Differences between the RagaMuffin Cat and Ragdoll Cat

ragamuffin kitten

Many pet owners get confused about the difference between RagaMuffins and Ragdolls cats.  The fact that the names are so similar adds to the confusion.  There are also pet owners that have not heard of RagaMuffin cats.  The RagaMuffin cat breed grew out of the Ragdoll breed.  The Ragdoll breed was developed by Ann Baker in the 1960s.  Anne developed the Miracle Ragdolls, the IRCA Ragdolls, and the Honey Bears.  To develop these breeds, domestic longhairs, Persians, Birman, and Angora breeds were used.  These different lines of cats were known as the Cherubim Cats.  The Cherubim Cats were registered in the International Ragdoll Cat Association (IRCA)  IRCA was a registry formed by Anne Baker.  However, the breed that is considered related to the RagaMuffin Breed is the IRCA Ragdolls.

The First Break From IRCA

Sometime after Ann established IRCA, a group of breeders decided to break away from Ann and have their breed recognized by the more formal cat registries.  Their foundation cats were pointed cats only and were only from the IRCA lines.  Over the next couple of decades, the type of the newly registered Ragdoll was selectively bred.  This resulted in the “new” Ragdolls looking different from the original IRCA Ragdolls.  The newly registered Ragdolls came up with a standard for their breed that was different from the IRCA Ragdolls

The Creation of the RagaMuffin Cat

The Ragdoll breeders that did not leave the Ann Baker program continued to breed all the Cherubim cats.  However, Ann’s health declined.  Several of these Ragdoll breeders decided to also leave IRCA and form a breed that would be registered in the formal cat registries.  They were prohibited from using the name Ragdoll, as Ann had trademarked the name.  This group of breeders also decided that they wanted to include all the colors in their breed.  This meant they were not limited to only the pointed cats.  The name “RagaMuffin” was put out for consideration by one of these founding breeders.  “RagaMuffin represented the street-urchin.  Josephine, that Ann used to start the Ragdoll breed was a stray cat, so the name seemed fitting.  The RagaMuffin name stuck.  Many breeders will also refer to their RagaMuffins as their “Muffins.”

Differences Other than Color

Besides the difference in the number of colors available in the RagaMuffin breed, outcrosses were brought in to help to widen the genetic diversity of the breed.  Initially, the domestic long hair and the Persian were used (in addition to Ragdolls).  The use of Persian gave the RagaMuffin a very distinctive look from that of the Ragdoll.  Where the Ragdoll has oval eyes, the RagaMuffin has walnut-shaped eyes.  This can be attributed to the Persian and domestic longhair.  The RagaMuffin also has a very different profile than the Ragdoll.  The nose of the RagaMuffin has a scoop, shaped like an ice cream scoop.  The standard does not call for a break like the Persians

No Extremes in the RagaMuffin “Look”

There are to be no extremes in the RagaMuffin cat.  The nose profile of the Ragdoll is sloped.  The Ragdoll has a longer and narrower muzzle than the RagaMuffin cat.  The muzzle of the RagaMuffin is wider than that of the Ragdoll and the RagaMuffin has puffy whisker pads.  In addition, the profile of the top of the head of the RagaMuffin is slightly domed.  The Ragdoll has a flatter profile on the forehead.  So, while the two breeds share some common ancestry, the RagaMuffin breeders made significant changes through the use of outcrosses, resulting in a very different look from the Ragdoll.  It is often said that the walnut-shaped eyes, the scoop, the puffiness of the whisker pad, and the scoop give the RagaMuffin an eternal look of a kitten.  The temperaments of the two breeds are similar, with both being floppy, affectionate, laid back and lovable cats, but to a trained eye, there is no mistaking the RagaMuffin and the Ragdoll cat breeds.