Ragdoll Cat Colors: Explaining the Breeder Jargon

What Color Is That Ragdoll?

If you’ve spent any time googling ragdoll cats, you know the look is distinct. Ragdoll cat colors are unique for their presentation.

Ragdolls have darker extremities creating a lovely contrast between ear and face, tail and body. 

“I don’t know what color it is, but it’s really dark on the face and I don’t like that. I am looking to find a kitten with a pink nose.”

“I’m trying to find a gray ragdoll kitten but the nose is still sorta pink?” 

“What color is the ragdoll kitten with the white feet and a mark on the face–what’s that called?”

And to complicate matters, a ragdoll kitten does NOT look the same as a ragdoll cat. The color takes up to 3 years to develop.

If we want to talk about the ragdoll cat colors, we need a little vocabulary lesson. 

Ragdoll ColorPoint

What is a Colorpoint Ragdoll?

    • Pointed gene is responsible for the gradual contrast in coat color.
    • Pointed means the pigment distribution is limited to the extremities.
    • Pointed gene is a recessive trait that must exist in both parents in order to be inherited.
    • Pointed is also the word we use when refer to a blue-eyed cat.
    • Pointed color is not unique to Ragdolls. Other breeds enjoy it in varying degrees as well.

Colorpoint, AKA  “Colorpoint Restriction is a genetic phenomenon. It comes from an error in the enzyme production of melanin. A mutation in this enzyme, tyrosinase. It is heat sensitive. It doesn’t work at a normal body temperature. In other words, when the body is warm, it won’t help melanin do its job, which is to manifest color.

At the extreme ends of the cat: the tail, the tips of the ears, the nose, and the feet, color is present. These locations have a cooler body temperature and so the development of color happens only in those spots. The color gradually fades as the body temperature rises closer to the trunk of the cat’s body.

Consider the behavior of the colorpoint gene seen here. Even though the bicolor has some white, his color is darkest at the extremities. The gene responsible for the white interferes with the colorpoint at the chin, neck, belly, and the feet.

Consider these cats (not ragdolls, by the way). The color is evenly distributed. Their eyes are not blue.

Seal Point Ragdoll Color

The Seal Point coloration is the perhaps the most common because seal is mother nature’s dominant color. Compare Seal color to Godiva Dark Chocolate and reserve the chocolate point ragdoll to an ordinary Hershey bar.

Blue Eyes from a ragdoll cat.
Cobalt Blue Eyes

A quality pedigree seal, whether found in colorpoint, mitted, bicolor, or tabby patterns, will produce the most dramatic blue eyes.

Discriminating taste knows that blue comes in more than one shade.

Genetics play a major role in eye shape, broadness of head shape, ear size. 

Blue Point Ragdoll

The Blue Point Ragdoll cat is obviously not Crayola Blue, but rather gray. Blue is the result of the dilute gene. Dilute as it’s referred to in the cat fancy, reduces or diminishes the dominant color – in this case, seal (or black self) and the result is a cool blue color.

As with any pointed color, the grayish-blue is most pronounced at the ears, tails and feet, and gradually lighten as it moves inward towards the truck. He will have a dark gray nose leather and paws (toe beans) to match.

When pet seekers say they want a grey ragdoll, they actually want a blue pointed kitten in either lynx, mitted, bicolor, or colorpoint.

Chocolate Point Ragdoll

The color should be a warm, coffee and cream sort of look. If you look closely at the paw pads and nose leather, you will see pink tones in the chocolate color unless she is bicolor or mitted. White on the feet make for pink toe beans.

Keep in mind that often chocolate pointed ragdoll cats and kittens will exhibit a slightly softer blue eye. The color is commonly called cornflower blue.

Chocolate Point was present in the earliest of ragdolls, but was lost in the shuffle for a while. Breeders have since relied on the Birman to get it back so outcrosses are still evident in some lines being bred today.

Note: I only use images I can produce myself. I have not had much luck breeding chocolate so these are the best I could provide you. If you search google for chocolate ragdolls, so many will look like Birmans. This young lady is one of the few who adheres more closely to the breed standard.

Lilac Point Ragdoll

Lilac Ragdoll Color is the dilution of Chocolate. The dilute gene (D/d) diminishes the chocolate to a frost or platinum. Blue eyes will often suffer as well, but not always. If the breeding program is well managed, a lilac with deep blue eyes is possible. Masterpiece Ragdolls has done it.

Lilac nose leather and blue eyes
Lilac Point Ragdoll

Lilac color can take a long time to show up. Only a very experienced breeder can distinguish lilac color from the chocolate or blue in the beginning.

Only a DNA test will expose the true gene present.

A lilac bicolor, or high white (Van) may appear to be almost solid white for several weeks after birth.

