Ragdolls and Ragamuffin cats share many common traits because they are related, but there are subtle differences too. Ragdolls all have marked points, whereas Ragamuffins have a variety of colors. Ragdoll coats are higher maintenance, but they are also more playful, with Ragamuffins making calmer companions. They’re both gorgeous cats with super temperaments, and make wonderful family pets if you pick the right one.
What is the difference between Ragdoll and Ragamuffin cats?
The Ragamuffin was created in the 1960s by cross-breeding Ragdolls with other long-haired domestic breeds. In 2011, the Cat Fanciers’ Association awarded the Ragamuffin full breed status. Both breeds have long, silky coats. However, the Ragamuffin’s coat is less likely to mat or tangle.
Ragamuffin coats come in a wide variety of both solid and patterned colors, from orange and chocolate, through to black and lilac. Ragdolls are all born white. As they grow older, their coats change in color to be chocolate, blue, lilac, or seal. They also have markings called “points”, similar to Siamese cats.
Both breeds have gorgeous big eyes, the Ragamuffin’s eyes are round, whereas the Ragdoll are oval-shaped. Also, Ragdolls only have blue eyes, but a Ragamuffin can have eyes of any color.
One major difference to note is that many Ragdolls actually go completely limp when picked up, whereas Ragamuffins generally do not. It is thanks to this odd quirk that the Ragdoll was given its funny name!
Ragamuffin vs Ragdoll size
If you take on a Ragamuffin or a Ragdoll kitten, be prepared for a big kitty cat when he’s fully grown. These cats take a while to reach their full size – around four years old – but that’s because they’ve got a lot of growing to do!
These breeds are powerfully built cats, typically weighing between 10 and 20 pounds. Female cats are generally smaller than males.
Ragdolls and Ragamuffins have similar grooming requirements, although the Ragdoll is slightly more demanding. You will need to groom a Ragdoll at least twice every week.
Use a steel comb to remove any bits of debris that have become tangled in their coat. This is especially important if your cat spends some of his time outside, wandering through the shrubbery in your garden!
A friend of mine had a Ragdoll who enjoyed hunting in the hedge at the bottom of her garden. One day he appeared crying plaintively at the back door, clearly in some distress. The cause of his consternation was a length of bramble that had become tangled in his tail! Every time the poor cat tried to sit down, he sat on a whole bunch of prickles – no wonder he was crying!
The Ragamuffin’s coat is similar to the Ragdoll’s but is usually not as long and is less prone to tangles. A weekly grooming with a steel comb should be sufficient to keep your pet’s coat in pristine condition.
Both Ragamuffins and Ragdolls are rather prolific shedders. You’ll quickly find your furniture and bedding upholstered in soft, silky fur! Groom your pet at least once a week with a steel rake to get rid of the loose hair, and go over your kitty afterwards with a rubber mitt to remove any stray hairs you’ve loosened during the first pass.
Getting rid of your cat’s loose hair is extremely important, as both these breeds are fanatical groomers and can be prone to hairballs and their associated health problems. In addition to a good set of cat grooming tools, you’ll also need to purchase an efficient vacuum cleaner that copes well with animal hair!
Ragamuffin vs Ragdoll cat temperament
When choosing any family pet, temperament is a major influencing factor in your decision. Ragdoll or Ragamuffin, both have very kind and affectionate natures. However, the Ragamuffin may be a better choice if you have young children in your family.
Ragamuffins tend to be very placid and calm, with patient personalities. This makes them ideal to have around young kids and other family pets. Also, Ragamuffins don’t mind having their routines changed, so they adapt happily to the arrival of a new baby or other pet.
Ragdolls are also pretty laid back, but are not quite as chilled-out as Ragamuffins are around children. For either breed, their attitudes to children will be influenced heavily by their experiences in kittenhood. Early socialization with children and other animals will go a long way to shaping confident, sociable adults cats.
Both these breeds are very intelligent and can be taught to come when called and even learn a few simple tricks. They both have a reputation as being the “cat that thinks it’s a dog”, thanks to their desire to be in the company of people.
