The Ragamuffin is a cat breed. There was a time when it was considered a variant of the Ragdoll. However, it tends to be considered a cat breed in its own right in the present time. Regardless, the Ragamuffin has much to recommend it, meaning that interested individuals might want to learn more about them. Here are 20 things that you may or may not have known about the Ragamuffin.
1. Large Cat
Given the name, one might assume that the Ragamuffin is on the smaller side of things for a cat. After all, a ragamuffin tends to refer to a child who is wearing dirty, ragged clothing, which doesn’t suggest that they have been eating well so much as the exact opposite. However, it is important to note that the Ragamuffin is a large cat rather than a small cat.
2. Can Be Expected to Weigh More Than 12 Pounds
This can be seen in how both male and female Ragamuffins can be expected to reach a weight of more than 12 pounds. That might not seem like much unless one learns that an average cat can be expected to reach a weight of about 10 pounds. Of course, different cat breeds can be very different in this regard, meaning that said figure is of limited usefulness.
Speaking of which, Ragamuffins are also quite heavy-boned. Moreover, they look that way as well. After all, Ragamuffins have a wide, wedge-shaped head mounted on a rectangular, broad-chested body with both broad shoulders and broad hindquarters. On top of that, it is amusing to note that these cats even have a short neck with which to complete that appearance.
4. Not Quite As Big As They Look
Having said that, it is important to note that Ragamuffins aren’t quite as big as they look. These are very fluffy animals, so much so that they have sometimes been compared with rabbits in this regard. As a result, a fair amount of the Ragamuffin’s volume is fur rather than the cat attached to that fur. This is clearer in certain parts of its body than in others. To name an example, the Ragamuffin has particularly long fur around its neck as well as the outer edges of its face, thus resulting in what can look a lot like a ruff.
5. Comes in a Wide Range of Colors and Patterns
There are some cat breeds that have very strict rules for what colors and patterns they can have. For those cats, if they don’t have the right colors and patterns, they can’t be considered purebred cats because they are believed to be the products of crossbreeding. The Ragamuffin isn’t one of those cat breeds. Simply put, these cats are allowed to have every kind of color and every kind of pattern, meaning that they show remarkable variety in this regard. For interested individuals, this can be considered a plus because this means that they have a much wider range of cats to choose from than otherwise possible.
6. Diverged From the Ragdoll
As mentioned earlier, the Ragamuffin diverged from the Ragdoll. The latter is a cat breed well-known for its docile and affectionate nature. In fact, Ragdolls are called Ragdolls because of their tendency to relax when they are picked up. Something that isn’t true of most cat breeds to say the least. Even now, Ragamuffins and Ragdolls resemble one another in a lot of respects. However, it has been quite some time since the original split, meaning that there are now considerable differences between them as well.
7. Descended From Josephine
The Ragdoll was created in recent decades. As a result, there is a fair amount of information about how the Ragdoll and thus the Ragamuffin came into existence. For instance, these cats share a descent from a white-furred cat named Josephine in the 1960s.
8. Descended From a Cat with Both Angora and Persian Ancestry
Josephine wasn’t a purebred cat. Instead, she tends to be described as having ancestry from either one or both of two notable cat breeds. One would be the Angora, which is sometimes called either the Ankara or the Turkish Angora because it is a landrace that originated from Central Anatolia. The two would be the Persian, which is called thus because its earliest ancestors were brought to the Italian Peninsula from the region of Khorasan in Iran. Nowadays, Iran is called Iran because of a requested name change in the 20th century. However, the west used to call Iran by the name of Persia, which was a carryover from ancient Greek times when ancient Greek historians used the name of a single ancient Iranian region for the whole of ancient Iran. The cat was developed before this was an issue, so the Persian remained the Persian. For that matter, these cats are very much a product of the west because of the genetic research showing that they are more related to cats from Western Europe than cats from the Near East regardless of their ancestral roots.
9. Descended From Birman or Burmese-Like Cats
Of course, Josephine was a female cat, so it stands to reason that there were male cats involved in the origins of the Ragdoll as well. However, this side of things is less clear, as shown by the common statement that Josephine mated with several Birman or Burmese-like cats. Both of these are cat breeds with a connection to the country of Myanmar, which was once called Burma. The Birman is named for Birmanie, which would be the French name for Burma. It isn’t clear how these cats came into existence, but it is common to hear stories about them being descended from temple cats that eventually made their way into French hands. Meanwhile, the Burmese (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burmese_cat) has clearer origins because most members of the cat breed are descended from a cat named Wong Mau that was brought over from Burma to the United States in 1930.
