The Ragamuffin cat is a breed of domestic cat that is a variant of the Ragdoll established as a separate breed in its own right in 1994. They are noted for their friendly personalities and also their thick fur, similar to that of a rabbit.
The breed has its origins in the Ragdoll breed, itself a recent development. In the 1960s, a non-pedigree cat called Josephine gave birth to a litter of kittens who had a habit of flopping around when picked up. A second litter of kittens had the same docile personality and floppy traits and a cat breeder named Mrs Baker bought the cats to start a breed. She named them Ragdoll and started her own registry for the breed.
In 1994, a group of registered Ragdoll breeders left the registry due to the strict restrictions. They named their cats Ragamuffins, as they weren't allowed to use the name Ragdoll. Their aim was to outcross with Persians, Himalayans and other longhaired breeds as well as with original Ragdolls to give the cats better genetic health as well as a more rounded personality and temperament. This ended in 2010 and now to be registered with the CFA, the cat must have Ragamuffin parents on both sides. It was granted registration status in 2003 and full championship status in 2011.
Ragamuffins are muscular and heavy cats that take a long time to mature, typically four to five years. They have a broad chest and rectangular shaped body with strong shoulders and a short neck. The head is broad, a modified wedge with a rounded forehead and dipped nose. Average lifespan is 12 to 16 years.
Their coat colours are varied and the length of coat is medium in length, getting longer towards the stomach. Despite being a thick coat, it needs only minimal grooming. Fur around the neck gives the appearance of a ruff. They are accepted as pedigree in all colours and patterns, with or without white and pointed or not pointed.
These cats are generally healthy and are large in size, so watching for obesity is important. They can be prone to the normal cat health problems such as heart problems but with no particularly increased risk.
While the Ragamuffin has retained the habit of going limp when picked up and having a gentle nature, they are more active that the Ragdoll, enjoying playing with toys, climbing, using scratching posts and even fetching toys. They aren't the most athletic cats and are best kept indoors due to their docile nature. They can be quite vocal and adapt well to a range of different families.
Ragamuffin cats are known to be excellent with other pets and with children due to their calm and patient temperament. When they play, they aren't too boisterous and are often found in kids dolls strollers or sitting around the tea party with the kids. They are also wonderful cats to be a companion for someone who lives alone as they can devote their attention to them and respond well to the love and affection they receive.