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RAGDOLLS in COLOR!

If you are ready to see the beautiful ragdoll kittens that we have available for your family, go to our "Angel Kittens" page.

Answers to "What Color Will the Babies Be?"

~ by Nancy Hamilton, Angel Girl Ragdolls. ~
Do not reproduce or copy pictures or text without written permission.

The Ragdoll is an unusual cat in that it is extremely affectionate and loving cat that gets along with other pets, as well as children. The Ragdoll has a dog-like personality which makes them extremely loyal and friendly. They have an amazing coat that is "bunny soft." It is considered a semi-longhaired cat, with fur which is fairly long, silky, and fluffy. A big selling point to busy families is that their coat does not mat or require more than an occasional grooming. Traditional Ragdoll Kittens are born white, only have blue eyes, and acquire their coloring and coat pattern slowly as they age. Full color development may not be evident until 2-4 years of age.

AngelGirls' Ragdoll Kittens in a row (left to right): BLUE Bicolor, LILAC Bicolor, and SEAL Colorpoint!

What "Pointed" means... All Ragdoll cats must be pointed cats with blue eyes to be acknowledged for championship competition. The Ragdoll is a pointed breed, which means that the body is lighter in color than the points (the face, legs, tail and ears). Two interesting things to know... If the eyes are not blue, they are NOT traditional ragdolls; and if they are not born WHITE, they are not traditional Ragdolls. Right now, these Ragdolls are the only ones allowed to show in the class. However, their are other ragdolls, the blue-eyed white, the mink and the sepia ragdoll, which are being shown in the household class, and may one day be allowed in Championship competition.
Also the pointed (referred to as Himalayan in cat associations) gene is recessive, so a cat must have 2 copies of this gene in order to be pointed. Two copies of a pointed gene will make a black cat become a seal point, a red cat will become a flame point, and a tortoiseshell will become a tortie point. If a pointed cat is bred to another pointed cat, all the offspring will be pointed.
The four traditional colors in Ragdolls are Seal, Blue, Chocolate, and Lilac.

Many people, even long-term breeders, do not believe in the existence of chocolate or lilac colored Ragdolls. However, chocolate is a recessive of Seal, and lilac is a dilute of chocolate, and some carriers did survive in the Ragdoll breed, and we have them at Angel Girls.
It is true that most other breeders produced lilac and chocolate Ragdolls by using Himalayan, Persian, or Birman cats in their breeding. You can tell if you look at their pedigree's. A mixed cat will show up as AON, BON, CON, and not as a SBT Ragdoll.
These colors, lilac and chocolate, exist in the Ragdoll and have been proven by genetic testing. UC DAVIS now performs color testing whereby breeders can mail in mouth swabs for their Ragdoll cats; thereby confirming the color and ability of their breeders for you.
FYI: The first registered Ragdolls included a female Chocolate Colorpoint named "Raggedy Ann Tiki", from the first Ragdoll breeding program by Ann Baker. We have Ann Baker's "Raggedy Ann Tiki" in our AngelGirl pedigree's.

The chocolate and lilac colors are definitely more time-consuming to reproduce due to their recessive and dilute qualities. Breeders from the 70's and 80's lacked the information on how to keep the recessive and dilute colors alive in their breeding programs. Most Ragdoll breeders only work with the blue and seal colors, and the ones that have introduced lilac and chocolate have used other breeds, which results in cats that are not of Ragdoll type.

This primarily is a concern in the personality of the Ragdoll, although it also negatively affects their hair, their patterns , and their body type. Mixed breeds do not have the bunny soft fur that requires little to no maintenance. They often have mismarked legs, long or pointed ears, and they do not have the dog-like loyal personality. We feel these losses change the essence of what makes a Ragdoll such a perfect companion.

The Four Standard Colors:

Seal (Black) Point picture
Points are deep seal brown, changing to black as the cat ages. The body color can range from fawn or cream to warm brown.
Chocolate Point pictures
Points are light milk chocolate color, changing to dark chocolate as the cat ages. The body color can range from ivory to cream.
Blue Bicolor picture
Points are slate blue or silverly blue-gray, changing to grey as the cat ages. The body color is ivory or bluish white.
Lilac/Frost Bicolor & Point pictures
Points vary from pinkish beige (left) to frosty-gray lilac (right). The body color is a magnolia color that looks white.


Two Newly Introduced Colors of RED (Flame) and CREAM (Flames dilute):

Any cat with flame, cream, or tortie in its pedigree has to have a mixed breed somewhere along the line, as red was introduced in the 1980's. 

Lilac/Frost
Seal/Red Tortie - Flame






Points vary from a deep orange 'hot' red to light red or orange. The body color is a warm, even creamy white. The paw pads and nose leather are pink.

Blue/Cream Tortie - Cream (Red's dilute)






Points vary from light orange to pale sand or cream. The body color is ivory or creamy white. The paw pads and nose leather are pink.

