Sweet, self-assured, and always in search of a cuddle, the Ragamuffin Cat is the perfect feline for the affectionate cat-lover. Learn more about this cat’s history, health, and exercise needs.
Quick Facts ✔
Weight – 4 – 9kg
Lifespan – 14 – 18 years
Country of origin – U.S.A
- Families with children
- Households with cat-friendly dogs
- Owners who spent a lot of time at home
Ragamuffin Breed History ♜
The Ragamuffin cat is a strong, bulky cat with a round face and wide-set eyes. While they may look similar to cat breeds that have been around for hundreds of years like the Domestic Longhair and Turkish Angora, they’re actually a relatively new breed.
Unfortunately, not much is known about how the Ragamuffin Cat came into being. One day, cat fanciers had their eyes on the Ragamuffin’s predecessor, the Ragdoll. And the next, a new breed offshoot, the Ragamuffin was stealing the limelight!
The most likely scenario is that Ragdoll breed founder, Ann Baker, had nothing to do with the development of the Ragamuffin. A fierce protector of her new breed in the 1960s, Baker wasn’t very open to diversifying her Ragdoll gene pool. Other cat fanciers, on the other hand, might have thought, “Wouldn’t the Ragdoll be cute with a flooflier coat and an even cuter name?” After all, they loved the Ragdoll, but were getting a bit frustrated with how restrictive the breed standard was for these cats. A few short years later, the Ragamuffin had hit the cat breed scene.
Okay, so we know that Ragamuffins come from Ragdolls, but can we back up and learn more about the Ragdoll’s origins? Well, to make matters more confusing, no one knows exactly how Ann Baker created the Ragdoll breed! In some versions of the story, the breed comes from Persian Cats and Himalayans. In other versions, Angoras and Birmans were used to create the Ragdoll.
To be sure, the lack of breed history leaves us with a slightly unsatisfying origin story. But that’s alright, because this cat’s personality is lovable all the same!
Ragamuffin Personality Traits ★
The word Ragamuffin comes from a Middle English term referring to a silly, sloppily-clad, or even devilish scoundrel-type person. We can say definitively that the Ragamuffin cat is none of those things. Well okay, they can be silly on occasion, but devilish? Far from it!
In reality, Ragamuffins are laid-back, affectionate, mild-tempered felines who just want to curl up on their beloved Owner’s lap.
They are very attached to their humans, and will rouse themselves from a nap just to follow their family members from room to room. Wherever you are, a Ragamuffin will be close by. And, if you’re not paying enough attention to this sweet feline, they might let you know with an array of soft chirps and meows.
If you have houseguests over, a Ragamuffin makes for a wonderful welcoming committee. These cats love people, and will confidently approach and interact with most visitors. If you have a friend who isn’t a cat person yet, it won’t take long for them to fall in love with your Ragamuffin Cat!
Like the Ragdoll, Ragamuffins have a reputation for being easy to hold and handle. When you pick them up, they melt into you (while at the same time, melting your heart.) Calm by nature, they are a favourite for families with children of all ages. They can even learn to get along with the family dog, as long as Fido is cat-friendly.
Of course, Ragamuffins are cats, and they do have their limits. It’s important to teach children how to play with them appropriately and give them their space if they’re not overly excited about visitors.
And, even though they are generally relaxed, Ragamuffins are hunters just like all other felines. As such, they go through playful periods throughout the day and will require some interactive quality time so that they don’t turn to destructive habits.
Ragamuffin Trainability & Training Tips
Because Ragamuffins are so attached to their Owners, you might find them easier to train than other cats.
Here are a couple of tips for effective cat training:
- Find your Ragamuffin’s favourite treat. The best way to train cats is with treats in hand. Find out what kind of treats your Ragamuffin can’t get enough of and give them as rewards whenever you train your cat. You might also incorporate clicker training to give your cat an additional cue when they’ve done something right.
- Start with short training sessions. As hunters, cats are built for short periods of intense activity and focus, so you may only have a few short minutes of attention before they get tired. It’s better to train for a few minutes throughout the day than try to keep them engaged for long sessions.
- Offer plenty of praise. Remember that Ragamuffins adore their humans, so they’ll appreciate praise and affection when they’ve done the right thing.
- Have reasonable expectations. In general, cats are able to learn a lot more than we give them credit for! That said, these cats probably won’t be as eager or engaged as more trainable breeds like the Sphynx or Abyssinian. Some good training goals for the Ragamuffin cat could include staying off the kitchen counters, coming to you when you call, and sitting before you give them their food. And if your cat’s response to training exceeds your expectations, feel free to take it as far as your feline will go! The bonding time and mental stimulation of training is wonderful for your cat’s wellbeing.
