The Secret Behind Why Ragdoll Cats Are Called Ragdolls

In this article, we will delve into the fascinating history and origin of the Ragdoll cat breed and discover the reasoning behind their unique name. Ragdoll cats are known for their striking blue eyes and gentle personalities. They have captured the hearts of many and have become a very popular breed of cat in recent years.

The Birth of the Ragdoll Breed

The Ragdoll breed is a relatively new breed of cat that was first developed in the 1960s by breeder Ann Baker in Riverside, California. Baker began breeding cats in the early 1960s and, over time, developed the foundation for the Ragdoll breed by crossing a white Persian cat with various other breeds.

Baker’s goal was to create a unique cat breed that would have a docile and laid-back temperament and would be large with a beautiful coat. She succeeded in creating a cat breed that was not only stunning in appearance but also had a friendly and affectionate personality.

It wasn’t until the early 1970s that the breed began to gain popularity, and Baker’s cats were in high demand. Eventually, Baker began to trademark the name “Ragdoll” and began to license her cats to other breeders. However, it’s important to note that “Ragdoll” is still considered an unofficial name for the breed and is not recognized by many cat organizations.

ColorpointA Ragdoll with darker points on the face, ears, legs, and tail.
BicolorA Ragdoll with a white chest, belly, and legs, and dark markings on the ears, face, and tail.
MittedA Ragdoll with white paws and a white chin, chest, and belly, and dark markings on the face, ears, legs, and tail.

The Floppy Trait and the Name “Ragdoll”

Ragdoll cats are known for their unique ability to go limp or floppy when picked up, similar to a rag doll. This trait has become one of the defining characteristics of the breed and is a result of selective breeding by Ann Baker to create cats with a docile and laid-back temperament.

Their relaxed and easy-going nature means that they are often more than happy to be carried around and cuddled like a baby. It is not uncommon to see Ragdoll cats flop completely over, or “go limp,” when they are picked up or held in a loving embrace.

As a testament to this trait, Ann Baker officially named the breed “Ragdoll” due to the cat’s tendency to go limp like a child’s toy. This name has become synonymous with the breed, despite efforts to secure official recognition.

Even today, Ragdolls are known as some of the most relaxed and easy-going cats around, making them perfect pets for families with children or individuals seeking a companion that craves human interaction.

Physical Characteristics

In addition to their unique temperament, Ragdoll cats are also known for their striking appearance, with a plush coat and beautiful blue eyes. The breed comes in different coat patterns, including colorpoint, bicolor, and mitted. They are also quite large, with males weighing between 15 to 20 pounds, while females weigh between 10 to 15 pounds.

Ragdoll cats are truly one of a kind, with a personality that sets them apart from all other breeds. They are loving, easy to handle, and perfect for families. If you’re looking for a cat that will always be by your side and enjoys spending time with you, a Ragdoll might just be the perfect pet.

The Laid-Back and Affectionate Temperament

Ragdoll cats are beloved for their gentle and laid-back temperaments. These easy-going felines are known for their affectionate and tolerant attitudes, which make them the perfect pets for families with children or individuals seeking a companion that craves human companionship.

Ragdolls are famous for their gentle personalities, making them a popular breed. This gentle personality is showcased in their ability to go limp when picked up, which also contributes to their endearing nature.

Their laid-back approach to life means they enjoy plenty of relaxation, cuddles, and rest. They have a low-pitched meow and are social cats that thrive on human interaction. Being a highly adaptable cat, Ragdolls quickly acclimate to new environments and enjoy being a part of their owner’s life.

ng a more rugged coat and Mink Ragdolls having softer fur than Traditional and Solid Ragdolls.

Why Ragdoll Cats Are Called Ragdolls

Popularizing the Name “Ragdoll”

Although Ann Baker, a breeder from Riverside, California, initially created this breed of cats, the name “Ragdoll” for this breed remains unofficial. Baker’s cats, known for their floppy and docile temperament, were bred from a white Persian cat and other breeds in the 1960s.

