Vital Stats:Life Span: 12 to 16 years
If you are wondering if the Ragamuffin is related to the Ragdoll, the answer is yes. Some breeders wanted to introduce new colors and patterns while others thought it was important to widen the breed’s gene pool. Because the breeding of Ragdolls was strictly controlled by that breed’s founder, Ann Baker, a new group formed to create its own breed. They outcrossed to Persians, Himalayans and domestic longhaired cats, to increase the size and to bring about other changes in appearance that would differentiate the Ragamuffin from the Ragdoll. The name Ragamuffin was chosen in part as an homage to the founding breed.
Cat associations that recognize the Ragamuffin are the United Feline Organization—the first to do so—the American Cat Fanciers Association, the American Association of Cat Enthusiasts, and the Cat Fanciers Federation. The Ragamuffin most recently gained full recognition from the Cat Fanciers Association, in February 2011.
Females usually weigh 10 to 15 pounds, and some males weigh more than 20 pounds.
Like his cousin the Ragdoll, the Ragamuffin is a huggable lug who wants nothing more than to follow his people around and sit in a lap whenever possible. A nice combination of sweet and smart, he is often described as puppylike for his friendly personality and willingness to play fetch, learn tricks and walk on a leash. He greets visitors warmly and would meet you at the door with a martini if only he had opposable thumbs.
The Ragamuffin is known for his docile nature. He loves to be held like a baby and will completely relax into your arms. Ragamuffins like to play but are good about limiting their attentions to their toys and scratching posts, not your furniture. It is rare to nonexistent for them to lay a claw on a person.
This is a mellow cat but one who craves attention. Don’t get a Ragamuffin if you will have to leave him alone for many hours every day.
Both pedigreed cats and mixed-breed cats have varying incidences of health problems that may be genetic in nature. Ragamuffins are generally healthy, but be sure to ask a breeder about the incidence of health problems in her lines and what testing has been done for any that are genetic in nature. It’s also smart not to let this big cat overeat. He is large, to be sure, but he shouldn’t be fat.
The Ragamuffin’s soft coat is long, but its texture is tangle-resistant. Weekly brushing or combing is all that’s needed to remove dead hairs and keep it looking beautiful.
Brush the teeth to prevent periodontal disease. Daily dental hygiene is best, but weekly brushing is better than nothing. Trim the nails every couple of weeks. Wipe the corners of the eyes with a soft, damp cloth to remove any discharge. Use a separate area of the cloth for each eye so you don’t run the risk of spreading any infection.
Check the ears weekly. If they look dirty, wipe them out with a cotton ball or soft damp cloth moistened with a 50-50 mixture of cider vinegar and warm water. Avoid using cotton swabs, which can damage the interior of the ear.
Keep the litter box spotlessly clean. Cats are very particular about bathroom hygiene.
The Ragamuffin has a fearless personality, so it’s never a good idea to let him go outside. He has no notion that other people or animals might mean him harm and is not “street smart” in the least. Ragamuffins who go outdoors also run the risk of being stolen by someone who would like to have such a beautiful cat without paying for it.
Coat Color And Grooming
The Ragamuffin’s breed standard describes him as a cuddly feline teddy bear. He is characterized by his large size, large walnut-shaped eyes that can be any color, sweet expression, and variety of colors and patterns. One of the interesting facts about the breed is that kittens are born white, then develop their color or pattern as they mature.
Some of the differences between the Ragamuffin and the Ragdoll are seen in the face. For instance, the Ragamuffin has full cheeks and the eyes are walnut-shaped rather than oval.
The Ragamuffin has a broad, modified-wedge-shaped head with a rounded appearance. It’s supported by a short, heavy, strong neck that is especially apparent in males. Mature males are known for their jowls, giving them something of the look of a crusty old brigadier general. The broad-chested body is muscular and heavy, often with a pad of fat on the lower abdomen. A long, fully furred tail looks as if it would make a nice, soft bottlebrush.
Medium to medium-long fur is rabbit soft, dense and silky. It’s slightly longer around the neck, on the sides and belly, and on the hind legs. The paws and ears are furnished with tufts of fur as well. The coat comes in every color and pattern.
This is a large cat, and they mature slowly, not reaching their full size until they are four years old.
Children And Other Pets
The calm and even-tempered Ragamuffin is an ideal family cat. He doesn’t mind being held or carried around by a child or dressed up and pushed in a baby buggy. He is playful and smart, one of those cats who enjoys playing fetch and learning tricks, and his energy level means he won’t wear out before the child does.
Always teach children how to hold the cat properly, supporting both the hind end and the front end, and have little children pet him while they are sitting on the floor or on a sofa so they can be on the same level as the cat without trying to hold him. After all, he may weigh more than they do.
The Ragamuffin is also friendly toward other pets, including dogs, other cats, birds, rodents and lizards. To this gentle giant, everyone is his friend. Nonetheless, it’s always a good idea to introduce pets slowly and in controlled circumstances to ensure that they learn to get along together.