Ragdoll Breeder Color Note

Both parents must display chocolate or carry it (recessive) in addition to the dilute gene, in order to produce lilac offspring. If one or both of the parents are seal, it is very unlikely that the offspring will produce lilac. Recessive traits are more likely produced if both parents are exhibiting recessive traits (phenotypically or visually expressive).

Fascinating Ragdoll Patterns

All Ragdoll Colors can occur with all Patterns.

 “And White” is a conversational way of speaking. It means we are not just talking about a colorpoint. We are talking about a mitted or a bicolor, etc.

Less Common Ragdoll Colors

Red & Cream Ragdoll Colors

Red expresses itself as orange, flame, cream – really, any variation of those are red. Red is a masking gene that dominates whatever the real color of the cat is genetically. Pedigreed Ragdoll breeders refer to this as “Flame Point” or the dilute, “Cream Point.” It comes through from the torities. And to complicate matters more, Flame or Cream Point males produce all tortie females.

Reds are known for being docile and sweet tempered ragdolls. They are not terribly common, but are sometimes in quite the demand.

Cinnamon & Fawn Point Ragdoll Colors

Cinnamon Point is fairly difficult to find. It’s often found in the variant ragdolls, minks/sepias/solids (non-pointed cats, but registered nonetheless with TICA as Ragdolls).  Cinnamon sits on the same allele as Chocolate. If a ragdoll has cinnamon, he necessarily has chocolate. Cinnamon, even as a recessive trait can change the look of the chocolate. The two can even be confused. Fawn, the dilute of cinnamon, can be confused with Lilac. 

Cinnamon Point Ragdoll Kitten with head tilt
Cinnamon Point Ragdoll Kitten

Masterpiece Ragdolls will not breed for cinnamon as the pedigrees contain many outcrosses. The work of bringing in a new color is laudable. These outcrosses can have varying effects on the health and temperament. I have met some very docile and friendly cinnamon ragdolls in my colleagues’ cattery.

Ragdoll Colors Chart

Most likely, if you’re trying to tell your breeder what kind of ragdoll cat you’re hoping to adopt, you’re struggling to say it. This chart translates the jargon to conversational terms so you can tell your breeder which ragdoll kitten you’re dreaming about.


What the cat

fanciers call

the ragdoll cat

What the rest of us might call it Genotype: What the Scientistcalls it


Popularity

Scale 1-10

 

Seal Point

Almost Black,
Dark Brown  

BB DD

Bb Dd

Bb1 Dd

10
Blue Point

Gray

BB dd

Bb dd

Bb1 dd

7
Chocolate Point Brown bb DDbb Dd

bb1 DD

bb1 Dd

6
Lilac Point

Silver

bb dd

bb1 dd

5
Cinnamon Point

Reddish Brown?

b 1 b 1 DDb 1 b 1 Dd 3
Fawn Point Blonde? b 1b 1  dd 2
Flame Point

Red

Orange

Hmmm, What is that?

o 5
Cream Point

Peach?

Light Orange?

Wow, That’s pretty!

oo, dd 4

Ragdoll Cat Pattern Chart

For all practical purposes, most presumptive adopters know they want either a dark nose OR the mask.

The “Mask” is a Bicolor Ragdoll” while the Dark Nose” is a ColorPoint or Mitted Ragdoll Kitten, colloquially speaking. Try not to get too caught up in the various types of bicolor ragdolls (high mitted, high white, mid high white). 

Ragdoll Breeders typically refer to their cats as bicolor or mitted ragdolls for your convenience. Colorpointed cats are less common, but Masterpiece Ragdolls does produce a few each year.

Pattern Characteristics
ColorpointGenotype: ss
  • Due to the cscs allele – same as a Siamese
  • No white present anywhere on the body
  • No white spotting factor (WSF)
MittedGeneotype: sms
  • Due to the WSF
  • White present on feet, underbelly, and chin
  • Majority of the body is non-white
Bicolor Geneotype: Ss
  • White extending from feet into legs, lower half of the body
  • Due to the unique white gene, S, as opposed to the WSF
  • Inverted V forming a “mask”
  • Cat carries one colorpoint gene and one bicolor gene
  • Can produce a colorpoint
High Mitted Geneotype: smsm
  • Due to the WSF inherited from one or both parents
  • Indistinguishable from the True Bicolor visually
  •  Identification possible through DNA
  •  Cannot produce colorpoints
Mid High White orMid Bicolor

Geneotype: Ssm

  • Due to the WSF inherited from one or both parents
  • Heterozygous of both WSF from the mitted parent and the S gene from the True Bicolor parent
  • Discovered and named by Robin Pickering
High White “Van”Geneotype: SS
  • Highest level of white patterning visible
  • The result of two heterozygous true Bicolor Ragdolls
Ragdoll Coat Patterns
Generic Ragdoll Coat Pattern Chart