Can Ragdolls Be Black?

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Black Ragdoll Cat Jen Chappell of ragdollchapps in Raleigh NC area FB_IMG_1534623106569_wm
Photo Credit: Jen Chappell of ragdollchapps.com in Raleigh NC area

This is one of the most controversial subjects in the Ragdoll community – Can Ragdolls Be Black? While we know that Ragdolls can certainly be black, whether or not they are “legitimate” still remains highly debatable. Black Ragdoll cats can exhibit all the breed-specific features, such as the large size, the silky coat texture, and unique personality, but they do not have the traditional Ragdoll points (mask, legs, ears, blue eyes, and tails).

Black Ragdolls are also referred to as solid Ragdolls, precisely due to the absence of the points on their coats. As a disambiguation, solid Ragdolls, meaning Ragdoll cats of a single color, are not only black. There are also solid Ragdolls that are of other colors specific to the breed, such as white, blue, or lilac. Moreover, there are black Ragdolls that are bi-colored. The most frequent combination of colors is black and white. While these do exhibit some points, the full array of Ragdoll-specific points is not present.

Black Ragdoll Cat Jen Chappell of ragdollchapps in Raleigh NC area IMG_20180815_174517~2_wm
Photo credit: Jen Chappell of ragdollchapps.com in Raleigh NC area

Why Are Black Ragdolls Controversial?

The controversy lies in the acceptance of black and other solid Ragdolls for official competitions. While more and more breeders are beginning to include solid Ragdolls, showing them in competitions is still not fully supported. According to the International Cat Association (TICA), non-pointed Ragdolls may only be shown as household pets in competitions. At the moment, they do not have official participation rights.

You might be tempted to think that black Ragdolls are not yet accepted because they are new. But, in fact, they have been around since the beginnings of the Ragdoll breed in the 1960s. Even to this day, solid Ragdolls can be sold as breeders. This is the main reason why there are plenty of official Ragdoll breeders who have black or other solid Ragdolls.

The Ragdoll Historical Society has more information on their website about the beginnings of the breed.

Black Ragdoll Cat Jen Chappell of ragdollchapps in Raleigh NC area
Photo Credit: Jen Chappell of ragdollchapps.com in Raleigh NC area

Black Ragdolls as Breeders

Black (non-pointed/solid) Ragdolls have a very interesting feature when it comes to breeding – they can give birth to both pointed and non-pointed kittens in the same litter. Considering that solid Ragdolls do have the gene for the traditional points, even if they do not present the points themselves, breeding a solid with a traditional Ragdoll cat can, and most likely will lead to both pointed and non-pointed Ragdoll kittens.

Furthermore, even by breeding two solid non-pointed Ragdolls, there is a high chance that some of the kittens in the litter will be pointed. While this could lead to an even wider diversity in Ragdoll cats worldwide, the perception of the cat associations still requires some bending. There is progress on the matter and black Ragdolls are getting more and more attention, but there still is a long way to go for these black beauties.

So, can Ragdolls be black? Yes, they most certainly can, but whether or not you can show them is another issue entirely. With a black Ragdoll, you get the purebred experience in a very different color. If you are looking for a pet Ragdoll, then getting a black one will certainly give you everything you might wish to find in a Ragdoll cat. However, if you are interested in showing your cat in competitions, then getting a black Ragdoll could still be problematic because they are still considered to be controversial.

At the end of the day for me, it’s about health, nutrition, socializing and environment when adopting from a breeder. A breeder that respects their cat’s health, nutrition, socialization and environment will have the best cats.

Of course, don’t forget the only way to ensure you have a Ragdoll is through certified papers or through a DNA test.


To see how controversial this topic is, you can see where it went on our Facebook page when I requested photos of Black Ragdoll cats to include in this post (and thank you to those that sent them in for me to post =) ).


Reader Submitted Photos of Black Ragdolls

purebred Solid black Ragdoll
D’hani, a purebred Solid black Ragdoll, with papers loved by Jill. She writes, “I adore his kitten pics as you can actually see what would have been a blaze or bicolor marking on his face, which I really found interesting! Sometimes his eyes are green, sometimes they’re yellow…he’s a weirdo..lol.”

Comments (8)

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  1. Absolutely fascinating topic & pics, Jenny!!! I LURVE the solid Ragdolls very much!! As our super pawesome & mutual friend, Peg, enlightened me about them a few years ago when she was letting me know about her prior breeding program and sharing pics of all the lovely Raggies she has bred throughout the years. Some of her most beautiful & stunning kittehs have been the solids! πŸ™‚ <3

    Such a shame they aren't totally accepted via the Ragdoll World (organizations, breeders, lovers, etc.) They certainly should be!! πŸ™‚ <3

    I truly learned a lot and enjoyed this post so very much! Very well done and presented, honey!! πŸ™‚ <3

    Big hugs & lots of love!!

    Patti & Miss Pink Sugarbelle πŸ™‚ <3

  2. As a breeder of the traditional pointed and blue-eyed Ragdolls, I generally think of the ‘solid’ cats that originated with Ragdolls as being Ragamuffins. Ragamuffins are accepted in the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA), the American Cat Fanciers Association (ACFA) and the Cat Fanciers Federation (CFF). Those three registries only accept Radolls as pointed blue-eye cats whose pedigrees contain only pointed blue-eyed registered Ragdolls. Ragamuffins are their own breed in these registries and do produce pointed kittens as well as solid kittens. Ragamuffins are not accepted in The International Cat Association (TICA). If a breeder who is registered with the other organizations likes the non-pointed colors in the Ragdoll type of cat, they would have to breed those cats with registrations only in TICA, but cannot show them. So it is a bit complicated as to why ‘solid Ragdolls’ are not accepted for show. Some Ragdoll breeders don’t consider them ‘true’ Ragdolls and probably the Ragamuffin breeders don’t either, as they have over time tried to get away from the Ragdoll standard to make their own distinct breed. Bottom line is that Ragdolls and Ragamuffins had some of the same origins and both breeds make wonderful pets. TICA registered ‘solid, sepia and mink’ Ragdolls are also beautiful, but the disparate views on whether they are ‘true’ Radolls remains.

  3. To add to the the question of if the cat is a Ragdoll, there is a breeder is selling Ragdolls, that does not have blue eyes. Although cute cats, I would not buy one because of the eye color alone and the fact that the colors are not always traditional.

  4. glad you addressed this! that first cat looks exactly like Pepe Le PU that used to come stay at my house. He belonged to someone else but loved making his little trip up the alley to come visit. i think the black and white i have now is a ragdoll. he’s so floppy, he is like a dog, more than like a cat, very sweet, if he had blue eyes everyone would say ragdoll. even in the sun you can see that his black is really a seal color. he has the mask, the pants. lol. anyway i don’t care, i love him and all of my cats because of who they are, not what they are. i know i’ve never met a cat like my big black and white boy and all i have heard and read about ragdolls describes him.

  5. solids without the point and blue eyes are still ragdolls, if both of their parents are ragdolls.. ragamuffins are a different breed with differences in body shape and headshape although similar and sharing ancestory with ragdolls.

    I think they’re all gorgeous. and I think solids should be accepted for show. πŸ™‚

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