Ragdoll Cat Photos, Breed Information and Care

A young ragdoll cat
A young ragdoll cat | Source

What are Ragdolls?

Ragdolls are beautiful cats that make lovely pets. When they are relaxed in a person’s arms, some Ragdolls become limp and floppy. This behaviour gave the cats their name. They are gentle, calm and loving animals, generally intelligent, and very social. They get on well with people of all ages and with other pets in the family.

Ragdolls are often described as the most dog-like of cats. They come when called, can be trained to chase and retrieve a ball and will walk on a leash. Mine even respond correctly to the “sit” command, just like my dogs do. Some cats like to greet their family members when they come home. Nevin and Bennie - my ragdoll cats - often greet my dogs as they pass by. Ragdolls frequently enjoy sleeping on top of people, which Nevin loves to do. Some even follow their owners from room to room.

Ragdolls are large cats but have a soft voice. Males may reach as much as twenty to twenty-five pounds in weight, while females can reach around fifteen pounds. They grow slowly and don't reach their full size until they are four years old.

Bennie is one of my ragdoll cats.
Bennie is one of my ragdoll cats. | Source

Although the cats shown in this article look different from one another, they are all Ragdolls. Representatives of the breed have a wide variety of colours and patterns.

Timo the Ragdoll Cat


Ragdolls are pointed cats that have blue eyes and long, soft hair. By definition, a pointed cat has a pale body with a darker face, ears, legs and tail. Sometimes, though, a Ragdoll's legs are the same colour as its body or a dark colour is present on its back. The colour on the cat's face is known as a mask.

Ragdoll kittens are white. Their colours start to appear at around ten days of age but don’t develop completely until the cats are two to three years old. An individual cat’s appearance is classified according to its colour and pattern combination.

When my family chose our ragdoll kittens we were interested in the kittens' characters and not their appearance as an adult. Some people do like to get a ragdoll with a particular appearance, though.

A very young ragdoll kitten
A very young ragdoll kitten | Source

Colours and Patterns

Different organizations classify the colours and patterns of Ragdolls slightly differently. The Ragdoll Fanciers Club International (RFCI) recognizes six colours and five patterns. The highlights of these classifications are given below. There are additional requirements for each classification.

The appearance of individual Ragdolls may vary slightly from the official patterns. Fitting perfectly into a particular appearance category is only important if a cat is going to enter shows. It makes no difference to the lovability of a pet.

Ragdoll Colours

Official Colour Name
Actual Point Colour
Dark brown to brown-black
Lîght to medium brown
Blue-grey or grey
Very light grey, sometimes with a hint of pink
Red or Flame
Ivory or pale sand
Scotty has flame markings.
Scotty has flame markings. | Source

Nontraditional Colours

Some nontraditional Ragdolls are completely or almost completely one colour - white or a darker colour - instead of having a mixture of light and dark colours in their fur. The kittens of the darker nontraditional varieties may be born with dark hair. The eyes of some of these less common Ragdolls are blue-green rather than blue.

There is controversy about whether the variations should be classified as Ragdolls or hybrids. Even without considering these unusual varieties, though, ragdoll coats have such a wide range of coat designs that different cats often appear to belong to different breeds.

A ragdoll kitten being used as a bookmark
A ragdoll kitten being used as a bookmark | Source

Pattern Names and Highlights

Strong contrast between the colour of the points and the rest of the body
White paws in contrast to the colour of the rest of the legs
Mask has an inverted white V, legs and paws are white instead of the point colour, back may be lightly shaded with the point colour
Tabby markings on the face that look like the letter W
Orange or cream fur mixed in with the point colour
Nevin has a bicolor pattern while Bennie has a lynx pattern. More information about colours and patterns is given in the linked articles below.
Nevin coming home for the first time
Nevin coming home for the first time | Source

Buying a Ragdoll Cat

Ragdolls are expensive and cost at least a few hundred dollars. Show quality cats or cats intended for breeding may cost more than a thousand dollars. Ragdolls should be bought from a reputable breeder to help ensure that they have their typical pleasant character. If you're interested in getting a cat with a particular colour or coat pattern, a breeder will be helpful because he or she has experience predicting the final appearance of a kitten when it becomes an adult.

There is more to consider than appearance when buying a kitten. Temperament and health are very important. The medical history of the parents and grandparents of a kitten should be explored. This is another reason why a reliable and recommended breeder is important.

Photos of My Ragdolls

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Bennie relaxingBennie and Nevin in the cat strollerTime for a walkIt's playtime!The cats playing with each other, with one cat on each side of the tent wallGood FriendsNevin and MishaBennie and RyanNevin on the cat tree
Bennie relaxing
Bennie relaxing | Source
Bennie and Nevin in the cat stroller
Bennie and Nevin in the cat stroller
Time for a walk
Time for a walk
It's playtime!
It's playtime!
The cats playing with each other, with one cat on each side of the tent wall
The cats playing with each other, with one cat on each side of the tent wall
Good Friends
Good Friends
Nevin and Misha
Nevin and Misha
Bennie and Ryan
Bennie and Ryan
Nevin on the cat tree
Nevin on the cat tree

My Cats

My family bought ragdoll kittens because we have birds that are usually free-flying. We wanted to get cats that were known for their calmness and trainability. Later on we couldn’t resist bringing a rescue kitten home, too. This decision required much discussion, since the rescue cat (Smudge) has an unknown ancestry. We knew that rescue cats and free-flying birds could live together successfully from our experience with our previous two cats, who were both abandoned as young kittens. Happily, Smudge settled into the family well.

