While volunteering as a cat socializer at a private animal shelter near my home, I met a lot of cats. But the one who struck me the most in the two years I petted kittens was a special guy named Blue.
The first time I saw Blue was one day when I was walking into the “neighborhood” of the shelter’s cat apartment. Several cats were loose in the room, playing with toys and scratching cat furniture. But Blue was more interested in me. He rubbed his leg with his fluffy white smock, and his pretty blue dots gave away the reason for his name. When I picked him up, he looked at me with his stunning blue eyes and melted in my arms. I rocked him like a baby – it was hard to put him down. Two weeks later when I got back to the shelter, Blue was gone. I wasn’t surprised that he found a home.
Blau was a Ragdoll – a very special breed of cats that is not only beautiful to look at, but also amazingly easy to keep. He found his way to the shelter because its owner had died. The beauty, charm, and warmth I’d seen in blue meant he wouldn’t be long without a home.
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Unlike some cat breeds that have been around for hundreds of years, the ragdoll is a relatively new addition to the cat world.
The ragdoll was developed by breeder Ann Baker in Riverside, California in the 1960s and has humble origins. Baker adopted a long haired, white stray cat she named Josephine and bred her to be another stray cat that she adopted from the neighborhood. The resulting kittens had very lovable personalities. Baker decided on a new breed and selectively bred cats for a specific look and temperament.
Today the Ragdoll is a popular breed with a luxurious appearance and an excellent reputation as a show cat. More importantly, ragdolls are known to be great companions.
“My favorite thing about the ragdoll is that it is ideal for city life and people who need animals with emotional support,” said Nancy Hamilton, a ragdoll breeder in Burke, Virginia. “I discovered the ragdoll while trying to find a pet for my autistic child. I wanted a loving pet in the house that my daughter would pull out of her shell. Sometimes it had to come to terms with inappropriate play, be hypoallergenic and like to cuddle with her, but also be low-maintenance. It wouldn’t require maintenance or daily walks during the work day. I found all of this and more in the ragdoll. “
The external beauty of the ragdoll
Kindness is just one of the ragdoll’s amazing qualities. A half-length, soft and silky coat is a requirement for all ragdolls, along with bright blue eyes. Ragdoll coats come in four patterns: two-tone, van, mitted and colorpoint. These patterns can be seen in six different colors: seal, blue, chocolate, lilac, red, and cream. The tips of a ragdoll, which are on the face, legs, and tail, can be solid, lynx, tortoiseshell, or torbia (a cross between the lynx and the tortoiseshell).
Ragdolls are solid cats of medium to large size, heavy bones, and long, rectangular bodies. Their legs are moderately long, as are their tails.
But while the Ragdoll is beautiful to look at, the breed’s personality is its most valuable trait.
“There is no other breed of cats as friendly as the Ragdoll,” says Nancy. “The breed has a personality more like the domesticated dog. Ragdolls are very happy to meet people and are sociable, friendly and loyal. They are ideal pets because they greet their owners at the door and sit on the couch or lap with their humans. They want to please and spend time with their humans, much more like a breed of dog than a breed of cats. “
Top photography by princigalli | Getty Images.