* RED (Flame Point) and CREAM are two new colors in the Ragdolls. The Ragdolls had to use cats from other breeds to bring in the reds, so make sure the pedigree of your Angel has a long history of true Ragdoll cats so that your Angel will have the wonderful personality of the Ragdoll. The cat associations require three generations of SBT Ragdoll breeding in order to accept a mixed cat as a SBT Ragdoll. This is how you can buy a registered Ragdoll which has characteristics of another breed.

(See below for more information on the Reds.)

The Traditional Colors in Pictures!

The Seal Point Ragdoll:

The body color of the seal point should be an even chocolate brown to seal brown, to black, shading gradually into a lighter cream or fawn color on the belly and chest. Points should be a dense, deep, dark brown. The color of a dark Hershey bar when younger... as a Seal ages it will turn black.

When you take away all the fancy modifiers, additions, dilutions, of cat genetics, you will discover that there are only 2 genes for color. That's right - 2 - nothing more and nothing less.

What are those two colors? Black and Red.

Black is called Seal in Ragdolls because Ragdolls are pointed cats, and two copies of the pointed gene makes a black cat become a Seal point. In the case of Black and Red, it happens that both are "dominant" genes. This means that when they are present they suppress other gene colors.

Black (Seal) = BxDx (Black Undiluted)

The X's signify that they can either be Dominant B or D, or they can be dilute b or recessive d, depending on what the cat inherited from its other parent.

Seal must have at least one (B) Black gene, and at least one (D) un-diluted gene. Seal comes in four varieties.

BBDD - pure Black (Seal) - {seal kittens only}

BBDd - Black carrying dilute (Blue)- {seal and blue kittens possible}

BbDD - Black carrying recessive (Chocolate)- {seal and chocolate kittens possible}

BbDd - Black carrying dilute (Blue) and recessive (Chocolate). )- {seal, blue, chocolate and lilac kittens possible}

NOTE: Since there is one recessive gene (Bb) and one diluted gene (Dd) in the last variety of BbDd, it is possible that if this Ragdoll is bred with another BbDd Seal Ragdoll, that they could get this combination - (bbdd) - which would show as Lilac. Therefore, a BbDd Seal can produce all four color varieties in its offspring, although it is a 'visual' black.

Since a kitten gets a pair of color genes from each parent, a Black (Seal) Ragdoll can 'carry' a recessive or dilute color underneath which can be 'passed' to it's kittens.


This is AngelGirls Adrianna, a rare Seal in that she carries Blue, Chocolate, and Lilac. Most Ragdoll Seals only carry Blue, and some don't even carry Blue.

 

 

The Blue Point Ragdoll:

The body color of the blue point should be an even platinum gray or bluish tone. Shading gradually into a lighter color on the belly and chest. Points should be a deeper grayish-blue tone. Paw pads and nose leather to be a dark blue-gray.

Blue is called a dilute gene, because it is a dilute of Black. Many people find it easier to think of a dilute as half a shade lighter of the dominant color, in this case, grey or blue.

Blue = Bxdd (Black Dilute). Blue must have at least one <B> black gene and two <dd> dilute genes to show up. Blue comes in two varieties.

BBdd - pure Blue - {seal and blue kittens possible}

Bbdd - Blue carrying chocolate {blue, chocolate and lilac kittens possible}

My color is BLUE; My pattern is COLORPOINT! (see Patterns for more information on Colorpoints!)

AngelGirls Blue Bombay (now "Chester" in a happy home.)

(One of our own kittens from Princess Gabriella and Apollo.)

The Chocolate Point Ragdoll:

The body color of the chocolate point should be an ivory color all over, shading if at all to be in the color of the points. The points should be a warm milk chocolate color. Paw pads to be a salmon pink color, nose leather a burnt rose. I often explain that a chocolate cat looks like a milk chocolate color, while a Seal looks like a dark chocolate verging on black.

Chocolate is a recessive gene of Black.

Chocolate = bbDx (Chocolate Undiluted)

Chocolate must have two recessive genes (bb) of Black to show up, and one Un-diluted gene (D). This differs from Blue in that blue must have at least one dominant Black (Bx) and two dilute genes (bb).

Chocolate comes in two varieties.

bbDD - pure Chocolate {seal or chocolate kittens}

bbDb - Chocolate carrying dilute {seal, blue, chocolate or lilac kittens}

My Color is CHOCOLATE; My Pattern is MITTED with a BLAZE! (See Patterns for more information on Mitted and Blaze.)

"Lonerock's Chocolate Dust"

(Father of Prince Cloud.)

The LILAC Point Ragdoll:

The body color of the lilac point should be an even milk white color, almost white in appearance. The points (see Pattern page for more information on points) should be a lilac gray or pinkish light grey tone. The dilute pigment of lilac permitting the flesh tone to show through. Paw pads a coral pink tone, nose leather a translucent old lilac hue.

Lilac is a diluted Chocolate. There is no Lilac gene. To show Lilac, a cat must have two chocolate genes (bb) and two diluted genes (bb).

My Color is LILAC; My Pattern is COLORPOINT!(see Patterns for more information on Colorpoints!)

Blueyed Ima Lilak

(Relative of some of our lilacs.)

