Ragdolls have long hair and were originally bred using only longhaired felines, so they do not have any shorthair genes that would allow shorthaired kittens to be born. Furthermore, the breed standard in all iterations states that these cats have long hair. Therefore, if a cat has short hair, it probably isn’t a Ragdoll at all.
For instance, the Cat Fanciers Association states that a Ragdoll must have a “moderately long” coat. The organization will not register felines with shorter coats. With that said, you will still see kittens advertised as “shorthaired Ragdolls.” However, based on the breed’s genetics, these cats cannot be purebred Ragdolls. Let’s take a look at why that is.
Why Can’t Ragdolls Have Short Hair?
All Ragdolls have long fur. In cats, the long hair gene is recessive. Therefore, the kittens must inherit two long hair genes to get long fur. Any time a shorthaired cat is thrown in the mix, most kittens (if not all) will get shorthair. They may carry the gene for long fur, but their fur will be short.
Based on this information, all Ragdolls have two long-hair genes and no shorthair genes. If any had a shorthair gene, they wouldn’t have long fur. Therefore, no kittens born to two Ragdolls can have short hair. There are only longhair genes for them to inherit.
For a Ragdoll kitten to have short hair, another cat breed has to be thrown into the mix. Often, when trying to create “short hair Ragdolls,” similar breeds like the British Shorthair are used. Of course, this means the resulting kittens aren’t completely Ragdolls. Instead, they share half their genes with another cat breed.
Two longhaired cats can’t have shorthair kittens unless there is a spontaneous mutation (which is extremely rare). Therefore, you can guess that all cats advertised as “short hair Ragdolls” are actually mixed breeds. Of course, there is also the chance that the cat doesn’t have Ragdoll genes. A few breeds are short-haired and look somewhat like Ragdolls (like the Siamese). These cats may sometimes be passed off as Ragdolls since they are worth a lot of money.
Do Ragdolls Kittens Have Short Hair?
All Ragdolls are born with shorter hair. Their long fur can take several years to grow—it doesn’t happen overnight. When you adopt a Ragdoll kitten, it will probably have short hair. You may see many pictures of “short hair Ragdoll kittens” online. However, if these cats are purebred, they will have longer coats when fully grown.
There are several other interesting facts about Ragdoll kittens, as well. For instance, practically all Ragdoll kittens are born white. However, their color shifts almost as soon as they are born. Most Ragdolls will become darker as they get older. Still, not all Ragdolls sold at 12 weeks will have their full coat color developed. Some colors and patterns take longer than others.
Before looking for a kitten, it’s essential to understand the breed. If you show up at a breeder and their kittens have short hair, it does not mean they are a scam. Instead, their kittens just haven’t grown in their full coat.
The best way to determine whether a cat is purebred is to check the breeder’s reputation. See if the kittens are officially registered as Ragdolls (documentation should be provided as part of the kitten’s price). You can also ask to see the parents, though some breeders use sires owned by other breeders. In this case, only the mother may be available for you to look at.
4 Unique Facts About Short Hair Ragdolls
1. They Don’t Exist.
Ragdolls with short hair do not exist. These cats have been bred to have longer fur since the beginning. Because of how cat genetics work, two longhaired cats cannot have shorthaired kittens.
2. You May Still Find Short Hair Ragdolls for Sale.
You may still find Ragdoll kittens being advertised as having “short hair.” Many times, this is a scam. The kitten is either a mixed breed or not a Ragdoll at all. Because this breed is so expensive, it isn’t odd for scammers to try and pass kittens off as Ragdolls.
3. Ragdoll Kittens Have Short Hair.
All Ragdoll kittens are born with short hair, however. As the kitten gets older, its fur will grow out. Therefore, they don’t stay shorthaired forever. Your kitten will likely have short hair when you adopt it, but this doesn’t mean it isn’t a Ragdoll. You can expect the kitten’s fur to reach its full length after a few years.
4. No breed Standard Mentions Short Hair.
No breed standard ever written about the Ragdoll has specified that the breed has short fur. No association will allow cats to be registered as a Ragdoll if they have short fur (which means they’re a mixed breed).
Short hair Ragdolls simply don’t exist. Some scammers may try to pass off shorthaired cats as Ragdolls due to the average price of these cats, which can rise to over $2,000 for show cats. Some may even claim their cats are “rare” or “exclusive” due to their short hair.
However, Ragdolls cannot have short hair unless mixed with something else. This breed does not have the gene for short hair, making it impossible for them to have short hair kittens. With that said, all Ragdoll kittens are temporarily born with short hair. It grows out over the first few years of the cat’s life. They are also all born white, though their color comes through far sooner than their short hair.
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Featured Image Credit: Imaan Ahmad, Shutterstock