Like the Burma or the Siamese, the Ragdoll is one of the point cats.
The point drawing is caused by a genetic peculiarity: the enzyme tyrosinase, which has an important function in the production of the pigment melanin, can only function to a limited extent due to mutations. If it were to fail completely, the cat would be completely white, i.e. an albino. Due to the restricted function of tyrosinase, point cats are therefore considered partial albinos.
Point kittens are always born white. This is because the activity of the modified tyrosinase is temperature-dependent: At high temperatures, the tyrosinase is inactive, no dye is formed. The cooler the temperature, the more melanin is produced. Newborns are still completely “warmed up” and are therefore white. Only gradually does the fur begin to darken in the areas of the body with less blood supply and therefore cooler, initially on the legs, ears, tail and nose. The older the cat gets, the darker it becomes, including on the trunk, as the blood circulation in the body generally deteriorates with age. The Ragdoll is not completely colored until it is around four years old. The ambient temperature also plays a role: Point cats are generally darker in cold regions than in warm regions.
This genetic defect is referred to as "oculocutaneous albinism type 1", more precisely as "OCA 1B TS", where 1B stands for "tyrosinase positive" (ie the tyrosinase is partially functional, in contrast to type 1A = tyrosinase negative = albino) and TS for "temperature sensitive" ". The responsible gene TYR is often referred to in cat breeding as the “point factor” or “coloration gene” (C-gene).
Another sign of the point cats are their blue eyes (in cats with the cs gene, "s" stands for Siamese) or yellow eyes (in cats with the cb gene, "b" stands for Burma), because also with The melanin production is important to the eye color.
The knowledge of the color development is especially important for exhibition animals! If a ragdoll is shorn (or if a plaster and thus hair is removed after an operation), the fur at this point may grow back in a different color. This can lead to the animal suddenly showing a malformation!
Appearance in general
The Ragdoll is a large, muscular cat with a semi-long coat. A large ruff frames the face, giving it the look of a bib. Their size and weight are impressive. The ragdoll is a massive cat with medium to strong boning. Your chest is broad and well developed. The legs are of medium length, with the hind legs slightly higher than the front legs, which means that the back line is slightly inclined forward. The paws are large, round and compact, with tufts of fur between the toes. The tail of the Ragdoll is long, bushy, and well-haired. It tapers towards its end. Your head is slightly wedge-shaped, the nose or forehead are slightly curved, the ears are wide apart and lean slightly forward. The area between the ears is flat. Her large eyes are bright blue, oval and large.
Colors and drawings
The colors recognized by the FIFé are seal, blue, chocolate and lilac point, as well as the new colors red and cream point for some time.
Seal is a very dark brown (dark fawn). The body color can be beige to brown or cream colored.
Chocolate is a light chocolate brown. The body color is ivory to cream.
Blue is a bluish gray. The body color is ivory or bluish white.
Lilac / Frost is a light glacier gray. The body color is almost white.
Red / Flame is a reddish, warm orange tone. The body color is cream.
Cream is a shade of apricot. The body color is almost white.
Recognized as drawing variants are Colourpoint, Mitted and Bicolour - with and without Lynx (also called tabby).
Colourpoint : The color of the points (the extremities: mask, ears, legs and tail) are well colored and darker than the body. The body color harmonizes with the points.
The nose mirror and ball of the foot are analogous to the color of the points.
Mitted: The points are like Colourpoint, but the chin, the front paws (gloves)
and the hind legs (boots) are white. A white stripe extends from the chin over the bib and belly to the base of the tail.
The nasal mirror is analogous to the color of the points. The balls of the feet are pink.
Bicolour: The Bicolour Ragdoll has a white chin, white chest, white belly and white paws. The color of the points is well delimited from the body color, which is a bit lighter.
An important feature is the white mask in the shape of an inverted "V". Ideally, the mask starts in the middle of the forehead and runs over the eyes to the back of the chin. The more even the V, the better.
The nose mirror and pads are pink.
High Mitted Bicolour: A bicolour can result from the mating Mitted times Mitted, which looks like a bicolour on the outside, but genetically, carries the Mitted gene twice.