All of our present cats and birds co-exist peacefully, although we very occasionally have to make use of a water spray bottle when a cat is eyeing a bird with too much interest. We make sure that the birds are shut up in a room and separated from the cats at night or when we leave the house. The cats also get on well with our two dogs and have developed a friendship with them.

Timo Meets a Moving FurReal Toy Kitten

Despite the name of the animatronic FurReal pets, their maker (Hasbro) says that their fur is synthetic and is made of polyester or acrylic.

Caring for a Ragdoll


Ragdolls are fairly easy to care for and usually stay healthy. Like all cats, they should be fed a good quality food. The advice of the breeder and vet can be useful in this respect. There are advantages and disadvantages to both dry and moist cat food. I feed my cats a mixture of each type. Dry food is more nutrient dense and is less expensive, but some moist food is essential for cats. Unlike a dog, cats don't drink much water, so it's important to give them some in their food.


My cats love to be groomed. The usual recommendation is to brush Ragdolls twice a week, which works very well for mine. Some animals may require more frequent brushing in order to deal with shedding, matting or hairballs.

A flame point Ragdoll
A flame point Ragdoll | Source

Teeth and Claws

Oral Care

Most vets recommend daily tooth brushing for cats. It's very important that this is done with a toothpaste designed for cats and not with human toothpaste, which often contains harmful substances for cats. If daily brushing is impractical, aim for every other day. Even a quick wipe of the teeth with gauze and cat toothpaste can be helpful when there isn't time for a full brushing session.

Claws and Litter

Claws will likely need to be cut every few weeks. Groomers and veterinary assistants will do this for a fee if you're worried about cutting the quick. (The "quick" is the part of the nail that contains blood vessels and nerve endings.)

Cat litter needs to be cleaned daily. It's important to consider the safety of the litter that's purchased. Since Ragdolls are big cats they need a big litter tray. They also need a big scratching post.

Although no one can predict the lifespan of a cat with certainty, a Ragdoll that is well cared for, doesn’t develop a serious health problem and is never let out of the house on its own (except in an enclosed area) may live for fifteen years or longer.

A seal mitted Ragdoll
A seal mitted Ragdoll | Source

Play and Activity

Ragdolls are clever cats and like to play. Toys are fun, but the cats need personal attention as well. My cats' favourite toys are balls. One likes to chase a ball and bring it back to me for me to throw again; they both love to bat the ball around a room with their paws.

Since Ragdolls are such friendly and trusting animals they should be kept on a leash and harness when they are outside. Walking on a leash prevents cats from being taken by someone else and from being run over by a car. It also reduces the chance of them being attacked by a wild animal, killing wildlife themselves or eating something poisonous.

A close-up photo of a lick
A close-up photo of a lick | Source

As is the case for all pets, a ragdoll cat should visit a vet for health checks and for the treatment of health problems. In addition, the location of an emergency pet clinic should be noted in case a visit is ever necessary.

A Ragdoll in the Family

If you can afford the purchase cost and the ongoing cost of food and veterinary care, it's worth considering bringing a Ragdoll into the family. Ragdolls are attractive cats and generally have a lovely character. Their affectionate nature and trainability make them great pets and companions.

Rescue Ragdolls are quite often available. These cats have lost their home for a serious reason such as mistreatment or abandonment and need to be adopted by a loving person. They may be adults instead of kittens and they may be hybrid animals instead of true Ragdolls. They can still make lovely pets, though, and will almost certainly be happy when treated with kindness by their new owner or family.

Further Reading

  • Ragdoll Coats - Photos of different colours and patterns from Ragdoll International
  • Ragdoll Colours and Patterns - Written descriptions of different ragdoll appearances from the Ragdoll Fanciers Club International

© 2011 Linda Crampton

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Comments 28 comments

Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 4 years ago from Hereford, AZ

My daughter just brought home a rescue cat today. She will be allowed to keep it if there are no major problems. The dog and her seem to be getting along but the gerbils had to go into my office. They were in her room. The cat went after them immediately. My office is further away from the living area and since I am in here most of the time, I can keep an eye out on interactions. Protecting gerbils from cats seems to be my job this week. I will have to get a water bottle tomorrow, I forgot about using one for training cats. I haven't had one for years.

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Hi, Becky. I've always found a spray bottle invaluable for training cats to avoid things that are very important to avoid. They hate the water spray, yet it doesn't hurt them. I only use it for very important situations so that it doesn't lose its effect! I've always had cats join my family when they were kittens, never when they were adults. Good luck with protecting your gerbils and training your rescue cat to leave them alone!

GoGreenTips profile image

GoGreenTips 4 years ago from Indianapolis

We have a ragdoll, well part ragdoll and part Siamese. very intelligent cat, follows my wife and I around the house, plays fetch with the little nerf darts. Very funny cat!