10. Once a Part of the IRCA
The people who brought the Ragamuffin into existence were once a part of the International Ragdoll Cat Association. For those who are unfamiliar, the woman who brought the Ragdoll into existence made an unusual choice to spurn the already established cat breeding associations. Instead, she set up her own registry called the International Ragdoll Cat Association (IRCA), which set very stringent standards for people who wanted to either breed Ragdolls or sell Ragdolls. The IRCA is still around in the present time, though it is very small.
11. Split From the IRCA
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the people who brought the Ragamuffin into existence split from the IRCA. There has been more than one such incident over the course of said organization’s existence. For example, the reason that Ragdolls are recognized by the major cat-breeding associations is because of a group that split in the 1970s. Similarly, the group responsible for the Ragamuffin split in 1994, which was prompted by tightening restrictions on the IRCA’s part.
12. Needed a New Name
Following the split, said individuals needed a new name for their cats. Originally, they thought about going with Liebling, which would be German for “darling.” However, they eventually went with Ragamuffin, thus resulting in the name that still sees use in the present time.
13. Allowed Some Outcrossing
It is interesting to note that said group made a decision to allow limited outcrossing with other long-haired cats. This was meant to improve the Ragamuffin in a number of respects. For example, better genetic health was one of the desired aims. Similarly, the outcrossing was also meant to improve the cat breed’s personality plus temperament.
14. Some Ragamuffins Have Heterochromia
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Ragamuffins are allowed to have eyes of any color. As such, some of them even have heterochromia. Technically, heterochromia can refer to color variations in irises, hair, and skin. However, it tends to be used to refer to color variations in the irises, which would be the case here. In humans, partial heterochromia is more common than complete heterochromia, though the latter is a condition that can happen in real life. Curiously, complete heterochromia doesn’t seem to be quite as rare in other animal species as it is in humans, though it still isn’t something that interested individuals should expect to see everywhere.
15. Still a Placid Cat
On the whole, Ragamuffins are still placid cats like their Ragdoll counterparts. However, it is interesting to note that they lack the tendency to relax when they are picked up, which remains one of the best-known characteristics of Ragdolls. As such, if that is important, people should check out Ragdolls rather than Ragamuffins because this is one of the points on which the two cat breeds have diverged from one another.
16. Gets Along Well with All Family Members
Conveniently, Ragamuffins are capable of getting along well with all of their family members. In considerable part, this is because of their placid nature, which makes them very even-tempered. Having said that, interested individuals need to remember that interaction is a two-way street. Just because Ragamuffins tend to get along well with others, it doesn’t necessarily mean that others will get along well with them. In this as in other things, it is a good idea to consider the perspective of every single side before proceeding with any major decisions.
17. Good At Rolling with the Changes
Being even-tempered makes Ragamuffins better at rolling with the changes than most other cat breeds. Generally speaking, cats don’t appreciate major changes in their routines. Strange things are concerning for them, which in turn, means that strange things are stressful to them. As such, familiarity is extremely important for feline health and happiness. Ragamuffins won’t be hit as hard by major changes in their routine as most other cat breeds. Even so, interested individuals should try to limit such occurrences because it is more accurate to say that they are more resistant to said issue rather than outright immune.
18. Their Coat Doesn’t Need that Much Grooming
One might assume that more hair means more need for grooming. However, that isn’t the case for Ragamuffins. Generally speaking, these cats should be fine with just a daily brushing, which should be enough to keep problematic knots and tangles out of their coat.
19. Beware of Making Them Overweight
By default, the Ragamuffin is supposed to have a kind of fatty pad on their lower abdomen. However, interested individuals shouldn’t take that as an excuse to let their cat become overweight. Ragamuffins are like every other kind of cat in that excess weight will increase their chances of getting a wide range of medical problems, which will have a very negative effect on their quality of life or even worse. Due to this, interested individuals need to make sure that their Ragamuffins are getting enough exercise, whether through playing with them or some other means. Moreover, they need to make sure that their Ragamuffins aren’t over-eating, which is another common reason why cats become overweight. Simply put, these cats need regular exercise while avoiding overeating for them to maintain a healthy weight, thus making them the same as other animals in this regard.
20. Good Cat for Apartments
Not every pet is well-suited for apartments. Sometimes, an animal needs a lot of space to roam around in, meaning that they won’t do very well in an apartment’s limited space. Other times, an animal makes a lot of noise, which is an issue when the neighbors can hear everything. Fortunately, Ragamuffins aren’t prone to these issues. Instead, they are very placid cats that tend to get along well with others as mentioned earlier. As such, Ragamuffins can be excellent cats for apartment dwellers.