The cats were called “baker’s cats” for some time, but eventually, the name “Ragdoll” came into use. Cat lovers who encountered the breed admired how they went limp when picked up, like a rag doll, and this trait inspired the name.

Despite efforts to get official recognition for the breed, it remains unofficially known as Ragdoll. Interestingly, the breed’s name is both singular and plural. Although some cat organizations have recognized Ragdolls as a breed of cat, the name continues to be popularized outside of official channels.

Ragdolls are also known as “the gentle giants” of the cat world, thanks to their large size and gentle personalities. These cats are perfect for families with children or anyone looking for a laid-back, easy-going pet. Whether called Ragdolls or baker’s cats, they are a popular choice among cat lovers and remain a beloved breed.

The Care and Maintenance of Ragdoll Cats

Ragdoll cats are treasured for their gentle personalities and stunning appearance. Properly caring for your Ragdoll involves regular grooming, addressing their unique needs, and providing a safe and comfortable environment.

Brushing Their Luxurious Fur

Ragdoll cats have a long, silky coat that requires regular brushings to prevent matting and tangles. It’s recommended to brush their fur at least twice a week, using a soft-bristled brush or comb. This grooming ritual not only keeps their coat looking shiny and healthy but also provides an excellent bonding opportunity with your Ragdoll.

Tending to Sensitive Paws

Ragdolls have sensitive paws, and it’s essential to keep them clean and trimmed. Regular nail trims every few weeks will help prevent overgrowth, discomfort, and potential injury. It’s also a great way to strengthen your relationship with your feline friend and make the process as stress-free as possible.

Communicating with Gentle Meows

Ragdolls are social cats that enjoy human interaction. They are known for their gentle meows, which they use to communicate with their owners. It’s crucial to give them enough attention and positive reinforcement, suiting their needs for affection and companionship.

Managing Allergies with Feliway

Ragdolls are considered hypoallergenic, but individual allergies may vary. Feliway is a synthetic pheromone product that helps reduce stress and anxiety in cats, leading to fewer allergic reactions. It’s vital to consult with your veterinarian if you have any concerns about allergies or any new products that come into contact with your Ragdoll.

Care Tips for Ragdoll CatsFrequency
Brushing their furTwice a week
Trimming their nailsEvery few weeks
Cleaning their earsOnce a week
Bathing themAs needed or every two to three months

The Future of Ragdoll Cats

As the Ragdoll breed was created in the 1960s, it is relatively new compared to other breeds of cats. However, its unique personality and docile nature have rightfully earned it a special place in the hearts of many.

The Ragdoll kittens resulting from Ann Baker’s original breeding experiments had a special way of going limp when picked up, which led to the breed being called Ragdolls. And over the years, Ragdoll cats have become increasingly popular due to their affectionate, gentle personalities, making them a perfect pet for families with children or for those who desire a companion that craves human interaction.

The future of the Ragdoll breed looks bright with new Ragdoll cat breeders emerging, making these beautiful cats more accessible to those who wish to adopt them.

With their unique personality traits and docile nature, Ragdolls will likely remain a beloved and cherished breed for years to come.


In conclusion, the Ragdoll cat breed has a fascinating history and unique characteristics that have made them a beloved household pet around the world. Developed by Ann Baker in the 1960s, Ragdolls have a docile and laid-back temperament that makes them perfect for families with children or anyone seeking a cat with a gentle personality.

Their floppy trait and striking appearance including silky fur and piercing blue eyes are some of the traits that set them apart from other cats. While their name “Ragdoll” was coined informally by their breeder Ann Baker, it has since become the common name for the breed.

As Ragdolls continue to grow in popularity, their care and maintenance remain important factors to keep in mind. Frequent brushing and paw care are essential to keep their coat healthy, and regular veterinarian checks help ensure their well-being.