Good To Know

Love, love, love — that’s all the RagaMuffin wants from you, and all she wants to give in return. And if she thinks she’s not getting enough, the sweet cat will figure out ways to achieve your undivided attention.

“One of my cats used to get attention by pressing the buttons on the fax machine and getting it to print out a piece of paper when I was working in my home office,” says Pat Messner of Connecticut. “These cats are not peripheral, but up front and center.”

The RagaMuffin takes that “up front” philosophy to heart in all areas of the home, offering to be an active participant in meal preparation, television viewing, game playing — even showering! And if you need a lap warmer, definitely look no farther than this sweet, affectionate cat.

The RagaMuffin’s strong desire to be involved in all household activities stems from the close relationships she forms with her humans. “The breed is very affectionate and attentive to their owners,” Pat explains. “It’s one of the cat’s exceptional personality traits.”

Another personality trait that helped lend the breed her popularity is her tendency to relax completely in her owner’s arms, as the “rag” in her name implies. Still, Pat points out that the cat doesn’t simply lie around all day. “I have had ones that love to play fetch,” she says, also listing feather toys and catnip mice as some of the breed’s favorite playthings.

Photo: Liubov Khutter-Kukkonin | Getty Images

Cat cousins

The RagaMuffin’s relaxed attitude and beautiful, long-haired coat inevitably led some cat lovers to compare her with the Ragdoll. Although the two breeds are distinct, they share some common history.

The RagaMuffin traces its origins back to the 1960s when Ann Baker developed a breed she called the Ragdoll (also referred to as the Cherubim) using docile street cats. Baker required other Ragdoll breeders to follow her standards as the Ragdoll continued to grow in popularity.

In the 1990s, a small group of Ragdoll breeders began development of the RagaMuffin and in the years that followed, the Ragdoll and RagaMuffin developed their own individual characteristics. In 1994, the RagaMuffin became an official breed when it was accepted into the American Cat Fanciers Association (ACFA). The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) accepted the RagaMuffin for registration in 2003 and gave the breed full championship status in 2011.

Photo: sergeyskleznev | Getty Image

Distinct look

Like the Ragdoll, the RagaMuffin is known for a sweet, cherubic expression to match her sweet personality. However, a few attributes set the RagaMuffin apart from her Ragdoll cousins. While the Ragdoll has a sloped nose, the RagaMuffin has what looks like a “scoop” on her profile. The RagaMuffin’s eyes are rounder than her cousin’s, and the cat comes in a staggering number of color and pattern combinations.

In fact, the RagaMuffin comes in all genetically possible coat colors and patterns, and when you calculate all those assortments, the number of options comes in at more than 3,000! While all the potential coat combinations are beautiful, Pat says the mink color is one of the most distinctive and unusual. CFA recognizes almost all the possibilities except for pointed and pointed with white pattern and color combinations (which can be registered but not shown.)

The RagaMuffin wears this feline rainbow of colors on a thick, plush, medium-length coat that some compare to that of a rabbit. The soft fur invites your touch, which the cat will gladly accept. As a bonus, all that regular petting will help remove loose hair, especially during shedding season. In general, the cat’s fur doesn’t tend to mat, but Pat recommends a weekly combing to help the cat continue to look her best.

A medium to large cat, the RagaMuffin has some heft and can weigh as much as 20 pounds (though females weigh about 5 to 6 pounds less than their male counterparts). The breed has a long life expectancy and is generally a healthy breed. Because of her sweet, trusting disposition, the cat does best as an indoor-only pet.

Not that the RagaMuffin will miss the outdoors, preferring instead to spend her time with her family. Because of her relaxed attitude and naturally friendly disposition, the breed makes a great companion for people of all ages. The cat will also bond with other family pets and is known to seek out and greet visitors to her home.

And while the breed loves a full house, she also will thrive with a single owner — even one who works outside the home. Just be sure to shower the RagaMuffin with love and affection when you return home in the evening, or she will find a sweet, slightly demanding way to make sure you put her needs front and center.

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