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The Rag Doll is a relatively new breed of cat, coming into existence in the 1960s. Rag Dolls are known for their sweet, docile temperament and ability to relax and "flop like a rag doll" when picked up by a human.

History

The first litter was believed to be a result ot a mating between a white Persian female with a male Birman and male Burmese in California. The mother of the first litter, Josephine, was hit by a car close to birthing time and lay in a gutter for two days before being found; this had led to the (probably erronous) belief that the kitten's "rag doll" nature was borne from the immense pain Josephine was in during that time. Apparently the kittens inherited an ignorance to such pain as a result but this idea hasn't been scientifically proven, and the cats do feel pain..

Appearance

Rag Dolls are typically white with a variety of patterns and colourings, including:
  • Colourpoint: White with coloured ears,face, tail and feet
  • Mitted: Similar to colourpoint, with little coloured "gloves" on the feet, with a white chest and chin and sometimes a white stripe down the tummy
  • Bi-Colour: Darker ears, tail and occassionally an inverted "v-shape" on the face with a white patch on the bridge of the nose.

The colours of the Rag Doll are traditiionally seal (fawn to cream to warm brown), chocolate (ivory to cream), blue( Silvery blue-grey or slate blue), lilac (pinkish beige to frosty grey), or the newer red (orange to blonde shades). The fur is long and anecdotal evidence points to the Rag Doll being a good pet for those allergic to normal cat fur; the Rag Doll's fur is more like the silky fur of a rabbit. As a result, it doesn't matt and is quite low maintenance for owners. The eyes are bright blue and the tail is as long as the torso of the cat.

The Rag Doll is listed in the Guiness Book of World Records as the largest of ALL breeds of domestic cat. Ragdoll males weigh 15 -20 lb (6 to 9kgs), whereas the majority of domestic cats weigh just 8.6 lb (4kgs). Neuters and spays are generally heavier. They are huge!

Temperament

The Rag Doll is a sweet and docile animal. Rag Dolls must be kept indoors as they have no self-preservation instinct, and would try to play with a dog or car as it ate them/ ran them over.

Rag Doll cats thrive on love and attention, and will often follow their owner around in a similar style to that of a puppy.

Rag Doll Trivia

  • Ann Baker, owner of Josephine (the original mother), was quite a strange woman. She thought the breed had human genes, were immune to all pain and were a link between us and aliens. She began the IRCA (International Rag-doll Cat Association) which was a dismal failure as Laura and Denny Drayton opened the RFCI (Rag-doll Fanciers Club International) in 1967, which became the official Rag Doll club.
  • In spite of their easy-going nature which can make them seem stupid, Rag Dolls are quite intelligent and quick learners compared to other cat breeds.

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