If you are trying to find out if a cat is a Ragdoll cat, then there are a few steps that could lead you towards the right answer. If you think that your cat might be a Raggie, then checking for some specific traits of the breed might help you towards your answer.
Please note that there are only two ways to know for sure if your cat is a purebred Ragdoll:
- If the cat has official papers from an authorized cat association like CFA or TICA - Ragdoll breeder stating that the cat is a purebred pedigreed Ragdoll.
- If the cat takes a DNA test - this can confirm or deny that the cat is a Ragdoll or Ragdoll mix. If your cat does not have papers from a breeder, then the only way to confirm that it is a Ragdoll is by performing a DNA test. Update: I learned from this post on our Facebook Group that the UC Davis Cat Ancestry test is better and that another is the Wisdom Panel Complete Cat DNA Test.
Aside from these two official methods, you can find out if your cat is a Ragdoll or maybe part Ragdoll by analyzing the cat. Here's what you should do:
Analyze the Cat's Physical Traits:
If your cat looks like a Ragdoll, then it must be a Ragdoll. But what does a Ragdoll cat look like? Here are a few key areas that you should check:
Check the Eyes
Almost all Ragdoll cats have blue eyes. It is one of the best-known traits of the breed. While there are Ragdoll cats with non-blue eyes, these are not accepted by Ragdoll associations. If your kitty has beautiful blue eyes, then you should keep looking because you are certainly on the right track.
Check the Cat's Size and Weight
Ragdolls are large in size compared to other cats. Adult males weigh between 12 and 21 lbs and adult females weigh between 8 and 15 pounds. Start by weighing your cat to see if it matches this weight class. If it does, keep looking because you may have a Raggie. If you have a small-sized cat with Ragdoll features, then you might have a half-breed.
Check the Cat's Coloring
Ragdoll cats have many colors and patterns. They can be blue, seal, chocolate, lilac, cream, tortie, mink, solid, or flame. As for the patterns, they can be bi-color, van, mitted, or colorpoint. You should see pictures with the variations of these Ragdoll colorations to see if your cat looks like any of them. Check to see if your cat is pointed - if the fur on its body is lighter than the points on its body - its face, ears, tail, and legs.
Check the Cat's Coat
Ragdoll cats have a very special coat texture. Their fur is luxurious and very light to the touch. They have medium-long fur and they shed very little compared to other cats. Grooming Ragdoll cats is quite easy, especially if you have the right tools for the job. If your cat's fur is easily matted, then you might not have a Ragdoll because one great characteristic of this breed is that they don't get mats as easily as other long-haired cats.
Analyze the Cat's Personality and Temperament
Ragdoll cats are not only famous for their extraordinary fur and beautiful blue eyes. They are among the most popular cats because they also have a delightful personality. They are great with people, they are easy going, and they are delightfully floppy. Here's what you should be looking for:
Analyze the Cat's Personality
One of the best Ragdoll personality traits is how they become completely relaxed when they are picked up. They just lie limp, like dolls, which is actually how the breed got its name. While there are some exceptions out there, their floppy personality is a characteristic of Ragdoll cats. If this sounds like something your cat does, then you may have a Raggie.
Analyze the Cat's Engagement Level
Ragdoll cats are called puppy dog cats because they are extremely playful. Many of them enjoy playing fetch with their owners, and they will not miss out on the opportunity to play with you. Naturally, some Ragdoll cats are more playful than others, but all Raggies are engaged when it comes to playtime. Does your cat like playing with toys? Have you ever tried playing fetch? You might want to give it a try. Even if it won't end up answering your Ragdoll breed question, you will surely have a lot of fun.
Analyze the Cat's Social Skills
Ragdoll cats are excellent companions and they have a special affinity for humans. They are great with people and also children. They become very fond of their masters and they enjoy spending a lot of time with them. They can turn into feline bodyguards because they follow their owners all over the house, including the bathroom. They usually don't draw a lot of attention, they simply enjoy being close to their human companions, so you can often find them lying down quietly, close to you. Ragdolls are also very good with dogs, which makes this breed one of the few that is appropriate for cat and dog households.
Check the Cat's Documentation
If you have any documentation for your cat, this could be extremely useful to help you find out if it is a Ragdoll. If it meets all the breed characteristics, then the cat should have a pedigree clearly pointing out its breed, as well as its genealogy.If you don't have that, then you should look for the cat's medical records. When the cat was vaccinated or examined by a veterinarian, the cat got a chart and you should find information about its breed there. If you have any information about the cat's parents, that could be extremely useful.
Take a Test:
A Floppycats' reader, Beth, took a test for her cat using the Basepaw kit, and here is what she said:
"The whole process was very easy. I ordered the kit online (Amazon). It arrived 2 days later. The kit consists of a box, which is also used to return the kit with the postage included.
