Ragdoll Cat Breed: Colors and Patterns
Ragdoll cats come in a variety of patterns and colors. Each one is absolutely beautiful and elegant in its own right. The Ragdoll cat pictured above, Dandenong Tora Rhianne, is a Seal Mitted with a blaze. The blaze is the white stripe that goes down the center of the nose.
The Ragdoll cat has a soft semi-long coat which does not require as regular a grooming as many other long-haired cat breeds. Ragdolls are born white (unless they are minks) and Ragdoll patterns and colors come in slowly.
You can tell seal and blue anywhere from a few days to a week, but you cannot determine chocolate and lilac for 3-4 weeks. All color is completely evident by 8-12 weeks but Ragdoll patterns and colors do not come for about 2 years.
Any cat that is a color-pointed breed (like a Ragdoll, Birman, Himalayan, Siamese, etc.) will color later in life basically because the point gene reacts to the surrounding warmth. As a result, all point kittens that have been inside their mom, with a constant warm temperature will be born as (almost) complete white.
The moment the kittens start to be exposed to the lower ambient temperature they start to color. Since their extremities will tend to be colder, they will color the fastest. Ragdoll cats will continue to color with age (the older, the less blood will flow through the veins…the darker the cat will become) and they will also continue to vary with season.
Some full grown Ragdolls will be a hint lighter in summer than in winter. Any cat that is a point will color later in life basically because the point gene reacts to the surrounding warmth.
As a result, all pointed kittens that have been inside their mom, with a constant warm temperature will be born as (almost) complete white. The moment the kittens start to be exposed to the lower ambient temperature they start to color. And given that their extremities will tend to be colder, they will color the fastest.
They will continue to color with age (the older, the less blood will flow through the veins… the darker the cat will become) and they will also continue to vary with season. Some full grown Ragdolls will be a hint lighter in summer than in winter.
Here is a list of the different Ragdoll cat coat colors. If you are looking for pictures of specific Ragdoll color patterns, they will be on each of the following pages.
Are you interested in knowing what types of Ragdoll color patterns produce what color patterns in kittens? If so, please click on either link below to find out more.
Ragdoll Cat Breeds
About the Ragdoll Cat Breed:
The Ragdoll cat breed has been around since the 1960s, and was started by a sole breeder – Ann Baker, who was based in California. That first cat, Josephine, was of a Persian/Angora type. Josephine reportedly changed her demeanor after she was hit by a car, and her litters after the accident became a lot more docile, relaxed and going limp when picked up – hence the naming of ragdoll breeds.
Baker didn’t register the breed with the normal cat-breeding associations, trademarked the brand and tried to impose heavy fees on anyone trying to produce and sell a litter of the Ragdoll cat breed. Eventually, breeders broke away from Baker’s own International Ragdoll Cat Association and were able to develop the current ragdoll standards that are recognized by the Cat Fancier’s Association (CFA).
There are strict limitations on the colors and patterns of Ragdoll cat breeds, as well as a number of other points that a cat is scored on before it is registered as purebred. Traditional Ragdolls have blue eyes that should be large, wide set and moderately slanted, and a long coat with minimal wooly undercoat. When a cat is scored it’ll be penalized if the eyes are too small, too round or either a very pale blue or so dark that they look black.
You can check the CRA’s website for the individual standards by color and pattern, each with various criteria for penalizing or disqualifying a cat from being accepted as a Ragdoll breed. The full list of standards can be viewed here.
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Aside from color, Ragdoll cats also display various patterns. As defined by the Cat Fancier’s Association, here are the main patterns observed in Ragdoll cats and their main characteristics:
The Bi-Color Pattern
For bi-color Ragdoll cats, the points are restricted to the ears, tail, mask, and saddle area, where they appear shaded. The mask is white and it looks like an inverted “V”, which remains within the outer edges of the eyes. Please note that symmetry is preferred for this color pattern. The nose leather is pink.
The body appears colored like this – the cat’s chin, chest, and underside are white, while its upper body may display spotting. ITs legs and its feet are entirely white, which is the preferred variant. They may also display minor dark spots.
The paw pads are preferred to be pink in color, but a mixture of colors on the paw pads and the fur are acceptable because of the presence of two colors in the pattern. Please note that to determine the color, the point color of the ears is the deciding factor.
It is cause for penalties if the “V” extends beyond the outer edges of the eyes or if it is excessively asymmetrical. White markings on the ears may also lead to penalties. If the “V” is absent or if it has dark spotting, the cat is disqualified. This is also the case if the cat presents extensive dark areas on any of its legs.
The Van Pattern
For this pattern, the point color is restricted to the ears, tail, and mask. The color of the ears and tails is dense and clearly defined. Minor white spotting is allowed. The mask maybe limited to the upper part and it may display some gradual fading in color.
The body, the legs, and the feet of the van pattern cat must be pure, glistening white. Please note that minor spotting is allowed. The nose leather and the paw pads are pink.
Should the cat present more than 20% color on the body, this is cause for penalties. If the point color on the head or the tail is absent entirely, then the cat is disqualified.
The Colorpoint Pattern
For this Ragdoll cat pattern, the point appear darker, with a well-defined color on the ears, mask, feet, and tail. The nose leather and paw prints are fully pigmented and they match the color of the point.
