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Ragdoll cats are large, gentle cats whose name comes from the fact that they go completely limp when picked up. Ragdolls have a reputation for being a serene and friendly breed, and they are notably affectionate toward their owners. 

The Origin of Ragdoll Cats 

Beginnings of the Breed 

The Ragdoll actually originated in California in the early 1960s. Ann Baker, of Riverside California bred a white stray female she found with other cats that were mostly strays to achieve the very calm and gentle temperament that is so well established in the breed today. 

Why These Cats Are Called Ragdolls 

Ragdolls get their name from one of the key characteristics Ann Baker was breeding for. When these cats are picked up, they tend to go rather limp in your arms, just like a stuffed, cloth ragdoll toy that flops without support. 

Personality 

Ragdolls have a naturally relaxed and easy going personality. Their gentle, sweet natures and love of people make them wonderful family pets. 
It is much safer to keep these felines as indoor house pets. Most Ragdolls are so docile it can be dangerous to let them go outside since most do not hunt and some don't seem to understand how to defend themselves if attacked by another animal. 

Physical Characteristics 

These cats are semi longhaired with silky, plush coats.Their fur colors include: 
  • Seal 
  • Chocolate 
  • Lilac 
  • Blue 
  • Cream 
Additionally, these colors also come with different patterns, including: 
  • Van - A darker coloring than the body is limited to the top of the head and ears, on the tail, and an occasional color spot on an otherwise solid body. 
  • Mitted - The cat's front legs have white feet that give the impression of wearing mittens. The white on the back legs extends up from the feet to around the hocks. They usually also have a white marking on their foreheads,noses and chins, as well as a strip of white on their undersides. 
  • Bi-color - These cat are mainly a creamy white on their entire body with the exception of coloring on their ears and the outer portion of their facial mask, as well as their tails. 
  • Solid pointed - These cat's faces, legs, tails and ears are darker than their bodies. Most pointed kittens are born white, and their true colors begin to show after about one week old. Pointed Ragdolls usually darken with age, so older cats will have a marked opposition of light and dark on their bodies. I addition to being pointed, the pointed extremities can also exhibit various patterns of their own.

These additional patterns on pointed cats include: 

  • Lynx - This pattern is most aptly described by the CFA as "ghost striping." 
  • Tortie - This pattern produces mottled coloring on the pointed areas. 
  • Torbie - This pattern is a combination of lynx and tortie markings.