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The RagaMuffin is a big kitty. Big eyes, big body, big heart. They're a perfect choice for a family house cat because they adore the company of people, get along well with other pets, and seem to have an endless amount of patience for children's antics.
One of the newer cats in the registry of the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA), the RagaMuffin is the lap cat for people who would love to find a way to combine a house cat with a weighted blanket.
Everything about the RagaMuffin gives off a feeling of substance. With a squarish, muscled body and medium-long to long hair that tends to be voluminous, the RagaMuffin is a soft, luxurious, expansive fellow.
The breed is extremely slow to mature, not reaching full size until age 4 or 5. When RagaMuffins are fully grown, they're big kitties—female RagaMuffins weigh about 12 pounds while male cats weigh 20 pounds. Their heads are a modified wedge, featuring smallish, pointed ears and very large, round eyes that come in shades of blue or green.
A RagaMuffin's fur is rabbit-soft and very light, giving her a decadent, blown-out look and feel. Her hair tends to be bushier around the neck, giving the impression of a collar or mane, as well as on the tail.
Coat colors and patterns are extremely varied, including piebald, tortoiseshell, tabby, solid, bicolors, and tricolors.
You just are not going to find a more easygoing cat than the RagaMuffin. Known as "the teddy bears of the cat world," RagaMuffins are a perfect family cat. These affable kitties love to sit in your lap, sleep nearby on the couch, and just be in the presence of their human companions. They get along well with other cats, especially other RagaMuffins, and cat-friendly dogs aren't that tough of a sell either.
"A family pet is best when they are not high-strung kitties," says Sara Thornton, DVM, secretary of the RagaMuffin Cat Fanciers. "RagaMuffins are laid-back, easygoing cats that often bond well with children."
Where the breed truly excels is in their attitudes towards children. RagaMuffins are so easygoing, they tolerate being picked up and carried, attending tea parties, and being pushed in strollers, according to the CFA. Many have a tendency to go limp in a person's arms while being carried; the origin of the "rag" portion of their names. Though, each individual cat has her own preference, Thornton says.
Despite being fairly calm cats, they do have the energy and playfulness to chase a ball or laser pointer around. Thornton says you can even train your RagaMuffin to play games like fetch. But because they do tend to be a bit lazy, you won't find your RagaMuffin climbing the curtains.
"So many of these newer cat breeds have been created with an eye towards specific, desirable behaviors," says Carol Margolis, DVM, DACT, of the Gold Coast Center for Veterinary Care on Long Island, N.Y.
RagaMuffins are also excellent companions for seniors or people with mobility problems because they are such undemanding cats. They are happy to get their exercise through playing on their own and are otherwise perfectly content being lap cats.
Tornton says this breed can be happy living anywhere, as long as they get plenty of attention from their humans.
If you're wondering, "Can RagaMuffin cats can go outside?" the answer, according to the CFA, is no. Because of their easygoing, trusting natures, the RagaMuffin should be an exclusively indoor cat. There's far too much happening outside for them to contend with and their affable, docile nature can make them susceptible to danger. If your RagaMuffin is begging to go outside, train her to walk on a harness or build a catio for her to soak up some sun.
Similarly, because they are such happy lap cats, they aren't a breed that does well in isolation. So if you're going to be out of the house for extended periods of time, consider a second pet to keep them company and limit any stress behaviors.
"A RagaMuffin needs company," Thornton says. "They love to be around their people."
The RagaMuffin's coat is long and thick, and she's a fairly regular shedder, so there's going to be a healthy amount of combing in your future. However, Thornton says a RagaMuffin's fur is "easy-care," so brushing should be a fairly quick, effort-free affair. Pulling out a slicker brush twice a week should be enough for most cats.
And, like all cats, you'll need to trim your RagaMuffin's nails, keep her litter box clean, and keep up with regular vet appointments for her to be healthy and happy.
The RagaMuffin is a pretty hearty breed that can live up to 18 years. Keeping an eye on standard cat issues, like kidney disease and heart problems, is important. It's also a good idea to watch for arthritis and patellar luxation as they age, as RagaMuffins are so big that their size can be rough on their joints.
Because of this, monitor your RagaMuffin's diet throughout her life. While the breed isn't particularly prone to obesity, adding even a couple of extra pounds to that beefy frame can cause larger issues down the line. Food intake should be carefully monitored.
"A large number of family pets nowadays are obese," Margolis says. "If you're going to free-choice feed, my recommendation is to only leave out their recommended daily caloric amount."
The RagaMuffin was developed by a breeder named Ann Baker, the creator of the ragdoll. Baker began working on the RagaMuffin in the 1960s with a domestic longhair named Josephine.
Eschewing all the traditional breeding associations, Baker established her own registry, the International Ragdoll Cat Association (IRCA) in 1971, according to the RagaMuffin Cat Fanciers. Cats registered to the IRCA are required to conform to a highly specific breed standard and are forbidden to be registered with any other breeding association.
In 1992, a group of breeders left the IRCA, according to the RagaMuffin Cat Fanciers' history. These breeders were unable to continue calling their cats ragdolls because of Baker's trademarks, so they settled on a name: RagaMuffin. The breed was recognized by the Cat Fanciers' Association in 2003 and given champion status in 2011.
In terms of a RagaMuffin cat vs. the ragdoll, RagaMuffins are most noticeably different from ragdolls thanks to their coat. Ragdolls are color-pointed, while RagaMuffins can appear in every color and pattern combination. However, color-pointed RagaMuffins, while able to be registered with the CFA, are forbidden from shows due to their similarity to the ragdoll.
- RagaMuffins were almost not called RagaMuffins at all. Before the name was settled on, there were a proposition to call these kitties the liebling, which is German for "darling."
- RagaMuffins and ragdolls alike are sometimes called "Daughters of Josephene," which is a reference to the cat considered to be the originator of the ragdoll breed.