One of the most affectionate of all cats with a lushly sumptuous coat, the Ragamuffin is the essence of a perfect pet! Often confused with its cousin, the Ragdoll, the two are completely separate breeds. Not much is known how the Ragamuffin breed was developed, although it's likely that it was developed by crossing long-haired cats like the Persian, Birman, and Turkish Angora. This lovely, personable cat will be your "little" shadow, although it is not exactly petite. Large for a cat, amplified by heavy bone structure and plenty of natural padding, females tip the scales at between 8 and 13 pounds, and males weigh in at 14 to 20 pounds, which is larger than many small dogs!
There's no definitive documentation of the origin of the Ragamuffin. Experts believe at least in part that the breed was developed by Ragdoll breeders who wanted more than just a color point coat. It is known, however, that an "average" long-haired white domestic cat was injured in a car accident in the 1960s and taken to a laboratory at the University of California. After her recovery, her next kittens were very friendly, as were subsequent litters. Ann Baker was a cat breeder who purchased several of the kittens from the owner and decided to create the Ragdoll. She trademarked the name so that any cat named "Ragdoll" was subject to stringent standards and registrations were limited to the organization she created, the International Ragdoll Cat Association. In 1975, however, a group of members defected with the intention of giving Ragdolls more exposure and mainstream recognition, whereupon the Ragdoll was then developed under the current standard.
In 1994, a second group left Baker's IRCA and frivolously named their group of cats "Ragamuffins." Although the name was created in jest, when the registries would not change it, the name became official. Ragamuffins come in a multitude of colors and patterns; can have points or no points; can include white in its coat; and a number of other possible variations. However, those with points or pointed with white colors are not eligible to be shown, but can be registered with the American Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) where the breed is recognized. It is also accepted by the Cat Fanciers Federation and the American Association of Enthusiasts.
A large cat with long, luxurious, silky fur magnificently lush to the touch, the Ragamuffin has exquisitely expressive eyes that can melt a heart of stone. The Ragamuffin is no fine-boned delicate creature, either. With a substantial, cushy heft and a significantly padded belly, the Ragamuffin is the epitome of sensual pleasure. Except for cats with points or white coats with points, any color or pattern is accepted for show. The more unique the coat, the more highly it is esteemed. In adulthood, Ragamuffins are hefty animals, males weighing between 14 and 20 pounds and females a little more than half that size.
You'll find no sweeter cat on this planet except for perhaps the Ragamuffin's cousin, the Ragdoll. Ragamuffins bond extremely closely with their owners and have none of the classic "aloof" personality characteristics that are so often associated with cats. Instead, your pet will seek your affection whenever you're nearby, attempting to lock gazes with you to implore your attention. Perhaps even more endearing, Ragamuffins are wonderful listeners and actually seem to know when you're talking to them. Your pet will soak up every word you say – and ask for more. Ragamuffins make wonderful pets for owners who live alone because they provide such wonderful company. Ragamuffin owners call their pets "addictive," because these kitties are so adorable and such teddy bears to hold. In fact, many owners claim that one Ragamuffin is never enough! And indeed, while it's true that Ragamuffins are content as individual cats, they also appreciate the company of other feline friends, especially another Ragamuffin. They're so amicable that they even value the camaraderie of your dog – and absolutely cherish your children. In fact, they are so patient, kind, and long-suffering with little ones, they will even put up with being dressed in doll clothes, something you won't find with just any cat.
Unlike most cats, the Ragamuffin is actually very obedient and will even let you teach it tricks. Similar to certain dogs, this cat will strive to please you (another unusual personality trait for a cat) and will generally do just about anything you want it to.
Incidentally, the "Ragamuffin" name comes from the fact that your kitty is likely to "go ragdoll," or relax completely like a helpless, limp dishrag in your arms. Ragamuffins are notorious for seeking the warmth of your caresses and respond fondly to an abundance of pampering. While they luxuriate in the security of your lap, they can snap into action at the sight of a favorite toy.
Finally, make sure you keep your pet solely indoors unless you carry it with you. This breed is very trusting and will get into trouble if allowed outside without your guidance. However, if you wish to take your pet for a walk, it should accept a harness very well without any complaint and be eager to take a stroll with you.
Apartment living is fine for the Ragamuffin, as with the Ragdoll and most cats breeds, although large house living also suits this very agreeable pet just fine. Just make sure the cat won’t exit the home through some remote door if not properly supervised.
Ragamuffins live long, healthy lives – an astonishing 18 years are possible, in fact, with an average of 12 to 16 years. Thanks to advances in veterinary medicine, this life span can extend even longer.
That said, the Ragamuffin is prone to some health problems common to any breed, most typically hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, the most prevalent type of heart disease in cats. However, the genetic mutation that causes hypertrophic cardiomyopathy has been identified, and a gene test that identifies HCM in cats has been developed so that breeders can screen cats and remove them from breeding programs. However, although it certainly is possible to avoid breeding cats that show the HCM gene, some cats will develop HCM anyway and it is NEVER possible to guarantee that your cat will escape its effects.
Another common health problem for cats is polycystic kidney disease, which causes kidney failure. Although a genetic test is available, there still can be no complete guarantee that kidney disease will not develop. However, your breeder should be able to provide you with assurance that a kitten's parents have been screened for polycystic kidney disease and HCM. Avoid breeders who will not give you a kitten's health guarantee in writing.
Unlike most long-haired cats, the Ragamuffin's medium-to-long, silky coat is not subject to matting or tangling. If your cat has a predominance of Persian genes in its ancestry, though, matting may be more of a problem. The coat is easy to groom. Gently use a stainless steel comb to rid the fur of excess hair once or twice a week. Since this cat is amenable to any kind of attention especially when accompanied by your sincere love, grooming can be a positive experience for both of you. To encourage general overall health, it is recommended that you regularly brush your cat’s teeth with a vet-approved toothpaste. Also trim nails as needed, usually about every two weeks. Ear cleaning should be done as well, using cotton balls rather than cotton swabs.
Retrieved May 12, 2014.
Retrieved May 12, 2014.
Retrieved May 12, 2014.