Ragdoll Colours & Patterns
There is such a wide variety of colours and patterns available in Ragdolls, there are the three traditional patterns - Point, Mitted & Bicolour in the four main colours - Seal, Blue, Chocolate and Lilac, then there is the Red Series, the Tortie and the Tabby, and any combination of the above! There are also Solid and Mink Ragdolls but we do not breed these here at Saffireblu as we prefer our Ragdolls with captivating blue eyes!
Please see below for pictures, descriptions and genetics explained.
(DNA colour coding is now explained for new breeders, see below for some pictures and descriptions)
We have decided to go into detail on our colour and pattern definitions as it can be very confusing & daunting for beginner breeders or even for pet owners who just want to understand how Ragdoll genetics and how colour prediction works. When we colour test our Ragdolls we have to read the DNA profile results, the information below explains how they are written and what it all means.
Introducing the 4 Main Colours - Seal, Blue, Chocolate & Lilac
ABOVE : Seal - Above is DB GD CH Saffireblu Midnight & Saffireblu Just Imagine, two gorgeous seal point girls. A very dark brown colour (can be almost black) usually seen on the ears, mask, tail and paws depending on the pattern of course. The colour can carry onto the body in some cats, you can see how quickly the colour develops from a kitten to a young adult, Midnight is still only 11mths old in this picture so she will get much darker through the body. This is the darkest coloured Ragdoll available and is usually very popular. A lot of unregistered breeders get confused with Seal and chocolate, and will often tell you that a seal kitten is called Chocolate! This happened with our unregistered Ragdoll Coco. The seal or black gene is marked with a B (Black) and a D (Dense/Undiluted).
(True Seal point = BBDD, Seal point carrying Chocolate = BbDD, Seal point carrying Dilute = BBDd, Seal point carrying both chocolate and dilute = BbDd) A seal always has at least one Black gene and one Undiluted Gene, this is how you know that they are a Seal.
ABOVE : Blue - Here is Saffireblu Crown Jewel and DB GD CH Saffireblu Teddy Bear, two gorgeous blue points. This colour is like a grey, seen on the ears, mask, tail and paws again depending on pattern. The colour can also carry onto the body in some cats but not as much as the Seal colouring does. The blue is a dilute colour, with the gene being represented as (d). Blue points all carry dilute as they are a dilute colour, both Seal and blue are the most common and popular coloured ragdolls. The immediate offspring of blue kittens will always carry the dilute gene so have the capability of producing blues or dilute carriers.
(Blue point = BBdd, Blue point carrying chocolate = Bbdd) Blue points always have one B (black) and two d's (dilute). It just depends on whether they carry chocolate (b) or not (B).
ABOVE: Chocolate - Here is Saffireblu Hans Andreas, a chocolate point King at Dramatik Ragdolls in Perth WA and Saffireblu Claude Monet, a beautiful chocolate tabby point pet who lives on the tropical Island of Saipan (baby photo and 8mth photo of Claude). A milky warm brown colour, usually quite light, can be seen on the points and very occasionally through the coat on a tabby. Chocolate points are always darker than chocolate tabbys, and chocolate tabbys usually appear to have an orange nose! A true chocolate has the genes ?bb? and should be DNA tested for confirmation. The immediate offspring of chocolates will always carry chocolate. With a chocolate you really want the coat to be as pale as possible, the colour points differ in shade by pattern but they should always be lighter than a seal and have quite a white coat. Another thing different about the chocolate is that compared to a seal, the colour is very restricted on the nose to start with and takes longer to develop on the kitten.
(Chocolate point = bbDD, Chocolate point carrying dilute = bbDd) A chocolate kitten must have two chocolate genes (b) and one Dense / undiluted gene (D).
ABOVE: Lilac - Above is Saffireblu The Godfather and Grand Champion Radiant Big Bear, they are both lilac points - father and son. This is a pink/purple/grey colour - has a different hue depending on the cat. It is not as common as some of the other colours, it is also seen on the points & is the lightest colour available. This is one of rarest colours as it is marked with bbdd - meaning fully chocolate and fully dilute. The offspring of lilac kittens always carry both chocolate and dilute, and your lilacs should always be DNA tested for confirmation.
(Lilacs are always written as bbdd on a DNA test result)
Introducing the Red series - Red & Cream - Tortie explained below
ABOVE: Red/Flame - Here is Saffireblu Lovely Jubbly and Saffireblu Gently Bentley, two baby Red Tabby points, they are both kittens in this picture so the red will get more vibrant and spread further on the points as they mature. A dark ginger colour is seen on the points, this colour is very striking & should be a deep, hot shade. Red and cream colours were added into the Ragdoll gene pool in the 1980s from other breeds of cat after the Ragdoll was trademarked in the 1960s, so cats that are Red or Cream or that have red or cream ancestors will always have some form of out cross in their pedigree, whether it be a long way back or more recently. Red is marked as the O gene. The colour is getting more popular with Ragdoll pet owners and is very striking.