Loved your Hub!

CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 4 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

Alicia, these ragdoll cats are adorable and I want one! Very interesting hub with lots of great information and amazing photos

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Hi, GoGreenTips. Yes, ragdolls are clever and entertaining cats. It's fun to watch them and play with them! Thank you for the visit and the comment.

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Thank you very much for the comment, CMHypno. I can't resist taking photos of my pets - they're so cute, and they're such an important part of my family.

Donna Sundblad profile image

Donna Sundblad 4 years ago from Georgia

Would you believe the first time I saw a ragdoll cat was at a bird show! They are adorable!

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

That's funny, Donna! I think that ragdoll cats are adorable, too. Thanks for the comment.

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida

Wow! I just learned something new...I never heard of this breed. Sounds like a perfect cat. Thanks for the info.

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Thanks for the visit, mary615. Ragdolls are a wonderful choice if someone wants to get a cat. They're a lovely breed.

arusho profile image

arusho 4 years ago from University Place, Wa.

Pretty cats, I didn't know Ragdolls were the most dog like. We have a black and white mix and she follows me from room to room when I'm doing chores.

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Hi, arusho. I've never had the experience of a cat following me from room to room. That sounds like it would be interesting! Thanks for the comment.

Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 4 years ago from Minnesota

What beautiful cats Alicia and I just love looking at these great pictures of them. They look so soft! I use a spray bottle for my dogs because I didn't believe in using a shock collar. It works really well and usually I don't even have to spray them. They see me pick it up and stop the negative behavior. Great information about these cats. Thx

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Thank you, Minnetonka Twin! Yes, Nevin and Bennie both have very soft hair. Spray bottles are wonderful for training pets. My cats have stopped what they were doing after seeing me pick up the spray bottle too!

drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida

Thank you, Alicia, for enhancing my ragdoll cat education which was practically nil before this fascinating and informative hub came along. Well done, m'dear.

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Thank you very much for the kind comment, drbj. I enjoy writing about pets!

thougtforce profile image

thougtforce 4 years ago from Sweden

What adorable cats and they seems to be calm and laid back! It was interesting to read about Ragdoll and that they are the most dog-like cat, I didn't know so much about them. Both cats and dogs seem to have a great life with you Alicia! Voted up, interesting,


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Thanks a lot for the comment and the votes, Tina. Yes, Nevin is a very calm and relaxed cat, but Bennie is a bit more energetic. He's a smaller cat than Nevin, too. They both fit in well with a house full of people, dogs and birds!

Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

Oh Alicia,this hub is marvellous. It has howver made me jealous because our landlord will not allow pets in our house and I so desperatly want a cat,dog or whatever less.

Your photos are marvellous and the whole hub a masterpiece.

Take care and I wish you a great day.


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Eddy, I hope so much that either your landlord changes his or her mind or that you find a place to live that allows pets. Thank you very much for the lovely comment!

natures47friend profile image

natures47friend 4 years ago from Sunny Art Deco Napier, New Zealand.

Voted awesome and voted up. I wanted to get a ragdoll years back but the breeder was concerned about the busy main road. We had 3 cats killed on that road and one badly injured. It was also a concern that a cat this cute could be stolen so I'm thrilled to have come across your hub...what lovely animals you have.

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Thank you very much, natures47friend. Yes, I would be worried living by a busy road with either a cat or a dog. Even an indoor cat may suddenly appear and then sneak outside when a door is opened - I know from experience! Luckily this hasn't happened very often in my home, and only with one particular cat. He's always turned around and come right back in again, or waited near the door until I pick him up, and he's never gone more than a few meters from the door or anywhere near the quiet road in front of our house. I've learned to be very careful, though!

infonolan profile image

infonolan 4 years ago from Australia

I've always been fond of cats, but these ragdoll ones sound very interesting. I just lost a cat and was wondering what I'd get if I eventually choose to get a new one. ;)

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Hi, Infonolan. I'm sorry that you've just lost your cat. It's a very sad time when a pet dies. Ragdolls are certainly worth considering when you're looking for a new cat - they are lovely animals!

oliversmum profile image

oliversmum 4 years ago from australia

AliciaC Hi. What beautiful Animals your Ragdolls are.

Very pretty cats and look so very soft, their coloring and markings are incredible

It's really great that they all get on so well.

I love all the photographs,but my favorite is Nevin and Sam together, he looks like a very placid and special dog.

Thanks for sharing your wonderful animal family with us. Thumbs up and Beautiful. :):)

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

Hi, oliversmum. Thank you very much for the comment and the votes. I'm pleased that all the pets get on well, too. With so many animals in the house it would be a big problem if there were lots of disagreements!

Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 9 months ago from The Beautiful South

We have two cats now about four months old and they just run things! They own us!

AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 9 months ago from British Columbia, Canada Author

I can understand why two young cats would keep you busy! Some cats certainly like to run things.

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    Linda Crampton (AliciaC)1,242 Followers
    423 Articles

    Linda Crampton is a biology teacher, writer and long-time pet owner. She currently has dogs, cats and birds in her family.

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