Ragamuffins are as cute and adorable as they sound. These huggable cats possess almost all of a stuffed toy’s characteristics that the whole world calls them “teddy bears”!
A Ragamuffin Cat is characterized by having expressive eyes, exquisite coating and the sweetest temperament. At first glance you’ll be awed at the magnificent creature. When the cat locks its eyes onto you, you’ll be tempted to come in for a closer look. The feeling of luxurious fur against your hand completes the enchantment.
Ragamuffins are big, extremely furry and have big hearts to match their gentle temperament. They are friendly, playful and sweet, the perfect companions in every sense of the word. Don’t confuse Ragamuffins with Ragdolls as they may look similar to each other, but the truth is that they are two different breeds.
History of Ragamuffin Cats
The concept of a Ragamuffin breed formed in 1994 from Ann Baker’s Cherubim breed, which started out as a cattery for strays in Riverside. During Ann Baker’s heyday Ragdoll breeding was strictly controlled, and because of this a group of breeders started branching out to form a new cat variety.
The new group was divisive even among themselves. Some wanted new patterns and colors; others wanted to widen the gene pool. Ragdolls were then crossed with domestic longhairs, Himalayans and Persians in an effort to bring about changes in appearance. One of the breeders thought of Ragamuffin as a tribute to the founding cat breed.
Ragamuffins started getting recognized by various cat organizations such as the United Feline Organization, the US Cat Fanciers Association, the US Cat Enthusiast Association and the Cat Fanciers Federation. In February 2011, the Ragamuffin gained recognition from the Cat Fanciers Association.
Size of the Ragamuffin
Ragamuffins are long bodied and proportionately large, with walnut-shaped eyes that could assume any color. Their coats have a wide range of color and patterns. Moreover, these cats have big bones and sport plush coats and long tails.
Female muffins tend to be shorter than the males, with weight averaging between 8 to 13 lbs. as compared to the weight average of 14 to 20 lbs. for the males. All Ragamuffins are fully fleshed, heavy boned and have fatty pads located in their lower stomach area.
Personality of the Ragamuffin
Ragamuffins are quite docile creatures, making them a personification of a huggable, live teddy bear. When they move it’s usually to follow their owners around the house. With proper socialization, these cats can meow and greet guests as they enter the door.
When a particular Ragamuffin gets attached to an individual, watch out! They stick to you like glue on paper as long as you keep paying them attention and playing with them. These felines respond with happy purrs and trills, encouraging you to spend more time with them. Moreover, ‘muffins love to play the contented lap cat while you do “human things” such as read, watch TV or work in your computer.
When they’re at home with their surroundings Ragamuffins love to relax and go limp like a rag when you’re holding them. They can be active in their own way, though- just pull out a ball of yarn or a laser pointer and you’ll soon have them scampering about.
All in all, ‘muffins are smart and sweet, bordering more on the friendliness aspect than anything else. These cats love to play fetch, rubdowns and the occasional walk outside. It’s not uncommon to see a Ragamuffin tagging along as a travel companion.
You might be startled by the color of a young Ragamuffin- yes, they’re completely white at birth! It’s only after they come out of their mother’s womb that they start developing fur color and patterns.
Breeders should keep their young Ragamuffins up to a maximum of 16 weeks, or 4 months before considering selling these kittens to interested parties. For buyers, it’s best to think about whether you prefer an adult ‘muffin to skip out on the weaning and learning stage. Keep in mind that a kitty can prove to be a lot of work!
When buying a kitty, make sure that your home is conducive to your new pet. Ragamuffins won’t mature until they’re well within the 4-year mark, so you’ll have to be patient with the breed’s playfulness and child-like personality. It’s best to get some toys that stimulate his or her senses and introduce new ones to keep things fresh.
Ragamuffins are precious cats, and you should do full research before buying from a reputable breeder. If online ‘muffins are too cheap, chances are that it’s a scam or the cat for sale is in poor health. Always transact with reputable breeders and always ask for health certifications and papers, i.e., health checks and vaccination documents.
