Six Ragdoll colors are considered traditional: seal, chocolate, blue, lilac, red, and cream. But some non-traditional colors and patterns are a little more controversial, and they aren't accepted as purebred Ragdolls by all associations. One of those is cinnamon.
Let's look at the cinnamon Ragdoll color, and the fawn dilute of cinnamon.
Cinnamon Ragdoll Cats
Cinnamon Ragdoll cats are not one of the traditional Ragdoll colors. Therefore, most associations will not recognize any cat presenting in cinnamon as a purebred Ragdoll. The only one that does is The International Cat Association (TICA).
TICA is more open to registering Ragdoll cats with different coat colors or patterns. However, any cinnamon Ragdoll with TICA status still won't be eligible for competitions as they need to conform to traditional Ragdoll standards.
Cinnamon Ragdoll cats have reddish-brown fur and typically have a light-cream body if they are the colorpoint pattern. The cinnamon color will be present in the paws, mask, face, and tail. Solid cats will, of course, have cinnamon as their body color.
They don't often have blue eyes and will sometimes have gold, green, or aqua eye color. Cinnamon Ragdoll cats can present as colorpoint, bicolor, and mitted, as well as the non-traditional patterns of mink, sepia, and solid.
Fawn Ragdoll cats are the same but have a lighter color, blended more with cream.
Cinnamon Ragdoll History
The cinnamon Ragdoll was once part of the breeding population of Ragdoll cats. Still, they were scarce, to the point where they needed to be re-established.
Dr. Maxine Stiles is a veterinarian based in Texas. She undertook this challenge and has spent many years developing a line of cinnamon, chocolate solid, and pointed Ragdoll cats, working alongside experienced breeder Sharon Steadman.
Stiles' breeding program began with cats that were cinnamon- and chocolate-ticked, and cinnamon- and chocolate-smoked, which had some resemblance to Ragdoll cats. They originated from an Abyssinian six generations prior.
Using her cinnamon males and Ragdoll females, along with a cinnamon-ticked female, the breeding program began with the goal of retaining the cinnamon gene but removing the non-Ragdoll characteristics.
Once the cinnamon gene had been captured, TICA stated that the program had to cross back to traditional Ragdolls for another four generations to regain a complete SBT registry. They achieved this in 2007 with Dollnouveau Dr. Pepper, a fawn mitted point.
Cinnamon Ragdoll Genetics
The cinnamon gene in Ragdoll cats is a mutation of the black-hair gene and is recessive. It's also part of an allelic group, which means the same gene has different mutations – in this case, chocolate and cinnamon. The dominant gene is black, B, so if the kitten gets the B black gene from either parent, it will present black.
The chocolate gene is recessive to black but dominant to cinnamon. So, if there is no black B gene but at least one b chocolate gene, the cat will present chocolate.
The only way for a kitten to present as cinnamon is to have two of the recessive cinnamon gene labeled b' in their DNA.
This means that cinnamon Ragdoll cats were not easy to initially produce in a litter – you needed two parent cats with the b' gene. Then you still only had a one in four chance of getting a b'b' kitten.
But once the line was established, the kittens were guaranteed if bred from two cinnamon Ragdoll cats, as they would only carry the b' gene.
Of course, that's not how it happened since the first cinnamon cats had to be bred with other outlier Ragdolls for multiple generations to remove the non-Ragdoll characteristics.
Fawn Ragdoll cats result from a dilution – where the color density gene is again a one-in-four chance. The D gene will always result in the dominant color, so a b'b' DD or b'b' Dd cat will be cinnamon, while a b'b' dd cat will be fawn.
Do Cinnamon Ragdolls Have the Same Temperament as Traditional Ragdoll Cats?
Any cinnamon Ragdoll kitty from a TICA-registered breeder will have the same temperament as other Ragdoll cats. They may not be officially recognized by other cat associations, but they are essentially Ragdolls with the same personalities.
Remember that cats are individuals, though. The Ragdoll breed has certain traits, but not every cat is identical in manner and personality.
Are Cinnamon Ragdolls Rare?
Cinnamon Ragdoll cats are rare, although not as rare as they were 20 years ago, thanks to the work of Dr. Maxine Stiles. Unfortunately, if you want a cinnamon Ragdoll, you won't find them in most local breeders. Most Ragdoll breeders stick to the traditional colors.
However, they are possible to find. You may need to be flexible regarding distance, relying on video calls rather than in-person visits to meet your Ragdoll kitten before adoption. You may also need to have them sent to you by air instead of collecting them.
Remember that cinnamon Ragdolls can't be used for competitions. This is because, in the eyes of the CFA and most other organizations, they don't meet the Ragdoll breed standard. However, you can at least know that you're getting a 'genuine' Ragdoll cat if you buy from a TICA-approved breeder.