Ragamuffin Cats vs. Ragdoll Cats: Untangling the Fluffy Confusion

Ragdoll and Ragamuffin cats are both big, fluffy, and adorably cuddly, but they are distinct breeds with unique personalities and appearances.

While both share a reputation for gentle demeanors and captivating beauty, discerning their subtle differences proves crucial for prospective owners seeking the ideal furry companion. This scholarly treatise delves into the nuanced distinctions between these magnificent breeds, examining their historical origins, physical characteristics, behavioral traits, and grooming requirements. Through careful comparative analysis, we aim to illuminate the unique essence of each breed, empowering pet enthusiasts to make informed decisions in their feline adoption journey.

Ragamuffin vs. Ragdoll My boys hanging out Robie ragdoll shadows Riley ragamuffin everywhere.
“My boys hanging out. Robie (ragdoll) shadows Riley (ragamuffin) everywhere.” Loved by Kim

The good news is, both Ragdolls and Ragamuffins make great pets. Both breeds are large, docile cats with very sweet personalities.

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Ragamuffin vs. Ragdoll Cats 2
“My boys hanging out. Riley (Ragamuffin) and Robie (ragdoll).” Loved by Kim

If you want to know a little bit more about how to compare Ragdoll and Ragamuffin cats, here is a little clarification:

History of the Breeds

There is some controversy and confusion surrounding the origin and development of the Ragdoll breed, and it is possible that this is what has led to the distinction between Ragdolls and Ragamuffins. 

What’s a Ragdoll?

The Ragdoll breed was originally started in California by a breeder named Ann Baker, who started the line with her cat Josephine, a longhaired Persian/Angora. Josephine’s sweet disposition and tendency to go limp in the arms of someone holding her is where the Ragdoll cats got their name and reputation.

Gabriel aka Noodle Flame Point Ragdoll crossed the Rainbow Bridge December 2017 dad to Wrigley and Teagan Loved and missed by Amy IMG_1538
Gabriel aka Noodle Flame Point Ragdoll crossed the Rainbow Bridge December 2017 dad to Wrigley and Teagan Loved and missed by Amy IMG_1538

What’s a Ragamuffin?

Less is known about the exact origins of the Ragamuffin cat, because after Ann Baker began to breed Ragdolls, other breeders also began developing the breed. Baker created her own registry for Ragdolls in 1971, The International Ragdoll Cat Association (IRCA), but many breeders were displeased with the fact that they would have to pay licensing fees, so they split off and formed their own Ragdoll Society in 1975. Because there wasn’t one common standard for the large cat Ragdoll breed, other related breeds began to spring up—for example, the Ragamuffin breed.

Chocolate Bi Color Ragamuffin IMG_2601
Teagan, Chocolate Bi Color Ragamuffin, adored by Amy for 12 years. Amy writes, “I’ve had both Ragamuffin, brothers from the same parents but different litters, and had their dad who was 100% Ragdoll after he was retired from breeding. All three were very different.”


Ragdoll and Ragamuffin cats are both fairly large, often weighing around 15 lbs. Both breeds are also known for their big, lovely eyes, but there are some differences: Pure Ragdolls are known for their vivid blue eyes, which are oval-shaped.

Ragamuffin vs. Ragdoll Cats 4
“My boys hanging out. Riley (Ragamuffin) and Robie (ragdoll).” Loved by Kim

On the other hand, Ragamuffins can have any color eyes, and the shape is much more rounded, similar to a walnut.

Coats are also a point of distinction between the two cats. Ragamuffin coloration is much more wide and varied and includes a lot of white, but does not include pointed colors.

Honey the white and silver shaded raggamuffin loved by Destin

Ragdoll cat colors are exclusively pointed, which means that their faces, tails, legs, and ears are a darker color than the rest of their body. However, Ragdolls can still have white “boots” or “gloves” on their paws. Both breeds both have the same medium-long coat with a plumed tail, but Ragamuffin coats are more resistant to matting.

