Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Difference Between Ragdolls and Ragamuffins

Ragdolls and Ragamuffins are breeds of cat that share many common traits. They are both loving and sweet, very large in size, with long silky hair. Sophisticated breeds, neither the Ragamuffin nor the Ragdoll have any known genetic health problems. They even share common origins. There are some who contend that Ragamuffins are really just a variation of the Ragdoll, and not a distinct breed at all. However, many associations and federations throughout the world accept both breeds for registration. But defining their differences remains difficult, and is best done by first looking at each individual breed.

The Ragdoll and Its Characteristics

Ragdolls are one of the largest of domesticated cat breeds, with males weighing from 15-20 pounds, though some may weigh as much as 25 pounds. These cats are very distinctive, both in coloring and personality. They are intelligent, loyal, loving, and fairly easy to handle. Their docile temperament makes them ideal companions for the elderly and small children. Some Ragdolls, though certainly not all, go limp when lifted, rather like a ragdoll. This is where the name comes from.

All Ragdolls must have blue eyes. Their coats, however, come in several different colors. Cats may be seal, flame, blue, chocolate, cream or lilac in color. Though color begins to development from eight to ten weeks, it can take up to four years for adult cats to truly mature.

Despite the variety of accepted colors, there are only three distinct patterns that are acceptable in competition. These three patterns are: Bicolor, Colorpoint, and Mitted. Any other pattern is ground for penalty or even disqualification in the show ring.

The Ragamuffin and Its Characteristics

The Ragamuffin developed from the Ragdoll. They too are large and loving, and fairly laid back. Breeders tend to focus on a sociable personality, breeding those cats which appear intelligent, sweet, playful, and people-oriented. They love to climb and scratch, and can be easily taught to fetch a favorite toy. However, they tend to have mood swings, having periods of grouchiness throughout the day. This is not to say that they do not make wonderful companions, but they certain have a personality all their own.

Ragamuffins have longer hair than Ragdolls, and their skulls tend to be slightly rounded. Also, their noses are shorter and scooped, lacking the gentle curves possessed by Ragdolls. Finally, Ragamuffins may come in a variety of colors and patterns, and may have eyes of any color, or even bicolored eyes.

Not all associations and federations accept the Ragamuffin for competition, though the Ragdoll is accepted by almost all associations throughout the world. However, the Ragamuffin is accepted by both the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) and the Cat Fanciers’ Federation (CFF), and so it is certainly a legitimate breed.

Both breeds love to play and make enjoyable companions for both young and old alike. Almost dog-like in their desire to be with people, they can be taught multiple tricks, and usually come when called. Either the Ragdoll or the Ragamuffin would make a perfect pet or show animal.

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