Ragamuffin vs. Ragdoll Cats

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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

Ragdoll cats and Ragamuffin cats are commonly confused—in fact, some sites like PetMD use the names interchangeably. But according to the Cat Fancier’s Association, Ragdolls and Ragamuffins are two unique breeds with a few key differences in appearance.

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

If you’ve been unaware of the difference between Ragdolls and Ragamuffins, the good news is that they both make great pets. Both breeds are large, docile cats with very sweet personalities. However, 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 Ragdolls, and it is possible that this is what has led to the distinction between Ragdolls and Ragamuffins. 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 limp in the arms of someone holding her is where the Ragdoll cats get 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

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 Ragdoll breed, other related breeds began to spring up—for example, the Ragamuffin.

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.”

Appearance

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

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  1. 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.

  2. 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!

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