Ragdoll vs. Ragamuffin Temperament

Both breeds are known for being remarkably sweet and docile, so if you are looking to adopt either as a pet, you can’t go wrong. The Cat Fancier’s Association has said Ragamuffins, in particular, make a great pet for households with children, as Ragamuffins are exceptionally patient and placid.

"My boys hanging out. Robie (ragdoll) shadows Riley (ragamuffin) everywhere." Loved by Kim
“My boys hanging out. Riley (Ragamuffin) and Robie (ragdoll).” Loved by Kim

Since both breeds are so laid back, it is important to play with them often to keep them fit and active. Fortunately, they are very affectionate with their owners, and will often follow them around or greet them at the door, so they should be very happy for playtime!

Wrigley, Ragamuffin, crossed the Rainbow Bridge April, 2015. Loved and missed by AmyIMG_2897
Wrigley, Ragamuffin, crossed the Rainbow Bridge April, 2015. Loved and missed by Amy

For more detailed information on the characteristics of each breed, check out the Cat Fancier’s Association Ragamuffin Breed Standards and Breed Profile, as well as the Ragdoll Breed Standards and Breed Profile. You can also read more about Ragdolls specifically in our post “Ragdoll Cat Breeds”.

If you’re looking for Ragdoll and Ragamuffin kittens for sale, start by contacting local breeders or rescue organizations to ask some questions about what breeds they have available.

Ragamuffin vs. Ragdoll Cats 3
“My boys hanging out. Robie (ragdoll) and Riley (Ragamuffin).” Loved by Kim

What to Feed Ragamuffin Cats

One thing you should always remember is to avoid overfeeding your Ragamuffin cat. By nature, Ragamuffins are large cats, and look similar to Ragdolls, which can lead to some owners unintentionally overfeeding their cats. Overfeeding can lead to a host of health problems in your Ragamuffin cat.

The dietary needs of your Ragamuffin cat depend on a lot of things such as age, sex, activity level, and so on. But generally, your cat should eat at least one serving of good quality and nutritious cat food each day. You can also introduce some variations such as wet food into the diet plan to mix things up.

Another thing to avoid is trying to feed vegetarian food to the Ragamuffins. In nature, all felines, including the Ragamuffins, are predators because of their dietary needs. That’s why a lot of people who try to feed vegetables or fruits to Ragamuffins find it hard to get them to eat. It is very important to ensure that your cat is getting meat-based nutrients in their diet.

The nutritional needs for Ragdolls and Ragamuffin cats are very similar. According to available data, the Ragdoll cat breed and the Ragamuffin cat are related to each other. In fact, the Ragamuffin cat is actually a crossbreed of the Ragdoll. In that sense, we can say that this breed of cat is also related to the Himalayans and the Persian breed as well, and all 4 breeds have similar dietary needs.

The best diet for any breed of cat is a raw food diet, as it mirrors your furry friend’s diet in the wild. This is especially applicable to Ragamuffin cats, as they are prone to being overfed, and a raw diet can help cats that are overweight.

Weight gain can often be attributed to the unnecessary carbohydrates and other foods that your cat doesn’t need, but are added to prepared foods (especially kibble) to bulk it out. Eating a raw diet can get overweight cats back down to a healthier weight and therefore also help to protect a healthy heart.

In fact, it’s those unnecessary carbs that are often the cause of problems with digestion and stools too. Cats don’t need carbohydrates!

Most people who switch to a raw diet for their cats notice at least some improvement in one or more of these areas:

  • Improved urinary health with fewer kidney issues
  • Improved digestion, whilst also reducing stool volume and odor
  • Better dental health
  • Improved joint health and healthy bones
  • Increased energy levels
  • A healthy, shiny coat with less shedding and healthy skin

A good quality diet for Ragamuffin cats must meet the following standards:

  • No additives
  • No fillers
  • No garlic
  • Must be meat-based
  • Good source of protein and fat

If you don’t know where to start with feeding your Ragamuffin a raw diet, check out our post on the ideal raw food diet to keep your kitty happy and healthy.