Ragamuffin Exercise Needs
Ragamuffin Cats are typically pretty relaxed and low-energy, but they do need some physical activity to stay healthy and happy. You can promote movement and play by:
- Stocking up on a variety of fun toys. Some cats like toys that fly, others like toys that bounce, and all cats like new toys. If your cat doesn’t play with their box of toys, it could be that they’re bored with the supply or you haven’t found the kind of toy that appeals to their hunting style.
- Playing with your cat daily. Despite popular belief that cats are low-maintenance pets, they actually require daily interaction and play with their favourite humans for their health. Learn how to get your cat stalking, pouncing, and jumping to fulfill your cat’s exercise needs.
- Making sure that your cat has vertical access. Cats are climbers by nature, and the best way to exercise those powerful climbing muscles is to get them moving vertically. Cat trees and non-slip ledges and shelves should be incorporated into play so that your cat has a chance to flex their climbing and jumping muscles. Just remember the Ragamuffin cat is one large feline! So they need ledges that will support their size.
- Trying out leash training. With a cat as confident as this one, outdoor leash training can be a great form of exercise. Alternatively, a large cat patio can allow them to move around safely outside without a fear of them getting loose or attacking wildlife.
- Teaching them to play fetch. Yup! These cats can learn to play interactive games like fetch! Make it more challenging by throwing their fetch toy on top of furniture so that they have to climb or hop up to get it!
Keep in mind that cats like the Ragamuffin will only want to exercise for short periods of time. The goal is to make every burst of energy an opportunity for healthy movement and mental stimulation!
Living Conditions ⌂
The ideal living arrangement for a Ragamuffin cat is with a large family so that they always have someone to spend time with. These cats don’t typically enjoy alone time, and would prefer to be left in the care of a friendly Cat Sitter if their beloved humans are going to be away for longer than a few hours.
If you’re looking to make your home more welcoming for a Ragamuffin, a good place to start is to provide plenty of nap spaces wherever the family spends time. Scratching posts and ledges with good views of the room will also be much appreciated by this cat.
Keep in mind that Ragamuffins are long-haired cats, and will shed a considerable amount. They may also be more prone to overheating in very hot climates. Make sure these cats always have a cool area to relax when the temperatures rise.
That long hair can also pose some challenges when it comes to keeping a clean litter box. You may need to experiment with a few different types of boxes and litter before you find a combo that won’t leave your cat tracking litter all over the house.
And, like all cats, it’s recommended that these felines don’t have unsupervised time outside. If you have an escape artist on your hands, take special care to prevent your Ragamuffin cat from wiggling outside without you knowing. Again, an enclosed cat patio is the perfect option for an adventurous cat like this one.
Ragamuffin Grooming ✄
While they do have a long coat, the silky texture means that Ragamuffin cats are at lower risk for matting than some other breeds. A brushing session once per week will help them stay gorgeous and shiny.
In general, these cats do not require bathing and will keep themselves clean. If you do want to give your kitty the occasional bath, make sure to get them into the habit from the time they’re kittens. Otherwise, these typically water-averse cats will resist the bathroom completely.
Beyond coat care, grooming requirements for a Ragamuffin include keeping their nails trimmed and teeth clean.
Ragamuffin Health +
These fluffers tend to be pretty healthy and most will not develop hereditary issues. That said, Owners should know about some health risks that might pop up, such as:
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a type of congenital heart disease
- Polycystic kidney disease
Thanks to their long fur, these cats are also at higher risk for weight gain simply because it can be more difficult for Owners to notice. Make sure that your cat is on a balanced diet and exercise plan to lower the risk of unhealthy weight gain.
Regular vet visits are another way to ensure a healthy lifestyle for your Ragamuffin cat. A comprehensive pet insurance plan will allow you to give them the best vet care possible.
Fun Fact ♥
If you compare the CFA cat breed standards for the Ragdoll and Ragamuffin, you’ll see just how much more flexible the rules are for our cat in question. And a great example of that difference is coat colour.
While Ragdolls must follow strict coat patterns, such as the Van Pattern or Colourpoint Pattern, Ragamuffins can be found in every colour and pattern you can think of. They can be pointed, spotted, or multi-coloured, with lots of white or no white at all.
And that means that you can enjoy the company of a Ragamuffin in any colour or coat pattern you like! As long as they have that non-matting silky coat, a Ragamuffin cat is considered in line with the breed standard.
Final Thoughts on the Ragamuffin
You’d be hard-pressed to find a cat more suitable for a wide range of families, living conditions, and lifestyles. With their self-assurance and easy-going demeanour, these cats will adapt to their environment with grace and good humour.
That’s not to say that this cat will sit idly by while life happens around them. With their inquisitive nature and love of human connection, Ragamuffins are a cat who will always want in on the fun. Because they are so people-oriented, they should be left in the care of a dedicated Pet Sitter when their Owners are away. And, they should always get proper exercise, playtime, and even training for proper mental stimulation and health.
If you’re able to give this outgoing cat what they need for their well being and comfort, the Ragamuffin Cat will pay you back with cuddles, cuteness, and sweet companionship!