Inside the box are the instructions and a tube that contains a swap and mixing liquid. I created an account on basepaws.com and registered the kit with Bailey's information.
- I took the swap and rubbed/swirled it along the inside of Bailey's cheek and gums for 10 seconds.
- Then I inserted the swap into the end of the tube with the liquid and shook it up.
I returned it to the box, and mailed it through the USPS. Then I waited. They say it takes 4-6 weeks.I mailed Bailey's kit on 6/14 and received the results on 7/30.
I received an email once the results were ready. The results include the breed analysis, the health markers, the feline breed categories, and an overview of each breed."
Seek a Professional Opinion
If you think that your cat has all the Ragdoll traits, then you can seek a professional opinion to get a confirmation. Here's who you can talk to:
Contact the Official Associations
You can contact the Ragdoll Fanciers Club International or the Cat Fanciers Association and ask them for an opinion on your cat. They can also help you get in contact with reputable Ragdoll breeders, who can help you find out if your cat is a Ragdoll.
Speak to Your Veterinarian
You can also talk to your veterinarian about your cat's breed. Your doctor can help you find out if your cat is Ragdoll or not. The vet can analyze the cat, as well as its documents, and answer your questions.Have you managed to tell if your cat is a Ragdoll? This breed has many amazing traits and if your cat shares them, then you might have your very own Raggie. Tell us all about your process in the comments section below.
Key Differences Between Ragdoll and Siamese Cats
Ragdoll and Siamese cats can share the seal color pattern of their fur and the deep blue color of their eyes, which is why people usually confuse them. However, there is not a lot more they have in common. From fur length and origins and all the way to their personality and care needs, these two breeds are very different. In the following section, we'll go into the details of just how much.
Ragdoll Siamese Mix
Unofficially called a "Ragamese", the mix between Ragdoll and Siamese cats is very popular with cat lovers. Since this is not an official breed, the kittens share the characteristics of their Ragdoll and Siamese parents, but in various proportions. Keep in mind that with mix-breeds, there is a high possibility that the kittens will take more characteristics from one parent than the other, so Ragamese cats can be very different between themselves.
The typical Ragamese cat looks like a Ragdoll with shorter fur (or a Siamese with longer fur), is friendly and sociable like its Ragdoll parent, but also energetic and talkative like their Siamese parent. However, this can easily be the other way around.
Ragamese cats are a good match between two good-looking breeds with excellent personalities, so the results are bound to be a delight in any Ragdoll-Siamese proportions!
Ragdoll and Siamese cats are different in appearance mainly due to size and coat.
Ragdolls are larger than Siamese cats, weighing approximately 12 pounds. Siamese cats typically weigh 8 to 12 pounds, which makes them visibly smaller. The other main differentiator is coat size and texture. Siamese are a short-haired breed, while Ragdolls are a long-haired breed. Siamese cats have short silky coats, while Ragdolls have long fluffy coats, similar to the touch of rabbit fur.
In terms of colors, both Ragdoll and Siamese cats are best known for their seal point variety. But both breeds have many other colors, like blue point, chocolate point, flame point, cream point, or lilac. Both breeds come in various patterns - tabby, tortie, or lynx. The key differences are brought on by the size and texture of their fur, making each breed unique in its way.
Both breeds share one other distinguishing characteristic - their bright blue eyes. Seal points usually have deep blue eyes, while lilacs and cream points have lighter shades.
Another differentiation factor is the cats' noses. Siamese cats are well-known for their long noses, even though not all Siamese cats share this characteristic, while Raggies typically have short delicate noses.
This is where Ragdoll and Siamese cats differ the most. Ragdolls have a unique floppy personality and they are known worldwide as the calmest, friendliest, and coolest cat breed. When they are picked up, Raggies become completely relaxed, lying limp, like dolls...ragdolls, if you will. This is actually how they got their name, but more on that below.
While this might be their best-known personality trait, Ragdoll owners will tell you that their best trait is their affinity to humans. Raggies love humans, and most of all, their pet parents. They are curious to know everything that their humans are doing and they love spending time together with them. They are not usually big attention seekers and will be very happy to simply be in the room, next to their humans. Ragdolls are great with children, but also with dogs and other pets. They are the gentle giants that everybody loves.
Siamese cats are a different kind of lovable. They are also very interested in their human family members, but they are much pushier when it comes to attention. Siamese cats know that they are the main characters in every story, and they let everybody know. They are highly energetic, tirelessly playful and a delight to be around because you will never get bored around them.
