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Ragamuffin vs Ragdoll Cats: A Purrfect Showdown of Gentle Giants

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Ragamuffin vs Ragdoll Cats: Which Gentle Giant is Right for You?

The Ragamuffin and Ragdoll cats are the gentle giants of the cat world. These two breeds often get mistaken for each other due to their laid-back nature and strikingly similar looks. But if you’re looking to tell them apart quickly, just take a look at their eyes.

Although they have a lot in common, like their laid-back nature, they are still different and recognized as two distinct cat breeds. There’s a lot more to it than that, though, and we’re here to delve into the details.

Origins of Ragdoll vs. Ragamuffin Cats

Visual-Showing-the-Origins-and-History-of-Ragamuffin-Cat-breed and how they originated from Ragdolls


The origins of the Ragdoll and Ragamuffin cats are closely intertwined, yet distinct in their own right. The Ragdoll cat was crafted by Ann Baker in Riverside, California, during the 1960s. Her vision was to create the ultimate lap cat, characterized by an affectionate and gentle nature, striking blue eyes, and a silky, plush coat.

The breed quickly gained popularity for its placid temperament and stunning appearance, with Ragdolls famously going limp when held—hence the name “Ragdoll.”


In contrast, the Ragamuffin cat emerged from a desire to enhance and diversify the traits of the Ragdoll. By 1971, Baker had established The International Ragdoll Cat Association (IRCA) to maintain control over the breed’s development. However, dissatisfaction among breeders with the strict licensing fees and restrictions led to a split.

By 1975, these breeders formed their own Ragdoll Society, aiming to create a new breed that maintained the Ragdoll’s docile and friendly nature but featured a more robust physique and a greater variety in coat colors.

This led to the creation of the Ragamuffin, a delightful crossbreed of the Ragdoll with other long-haired cats, resulting in a more diverse genetic pool and an equally sweet temperament. Notably, the Ragamuffin cat breed was only officially recognized in 2003.

Physical Characteristics: Ragdoll Vs Ragamuffin Cats

Visual Showing the similarities and key differences in the physical characteristics between Ragdolls and  Ragamuffins


Ragdolls typically weighing around 15 pounds, though some can reach up to 21 pounds. Ragdolls have a silky, semi-long coat that is exclusively pointed, meaning their faces, tails, legs, and ears are a darker color than the rest of their body. They can also have white “boots” or “gloves” on their paws, adding to their elegant appearance. Ragdoll kittens are born white, with their point colors developing as they mature.

One of the most striking features of a Ragdoll is their eye color; they are known for their vivid blue eyes, which are oval-shaped and give them a captivating look. Their pointed coat pattern, combined with their striking blue eyes, makes them easily distinguishable from Ragamuffins.

Image showing a pure Ragdoll cat with focus on their vivid blue eyes


Ragamuffins, on the other hand, are also large, robust cats, typically weighing around 15 pounds, with some individuals reaching up to 20 pounds. Ragamuffins boast a thick, plush coat that comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns, including tabby, tortoiseshell, calico, solid coloring, tuxedo (bicolor), and even shaded or smoky.

An interesting feature is their long, plush tails, which add to their fluffy charm. All Ragamuffin kittens are born white, and their colors develop as they grow. Their eyes can be any color and are more rounded, similar to a walnut, giving them an expressive and irresistible look.

Personality and Temperament

Visual Showing the similarities and key differences in personality and temperament between Ragdolls and  Ragamuffins


Ragdolls often go limp when held, which is how they got their name. With a more laid-back personality compared to Ragamuffins, Ragdolls are perfect lap cats who enjoy lounging around the house. They are very affectionate and form strong bonds with their human companions.

Known to follow their owners around and participate in family activities, Ragdolls thrive on attention and love. While they are moderately trainable, they might not be as eager to learn new tricks as Ragamuffins. Their loving nature and patience make them excellent companions for children and other pets.


Ragamuffins are often described as the perfect companion for families, thanks to their exceptional patience and placid demeanor. Unlike the more laid-back Ragdolls, Ragamuffins are curious and playful, always eager to explore and learn new tricks. Their playful nature brings a sense of fun and adventure to any household.