ABOVE: Cream - Here is Saffireblu Mr.President and Saffireblu Lucky Leo, they are both beautiful cream tabby points - you can see they are much lighter than their red brothers above. This colour is very pale and hardly visible on some cats, it is an off-white colour with a little hint of red, this is almost as pale as a lilac and in some cases can be even paler. Cream is the dilute version of Red and is very beautiful on a mature Ragdoll.
Introducing the most Common pattern (this gene is in all Ragdolls) - Pointed
ABOVE : Point - Here is Double Grand Champion Saffireblu Teddy Bear and our Grand Champion Companion Coco. The ears, face, lower feet and tail all have colour - this should be perfectly matching in colour like you see on the picture of Coco. This of course depends on the climate that the cat lives in and the points may not be even in colour until the cat is completely mature, also they may not be even if there is a lot of chocolate and dilute in the lines. Breeders strive for perfectly matching colour points, it is very striking when they do match but according to the breed standard kittens should not be penalized against if their colour points don't match under 2 years of age as it may still develop. If the kitten lives in a colder climate the colour will be stronger and the fur will be thicker, if it lives in a hotter climate there will be less colour on the points and less fluff on the body. There may be some colour on the body in a pointed ragdoll, including the stomach which is allowed in the standard. The ?pointed gene? carried in all true Ragdolls is what is responsible for the Ragdolls stunning blue eyes.
Introducing Overlays - Tabby & Tortie
Being an overlay means that these patterns appear in conjunction with another pattern, it sort of appears through or over the existing pattern. For example tabby bicolour, tortie point etc.
ABOVE: Tabby/Lynx - Pictured above is Grand Champion Saffireblu Dash & Saffireblu Jaspas Light - A seal and blue tabby point. These have tabby stripes on the face, tail, feet and legs and sometimes onto the body. Inside the ear is white, white eyeliner is apparent, and there is a black line around the nose leather with a tabby freckle on each side. Tabby appears in combination with other patterns as an overlay ie. Tabby point, tabby mitted, tabby bicolour. This marking tends to carry the colour more through the coat than a plain point, making it appear warmer. The tabby pattern usually indicates outcross in a pedigree. The tabby markings are caused by the introduction of the Agouti gene (A or a) which causes the striping to appear on the coat, although uncommon, in some cases you can have a tabby that is a double hetero zygote, meaning they have two copies of the agouti gene, so they can only produce tabby/lynx kittens - even if mated to a point. Most tabbys can produce both pointed and tabby markings. Tabby is very commonly referred to as lynx, especially by overseas breeders. We call it tabby as that is what we have to register the kittens as with our governing body, just to avoid confusion.
ABOVE: Tortie - Above is CH Saffireblu Kiss Me Kirsty and Saffireblu Aurora (Kizzy is a Blue tortie tabby point and Aurora is a Seal tortie point). This colour is produced when breeding a red or cream with a seal or blue, producing a mixture of colours in different patches. This also means that they can have different colour toes and their paw pads can be a mixture of pink and brown, or pink and grey which is quite striking - just look at the girls feet in the above pictures. Torties can be seal and red/flame, blue and cream, chocolate and red/flame or lilac and cream which is quite rare. This is only usually seen in females as red is a sex linked gene, this appears with other markings i.e. Tortie point, tortie mitted, tortie bicolour, tortie tabby/lynx (Torbie). VERY rarely it is possible to produce a tortie boy, although we have never bred one or seen one and apparently due to it being a sex linked gene tortie males are usually infertile. There is no specific standard or image for ?the perfect tortie?, but symmetrical tortie markings are quite liked by judges and this is what most breeders strive for, the way this colouration works is different on every Ragdoll, you will never find two torties exactly the same. Torties really are a work of art.
ABOVE: Torbie - A combination of the Tortie and Tabby markings. Above you will see Jipsiglenn Aiyana Flame, she is a seal tortie tabby point and only has one little red toe on her back foot. To be a tortie there only has to be one tiny patch, and then the cat is capable of producing red and cream babies, its quite amazing. This lovely girl produced the red and cream boys, and the tortie girls pictured above, and she just looks like a Seal tabby! This beautiful girl has produced a beautiful rainbow of kittens, she has to be one of our best queens.
Introducing the White Spotting Factor
The white spotting factor is as the name suggests - responsible for producing the stunning white patterning on Mitted and Bicolour Ragdolls. This patterning works differently than it does in any other breed, they mitts are longer and more precise in Ragdolls than they would be in a Birman because of the way this gene works.
ABOVE: Mitted - Above is CherishMe Mystical Tycoon, Jipsiglenn Ansara Belle, and Saffireblu Knock Ya Socks Off, all are Seal mitted Ragdolls. The front paws have short white socks, and the back paws have long white socks, the pads of the paws will always appear pink unless mismarked. They also have a white chin, and a stripe of white stretching from the chin, under the tummy all the way to the base of the tail. Mitted Ragdolls can have blazes & it is common for mitted Ragdolls have a mismark of some kind, a perfectly show marked mitted can be just stunning.