Characteristics of Ragamuffin Cats

Weight: The average weight for Ragamuffin cats is around ten to twenty pounds. If your Ragamuffin is above or below that range, then you need to make some dietary changes.

Height: A Ragamuffin cat is around ten to fifteen inches in height.

Lifespan: On average, Ragamuffin cats can live for around twelve to sixteen years. But you need to remember that averages are just averages – This means that your cat can live a lot more than 16 years!

Shedding: This breed sheds a normal amount of fur, just like any other cat breed.

Colors: Ragamuffin cats come in different colors, such as white, black, brown, grey, red, ebony blue, orange chocolate, silver, sable, lilac, and cinnamon.

Friendliness: This breed is good with families, other cats, children, and even the elderly.

Noise: This is a quiet breed, but it can be vocal when necessary.

Intelligence: Ragamuffin cats are of average intelligence.

Temperament: In general, this breed is considered to be calm and affectionate.

Patterns: Tr-color, bi-color, color point, solid, and tabby.

Ragamuffin Cat vs Ragdoll

What’s the difference between the Ragamuffin cat and the Ragdoll cat? On the surface, both are big cats and are known for their docile and affectionate nature. According to the Cat Fanciers Federation, Ragamuffins are preferable for homes with children because of their extraordinary patience and placid nature.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the differences between the Ragamuffin and the Ragdoll breed:

Lifespan: Ragamuffins’ lifespan is around fifteen to eighteen (15-18) years on average. On the other hand, the average Ragdoll’s lifespan is nine to fifteen (9-15) years.

Trainability: Ragamuffins are highly trainable, while Ragdolls are only moderately trainable.

Exercise: Ragamuffins require minimal exercise, while Ragdolls require moderate exercise.

Dog-friendly: Both breeds are dog friendly, and can even become good companions with canines.

Grooming: Since these are large cats, they require a moderate level of grooming using a brush to remove any dead hair or fur. For females or even males (both breeds), the level of grooming is similar! In most cases, a normal combing is all that’s required to properly groom your cat.

Weight: Both cat breeds average around 10 to 20 pounds.

Ragamuffin Cat Colors

There are a lot of colors when it comes to the Ragamuffin cat breeds, such as white, black, brown, grey, red, ebony blue, orange chocolate, silver, sable, lilac, and cinnamon. If you prefer a specific color of cat, there is a good chance that you can find a Ragamuffin like that!

Before you go out to find a specific color cat, here’s a little tip – Try looking for images of that colored cat on Google and YouTube first to get an idea of how it looks in real life. If you plan to get a Ragamuffin cat from the adoption or rescue center, then you will not have much of a color choice.

FAQs about Ragamuffin Cats

Let’s have a look at the frequently asked questions related to the Ragamuffin cats.

Ragamuffin cat size – What’s the average size of Ragamuffin cats?

Height: A Ragamuffin cat is around ten to fifteen inches in height.

Weight: Their average weight is between ten to twenty pounds. If your Ragamuffin is above or below that range, consult your veterinarian. You need to make some dietary changes.

Overall, these are big cats that are similar to Ragdolls! So if you are thinking of holding a cat like this on your lap, it would be best to learn how to hold these cats on YouTube first. Despite their large size, you can easily pick them up once you have learned the trick.

How do I know if my cat is a Ragamuffin?

There are only two ways to know for sure if you have a Ragamuffin – you have certified papers from TICA or CFA or another professional cat organization in your country or you do a cat DNA test to find out.

Ragamuffins are large cats with plush coats and long tails, which makes them appear larger than their actual size. Their heads are usually medium-sized, but their fur can make it look bigger. Another common trait of Ragamuffin cats is that they have oval eyes and a well-developed chin.

Do all Ragamuffin cats have blue eyes?

Unlike Ragdolls which come with bright blue eyes, Ragamuffin cats come with different eye colors! Some may have blue eyes, while others may have a different eye color.

Are Ragamuffin cats talkative?

In general, we can’t classify this breed as talkative, but that’s not to say that they are silent. If the situation requires, these cats can be very vocal, and usually tend to stick with their owners. Another great fact about this breed is that they only reach maturity after 4-5 years – This means that you get at least 4-5 years to enjoy a cute and playful kitten!