Unsurprisingly, they are also very talkative cats and they will make their point of view heard every single time. Not to mention curious. Siamese cats love exploring the house, going through cabinets, drawers, and whatever they can get their paws on. Their energetic personality makes them very compatible with dogs, often calling out their puppy buddies to come and play.
One characteristic that might surprise you is that Ragdoll cats are very independent, while Siamese cats are very dependent on the attention of their human families. Raggies love attention, they seek it, and they offer it, but when their pet parents are busy, they find ways to entertain themselves. Siamese cats, on the other hand, need all the attention they can get and suffer when they don't get enough of it.
Their origin is yet another major difference between Ragdoll and Siamese cats.
Siamese cats have their origins in Thailand and they are known from back to the 1300s, making them one of the oldest cat breeds ever known. They got to America in 1878 when President Rutherford B. Hayes received a female Siamese cat from the American consul in Bangkok, whom he named Siam. Since then, Siamese cats have become one of the most popular cat breeds in the United States.
Ragdoll cats, on the other hand, are one of the most recent cat breeds, with their origins in California in the 1960s. Ann Baker bred the first-ever Ragdoll cats. It all happened when she bred Josephine, a white Angora Persian cat queen, who had a Siamese coat pattern to longhaired Burmese and Birman males. From these kittens, Baker continued a detailed breeding process and went on to develop the Ragdoll breed we know and love today. Find out more about Ragdoll cat history.
As mentioned above, Siamese cats need a lot of attention. They can actually get depressed if they don't get enough attention, so the biggest point in caring for them is spending time with them and playing with them. Siamese love playing with their humans and they will do their best to be the center of attention every single time. They are not good pets for people who spend all day at work since those couple of hours in the evening will not count as enough quality (and play) time.
Ragdoll cats, on the other hand, are more independent. They welcome human affection and attention, but they also enjoy playing on their own. They are a much better fit for somebody who spends weekdays at the office. The biggest point in caring for them is grooming because long-haired cats need extra attention in this department. You need to become a master with the comb and deal with knots and tangles. I even wrote a book about how to properly groom Ragdoll cats and other long-haired cats like Norwegian Forest Cats or Maine Coons. Siamese cats, on the other hand, are much easier to groom since they have short hair.
When it comes to disease predispositions, Siamese cats are likely to develop convergent strabismus. This will make them cross-eyed, but will not affect their health. They are prone to developing bladder stones. Ragdoll cats, on the other hand, are prone to developing heart disease. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is hereditary in Ragdoll cats, so they should be tested for the genetic mutation that causes this disease before they are bred.
Teaching a cat to do tricks is a complex process that requires a lot of dedication from the owner's part, but both Ragdoll and Siamese cats are excellent to work with. Out of the two, Siamese might be easier to train because they often engage in training as a play activity. This is the angle you want to take when training a Siamese if you want to get results.
With Ragdolls, on the other hand, you need to spark their curiosity and they will be along for the ride. The gentle giants are very smart cats that will learn quickly, as long as they're interested in what you're teaching them.
How to Tell What Breed My Cat Is
If your cat has papers attesting its breed, then that is official proof of your cat's breed. Its pedigree attests its breed and provides information about its parents as well. If your cat doesn't have a pedigree, on the other hand, you need to follow a different process. You can take your cat to the vet and the doctor will assess its characteristics and provide you with more information about the breed. Another alternative, as mentioned above, is to take a test like the Basepaw kit and get a detailed account of your cat's breed.
How to Identify the Breeds in a Mixed-Breed Cat or Kitten
Identifying the breeds in a mixed-breed cat can be extremely difficult. In kittens especially, since they don't have their definitive characteristics yet. The genetic cat breed test is clearly the most informative way to find the breeds that the cat comes from. The main advantage is that it can be performed at any age and will provide detailed information.
If information about the parents is available, this will also help a lot. If possible, analyze the parents and try to determine what breeds they are. Key areas to look for are size, weight, coat length, eye color, and color pattern, as these might guide you towards the source.
Mixed-breeds do not officially belong to any cat breed, so depending on the length of their coats, they are usually referred to as Domestic Short, Medium, or Long Hairs.
- Domestic Shorthair (DSH)
The most common variety of mix-breeds in the world, the Domestic Shorthair is what you would call any cat that has short hair. They come in all sizes, as well as all color and pattern varieties.
- Domestic Medium Hair (DMH)
Mix-breed cats that come from parents with short and long hair, respectively, usually turn out as Domestic Medium Hair cats. Their coats are a mix of short and long hair. They can have coats slightly shorter than two inches, or they can have a mix of long and short fur altogether, which has a distinctive look - a rarer coat than long-haired cats have.
- Domestic Long Hair (DLH)
With fur two to six inches long, Domestic Long Hair cats are always a sight to see.