply just a pet owner with kittens rather than a breeder - which is why she didn't have a purebred ragdoll cattery with endless past litters; she only had one past litter photo for her 1 male and 3 female in-house cats.

Also, I am aware of the history of the Ragdoll breed and its requirements. The breeder did not advertise these at Ragdoll mixes - the father is a high white bicolor TICA registered sire and two mothers are sisters (one is a sealpoint and the other is a high mitted bicolor). The litter between the sire and the bicolor mother produced all bicolor kittens, and the litter between the high white Bicolor sire and the sealpoint produced half mitted, half bicolor kittens - so after checking kitten color simulators - the mothers definitely are GENETICALLY related to ragdolls (after sharing this with NCSU - they were welcoming of my kitten and thought he'd be a great candidate for the ragdoll HCM test). Also the kitten is already paid for, and I plan on getting pet insurance - so any advice on this topic or past experiences with kittens with HCM would be great.

Response:
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s simply just a pet owner with kittens rather than a breeder - which is why she didn't have a purebred ragdoll cattery with endless past litters; she only had one past litter photo for her 1 male and 3 female in-house cats.

No. How did this person acquire a "purebred" stud? This cat should have been neutered. There is something stinky going on here, and it's pretty obvious. This person is breeding "for profit" which makes them a backyard breeder.

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Also, I am aware of the history of the Ragdoll breed and its requirements....so after checking kitten color simulators - the mothers definitely are GENETICALLY related to ragdolls

Huh???? Ragdolls are genetically mixed breed cats. The only way you can tell that a cat is a Ragdoll is by its pedigree. A cat that looks like a Ragdoll is still a mixed breed until you can prove otherwise. Birman, Himilayan...plenty of cats have these same genetics. Most of them are moggies.

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This kitten will be pet-only and altered - with no plans of breeding or shows whatsoever.

Yes, and this backyard breeder will have your money to put into her next litter of for profit moggies with no genetic tests or health guarantees, and no requirement for speutering of the offspring...so someone will eventually end up with a "Ragdoll-looking" cat and start selling moggies falsely labeled as "Ragdolls"...and the backyard breeder problem is perpetuated.

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NCSU - they were welcoming of my kitten and thought he'd be a great candidate for the ragdoll HCM test

I'm sure they're happy to have your money and the opportunity to test your future moggie. Because being a medium to long haired pointed cat is not proof that your cat is a Ragdoll, but more DNA in their laboratory is a good thing.

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so any advice on this topic or past experiences with kittens with HCM would be great.

My advice is to walk away. I don't understand your obsession with HCM, it's only one genetic disease that these kittens may have. But I see you've made up your mind to pay money to this person for a moggie, so I wish you good luck and leave it at that.

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Honestly, this was very helpful and I need to do a lot of reflecting. I thought I asked all the right initial questions but clearly I needed more information.

YAY!  OP might go through with it...had stated that the kitten was already paid for (sunk cost fallacy) but at least the OP is *thinking*!
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Re: I want a Ragdoll Cat or Kitten
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2020, 08:56:05 pm »

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