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