Friday 26 February 2021

Ragdoll cats aren't always laid back: 2 examples.

Not all Ragdoll cats are sweet-natured, laid-back, blissfully content, and beautiful cats! They are, after all, pretty normal domestic cats although they do indeed look beautiful nearly always. But there will be times when they have a right to be angry, irritated and annoyed. They have a right on occasions to hiss at somebody or another cat. If they didn't they wouldn't be felines. It's their nature. The photo below is of a classy, cat show Ragdoll cat.

Ragdoll cat Blossom Baby Sage
Ragdoll cat Blossom Baby Sage. Photo copyright Helmi Flick.

Selective breeding can achieve so much. It can achieve a character which is predisposed towards being relaxed and confident but it cannot eliminate from the inherent and innate character of the domestic cat the desire to hiss or growl and attack when needed. If you could do that through selective breeding you would be in the Frankenstein world. And I'm not sure we even want that.

The first photograph below is of Merlin. I believe that that is his name. He looks pretty grumpy. I think he is a lynx-point Ragdoll. The second photograph is of hissy Crissy. I might have made up in her name. It doesn't matter because the point I'm making is that here we have a Ragdoll cat who is not laid-back and letting everything go over her head. She is reacting to something which requires a hiss or a shout or a slap and a growl.

It's quite unusual in the world of cats are cat breeders to focus a bit more on character than appearance. You'll find that most breeders selectively breed for appearance and let the character of the cat take care itself in terms of inherited character. In terms of environmental character it is a breeder's duty to ensure that the cats are socialised. This means that their behaviour around people and dogs for instance is good and acceptable.

There is no point having a beautiful, purebred cat in the home if they are terrified of the people they share the home with including the dog in the next room. They've got to get along which is the whole point of a domestic cat's existence.

For a brief period, the founding breeder of this breed, Ann Baker, disseminated the idea that Ragdoll cats don't feel pain. I think it was part of the overall intention to pretend that this breed was super laid-back and nothing bothered the cat not even pain. It didn't make sense then it doesn't make sense now.

Breeders do tend to want to generate interest in their new breed which is quite understandable. So they can also tend to generate a mystery around the breed as to their origins. They are, after all, engaged in a commercial activity which is to sell the kittens and make some pocket money. Most cat breeders do it as a hobby thankfully.

Angry, grumpy Merlin a Ragdoll cat
Angry, grumpy Merlin a Ragdoll cat. Pic in public domain

Hissy Ragdoll cat
Hissy Ragdoll cat. Pic in public domain.

Now, in case you thought that all Ragdoll cats were strangly laid back, you can see that ain't true and it never was.

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