You might have noticed that every ragdoll you've seen was born white or heard that they were born white. Did this ever make you wonder whether ragdolls only come in one color? Well, don't worry, for this article, we have scoured the Internet and asked cat experts to finally tell us are all ragdolls born white.
The quick answer is, yes. Normally, ragdolls are indeed born white. This is because it is already embedded in their genes. They have genetic mutations affecting their metabolic pathways, causing sensitivity to body temperature. These strong reactions to temperature will ultimately become a great factor in their final color.
Interested in more facts about ragdolls? Continue reading as we dive into more details about ragdolls to help you understand them even better. We will also give you simple tips to help you if you’re planning to or already have one as a pet.
When will my Ragdoll's true color appear?
Ragdolls are slow to mature, it takes 3-4 years for a ragdoll to be fully mature. Although you can see color appear from a kitten ragdoll as early as 8 weeks, its true color develops after two years. This is because ragdolls are what are classified as color-pointed breed cats.
Point-colored cats are a type of breed which colors are greatly defined by temperature. Cats that are categorized under this breed (ragdolls, Thai cats, and lynx point) will have their true color appear later on in their life and is influenced by the warmth of their environment.
As mentioned earlier, this is because of an enzyme in their metabolic pathways called tyrosinase that is involved in melanin production. Because of this, all newborn ragdolls are albino.
As you may notice now, this type of breed is sensitive, especially in their environment. Their living conditions can be a big factor in their overall appearance. This is something that you should consider if you’re planning to get one, or if you already have one, these are things you have to know moving forward.
How do I know if my kitten is a Ragdoll?
Ragdolls are distinguishably coated with thick fur and small noses. But perhaps their most remarkable trait is blue eyes. Ragdoll cats are born white and develop colors within 8-12 weeks after birth, so these are some signs you have to watch out for.
The pointed color pattern of ragdolls is also very discernable. Ragdolls have a darker color on their edges; meaning the color on their nose, tails, feet, legs, and faces have darker shades compared to their body.
You can also find out if your kitten is a ragdoll by asking the cattery or the pet shop that you bought them from. This is another reason why you should adopt or buy from accredited catteries or breeders licensed by official cat organizations such as World Cat Federation (WCF).
Especially ragdolls because they are premium cats. Be wary also of non-full bred being passed as fully bred ragdolls.
By acquiring your kitten from legitimate kennels and breeders, you can be assured of healthy and good breed kittens. You also have someone who you can personally ask if you have questions about them, especially if you are a first-time cat owner.
Breeding a ragdoll is a very intricate and detailed task, that's why getting them from legitimate sources will make sure that you have a healthy, strong, and legitimate breed of ragdoll.
Adopting any pet is no joke, let alone a cat. That's why you must do your research and have someone who truly knows about cats that can give you the dos and don'ts of taking care of them, specifically your ragdolls.
What is the most beautiful Ragdoll color?
To answer what's the most beautiful is simply impossible because beauty is subjective and as they say, "it is in the eye of the beholder." But ragdolls have four main distinctive patterns, these are, color point, mitted, van, and bi-color.
- Colorpoint ragdolls have pointed breed markings and less to no white in their coatings
- Mitted ragdolls have white feet in the front, white boots to their hocks, mostly white chin, and belly
- Van pattern usually has very minimal dark spots that are on top of their edge part like their tales, face, ears, etc.
- Bi-colors have more white than dark. Their bodies are predominantly lighter in color while edge parts such as the face, tails, and legs are dark.
Now, these patterns appear in six major colors: blue, chocolate, cream, lilac, red, and seal.
There are many options out there. If you are gunning for a specific color combination for your ragdoll, it might be best to consult a kennel or a professional cat breeder with what you are looking for. There is a way to roughly guess what your ragdoll's color might be, which we will explain later on.
A note worth remembering is that you can truly appreciate the ragdoll's beauty if it fully matures. Full-grown Ragdolls have thick and double-layered fur that accents and highlights their color more than a younger one. Proper home grooming, maintenance, and the occasional visit to professional cat groomers are imperative to achieve healthy and silky fur for your feline.
Concerned whether or not ragdolls may attack humans? Read our article about it to find out.
Do all Ragdolls have white chins?
No, as mentioned above, some patterns in Ragdolls have a white chin like mitted ragdolls, while others like color-point usually don’t.
An interesting breed of ragdoll, though not that very common as the pure ragdolls, is mink ragdolls. The main difference of this type is they are born with color, unlike the conventional ones that are born in white.
How do you tell what color Ragdoll kittens will be?
As we have already discussed, the colors of ragdolls are greatly influenced by their genetics and environment. The body of a ragdoll is so sensitive to heat that it lets temperature manipulate its color pattern.
The British Ragdoll Cat Club has made a prediction table based on their study and observation.
According to their study, high mitted bicolor patterns are more common with breeders because it is much easier to predict and control. While some are much harder like the true bi-color and mid-high white because of their high white color count.
Just like most mammals, as these cats grow older, their metabolism slows down; causing the change of colors as they mature. The predictions given by the table are only highly probable appearance that your ragdolls might be. Ultimately their deciding factors which were extensively mentioned above are the ones with the last say on how your pussycat will appear.
Is a Ragdoll cat rare?
Sadly, ragdolls are rare because of their popularity. It is also expensive because of high demand but low supply. Breeders are meticulous when breeding these cats to achieve their high characteristic standards.
Prices of these cats vary from $400-$1,000 depending on the breeder. Show-quality cats are more expensive than pet-quality cats. Maintenance for these cats is also quite high as breeders are required to vaccinate ragdolls before selling them, rates vary from location.
When having the cat, sensitivity to the environment is an issue. They are known to not be good living by themselves and are not suitable in hot places. So if you're living in a hot place, you might consider getting a good air conditioning system to keep your feline comfortable.
You also need to factor in all the other costs like litter, cat food, and scratching post. Owning a ragdoll requires not just mental and physical readiness but also financial.
But don't be afraid, owners of ragdolls say all of their expenses are justifiable as this breed is fun-loving, adorable, beautiful, and loving as a pet. Ragdolls are premium cats, and like everything that's premium, the price tag is not that easy, but it is worth it.
Overall, ragdolls are not like any ordinary cat, they are born white and slowly grow into their beautiful color as they approach maturity.
And just like any other pet, they won’t grow and reach their maturity without the love, time, and effort that we pet owners give them. At the end of the day, we are still responsible for what our ragdolls will become. Learn more, read "Are Ragdoll Cats Talkative or Vocal?"