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Ragdoll Colors

 

 

FIFe standard recognizes Ragdolls in SEAL POINT, BLUE POINT, CHOCOLATE POINT and LILAC POINT (championship status for the reds/flames and tabby/lynx pattern since 2005).

 



Seal and Blue


Though the most important colors are SEAL

  • body beige to cream or pale fawn
  • points deep seal brown
  • chest, bib and stomach lighter in color than body
  • nose leather and paw pads dark seal brown

 

and the pastel shaded BLUE

  • body bluish white, cold in tone
  • points blue-grey without brownish tinge
  • chest, bib and stomach lighter in color than body
  • nose leather and paw pads blue-grey

 

pictures of Ragdolls in seal and blue

 

 

 

Chocolate and Lilac


Regarding the real existence of CHOCOLATE

  • body ivory
  • points milk-chocolate
  • often mask on face is not fully developed
  • chest, bib and stomach lighter in color than body
  • paw pads and nose leather cinnamon

 

and LILAC

  • body glacial white (magnolia)
  • points frosty grey with a pinkish tinge
  • often mask on face is not fully developed
  • chest, bib and stomach lighter in color than body
  • nose leather and paw pads lavender pink

the breeder's opinions are very controversial.

 

Should you ever happen to see a lilac or chocolate Ragdoll, let the owner of this cat show you why the cat is lilac or chocolate. Just a lighter shade of color does not make a genetic lilac or chocolate. In fact, there are several people (including us) who payed up to a quarter more than the normal price for a kitten because of its "rare color" - only to realize much later that these cats are actually blue or respectively seal. And either it just took longer than usual until the cat's final color was developed, or their color did have a lighter shade.


Especially Bicolor Ragdolls are often registered as chocolate or lilac, though they are in truth genetically seals or blues.

 

Reasons are:

Ciara's Tyrone O'Connor and Erin McFarland, Ragdolls in seal bicolor and seal mitted

12 week old seal bicolor
and seal mitted kittens

  • as the Bicolor's paw pads and nose leather are pink ("without color") you cannot use them for color determination.
  • bicolor kittens in general look a lot lighter than their mitted or colorpoint siblings. Ragdoll kittens are born white. The development of the point color starts on the coldest body parts like nose, ears and paws. As bicolor kittens have an inverted "V" in mask and white legs, it always takes longer until the first color on the "not-white" areas appear.

 


More reasons why seal/blue is often mistaken for chocolate/lilac:

  • like all other breeds, Ragdolls often have different shades of color. For example, certain lines tend to have darker or lighter points/body color.
  • sometimes it is just a certain undesirable brownish tinge in blue-points giving the Ragdoll breeders much troubles - such a brownish tinge can be easily mistaken for the required "pinkish tinge" in lilacs.
  • the skin pigmentation can be very different in pointed breeds. A well pigmented skin - see for example the Mitted kitten on the picture above - gives a dark inner and outer ear, while a less pigmented skin - see the Mitted's Bicolor litter brother - gives the appearance of a pink inner ear and also a by far lighter looking back ear (the light skin is shimmering through the colored hairs).

Probably so-called polygenes (groups of genes that act together to produce hereditary characteristics) are responsible for such color differences.

 


In all these years I have never personally seen a true chocolate or lilac Ragdoll, but I am very happy that I am able to present you some photos of chocolate/lilac Birmans or British Shorthair colorpoints compared to - an alleged - "lilac" Ragdoll. Besides, I was so lucky as to get some wonderful pictures from Gerda Stapel, a Ragdoll breeder from Australia, of her officially licensed chocolate and lilac outcross program.


There are a handful of Ragdoll breeders, mainly from the USA and Australia, who started to outcross to other breeds like the Birman, the Himalayan or the Balinese in the mid 1990's to bring in (or to re-introduce?) the chocolate gene. Among those breeders are even some who specialized in "chocolate" and "lilac" Ragdolls for many years until they realized that their cats were in fact just seals and blues. Unfortunately, oftentimes incorrect pedigrees have never been corrected.


Such an outcross program is a long and stony way - though it is relatively easy to bring in the color, it often takes several generations and many years of hard and determined work until the correct type is achieved and stabilized. However, as you can see from the pictures of the cats born in the "Dancingmist" and "Icedolls" catteries, it was worth all the trouble. The chocolate/lilac coloration is unmistakable and the type gets better from generation to generation.


If you want to learn more about Gerda Stapel's chocolate/lilac program, please visit her website.

 



Kirsty, blue mitted Ragdoll, 13 years old This is our Kirsty, purchased as lilac mitted Ragdoll in 1990. However, several international show judges soon certified that she is no lilac but blue, and so we had to re-register her. Indeed, the color of her body, the points and the slate grey nose leather, confirm her true color.... By the way, that's also proof that the colors of Kirsty's parents are not correct, too. Chocolate (Kirsty's father) x lilac (Kirsty's mother) can only produce chocolate or lilac, but never blue!


P.S: There is an DNA color test available in the meantime, so just for fun I let one of Kirsty's 15 year old sons DNA test for the chocolate gene in 2007 (how sad that 16 year old Kirsty went over the rainbow bridge in 2006). The result turned out as suspected - Ciara's Navarro-Jardian is not a carrier for the chocolate gene, though he should have been, provided that Kirsty *had* been lilac.

 

 

British Shorthair von Rigis; Breeder: P.M. von Grambusch

This picture shows two 12 week old British Shorthair Colorpoint kittens

left: lilac point

right: blue point

 

photo: by courtesy of IG-Ragdoll

 

 

Chocolate Birman zur Riegelfeste; Breeder: C. Herdegen

3 year old chocolate point Birman male

 

photo: by courtesy of IG-Ragdoll

 


 


Dancingmist Chocolate Daisy; Breeder: C. Walker
(Dancingmist Chocolate Daisy)
A  chocolate point girl (outcross program 2nd generation). Regarding type you can still see her Balinese ancestors, but the color is clearly true chocolate

photo: G. Stapel

 

 

 

Here the breeding aim is almost achieved - lilac bicolor male and lilac point female, unmistakably with Ragdoll type:


Icedolls Ventura, lilac bicolor
(Icedoll's Ventura, lilac bicolor; photo: G. Stapel)

 

Dancingmist Desiree, lilac point; Breeder: G. Stapel
(Dancingmist Desiree, lilac point; photo: G. Stapel)

 

 

kitten tails in blue und lilac left: tail of a blue point kitten
right: tail of a lilac point kitten

photo: G. Stapel

 


 


General Ragdoll Information [ Ragdoll Purrsonality and Origin | Ragdoll Look | Ragdoll Colors | From Kitten to Cat | Difference from other Breeds (Birman/Himalayan) | Ragdoll Books ]

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Except as noted all text, photos and design by Renate Wald. Illustrations made by and/or purchased from Lallas Countrystyle, R. Wald & C.ountry Patch C.ollections. My heartfelt gratitude goes to Patricia Krook and Maria Sarkio for editing. All images, text and content within this website are subject to copyright laws. Without my or the respective artist's written consent the reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium is prohibited. Disclaimer


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