Ragdoll vs Ragamuffin cat health
Both Ragdolls and Ragamuffins are generally healthy, robust breeds. However, when buying a kitten from a breeder, always ask for health certificates for your purchase. Ensure that the kitten is fully vaccinated and wormed.
Ragdolls and Ragamuffins are very laid-back breeds. Lack of exercise can lead to obesity, which is extremely bad for your pet! Be sure not to overfeed or over-treat your cat, and invest in a good selection of interactive cat toys to keep him active and fit.
Is the Ragdoll or Ragamuffin cat a better pet?
When it comes to Ragamuffin cat vs Ragdoll, both these breeds have lovely temperaments and make wonderful family pets. They both look beautiful too!
In terms of care, they’re both pretty healthy. Both require regular grooming to keep their coats in good condition and to prevent hairballs. Both can quickly become overweight if overfed and not kept active! If you have young kids who might be tempted to play with your cat, a Ragamuffin might be the best choice.
Perhaps you have one of these cuties already – why did you choose the breed you now own? Tell us your story in the comments section below!
I found your article while surfing the internet to understand the differences between the two, so thank you for all of the details. I have recently adopted a beautiful cat that had been left behind by neighbors who abandoned the poor girl when they moved away. Since this time she has been spade, and has had her well care checks by the vet. After reading the above information, I’m still up in the air as two what she would fall under. I’m guessing my “Brynnie” to be approximately 2-3 years of age. I mention this because she is as light as a feather. So she has a LOT of growing to do if she is going gain the poundage mentioned above. She is predominantly white with bigger black spots, to include one black ear and one white ear (RM); Her long coat seems prone to tangle or mat (RD); She has oval (RD) green eyes (RM); and She truly goes limp when picked up (RD). I’m guessing she is a mixture between the two? Regardless she is a beautiful girl and will be cared for indoors for the remainder of her life. I just thought it odd that she seems to “straddle the fence”. Unless there is another cat breed out there that fits her better?
Saundra Tilson says
My Jazzy Girl is a Rag Muffin. I rescued her at about four months from our local shelter. She can be a little “cat” at times but her personality is very affectionate and “personal assistant”. She loves giving bumps and having face time with us bipedals!! I laughed when I read “cat that thinks it’s a dog”. She LOVES having her belly rubbed! She’ll offer up her belly and chin begging for scratches….then purr and curl her toes in contentment! I’ve always had a cat for a pet and by far she has had the best personality. She loves being groomed and will brush her own head and face if I hold the brush!!!
My Ragdoll/Ragamuffin cat does that too – brushes his own face! It’s the cutest thing! We got him from an animal shelter, so we have little paperwork on him but he seems to be a Ragdoll.
We have two ragdoll cats in the family. About nine years ago I purchased two kittens for the family. We had two young children at a time. They named them Rocco and Chanel. Rocco is the big brother he’s almost 20 pounds and Chanel is the younger sister about 13 pounds. They brought a lot of joy to our family. They are the a pitta me of the description of what ragdoll cats are all about. They both think that They are dogs. We have to lock our door in the bedroom each night because they can open the door. They are so beautiful and so playful it was the best decision we ever made to have a pet.
I am sure that your cats are the epitome of beauty and charm. We have one that is probably a Ragamuffin and is the most charming, affectionate cat we have ever had. She is 9 years old and could easily pass for an oversized kitten!!!
Kathy Hamilton says
My husband and I recently retired and we acquired our 7 yrs Tortie at 3 weeks of age when her mother was killed.
We always have cats that were either stray kittens or adopted from a shelter. We have them neutered and yearly check up and shots as well.
Now that we have time on our hands was wondering if you could give me information on possible purchase of a ragdoll or ragamuffin?
Wondering if you could give me information on where to purchase a ragdoll or ragamuffin.
polly hill says
I got my beautiful most amazing cat I have ever owned from a kill shelter. He is a beautiful flame point rag doll. He had 3 days or he would have been put down. He loves everyone, lives with 3 big dogs, goes for walks, comes when called and is mellow and still hysterically playful. I am 66 and he is the most amazing kittie I have had in a lifetime of cats! Please check out the shelters, so many die everyday! There on Petfinder right now.
