I won’t try and simply duplicate the breed standard of a cat association – no point. The first thing I have done is to include one of Helmi Flick’s fabulous photographs. I really like discussions about breed standards when there is an image of the breed in question in front of me. It is one aspect of the cat association breed standards which surprises me; they don’t illustrate them. It is all words.
It makes more sense to have a good picture to refer to. I have used the TICA (The International Cat Association) standard as a guide and below Helmi’s photograph, I discuss the major points. I used TICA because I couldn’t find the CFA standard after the site was upgraded! Note: this page was first published in 2012 and has been checked, upgraded slightly and republished today 17th Sept. 2023.
I cover what I consider to be the main points of the Ragdoll breed standard. This page can be read in conjunction with the section on appearance on the main page. The first point that comes up for me is size.
The Ragdoll is a substantial cat. The word “substantial” is cat fancy speak for big. It refers to the boning – the size of the skeleton. Actually, the TICA Ragdoll breed standard says that the torso is “medium-long to long, substantial”. This cat has a “broad chest”. OK, this is meant to be a large solid cat (“well-muscled with solid weight”).
According to my assessment the Ragdoll is the second largest registered cat with the CFA (Cat Fanciers Association) – largest domestic cat breed. The feet are also large with tufting (hair between the toes). The tail is as long as the body.
The coat is another outstanding element. The coat is semi-long and an allowance is made for shorter coats on unaltered (not neutered or spayed) adults and for seasonal variations. The Ragdoll is a pointed cat (the Siamese is the best-known pointed cat). All pointed colors are permitted.
The coat is silky and plush. The undercoat is “minimal” – cat hair. There is a mitted pattern. The head “may have a broken or evenly matched white blaze on nose and/or between eyes”. Blynx in the picture demonstrates this. A “blaze” is a straight line of a different colour. You can see blazes in tortoiseshell cats.
The head is a “broad modified wedge”. I honestly find this classic cat fancy description very odd. It tells us nothing that is not already known about the cat head; that it is wedge shaped (using a little imagination) and it has to be “modified” because a head cannot be the shape of a wedge – enough said about that.
I have an infographic on the ‘modified wedge’ cat fancy description which you can see by clicking on the link below:
The ears are medium sized. Some purebred cats have exceptionally large ears (artificially created of course). The Oriental Shorthair comes to mind. The ragdoll cat’s ears are “broad at the base, rounded tip”. They are set between the top and side of the head.
The eyes are blue, large and oval. They are “moderately wide-set”. See the glorious, clear, blue, diamond eyes of this show cat. The muzzle is rounded and medium in length. The muzzle is the part of the face that surrounds the mouth.
Ragdoll breed standard (TICA)