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The Ragdoll is a large, well-balanced cat with no extremes. Males reach 15-20 pounds by maturity, with females tipping the scales at 10-15. The Ragdoll should give them impression of a graceful cat full of subdued power. Large eyes are a vivid blue, with medium sized round tipped ears to frame them. The body of the Ragdoll should be long, large, broad and solid. Legs should be firm and muscular, heavily boned and moderately long with proportionally large paws.
The long-haired coat of the Ragdoll comes in the six traditional pointed colors with four pattern divisions: bi-color, van, mitted, and colorpoint. Colorpoint is the traditional pointing in either of the six approved colors; seal, blue, chocolate, lilac, red or cream. Mitted Ragdolls have gloves or mittens on all four paws, those in the back may stretch up to the thigh. Bi-color are recognized by the upside down "v" of white on their faces, while Van's have the least amount of color.
The Ragdoll is slow to mature. Full coat color is not reached before two years and full weight and size are not achieved till four.
The Ragdoll is the ideal indoor companion. Docile and mild-mannered, this cat gets along with everyone thanks to its laid back and sweet personality. The Ragdoll has a soft and polite voice, even during mealtimes; the Ragdoll is an enthusiastic eater. They are easily trained and not overly affectionate, though they will happily following you from room to room, always choosing to be with their people over themselves. They are a gentle cat, remaining soft-pawed during play; ideal for those with children. The floppy body when picked up, a trademark of the breed, is endearing. Easily adaptable, the Ragdoll is an excellent cat for those with busy lives.
The Ragdoll is a long-haired cat which requires relatively little maintenance. Weekly brushing with a metal comb to remove loose hairs or tangles is all that is necessary.
Though a relatively new breed, the Ragdoll has a history laced with exciting myth and legend. One such story has the matriarch of the breed, a feline named Josephine, hit by a car. After her recovery, she proceeded to have a litter of kittens with a sweet temperament and floppy bodies the likes of which had not been seen before. Each subsequent litter retained these features as well as an increased pain threshold. The second story says that after being hit by a car, Josephine was whisked off to a government facility where experiments were performed on her leading to the unique traits of the Ragdoll breed.
Though certainly exciting, the true story is far less exciting. Josephine was a feral cat who came into the possession of Ann Baker. Through the breeding of Josephine to other cats with certain characteristics that she found appealing, Ms. Baker created the Ragdoll breed. She trademarked the standard and the name; all Ragdolls are considered daughters of Josephine. The breed was accepted by the CFA into the Miscellaneous category for competition in 1993.