I purchased my first cat ( a blue mink ragdoll) four months ago. She is now ten months and is a crazy girl. I am a dog person but at age 75 I just didn’t want another dog. My cat Cali is not like a cat in a dogs body as they told me. She doesn’t like to be held and is afraid of strangers and won’t even venture out onto my large screened in patio. She is the pickiest eater ever having spent her first six months with her holistic breeder. Of course she won’t eat any of the foods her breeder fed her. In fact she has refused all canned food or freeze dried raw food I’ve tried to give her. All she will eat is kibble by Halo which the breeder says she NEVER feeds her cats. Cali likes to be brushed and jumps up on her table every day for a session and likes to have her nails clipped. I’m not a morning person but she is. She gets me up with her loud meowing at 6AM. Not to eat but just to have me up. She follows me everywhere I go inside the house. Everywhere. They say they prefer being on the ground but not her. They say they don’t talk much, not her. They say they live to cuddle, not her. As I said in the beginning I’m a dog person and I still am. Basically I’m sorry I got a cat. Really don’t see the purpose of living with one. They are strange animals
However ‘doglike’ a cat is, they are still a cat (for me, this is a good thing). Living with a cat is a much more mutual relationship than living with a dog. And that relationship is definitely a case of ‘you get back as much as you put in’.
I recommend Google videos and written advice by ‘cat whisperer’ Jackson Galaxy. I find his advice great for learning how to better provide for our cats and understand them a little better.
Marjorie T Forrest says
Your description of Cali reads almost like a feral cat. I think quite often female cats don’t like to be picked up. I have a female American domestic short hair tabby & it has taken a lot of effort to tame her to being picked up. She’s older now so tolerates me better now. Seems like you just got by accident a cat that would require a lot of effort to tame her. Also, you might consider getting in touch with a gastroenterologist veterinarian about her eating habits. Sometimes excessive meowing can be a sign of a physical condition that needs medical attention. Yes, cats, when not the usual pet you expect, can be stranger than you might ever have imagined. They are unique animals & very unlike dogs. Hope you can try taming her with patience & kind words with affection.
Anne Novak says
Have faith. Girl ragdolls are very independent. As she ages she will snuggle more!! We just lost our 16 year old seal lynx. The most amazing ever. I’m trying to get another from her bloodline by contacting the breeders on her papers. I have a 2 year old seal point male and he is just calming down a bit now to snuggle
I was just browsing around the internet I had no idea there was a diffrence between the two. I have a 5 year old ragdoll, he is so sweet (at times) he fits right in! He is orange, my dad is a red head and so am I. We all love having him around. I am so glad I found this artical.
Linda Sutliff says
We are looking for a ragamuffin kitten. We live in Washington DC. Any known good breeders near us?
Lynn kerr says
We love our talkative, playful Ragdoll he is very friendly but likes women better than men because men can be loud and scare him he’s very smart, comes when we call him, and does some tricks for treats. I wouldn’t get any other kind of cat!!
Lynn kerr says
Ragdolls only have blue eyes Cats with any other color eyes are not Ragdolls.
My Ragamuffin is probably the most striking cat I have seen !
I originally wanted a Ragdoll but fell in love with Noah instead!
Highly recommend the breed, he is a great and much loved member of the family!
I’m still on the fence about whether my cat is a Ragdoll or a Ragamuffin… he’s only 14# (in probably his 10th year) his looks are like a lilac bi-color Van, but the mask starts above his eyes with the inverted diamond off center, besides the full tail, elevated mask/top of the head/ears he is white all over but for a large U one one side and another large lilac on the other side. He will tolerate being held for around a minute, longer if I scoop my hands under his shoulder area and butt while he’s lying on his side. Not a lap cat, but he loves to curl up next to my outstretched arm at night and likes to lay down by my feet when i’m in my chair at night. He’s fascinated by the children in the area and will watch them, but runs for the hills if they come around. He has almond shaped blue eyes and long fur, but his belly fur is 4 inches long… much longer than the rest of it. He almost looks like he’s floating when he runs across the grass. He has a kick-back personality unless he wants to go on his supervised walks outside and then he can be downright demanding. He has the biggest personality of any cat I’ve had in 50 years and can be incredibly stubborn at times.