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Ragamuffin cat breed information and advice
The Ragamuffin (or RagaMuffin as it’s sometimes spelt) is a relatively new cat breed. It originated in California, USA from Ragdoll cats. The Ragdoll breed was strictly controlled by the breed’s founder, Ann Baker. However, some breeders wanted to introduce new colours and patterns into the breed. This wasn’t allowed and so the two breeds diverged. After breeding with Persians and other long-haired breeds, the new Ragamuffin cat breed was created in 1994. The breed arrived in the UK in 2009 and has become increasingly popular.
If you’re looking for a cat and a Ragamuffin is on your list, here’s some handy facts and care tips about this breed.
Ragamuffin cat facts
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The Ragamuffin is generally a hardy and healthy cat breed. However, it could be susceptible to a few breed-related health issues owing to its Persian ancestors. Protecting your Ragamuffin with cat insurance can help with the cost of medication, vet prescribed complementary treatment or surgery. It can also help cover any ongoing expenses and vet visits.
Sainsbury’s Bank Pet Insurance
Sainsbury’s Bank cat insurance can cover kittens as young as 8 weeks old all the way up to their 10th birthday. And if you take out a policy before they’re 10, and there isn’t a break in cover, we’ll continue to insure them year after year.
How to care for a Ragamuffin cat
Despite being a long-haired cat, Ragamuffins aren’t as high maintenance as you might expect. Like all cats, they should have a balanced diet and lots of exercise. It’s good to know that Ragamuffins are slow to mature and don’t reach full maturity until they’re about 4 years old. As a cat breed, they’re not exactly street-smart, so it’s best for them to be kept as an indoor cat.
Feed your Ragamuffin cat a nutritious diet to fit their requirements, this should be informed by the breeder. Feed them the same at first but if you want to change the cat food, it’s best to do so gradually. They may be large cats, but make sure you don’t overfeed them. As they're not very active, they can easily become overweight.
Ragamuffin cats have a medium-long coat that is soft, silky and dense. Their tail is long and fluffy. Grooming once a week with a brush or comb is all they need to keep their coat knot and tangle-free. Baths are not usually needed. If you do want to bath your cat, make sure you use a shampoo specially formulated for cats. A hairdryer on a low setting can then be used to dry them.
Ragamuffin kittens are born white and their coat colour and patterns develop as they mature. Coats come in every colour and pattern, with and without white. All-white cats are rare and tend to be more in demand. Eye colour depends on the coat colour and can be different colours (called heterochromia).
Ragamuffins are large cats with a hefty bone structure. Female cats are smaller than males and often have a fatty pad on their lower stomach. This is a perfectly normal feature of the breed, not a sign of being overweight.
The Ragamuffin cat’s characteristics can be placid and lazy, so they need to be encouraged to exercise. Provide them with interactive toys such as laser lights, fishing rod toys, etc. to keep them in shape. And make sure that you spend time playing with them every day.
Ragamuffins are intelligent and can be trained to play fetch and walk on a lead if you wish. Not being street-smart, it might be best to get them used to being on a lead so you can take them outside and have some peace of mind. They will pick up toilet, or litter training quickly.
Temperament and behaviour
Ragamuffin cats are easy to handle, affectionate and thrive on attention. And often described as feline, cuddly teddy bears. They’re a sociable breed and form strong bonds with their owner and will love nothing more than to be held in your arms or sit on your lap. Ragamuffin cat’s temperament tends to be gentle and they’re best suited to being kept as an indoor cat.Ragamuffins don’t have a high prey drive so you can be comforted knowing that they won’t be leaving any unexpected presents for you
Common health problems
The Ragamuffin is considered a healthy breed. There are no documented breed-related problems. However, until 2006, outcrosses with Persian and Ragdoll breeds were allowed. This means that they could have health issues inherited from these breeds. They can be affected by conditions such as polycystic kidney disease and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Taking out Ragamuffin cat insurance will mean that any health conditions will be covered.
Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (AD-PKD or PKD) is an inherited condition that can affect Ragamuffins. An ultrasound scan is used to identify any cysts that form in the kidneys. Cats with the disease start to show signs of kidney disease when they’re around 7 years old. Unfortunately, there’s no cure, but there are treatments that may improve their quality of life. Check with your breeder to make sure that their breeding lines are clear of this condition.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, commonly known as HCM, is a serious heart condition that can affect Ragamuffins. Cardiomyopathy means disease of the heart muscle, and in HCM, the heart muscle becomes abnormally thick. This prevents the heart from working properly, leading to heart failure. Long-term medication can slow the disease down. Make sure your breeder has had their breeding lines DNA tested and are negative for HCM.
Ragamuffin’s characteristics make them large but not very active cats. If overfed, they can put on too much weight. This can make them more likely to develop health problems such as diabetes, liver problems, and lower urinary tract disease. If your cat has become overweight, ask your vet or weight management nurse to suggest a weight loss plan suitable for your cat.
Is a Ragamuffin cat right for you?
Ragamuffins cats make gentle and easy-going companions. Their docile nature means that they’ll get along with everyone in the family. They’ll be friends with other cats and cat-friendly dogs in the household. They’re suited to being kept as an indoor cat and make ideal pets for most households.
How long do Ragamuffin cats live?
Ragamuffins can have a lifespan of 12-16 years. Some have been known to live to the ripe old age of 18.
How to groom a Ragamuffin cat
Ragamuffins just need a weekly brush, comb or grooming glove to remove dead hairs and prevent knots and tangles. They’ll enjoy grooming time as they love sitting on your lap and having a cuddle.
What is a Ragamuffin cat?
In summary, a Ragamuffin is a large cat with a medium-long coat that originated in California, USA. It became a separate breed from its sister breed, the Ragdoll, in 1994. It comes in a wide range of colours and has a slightly different body shape to the Ragdoll.
Content provided from Vetstream’s Vetlexicon Felis
Karen Lawrence, Vetstream Ltd (online) RagaMuffin. In: Vetlexicon Felis. Vetstream Ltd, UK. Website: https://vetstream.com/treat/felis/freeform/ragamuffin.
Martha Cannon, Rachel Korman (online) Kidney: autosomal dominant polycystic disease. In: Vetlexicon Felis. Vetstream Ltd, UK. Website: https://www.vetstream.com/clinical-reference/felis/diseases/kidney-autosomal-dominant-polycystic-kidney-disease.
Vetstream Ltd (online) Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease Owner Factsheet. In: Vetlexicon Felis. Vetstream Ltd, UK. Website: https://vetstream.com/treat/felis/owner-factsheets/polycystic-kidney-disease
Serena Brownlie, Phil Fox, Philip K Nicholls, Penny Watson (online) Heart: hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. In: Vetlexicon Felis. Vetstream Ltd, UK. Website: https://www.vetstream.com/treat/felis/diseases/heart-hypertrophic-cardiomyopathy.
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