Last Updated on July 8, 2021 by Jenny
Ragdolls are some of the most beloved cat breeds in the entire world due to their fascinating looks, but most importantly, due to their amazing personality. They are considered to be the most docile cat breed out there. In fact, this has been taken to the level of stereotype and more and more people buy Ragdoll cats convinced that what they will get is exactly what The International Cat Association describes this breed to be.
However, every single cat is unique. While it is true that the Ragdoll cat breed displays an array of common characteristics, personality traits depend on a wide variety of factors. The result is strictly personalized to the individual and may lead to more or less significant differences from the breed staple. Therefore, when purchasing a Ragdoll cat, or any other cat breed out there, it is extremely important that people are aware of the fact that the information they have on the breed’s personality traits is meant only as a guideline.
As opposed to physical characteristics, there can be no assurance that the cat they have gotten, even with the best of pedigrees from the Ragdoll Fancier Cat Association or other institutions, will present the breed’s personality characteristics exactly as they are described. Mind you that some characteristics will be present to a certain extent, while others will only be scarcely there.
This article covers the main traits of Ragdoll cat personality. First, we are going to relay the breed standard and then, we are going to compare it to the personal experiences of actual Ragdoll cat owners who frequent this website’s social media accounts. Many of our Floppycats fans have been kind enough to tell us about the personality of their own Raggies and we have summarized their testimonials to compare it to the standard characteristics.
Ragdoll Cat Breed – Main Personality Traits
Developed by Ann Baker in the 60’s, the Ragdoll has become one of the most appreciated cat breeds in the world because it has all the characteristics that people want in a cat. In the following section of this article, you can find the main personality traits of this amazing breed:
The Ragdoll Effect
Ragdoll cats will be completely relaxed when they are picked up. They will lie limp, just like dolls, which is part of how this breed has gotten its name. This is the staple behavior when it comes to the Ragdoll cat breed and it is the specific trait that everybody expects to notice when getting a Ragdoll cat. As we have mentioned above, whether or not this will be present depends entirely on the individual.
Ragdolls love humans
The most striking characteristic of Ragdoll cats is their affinity towards humans. They are very fond of their masters, but they are also extremely interested in socializing with other people as well. This may mean house guests, but it also includes other strangers. In fact, their curiosity towards people is so intense that a lot of cases were reported where Ragdoll cats that were along outside were stolen because they did not protest to being taken away by somebody else than their masters.
Ragdolls are personal bodyguards
It’s more than their blue eyes that makes the Ragdoll one of the most popular cat breeds in the entire world. These cats will build a very strong bond with their masters and one way they are going to show it is proximity. This means that they will follow their masters wherever they go around the house, including the bathroom. However, as opposed to other affectionate cat breeds such as the Siamese, Scottish Fold and the Birman, they are never pushy. Ragdolls are known to be excellent companions. They will spend hours on end next to their masters, but they will rarely bother them with anything.
Ragdolls are puppy-dog cats
The personality of Ragdoll cats has often been compared to that of dogs and for good reason. One of the dog-like behavior traits that lots of Raggies display is their playfulness. The similarity becomes quite obvious when Ragdolls play fetch, which is something that many of them enjoy doing. Moreover, Ragdolls have been observed to be easily socialized with dogs, which is quite the rare trait among cats.
Raggies are extremely relaxed and brilliantly floppy
Another famous trait displayed by this breed is a very even disposition. While other domestic longhairs may be more adventurous and have a more tumultuous personality, Ragdolls are laid back and relaxed most of the time. This also contributes to the story of their name because a lot of Ragdoll owners feel that they have these living dolls around the house. It also makes Ragdoll kittens some of the most adorable juniors out there.
Ragdolls are not big climbers
While most domesticated cats love to climb on furniture, shelves, trees, and anything they have around, Ragdoll cats will usually choose to stay at ground level. On particularly adventurous days, they will get to sofa level because this is about as far as their interest in heights goes. This also adds to their docile personas that has made them so popular because with Raggies, there are no sudden movements, jumps, or falls.
Ideal Owners for Ragdoll Cats
Based on their personality, Ragdoll cats are an amazing match for people who want a relaxed cat and a close companion. Their extremely docile personality and their impressive patience makes them an excellent fit for families with children.
Ragdolls will not protest when interacting with the little ones, which any cat owner knows can be rather complicated. Children are often too eager when playing with cats and some cats do not tolerate such behavior, which could prove dangerous. But with Ragdolls, this is not the case.
This breed of cat is ideal for busy households because they have independent personalities, do not require constant attention or a very long play schedule. They actually enjoy spending time lounging on the couch or a cat bed, which is the perfect way to spend the day while the family is away.