This breed is highly trainable, which is quite surprising for a cat, and they get along well with children and other pets, making them an excellent choice for multi-pet households.

Care and Maintenance

Grooming Needs

Infographic: Grooming Needs of Ragamuffin Vs Ragdoll cats

Ragdolls have a medium-long coat that, while beautiful, can become tangled and matted if not properly maintained. They require more frequent grooming to prevent matting and keep their coat looking its best. Regular brushing is essential to maintain their silky fur and to reduce shedding.

Ragamuffins also have a medium-long, plush coat, but theirs is relatively more resistant to matting compared to Ragdolls. While they still require regular grooming to keep their fur in top condition, their coat is less prone to tangles.

Dietary Needs

Ragdolls need a balanced diet that provides all necessary nutrients, with an emphasis on high-quality, meat-based proteins. Regular feeding schedules and portion control are crucial to maintain a healthy weight, as they are prone to obesity if overfed.

Similarly, Ragamuffins have comparable nutritional needs to Ragdolls. They thrive on a diet rich in high-quality, meat-based nutrients. Owners should be particularly cautious about overfeeding, as Ragamuffins are naturally large cats and can easily gain weight if not monitored.

Health Concerns

When it comes to health, both Ragdoll and Ragamuffin cats basically suffer from the same main health issues. Although their lifespans are similar, Ragdolls tend to have a shorter lifespan than Ragamuffins.

With proper care, Ragdolls can live between 12 to 17 years. On the other hand, Ragamuffins tend to live longer, often between 12 to 18 years with proper care.

  1. Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM): Both Ragdolls and Ragamuffins are susceptible to HCM, a heart disease that causes the heart walls to thicken and reduces the heart’s efficiency in pumping blood.
  2. Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD): A genetic disorder that causes cysts to form on the kidneys, it is more commonly seen in Ragamuffins.
  3. Arthritis: As they age, both Ragdolls and Ragamuffins can develop arthritis.
  4. Other Health Issues: Both breeds can be prone to obesity, which can be managed through a balanced diet and regular exercise.

Suitability for Different Lifestyles: Ragdoll vs Ragamuffin Cats

Ragdolls and Ragamuffins are both excellent family pets, known for their calm, patient nature and affectionate disposition. Both breeds interact well with children and thrive in busy household environments. However, Ragamuffins tend to be slightly more playful and curious, making them a bit more interactive and engaging for kids.

Both Ragdolls and Ragamuffins are highly adaptable to different living environments, whether in apartments or larger homes. Ragdolls are content with indoor living and are more laid-back, requiring less space to roam. Ragamuffins, while also adaptable, enjoy having more space to explore and are relatively more active indoors.

Exercise Requirements

Both Ragdolls and Ragamuffins require approximately 30 minutes of daily exercise to stay healthy. However, Ragamuffins are more playful and eager to interact, often enjoying new tricks and engaging activities. On the other hand, Ragdolls might need a bit more encouragement to get moving, as they are generally more relaxed and laid-back.

Ragamuffin vs Ragdoll Cats: Making the Right Choice for Your Family

Deciding between a Ragamuffin and a Ragdoll cat can be a delightful dilemma, as both breeds bring immense joy and companionship to any household. These cats are known for their uncanny ability to sense their owner’s emotional state. If you’re feeling sad or anxious, expect your Ragdoll to be by your side in seconds to offer comfort and purrs.

Ragamuffins and Ragdolls both require ample attention and care, so it’s crucial to ensure you can provide the time and affection they need. It would be cruel to adopt one and then not spend much time with them. These fluffy giants thrive on interaction and will reward your love with endless affection and loyalty.

Photo Sean C. Founder of Sweet Purrfections

Meet Sean, a fintech whiz with a penchant for pet purrs and blockchain buzz. After a decade of fintech feats, Sean's tech talents leaped from ledger lines to litter lines, driven by a passion for pets and a vision for a more connected pet care community. With three critter companions as co-pilots, Sean launched this blog to share a treasury of pet-friendly tech tips and tales.

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