Photo Courtesy of Fred and Linda Smith of Blueyed Cattery

 

Secondary COLORs:
Introduced into the Ragdoll Breed recently.

The ROYAL REDS!

Red being a dominant color (genotype known as "O" ) and Cream being its lighter counterpart. Since red is a sex-linked gene, it acts differently than the standard colors, therefore making for the most unique and unusual of colors and markings on the FEMALES, known as the "torties" in Ragdolls because they are pointed cats. No two patterns are ever the same on the girls who carry "Oo", and so the color and patterns are never the same on the torties.

The red gene is only carried on the X (female) chromosome. All females are XX, where males are XY. That is why a male can be red, but not a mixed color, like a female tortie, unless he has the unusual situation of having an additional chromosome, which would also most likely make him sterile. (This does not happen very often, and accounts for the wive's tale about calico's never being male). Since females carry two XX genes, they can carry either two red genes (OO), and SHOW red, or they can carry one red gene (O) and one other color gene (o), and show two colors over white. One of the colors being red or cream (O), and the other being one of the traditional colors (o) which is when they are called a "Tortie" (Oo). The reason that a female cat can be both red and black is because these two colors are the dominant colors. The red and black gene have to 'share' space on the cat. This is called "co-dominance" where some of the cat is black and some of the cat is red.

In summary, a male Ragdoll can be seal, blue, chocolate, lilac, or the new shades of flame or cream. A female Ragdoll can show all of the above colors, plus she can be a seal tortie, chocolate tortie, blue/cream tortie, or a lilac/cream tortie. Since Ragdolls are pointed cats, all Ragdolls which are red are actually flame points.

Tortie:Red is a sex linked gene. The red gene is only carried on the X (female) chromosome. Since males are "XY", they can only show the red color PLAIN or BY ITSELF, while females are "XX", and therefore they can either show just red, or tortie (the mixture of red and their other inherited color).

Torties will generally have Flame or Cream mixed with one of the other colors. FLAME AND CREAM ARE NEWER COLORS in the Ragdolls.

"Princess Duchess" below.
She is a Seal and Flame Tortie Point. She is so sweet and caring! You can see she has simply stunning eye color, and gorgeous mittens and a fabulous white ruff!

Torbie:Torbie is a tortieragdoll, so a female, that ALSO HAS THE LYNX GENE PRESENT (see below, but this only shows the lynx gene, not the TORBIE). We have NOT produced a Torbie yet).This creates striping in the flame or cream and dominant color pattern.

NO PICTURES AT THIS TIME, as we haven't had one!

Lynx: Lynx is a PATTERN, not a COLOR, but because it mixes with Red and creates a TORBIE, we show the pattern here. We can not actually show a red or cream torbie as we have not had one yet.

A SEAL LYNX Girl of ours.

A BLUE LYNX Boy of ours.

These are two different colored LYNX mitted kittens... Remember, LYNX is a PATTERN, but RED is a COLOR!

Please go to the "PATTERNS" page to learn about LYNX, and all about how Patterns affect the color and looks of your Angel Ragdoll,

What are the possible color combinations?

A basic understanding of genetics is needed to understand what color your kitten could be.

First color is: white, always

Second color is: red or cream

Third color is: black, blue, chocolate, lilac, cinnamon, or fawn.

Black and blue are by far the most common in domestic cat populations including Ragdolls; chocolate is very rare, and cinnamon is almost unheard of. I already went into detail on the inheritance of black, blue, chocolate, and lilac above. It is now these colors relationship to the red gene that we're discussing in this section.

The traditional colors of seal, blue, chocolate, and lilac combine in very distinct ways with flame/cream. You can't have a chocolate and cream, or a blue and flame, or a black and cream.

Why not?

The answer: the dilution gene.

There is a gene called the dilution gene which in appearance "washes out" a color and makes it a lighter version. In dominant form (DD or Dd), the cat is normal colored. If it is the Dd variety, then it can still produce dilute offspring, but this cat will not show the dilute color. In recessive form (dd) the cat's color is visually diluted.

The dilute gene is a recessive gene. So if there are dilute genes on both copies of the DNA parents, a black cat becomes blue, a red cat becomes cream, and a seal-flame tortie becomes a blue-cream tortie.

If there is only ONE copy of the dilute gene, the color of the cat DOES NOT CHANGE, but the cat can be called a "dilute carrier", and that cat can produce dilute offspring IF bred to another dilute cat or dilute carrier. If two dilutes are bred together, ALL the offspring must be dilute as well.

 Color Normal (DD or Dd) Diluted (bb) black (seal point) black (seal point) blue chocolate chocolate lilac or lavender cinnamon cinnamon fawn red (flame point) red (flame point) cream 

If the cat is diluted, all its colors are diluted. If the cat is not diluted, none of its colors are diluted.

So you can only have a certain number of possible combinations, based on the fact that you must have one color from each of the three, and you must have either all dilution or no dilution.

If you are ready to see the beautiful Angels we have available for your family, go to our "Little Angels" page.

 

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