Such a ragdoll is called High Mitted.
Mid High White Bicolour: A Mitted times Bicolour or Bicolour times Bicolour mating can result in a Bicolour with too much white. Often these cats are incorrectly drawn.
High White Bicolour / Van: The High White Bicolour mostly arises from a Bicolour by Bicolour mating. These cats often only have little color on their ears, and the body is often white, except for a few spots, and purely white bodies are also possible.
Lynx (tabby): The stripe drawing shows in the mask ("M", "W" - shape). The inner edge of the ear is outlined in white - just like the eyes (white glasses). The stripes are visible on the legs (except for the bicolour). The tail is striped. The body itself does not show a striped pattern.
The nasal mirror is outlined in brick red and black (except for the bicolour - your nasal mirror is pink in the Lynx variant).
Tortie ( tortoiseshell pattern ): The tortoiseshell drawing shows itself through red spots, since the color gene for red becomes visible.
There are the combinations: Seal - Red and Blue - Cream.
The color pattern can be very different, as can the size of the splashes of color. Small spots that are evenly distributed are preferred.
Tortie only occurs in queens because the gene is linked to the sex chromoson.
Torbie: This variant occurs when a cat carries the system for Lynx in addition to Tortie (Tortie + Tabby = Torbie). This makes the tortoiseshell drawing appear striped.
Torbie only occurs in queens because the gene is linked to the sex chromoson.
Essence, character and special properties
Ragdolls are very friendly, gentle and good-natured cats who like to have their loved ones around. You follow them every step of the way and often chat with them. In addition to their pronounced social needs, they are very friendly, balanced and curious. They need the love and attention of their family and, like all cats, must never be kept alone. Even if they have a very relaxed mind, they love to play. Your claws are never used (or only accidentally).
Ragdolls get along great with other cat breeds and animals. They are also very suitable for children.
If they are used to it from kitten age, they are also excellent travel companions. They can even be taught to walk on a leash. Since the Ragdoll is very intelligent, you can learn various tricks through click training.
The Ragdoll is a typical US semi-longhair cat with a Siamese look.
It has its origins in the USA, where Ann Baker - a breeder from California - observed a random mutation in one of her litters in the 1960s. She then set up her breeding program “Raggedy Ann”.
Ms. Baker noticed an extraordinarily lovely character in a female named "Josephine". In addition, the cat looked similar to an angora. It is believed that Josephine was mated to a tomcat named Raggedy Ann Daddy Warbucks.
The breeding lines of the genetically perfect Ragdolls lead back to this mating time and again.
Baker built a line breed and patented the breed she bred. She gave her the name "Ragdoll". She named the cats after a popular toddler toy - the homemade rag dolls.
In order to be able to market this breed better, Baker claimed, among other things, that the white cat Josephine was run over by the car and, as a result of the accident, gave birth to very cuddly, unusually heavy and painless young animals. Ragdolls are therefore, like the lifeless doll, totally relaxed and insensitive to pain - which is of course not true.
Laura and Denny Dayton, owners of a Raggedy-Ann breeding pair since 1969, were interested in recognition by the major cat associations and achieved this goal. On the basis of a breeding line with repeated backcrosses in order to balance the number of polygenes typical of the breed and to avoid inbreeding that was too close, two-pronged breeding, but with the same origin. This resulted in the establishment of genetic characteristics that distinguish the Ragdoll from all other cat varieties today.
Health, attitude and care
Ragdolls are generally a very healthy and robust breed. As with all cats - whether purebred or mixed breed - genetic (hereditary) health problems can arise. A reputable breeder has his breeding animals examined for genetic diseases before they are used for breeding. Genetic tests provide information on whether the animal is predisposed to develop the hereditary diseases examined.
Anyone who subjects their Ragdoll to an annual health check, regularly vaccinates them and offers them high-quality food can easily spend 15 to 20 years with their beloved cat.
Ragdolls are suitable as indoor cats, and they appreciate being able to run freely in a secure garden. The long coat does not require extensive care - but it should be brushed at least once a week during the coat change.