Ragdolls are also an amazing choice for families with dogs. It is probably the best breed to have if you want to maintain a good relationship between a cat and dog within the same household. This is yet another one of the amazing traits that sets this breed apart from other crowd-favorites such as British Shorthairs, American Shorthairs or the Manx calico cats.
The Ragdoll Myth
What we have described in the section above represents the outline of the Ragdoll cat personality. This information has been corroborated by Ragdoll cat owners, thus generating a frenzy among cat fanciers. Considering this breed’s seductive good looks, the heartwarming story around its docile behavior, and the key comparison to a ragdoll has made this breed a legend.
While this has brought many advantages for the development of Ragdolls, it has also led to some very unfortunate situations. Countless families have purchased the classic bicolor Ragdoll expecting to have a an actual living doll in the house. But Ragdolls are not toys and having a litter box, cat food and a water bowl is certainly not enough to ensure proper pet care for this breed.
When they found out that docile had a limit and that cats come with a wide range of needs, a lot of these families that were fascinated with the Ragdoll stereotype then decided to rehouse their cats or they simply abandoned them. Resorting to such methods is extremely unfortunate, which is why people have to know that there is so much more to Ragdolls than the myth created around this breed.
Most individuals will display the characteristics we have listed, but these will be present in certain proportions. While some Ragdolls are floppy and docile, they are rather vocal or not particularly affectionate. Others are affectionate, but they keep their meowing to a minimum, or endless combinations of the possible traits.
When getting a Ragdoll cat, even from a reputable breeder, there is no guarantee that the cat will live up to the myth. Furthermore, we strongly advise people looking to get cats to do extensive research before making this step.
Aside from having long silky fur, blue eyes, and a wonderful personality, Ragdolls are a big long-term responsibility and only those who are ready for it should make the step.
The Development of the Cat’s Personality
As we have mentioned above, the personality of a cat, regardless of its breed and the described standards, depends entirely on the individual. Similar to the development of children, the experiences that cats have during the first months of life have an enormous impact on the character traits they will develop as adults. Some of the factors that greatly impact cat psychology are as follows:
- the kitten’s state of health
- the relationship between the kitten and its mother
- the relationship between the kitten and its siblings
- the relationship between the kitten and its master(s)
- the environment that the kitten grows up in
Out of the five factors mentioned above, the last two will influence the cat’s personality the most. With Ragdolls, the relationship with the master(s) is even more important than it is for other breeds due to their attachment to humans.
How the masters welcome the kitten, the amount of time they spend with it, if they talk to it and engage in a meaningful connection, and most of all, the amount of affection they show it will build the character of the adult cat.
However, it does depend entirely on the masters to offer the kitten a good start. There are certain traumatic events that can influence the kitten’s progress, such as the moment when it is separated from its mother and siblings or any diseases it may suffer from in this period.
Then, how the cat reacts to all of these events, changes, and processes will shape the personality it will have as an adult. This is where individuality comes in and makes the individual unique.
Ragdoll Cat Personality – Our Readers’ Stories
Up to this point, we have pointed out how the personality patterns of the Ragdoll breed makes these cats some of the most popular in the entire world. The traits described in the breed characteristics should be interpreted as an outline of what the individual will be like. As such, when getting a Ragdoll cat, there are certain personality traits that you can expect it to have, but these are not guaranteed to be present.
To see how similar or different Ragdoll cats can be to the breed standard, I decided to ask our readers to tell us about their cats’ personalities. Many of them answered us and told us about their Ragdoll cats. Here are some of the ideas we gathered:
- Almost all of the Raggies we were told about are very close to their masters. They follow them around the house, they maintain their proximity, but they are not insistent.
- Very few of them enjoy sitting on their master’s lap or being petted on their bellies. There were also quite a few cuddlers.
- Many of the Raggies are cuddly with their masters at night, but are quite independent by day.
- Quite a few of them prefer to sleep with their masters, next to their heads, between their legs, or just close to them.
- A lot of the Raggies are independent, playful, and quite active. They can entertain themselves by playing around the house.
- Most of them are not very vocal and meow to ask for food or demand attention.
A vital aspect we’ve noticed about the Ragdoll cats in our readers’ comments is the impressive diversity between individuals of the same breed. Each of these cats had its very own pattern in terms of personality.
But the most important thing we’ve noticed is the great affection with which our readers described their cats. Each and every comment was filled with immense warmth. This shows that no matter how active, talkative, floppy, or clingy your Ragdoll cat may be, you are inevitably going to fall in love with it!