Do Ragamuffins like to be held?

Yes, these cats like to be held. In fact, they crave their owners’ attention. These cats can go along with children and even other pets (like cats and dogs). So if you are thinking of getting a new pet for the house, then you can’t go wrong with a Ragamuffin!

Are Ragamuffins rare?

If you rank the felines based on their rareness, this breed ranks at the #33 spot, which tells us that, yes, they are fairly rare.

Videos of Ragamuffins

If you search “Ragamuffin cat” on YouTube, you can find a lot of videos showing this beautiful cat breed! These cats resemble Ragdolls, but a closer inspection can reveal the subtle differences between the two.

Both cat breeds are a great choice for children, but some people say that Ragamuffins can prove to be a better choice than the Ragdolls. In general, you can’t go wrong with either breed. Both are big, fluffy, and like to play with humans!

Did you like our article on Ragamuffin Cat? Then have a look at more cool articles:

What are your experiences with Ragamuffin vs. Ragdoll cats? What Ragamuffin cat facts do you know? Ragdoll cat facts?

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Hi, I’m Jenny Dean, creator of Floppycats! Ever since my Aunt got the first Ragdoll cat in our family, I have loved the breed. Inspired by my childhood Ragdoll cat, Rags, I created Floppycats to connect, share and inspire other Ragdoll cat lovers around the world,

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    When I received Louis Vuitton into my home he was the most beautiful kitten in the world I’d ever seen black and white he has the V shape on his face and it’s very symmetrical and then he’s got white with black designs I call it designs on his back and a black towel white feet I was told he is his mother is a rag doll and that his father is Maine Coon but his eyes are very beautiful yellow with like deep sunsets and so I tend to lean more on the side that he’s a rag muffin mom’s ragmuffin that’s Maine coon pure white so I would like to send a picture of them to you and I would like for you to give me your opinion on things and I’ve read your article very in-depth and I really enjoy reading your information and in this literature that you put out for us to have to meditate on and educate our brains however if I send you a picture of him tell me what you think and then I have a plain black cat she was found a rescue when she was a kitten walking down the road and I raised her and she’s a beautiful cat very small she’s like half his size he’s 7 months old and he’s already got her pregnant I was curious to know if she’s playing black and he is black and white half Maine coon half rag muffin what do you think the kittens are going to turn out to look like?

  2. Ragamuffins do come with points. My little girl’s sire was pointed but hers is too, but not a obvious and she has a white belly.

  3. We have a black spayed female ragdoll named Silver. She’s a year old and doing great! Sticks to my daughter like glue. She always keeps my daughter in sight and follows her from room to room. She doesn’t like to be held but only cuddles my daughter and comes to me for her nightly “luvin’s” (Being pet & massage) before I go to bed, then she goes back to my daughters room. Very silky soft hair. Is a talker, like ALL the time. She seems satisfied when I talk back with silly answers & questions, to which she’s answers back. Cracks my daughter up!
    I just got a little boy kitten ragdoll. He is 8 weeks old. Doing great, but…. this is my first indoor male kitty! He will be neutered when he gets a little older and bigger. He is also doing very well. I’ve heard the boys a more chill, which he totally is compaired to his sister that we also have and the plain is to rehoming her around 12 weeks. The 2 babies are at my end of the house, slowly letting Silver get used to them with screen doors keeping babies on one side and Silver on the other. We are taking it at Silvers pace since she was an only child for the past year..
    My question is that I read boys can get uti easy, can anyone share some insight and some do’s and dont’s for him?

    1. Avoid UTIs by feeding wet food only. No cat should eat dry food, it dehydrates them. Cats are evolved to get all their moisture from their food, they have a low thirst drive. Make sure to only feed high quality wet food.