There is a definite contrast between the body and the points. The chest, bib, and chin areas may be somewhat lighter in color. Please note that the presence of any locket or white spot anywhere on the cat’s body is cause for disqualification.
The Mitted Pattern
Mitted Ragdoll cats display points in well-defined colors on the legs (except for the feet), ears, mask, and tail. They may even have a white blaze shaped like a star, a diamond, an hourglass or a line in one patch or broken, centrally, and symmetrically located anywhere from the top of the nose leather to the forehead.
The chin has to be white and it must extend into a white stripe on the belly. The front feet display white mittens, which must be evenly matched. It is preferred that these go up to the wrist joint. On the hind legs, the white must go up to and around the hocks entirely and it must extend no higher than mid-thigh.
The nose leather appears to be fully pigmented and it must match the color of the point. As for the paw pads, these must be pink, but they may display minor spotting of color, which corresponds to the color of the points. The body must be in definite contrast with the points.
Mitted Ragdoll cats must also have a white belly stripe, which may vary in width from the bib, between the forelegs, down the midline of the cat’s underside. Please note that soft shadings are allowed on the body. Keep in mind that the full color is achieved at 2 years of age and that the absence of the white chin is cause for disqualification.
Ragdoll Cat Markings and Colors – FAQs
Now that you’ve seen all the main colors, patterns, and markings, we have even more interesting info about Ragdoll cat characteristics. We’ve prepared a list of the most frequently asked questions about Ragdoll colors and patterns.
What is the most popular Ragdoll color and pattern?
The most popular Ragdoll color is the seal point. This is what the traditional Ragdoll cat looks like and this is what people expect to get when it comes to Raggies.
After the seal point comes the blue point Ragdoll, which has dazzled many cat lovers with its lavishly good looks and steel gray coat. The next Ragdoll on the popular list is the lilac. This off-white shade with lavender-pink tones is truly exceptional, so people are looking for this particular type of Raggie.
What are the rarest Ragdoll colors?
In spite of their popularity, lilac Ragdolls are still very rare. Another rare sight is the flame point Ragdoll cat. Raggies that come in these colors are very important for ragdoll cat breeding purposes because they possess this rare set of genes that gives these remarkable colors.
Are all Ragdoll cats born white?
Yes, regardless of the final color they have, all Ragdoll kittens are born entirely white. Then, in the first few weeks of their lives, they start to develop the color of their coat.
While some of them might take approximately one month to be visible, others take much longer. For instance, it takes as long as two years for mitted Ragdolls to develop their final coloration pattern.
How can I tell what color my Ragdoll kitten is?
To find out which color your Ragdoll kitten is you have to wait at least one month. In the first part of their lives, all Raggies are white, but then, they gradually get their coloration.
After only a few days, you can get some hints, but it takes as long as 3-4 weeks to see if you have a chocolate or a lilac Ragdoll cat. The color becomes completely visible at 8-12 weeks, but for the patterns to finalize, it might take as long as 2 years, as is the case for mitted Ragdolls. So, be patient, and enjoy exploring your cat’s coloration!
Do Ragdoll cats change color?
Yes, they do. The most spectacular color change in Ragdoll cats is that caused by temperature. It is most visible when the cat is exposed to heat or cold for an extended amount of time.
While this is unlikely to happen in normal conditions, the temperature-related color change becomes visible when the cat’s body temperature goes either up or down. When their body temp is high, the fur on their bodies (not their legs or extremities) becomes visibly lighter in tone.
Then, in turn, when their body temp goes down, the fur on their bodies becomes darker in tone. If you notice any change in your Ragdoll cat’s fur color, you should first take its temperature and then take it to the vet for a checkup.
Do Ragdolls change colors when they get old?
Yes, they do. When Ragdoll cats become old, their senior years will be marked by the whitening of their fur. This becomes particularly visible on their faces, but it is not restricted to this.
First, their coats will become darker on their bodies and their extremities. This is a response to their chronic drop in body temperature, which is considered normal for senior cats. Aside from that, they might get some white hairs on their faces.
When do Ragdolls get fluffier?
Temperature is the main factor that determines the fluffiness of your Ragdoll cat’s coat. This is different in the cold season and in the warm season.
During the colder months of the year, the Raggie gets its winter coat, which is visibly fluffier, but then, when the warmer months arrive, it will begin to shed and it will be left with a smoother and shorter coat.
What is a traditional Ragdoll cat?
The typical color for a Ragdoll cat is the seal point. It’s all in the history of the Ragdoll cat. The very first Raggie, named Josephine was what we now call a seal point and all the Ragdoll cats in the world are essentially her descendants.
The typical colors for Raggies were the four standard Himalayan – Seal, Chocolate, Lilac, and Blue. As for the patterns, these were solid points, from their Siamese part, mitted, from their Birman part, and bi-colors.
As you can see, there are plenty of color markings for Ragdoll cats. This wonderful cat breed comes in seal, blue, lilac, chocolate, flame, cream, and tortie. There are also various patterns they can display, such as bi-color, van, colorpoint, and mitted. Which is your favorite of them all? What color is your Ragdoll cat? How long did it take before its color was completely visible? Tell us all about it in the comments section below.
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