What Is The Difference Between A Ragdoll And Ragamuffin Cat?

Long-haired cats can often be easily confused about what breed is what and whether or not they are the same breed. For example, the Ragamuffin and the Ragdoll are two cat breeds commonly confused because of their similar appearance and personalities.

Even though some organizations, such as PetSmart, use the term Ragamuffin and Ragdoll interchangeably (which is incorrect). The two cat breeds are not the same. The two breeds are distinctly different breeds with several traits that are different as well. 

The odds are, both cats will probably greet you at the door, follow you around the house, sit on your lap, or try to sleep in your bed. So if both cats are so exceedingly identical, how in the world do you tell them apart?

While they are both long-haired, look similar, and have similar personality traits. You can determine the Ragamuffin and the Ragdoll if you know what to look for. The two breeds get along very well, making it even more complex at times. 

The Ragamuffin

While there are inconsistencies in the Ragdoll’s history. No one is entirely sure of its particular bloodline—in terms of the specific breeds that are responsible for its existence—even less is known about the Ragamuffin.

The term “ragamuffin” is an apt moniker for this cat. As the word is commonly ascribed to dirty, filthy children with unkempt clothes, are ragged in appearance, and are generally poor, with nothing better to wear. 

The Ragamuffin looks like a hairy, unkempt, bedraggled cat, so the term stuck. However, we do know that the Ragamuffin is a newer generation of cats. Like the Ragdoll, and is even a direct result of the Ragdoll in their own way. 

Not long after Anne Baker delivered the world’s first Ragdoll breed. Other breeders attempted to match her and formed the Ragdoll Society. 

Unfortunately, there were no absolute standards for cat breeding in the 1970s. And somehow or another, we ended up with the Ragamuffin.

The problem is, no one really knows what went into its breeding. Far less so than the Ragdoll, where at least some of the breeds have been identified with attributing to the ultimate result of the modern Ragdoll.

So even though the cats are not the same breed. Their inceptions were wholly intertwined, with one resulting from the other. 

The Ragdoll

Anne Baker is credited with the first Ragdoll after she successfully bred a captured, feral long-haired cat with one of her own long-haired cat, resulting in something that is close to what the Ragdoll is today.

It is suspected that a Siamese cat or two made their way into the lineup somewhere along the line. Along with the possibility of a Burmese cat as well. So the entire lineage is largely unknown, but there are more existing puzzle pieces with the Ragdoll than there are with the Ragamuffin. 

The Ragdoll is known for its highly affectionate nature. And whether or not that was a feature that Anne Baker was aiming for is unknown. 

Later on down the line, Anne used cats known for their friendliness, affection, and loving natures. 

Ragdolls are incredibly laid-back cats. So there is a great possibility that feature was something that was strongly considered in the early phases of the breeding process from which Ragdolls resulted. 

Ragdolls are relatively healthy, with few health problems outside of a small prevalence of cardiomyopathy as an overall breed. 

Differences in Personalities

Both breeds are nearly identical in terms of affection, clinginess, and closeness. The Ragamuffin is just as likely to meet you at the door and follow you everywhere you go as the Ragdoll is. They are both highly affectionate and excellent with other pets and children.

The Ragamuffin is probably a little more energetic and playful, although, like the Ragdoll, they are pretty independent as well. Unfortunately, neither cat is very tolerant of loneliness, so if you have the type of job that keeps you from home for long periods, neither cat is probably right for you. 

Both cats are laid back when they aren’t constantly pining for your attention, and neither will leave your lap empty when you sit down. Of course, they’ll want to jump up in the bed for you at night as well, so don’t be surprised when 20lbs + of fur hits your belly when you lay back. 

Differences in Appearance

Both breeds are large domesticated cats and can easily get up to 20lbs in total body weight. Beyond that, they may be considered obese. Both breeds are long-haired, but the Ragamuffin has a far more rounded appearance in body and stature.

The Ragamuffin breed can have just about any color of eyes. While the Ragdoll typically has bright blue eyes that are large and oval in shape. However, both cats have enormous eyes. Both can easily have that surprised/shocked/startled look, even if they only widen their eyes a little. 

Ragamuffins are much more spread out and diverse in terms of their coats. With all kinds of different color variations in their bloodline. 

However, those color variations are often very faded towards white, so even if a brown or grey slides in there somewhere, it will be very washed out. 

Ragdolls almost always have a distinct and vivid color difference, with their ears, tails, paws, and faces being a generally solid color that is a bright distinction from the rest of their body. 

Looking at a Ragdoll and a Ragamuffin straight on. You will be able to tell that the Ragamuffin is the one with far less of a distinction between its colors and the white of the rest of its body. At the same time, the Ragdoll has pointedly distinct differences. 

Which is the Better Pet?

Overall, that award has to go to the Ragamuffin. Even though Ragdolls are generally well-behaved and loving with children. The Ragamuffin has far more patience with them and remains calm. Which is difficult when a two-year-old child tries to play with your tail or stuff you in the microwave. 

The Ragamuffin also lives longer than the Ragdoll cat. On average, usually around 18 years to the Ragdoll’s 15 or 16. Ragamuffins are also tolerant of change better than the Ragdoll. Such as moving to a new home, a new baby, or introducing a new partner into the house. 

The lone drawback for Ragamuffins is that they tend to put on too much weight, and when they start putting on weight, it can happen quickly. So it’s something that you will have to watch carefully for and be aware of your Ragamuffin’s diet and how much exercise they are getting. 

All-in-all, either one of these cats would make an excellent pet to have in your home, large family, or single household. The differences that give the Ragamuffin an edge are so tiny that they are nearly negligible altogether. 

Final Word

Both the Ragamuffin and the Ragdoll share a large portion of their bloodline with the same lineage. And both of them make excellent household pets. Especially if you want an affectionate, loyal, and loving companion that will be with you for years to come. 

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