      Also, in the future if you want a pedigree cat, do your research! There is no such thing as a black Ragdoll. You ended up paying for a mixed breed domestic long hair that you could easily find in the shelter. And responsible breeders wont adopt out their kittens until 12 weeks so they can be properly socialized. Having two 8 week old “Ragdoll” kittens sounds to me like it came from a suspect breeder. It’s okay to make mistakes—but please learn from them and do research!

  4. I got Oberon the Ragamuffin in 1997. My precious Kitty had died (just a regular old domestic short-haired silver tabby). She had been my constant companion for 13 years and I was devastated. I didn’t plan on getting another cat. I didn’t want one and I wasn’t ready for one. Anyway, my sister thought I needed one and she brought me this absolutely itty bitty kitty in a plastic jewelry bag.

    He was so tiny, I thought he was a stuffed kitty. Only he moved. He was an adorable black and white “tuxedo” type cat with huge green eyes. I thought he looked too young to be away from his mum, but my sister said he was 10 weeks. I now know that he was 4 weeks at best. I didn’t feed him from a bottle, but he was always clingy to me and he had this comfort habit of sucking on my earlobe when he fell asleep at night. I think he was deeply psychologically damaged. This may be why he had some of the behaviors that he had that seem uncharacteristic of the breed.

    He grew to be an average of around 24 lbs., so that itty bitty kitty only lasted for a minute. Physically, he had the large breed characteristics similar to the Ragdoll. He had the shorter nosed, triangular face, long hair, large paws, and sturdy build (long bodied, thick sturdy legs, and long expressive tail). He had the silky hair that didn’t really mat unless you let it go a very long time. He had a little fatty stomach patch, but he wasn’t ever really what I’d call fat. He was a very large, muscular cat.

    Just like a ragdoll, he would go limp and I could carry him like a baby. He also liked to sprawl like my ragdoll and he’d let me carry him around for as long as I could take it! One thing that was very particular about him, that seems different from my ragdoll and may or may not be breed specific is that he was a very expressive ‘tail talker.’ Gus, my ragdoll, has a very full lovely tail that seems a little short for his size, but he is not expressive with his tail at all. He generally holds it straight out like a fox. Obie, my ragamuffin, had a long, luxurious tail that he liked to hold vertically, and you could tell his every thought by his tail.

    Both of my cats were and are very subtle about getting your attention. Neither was loud or frequent meowers, but they would get your attention even if they have to talk at you. Obie would brush you lightly with his whiskers. Gus will cuddle you. Both cats seemed to know when you were upset or sick and comfort you with their bodies.

    The difference in personalities may have been, as I said above, because of Obie’s being separated from his momma way too young. Oberon was very protective of me. He was wary of others and even though he liked people and would check them out and allow them to pick him up, he wouldn’t seek out other people for his comfort. Only me. He was also more aggressive than my ragdoll.

    Gus accepts everyone equally no matter your age, sex, or species. He adored his sister when he got her, he took to the dog, he loves people and is curious about anyone who comes to visit. Obie was very bossy with any other creatures. I dogsat a colleague’s teacup Yorkie for a week, and he was a yappy little monster. Obie put up with it for a few days. Then the dog took it too far and was yapping at Obie, who outweighed him by 20 pounds. Obie smacked that dog (no claws) and rolled him down the hallway 4 feet. Then he lifted his tail with a flick and jumped up in the window. The dog had nothing to say after that.

    I had 2 other cats at the same time as Obie, who came after him. He tolerated them, but he was never really super friendly with them. Gus took to his 2 years younger sister almost immediately and they became good friends. Obie hissed at anyone that he thought was taking me away from him. He hated my sister and my mother and hissed at them. It was weird. He tolerated my husband. Gus could care less.

    Anyway, that was long and I don’t know if it’s helpful, but that’s my recollection of the differences between the two breeds as I experienced it.

    1. Love it, thanks, Jill for sharing your experience with each cat of each breed!

  5. SUPER PAWESOME & FABULOUS POST, Jenny honey! Great topic & information! I really learned A LOT! TYSVM!!! 😉 <3

    Big hugs & lots of love & purrs!

    Patti & Miss Pink Sugarbelle 🙂 <3 <3 <3

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