A good Ragamuffin seller will provide you with everything you need to know, including history, lineage, parentage and other needs. You’ll have a higher chance of getting a healthy, happy cat this way. Meet the kitten’s parents and ask for registered pedigree and date of vaccinations before completing the transaction.
The tough Ragamuffin shouldn’t have health problems all throughout his or her natural life. Hereditary issues such as polycystic kidney disease and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy are two serious possibilities that endanger the cat’s health.
HCM, or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a common heart disease in all cat breeds. The thickening of the heart’s muscle gives way to a host of possible issues. A veterinarian can order an echocardiogram to rule out HCM in your cat.
Polycystic kidney disease is acquired from the Persian side of the Ragamuffin. Genetic testing can be done to ensure your cat won’t be affected by this disease, which can cause renal failure.
It’s best to head straight to a professional vet right after you receive your muffin. The vet can do a proper check-up and can diagnose what problems your cat may be experiencing. Other than that, a long-lived Ragamuffin can have a lifespan or somewhere around 12 to 16 years.
Care of the Ragamuffin
Ragamuffins are just like any other cat- they love to eat, play and sleep long hours. Instead of high places, these darling cats usually prefer their owner’s or any family member’s lap. They normally don’t crave attention, but they welcome it at any chance they get. A well-adjusted kitty can be left alone for a few hours each day, but don’t make it a habit. Because they are very trusting they should be kept indoors at all times.
Litter Box Training
First and foremost, your cat’s litter box should be positioned in the quietest part of the house. Don’t forget to make it accessible or it would defeat the purpose. Cats in general don’t like to do business near where they eat, so put a good amount of space in-between the two.
Litter boxes should be kept clean at all times. If you smell rank litter or see the presence of cat poop, go ahead and replace the litter immediately. It’s your responsibility to clean it up each day.
If you notice that your Ragamuffin is experiencing problems in using his or her litter box, stop and think about what could have changed. If everything else checks out you should see a vet as soon as possible. A qualified vet will be able to make a diagnosis and find out what’s causing the inappropriate behavior.
Make sure your pet is getting plenty of water when you’re feeding him dry cat food. If you chose to feed your cat a wet diet, make sure that it has all the nutrients that they may need at their age. It should go without saying that cat owners should look out for the best interests of their felines, and that means choosing a higher-quality food. When you’re changing the food, make sure to do it in increments. For example, put roughly around 25% of the new food with the old one for 1-2 days, then adjust to 50% for days 3 to 4, etc. This helps ease your Ragamuffin’s digestive system and makes the new food easier to go down.
The Ragamuffin has a medium length coat that has a fine, silky texture. There’s a variety of colors to see, but the patterns that make up the coat are interesting. For instance, a color point Ragamuffin will have a light and dark contrasting hue that’s usually found on the ears, mask and extremities. Bicolor types have dark points and an inverted “V” shape on the forehead. The mitted variety exhibits contrasting points with the chin and paws being of lighter color. Rounding out the patterns are tortoiseshell, white, tabby, solid and mink.
A Ragamuffin’s thick, plush coat will require regular grooming via brushing. A stainless steel, pet-friendly comb should do the job well. Make each brushing session personal time spent with your beloved pet. Don’t forget to include other cat maintenance routines such as clipping of the nails and ear cleaning using a cotton ball and a cat-friendly solution. Last but not the least, brush your pet’s teeth at least once a day to prevent periodontal diseases.
Children and Other Pets
Ragamuffins are sweet to children and pets as long as they’re treated kindly and with respect. This breed won’t mind the occasional rambunctiousness and rowdiness of kids; sometimes they even participate in a tea party or two!
Ragamuffin cats also make great additions to families who have dogs, birds, other cats, lizards and rodents. They think everyone’s a friend and treat them accordingly.