Buying a cat can be challenging if you have not had one before, but there are ethical considerations to know when purchasing a new pet. You might think you just have to go to a store and pick a cat of your preferred breed, but it’s not that simple.
Sometimes, cat sellers sell mixed or similar breeds in the name of another. Thus, it is important to know how to identify a ragdoll cat when buying one.
Here are all the critical elements to help you identify a ragdoll when buying one.
What Does a Ragdoll Cat Look Like?
The beautiful blue-colored ragdoll cats are a favorite among pet parents. Children and adults love these furry companions equally because they are friendly and affectionate. Ragdolls are primarily attractive due to their gorgeous fur and striking blue eyes, imparting a unique look to these cats.
Ann Baker created Ragdolls from free-roaming long-haired cats in the 1960s. Their further breeding with Maine Coons, Persian, Siamese, and Burmese cats has resulted in many ragdoll breeds. You may hear of tens of Ragdoll types, but they are widely categorized into five kinds based on their patterns, which we will discuss later.
How to Identify a Ragdoll Cat?
Identifying a Ragdoll cat is not very difficult if you know the main characteristics to recognize them. Here’s how to identify a Ragdoll cat:
One of the most prominent, unique features of Ragdoll cats is their blue eyes. The seller may mention cats with other colored eyes as ragdolls, but none of the major Ragdoll associations accepts them; it is also not a part of the Breed Standard for Ragdoll cats.
While Maine coon, Siberian, and American bobtail are large domesticated cats, the size and weight of Ragdolls play a significant role in their identification. Sometimes sellers sell other breeds as ragdolls by saying that the cat is small or will eventually gain weight. But, if you buy an adult Ragdoll, a male adult Ragdoll should weigh fifteen to twenty pounds, whereas a female Ragdoll is typically ten to fifteen pounds.
If you see a lot of shedding where the ragdoll lives, read our complete guide on how to reduce cat shedding!
Ragdolls typically do not shed a lot of fur, and their coat requires minimal grooming. The texture of the coat is soft, luxurious, and usually medium long. Another unique feature of this amazing breed of cats is that their coat does not mat as soon as other long-haired breeds.
Colors and Patterns
Due to the interbreeding between Ragdolls and other types, you can find Ragdolls of different colors and patterns. However, all ragdolls exhibit the pointed breed characteristics. It means that the pointed features, including the face, ears, legs, and tail are darker than the cat’s rest of the body.
Ragdolls can be lilac, cream, chocolate, seal, blue, solid, mink, flame, or tortie with patterns such as van, mitted, bi-color, or colorpoint.
Ragdoll Cat Personality
When thinking of “how to identify a ragdoll cat,” personality is a critical factor you must not ignore. Ragdolls are domesticated, docile cats and mingle well with children and adults. Despite being large in their build, ragdoll cats are eager to jump into your lap to be loved.
The three main characteristics of a Ragdoll’s personality are:
- Docile and calm
- Interactive and adaptive
- Affectionate and cuddly
So, if you visit a cat facility and see a hyperactive ragdoll, most likely, it is not a ragdoll cat.
While the physical and social aspects can help you understand the ragdoll type, you can confirm it by requesting documentation. The pet center must have a pedigree mentioning the breed of the cat.
Alternatively, you may ask the center for a vet’s note about the cat’s breed.
Is my Ragdoll Cat a Purebred or Mix?
Purebred and mixed ragdoll cats look quite similar, and thus it might be difficult to distinguish them. Sometimes, mixed breeds may also have blue eyes, making it tough to put your finger in the right spot.
Despite ragdolls being large cats, mixed ragdolls weigh more than average ragdoll size. Furthermore, a mixed-breed ragdoll might be more active and playful than a purebred. It’s always good to consult an experienced vet when you are unsure about the breed.
DNA tests are also helpful in determining if your cat is pure or a mixed breed. It provides a comprehensive report about the cat’s breed, genetic health issues, and personality.
You can get a DNA test kit for your cat and take the sample from the inside of the cheek. Send the sample to your laboratory for testing and determine the breed of your ragdoll. You will get to know if it’s purebred. It will also give you information about the ancestors and the percentage of each breed if your cat is a mix ragdoll.
