Some cats are just as sweet as they look! A newer breed, the Ragamuffin has an adorable look with a personality to match. If they seem a bit familiar, it is because the Ragdoll breed is an older, close relative. Cat lovers everywhere are beginning to fall in love with them. Maybe you will too!
New Breed, New Look
Ragamuffin cats have a teddy bear-like appearance. They tend to be a larger cat (it is not unusual to see one larger than 15 lbs/6.8 kg), with soft medium-long hair. Their body is heavily boned with a perfect little pad of fat around the abdomen.
The softness of a Ragamuffin’s coat is often compared to a rabbit’s coat. Even with its thickness, the coat is not prone to tangling or matting. These coats are fairly low maintenance. They can be found in a wide range of colors and patterns including tabby and white, solid, tortoiseshell, and mink. Their walnut-shaped eyes range in color as well.
Ragamuffin Vs. Ragdoll
The Ragamuffin and Ragdoll breeds have a common starting point. In Riverside, California in the 1960’s a cat named Josephine had a litter of kittens that had a few unique traits- their fur was not prone to matting or tangling and they would go limp in a person’s arms when they were held. A number of stories exist that attempt to explain these new, interesting traits. Most of the stories say that Josephine was hit by a car, but they diverge from there. Some say that the car accident itself somehow led to the new traits, others say that Josephine was whisked away and used in a top secret government experiment following the accident. The most likely explanation was that it was simply the right combination of genetic material between Josephine and the male cat she mated with.
No matter which story you prefer, Josephine’s unique kittens ended up in the care of a breeder named Anne Baker. Baker used the kittens to start her new breed – the Ragdoll. By the 1970’s there were a number of different breeders who were breeding Ragdoll cats. Baker started her own registry for the Ragdoll called the International Ragdoll Cat Association (IRCA) in 1971 and later trademarked the term “Ragdoll.”
By the time that the Cat Fancier’s Association (CFA) recognized the Ragdoll cat in 1993, there were Ragdoll breeders that wanted to part ways with Anne Baker and the IRCA. These breeders chose to rename their breed the Ragamuffin cat in order to avoid contract and trademark problems with Baker. There were also cat breeds added into the new breed’s stock to strengthen them genetically and give them a wider variety of patterns and colors. The CFA recognized the Ragamuffin in 2003, but they didn’t gain full championship status until 2011. The International Cat Fancier Association (TICA) does not yet recognize the new breed.
Lovable Lap Cat
Ragamuffin cats love their humans! They build strong bonds with their family members. Their mellow temperament allows them to play nicely with children, dogs, and other pets. These cats are very sweet, calm, and trusting. Just like their Ragdoll relatives, they will go limp in your arms as you hold them! They enjoy spending time in your lap too.
Just because the Ragamuffin is calm, doesn’t mean they can’t have fun. These cats love to play! They are very trainable and have been known to enjoy a good game of fetch now and again.
If you are planning to add a Ragamuffin to your family, please check out the adoptable Ragamuffin/Ragdoll cats on Petfinder!
Have you ever met any Ragamuffin cats?
Sources & Digging Deeper