Author Topic: Is My Cat a Ragdoll?  (Read 7978 times)

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Offline Desi

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Is My Cat a Ragdoll?
« 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, 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 :D 

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


« Last Edit: July 15, 2019, 10:30:00 pm by Desi »
  • Desmond the Ragdoll, Duma the Savannah, and Baby Bobbie Dylan child of the mean streets, poetess and occasional musician.
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Offline Linda

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Re: Is My Cat a Ragdoll?
« Reply #1 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.

 
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Re: Is My Cat a Ragdoll?
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2016, 02:14:11 pm »

Offline Codysmom

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Re: Is My Cat a Ragdoll?
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2016, 04:50:23 pm »
Lovely explanation, really clear and helpful to anyone interested in learning more about Ragdolls. Thank you!
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Offline my3girls

Re: Is My Cat a Ragdoll?
« Reply #3 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 :'(
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Offline Desi

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Re: Is My Cat a Ragdoll?
« Reply #4 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).
  • Desmond the Ragdoll, Duma the Savannah, and Baby Bobbie Dylan child of the mean streets, poetess and occasional musician.
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Offline Desi

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Re: Is My Cat a Ragdoll?
« Reply #5 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!
  • Desmond the Ragdoll, Duma the Savannah, and Baby Bobbie Dylan child of the mean streets, poetess and occasional musician.
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Offline Desi

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Re: Is My Cat a Ragdoll?
« Reply #6 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.
  • Desmond the Ragdoll, Duma the Savannah, and Baby Bobbie Dylan child of the mean streets, poetess and occasional musician.
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Offline Desi

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Re: Is My Cat a Ragdoll?
« Reply #7 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.
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Offline Codysmom

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Re: Is My Cat a Ragdoll?
« Reply #8 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
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Offline Desi

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Re: Is My Cat a Ragdoll?
« Reply #9 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.
« Last Edit: February 29, 2020, 01:40:47 am by Desi »
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Re: Is My Cat a Ragdoll?
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2020, 03:31:30 am »

Offline Desi

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Re: Is My Cat a Ragdoll?
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2020, 03:02:52 am »
Bottom line is you can't tell at cat's breed by looking at it, particularly for breeds like Ragdoll.

"Ragdoll" is a lineage of a certain mix of mixed breed cats...this is why there really is no such thing as a "Ragdoll mix"--because a mix of mixed breed cats is still a mixed breed cat. You can't tell if a cat is a Ragdoll by looking at it, because it's all about lineage, and the likelihood that your cat has Ragdoll lineage is around 0%, because if any of the cats in her lineage were actually purebred Ragdolls, they would have been speutered and not able to produce kittens, because breeders that produce genuine Ragdolls are very protective of their "lines" --a particular mix of genes that they've developed over generations of cats, that becomes like a copyright to a breeder that they protect.

Ragdoll breed standards specify "Outcrosses: None" meaning that 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.

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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Offline Desi

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Re: Is My Cat a Ragdoll?
« Reply #11 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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Offline Desi

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Re: Is My Cat a Ragdoll?
« Reply #12 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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Offline Desi

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Re: Is My Cat a Ragdoll?
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2020, 06:51:19 am »
>>>>It bothers some people to hear a cat incorrectly called a ragdoll but IMO if it’s just for your pet then it doesn’t 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 doesn’t mean he doesn’t 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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Re: Is My Cat a Ragdoll?
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2020, 06:51:19 am »

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