Active: Ragamuffin cats are not incredibly active cats. They do enjoy games and playing as well as the company of others, but they prefer to lounge and cuddle with the ones they love.
Size: The Ragamuffin is a large cat, ranging in size from 10 to 20 pounds.
Characteristics: The Ragamuffin cat breed is a large, muscular and heavy-bodied cat. They have broad chests and shoulders, adding to their large appearance. They have medium size modified-wedge shaped heads with round muzzles and medium-sized ears that are perched on the side of their heads. They also have lovely, large walnut-shaped eyes that come in a variety of colors.
Temperament: The personality of the Ragamuffin cat is so sweet and loving you will fall head over heels. They are not an overly boisterous or active cat breed and love to lovingly cuddle up to their companions. Similarly to the Ragdoll, when they cuddle up in your arms, they will go limp as well. They are also smart and enjoy learning new tricks and games. While they are not going to be bouncing off the walls, they do love and enjoy attention and seek out the company of others.
Care: The Ragamuffin has a medium to medium-long coat that is fluffy like a rabbit, but surprisingly does not require much care. Their coat is not prone to matting or tangling so simply combing it one or two times each week will keep it looking lovely. They do shed, but it is not a large amount. And in addition, like any other cat, they need their nails trimmed and ears cleaned when necessary and it is important to frequently brush their teeth to prevent periodontal disease.
Coat: The coat of the Ragamuffin is similar to that of the Ragdoll, but comes in a much wider variety of colors and patterns. Kittens are actually born white and then mature into the color they will permanently be. Their coat is medium to medium-long and incredibly soft, dense and silky. The coat is available in every color and pattern possible.
Origin: The Ragamuffin cat breed is related to the Ragdoll cat breed and shares much of its history with the Ragdoll. During the 1960s, former Persian breeder Ann Baker began to develop the Ragdoll cat breed. The exact details of the origins of the Ragdoll are quite vague and if you are familiar with the Ragdoll cat breed history, you know there are some wild stories involved.
According to Ann Baker, the breed's originator, Josephine was a white, longhaired cat that had always produced litters of cats there were relatively unremarkable. And here is where the story gets interesting....Ann Baker's account is that Josephine was hit by a car and taken to a government laboratory where she was then experimented on and returned. After this, Josephine produced litters of kittens that had more unique features that became the signature look of the Ragdoll cat breed such as soft, almost rabbit-like coat, docile and inactive nature, and its signature trait of going "limp" (hence the name Ragdoll). Ann Baker's stories could never be verified but, nonetheless, that is the origins of the Ragdoll cat breed. There are other more logical explanations for how the breed came to be such as mating with a longhaired male cat.
Over time, Ann Baker became incredibly controlling over the Ragdoll cat breed, she trademarked the name and sold franchises of the breed to other breeders if they wanted to start their own breeding program. Baker controlled every aspect of the breed and started her own registry. Some breeders agreed to Baker's terms but some breeders, frustrated by the strict guidelines and inability to control their own breeding programs, dissented. The breeders that chose to stay with Baker, also grew frustrated over time though. As time progressed, many of the cats from Baker's cattery had health problems, which greatly concerned breeders and her refusal to give up the reins of the breed and allow others to care for and progress the breed ultimately led to the Ragamuffin cat breed.
In 1993, when Baker agreed to step down as the leader of the IRCA (International Ragdoll Cat Association) and then went back on her word at the last minute, the breeders could take no more. They voted and decided to leave the IRCA. Because of their existing contracts, they could no longer breed "Ragdoll" cats and decided to start breeding "Ragamuffin" cats.
In 1994, the Ragamuffin Associated Group (RAG) was formed and a breed standard was written by Curt Gehm. The Ragamuffin had to start from the bottom up, as a completely new breed because they could have no association with the Ragdoll cat breed. With time and persistence by many cat fanciers, the breed progressed and has been widely accepted. It is accepted by all major associations, though TICA only recognizes the breed for registration. While the Ragamuffin does have many similarities to the Ragdoll cat breed, it is not entirely the same.