Types of Ragdoll Cats
Understanding the types of ragdoll cats is also immensely helpful when identifying a ragdoll cat. These cats do not come in solid colors; their distinctive patterns and light colors help distinguish them from other breeds. The different types of ragdoll cats, according to their coat patterns, include the following:
Colorpoint ragdolls are the most common types of this cat breed, especially chocolate point ragdolls. Colorpoint refers to a darker color on the pointed areas of the body, such as the ears, face, tail, legs, and paws. The chin, bib, and chest areas of these cats are even lighter.
Colorpoint ragdolls typically come in cream, red, blue, and gray. It is believed that colorpoint ragdolls obtained darker color at points due to heat exposure when they were young. It ultimately became an identification point for colorpoint ragdolls and is passed to generations.
However, kittens of this breed are not born with points. Instead, they nearly look white at birth.
Other types of ragdoll cats are considered an extension of color points, categorized according to the distribution of the shape and colors on their bodies.
As the name indicates, these cats are bi-colored and have a mask-like shade around their eyes. Bicolor ragdolls have spots on their ears, mask, tail, and ‘saddle’ area. On the other hand, the underbody is light-colored. You may also find symmetrical designs on some unique bi-color ragdolls. These cats come in seal, flame, blue, and tortie colors.
Lynx ragdolls have tabby markings on their face in the shape of an M around their forehead. The limbs of these cats have paler stripes compared to their face. Thus, they are also called tabby-pointed and striped ragdolls. Lynx ragdolls also typically weigh more than standard ragdolls, up to 25 pounds. They may be found in all these patterns, including bicolor, colorpoint, and mitted.
You must have an ample budget if you are a Lynx person because these ragdolls can dent your pocket!
Tortoiseshell ragdolls are typically female as they obtain their tortoiseshell pattern because of the presence of two X chromosomes. Their coat has the impression of a mottled shell of a tortoise. Male tortoiseshell ragdolls are sterile, unique, and quite expensive.
These cats have red, pink, or cream markings on their points and may develop a deeper color as they grow old. Their markings may also spread with age, giving them the appearance of solid brown or platinum gray ragdolls.
Mitted ragdolls are void of pigmentation around their limbs, making them look like white mittens. And hence the name – mitted ragdolls!
For example, blue-point-mitted Ragdolls have slate gray points, pale gray bodies, and bright white mittens on their paws. Meanwhile, a seal mitted Ragdoll cat has seal points and white markings on its feet and chin.
These ragdoll cats look inevitably cute and are quite popular among pet parents. Thus, breeders have created further breeds of mitted ragdolls, including high-mitted, mid-high-mitted, and high-white ragdolls. These cats are gentle, smart, and affectionate.
The Bottom Line
Knowing how to identify a ragdoll is an absolute necessity when you want to buy one without prior experience. Ragdoll cats are large with soft, silky coats and blue eyes. Pure breeds do not have any other eye color than blue. Ragdolls are affectionate, docile, and interactive by nature. They love to run into your lap and be tamed. Apart from physical and personality traits, an experienced vet or a DNA test can also help identify a ragdoll.
What cats look like Ragdolls but aren’t?
Many large cats, like Siberian and Maine coon look like ragdolls. However, Birman has the most similar appearance to rag dolls and is often confused.
How do I know if my cat is a Ragdoll or Maine Coon?
Ragdoll cats are identified by their unique blue-colored eyes that other breeds often do not have. Main coons are also big cats, but they have gold, copper, or green eyes.
Are Ragdolls only white?
Ragdolls come in a variety of distinct colors and patterns, including cream, blue, seal, chocolate, red, and lilac. These cats are born white and obtain color eventually, with their full color at three to four years.
Do Ragdolls not meow?
If you think that your ragdoll meows less than other cats you have seen, don’t worry; it’s normal. Ragdolls are comparatively docile and less vocal. Thus, they meow less than other breeds.
What is special about Ragdoll cats?
Ragdolls are a favorite among cat lovers because of their friendly and social nature. They engage with adults and children alike and are quite affectionate.