ABOVE: Blazes - Above is Saffireblu Griogair Moon and Saffireblu Tinkerbell, they both have blazes. This appears as a white stripe or spot on the nose area, sometimes on the muzzle, this can be a very cute and unique marking. Ideally you want blazes to be as small and symmetrical as possible. Blazes can sometimes look like bicolours, but you can always tell the pattern of the kitten by looking a the front mitts - if they are short mitts it is a mitted, if they go the whole way up the leg it is a bicolour. You will not (or should not) get blazes on pointed Ragdolls, only on Mitted Ragdolls.
ABOVE: True Bicolour - Above you will see Radiant Origin of Symmetry and BRONZE DB GD CH CherishMe Storm Ryder - both are stunning blue bicolours, and you will also see Saffireblu Dancin in the Dark (Dahla) who is a beautiful baby Seal bicolour. These have a white inverted V shape on the face, with tummy and legs being completely white, it looks like the bottom of their body was dipped in white paint, so their colouring should be quite dark along the rest of the body in comparison & there should be a visible line where the coat colour starts on the shoulders. The paw pads and nose are always pink unless mismarked, both the ears and tail should be dark (according to the colour of the bicolour). Perfectly marked bicolours are very successful in shows as they look so magnificent, it is much harder to breed a bicolour that conforms perfectly to the breed standard than it is to breed a perfect pointed Ragdoll, as the white spotting factor is at play & it is basically the luck of the draw. Bicolours are very popular in both Europe and America & are becoming increasingly popular in Australia. The main thing we look for in a bicolour is symmetry, with no dark spots on the legs, and minimal white spotting on the back.
High Mitteds, Mid High White & High Whites - Above is Chirpy - a Blue High Mitted Ragdoll - he looks exactly like a bicolour, but as he is from 2 bicolour parents he is genetically a High Mitted, meaning if we put him to a point we would not get pointed and bicolour kittens like you would from a true bicolour, you would get ALL mitted kittens. These 3 patterns (High Mitted, Mid High white & High white) appear when you breed a mitted to a mitted, a bicolour to a bicolour or a mitted to a bicolour. It results in excessive amounts of the white spotting factor which can cause a mismark. These 3 patterns are not actually registered in the breed standard so they always have to be registered as a bicolour, even if they quite obviously aren't. Although these kittens are always very cute & unique, it is best to avoid breeding pattern to pattern so that your kittens have more of a chance of being show quality Ragdolls, although breeding pattern to pattern can also produce perfect kittens, there is no rhyme or reason as to how they come out.
Introducing Self Coloured Ragdolls
Solid - A solid or self coloured Ragdoll has no colour points, so they are one pure colour, although they may have some of the usual ragdoll markings (ie. Mitts), but they do not have blue eyes. It is strange how genetics works, but Solid Ragdolls can still carry a pointed gene, therefore being able to produce both Solids and the regular pointed Ragdolls. The goal with breeding solids is not to lose the pointed gene which is iconic of a Ragdoll, so you must breed a Solid to a pointed Ragdoll. Solids can come in different colours to pointed Ragdolls, for example black, obviously they have the same temperament as your usual iconic Ragdoll but they are very different in appearance.
Minks - Mink Ragdolls carry the Burmese gene and their coats are a uniform colour all over and the texture is smoother, they usually have aqua green eyes. Mink Ragdolls are actually born with their coat colour, unlike usual pointed Ragdolls.
**As all Ragdoll kittens are born pure white, their colours slowly begin to appear after birth and it takes a week or so to be certain of their colours and patterns. For this reason, Kittens may be on hold for the first few weeks for people already on our waiting list. It may take longer than this to determine the patterns of the lighter coloured kittens like cream & lilac as they are so pale. Ragdolls darken and grow for about 4 years, they are a very slow maturing breed.
BASIC COLOUR & PATTERN PREDICTION
When planning litters for Ragdolls it is important to know what coloured kittens you can expect so that you can plan the best possible matings. Here are some basic colour and pattern predictions for certain matings, its important to remember that there can be exceptions to these rules, but this will give you a basic idea of what to expect. Also because this works on chance you cant expect to get one kitten of every possible colour and pattern combination from one mating, it doesn't usually happen in order and when we say you can expect 25% mitted kittens it doesn't mean 25% of one litter will be mitted, it is an average over a series of litters. This is why it is so hard to have a waiting list, mother nature loves to surprise you!
To predict what colour your kittens will be, first of all you have to understand what the genes are - B is Black or Not Chocolate, b is Chocolate, D is Dense or Non dilute, and d is Dilute.
Ragdoll colour prediction is actually quite easy to understand (but not so easy to explain!), a kitten will get a gene from both parents - a Black or Chocolate gene, and a Dense or Dilute gene. Say a lilac male was mated to a lilac female - both parents carry two dilute genes and two chocolate genes (bbdd), they pass on just one of each of these genes to their kittens, so as they only have dilute and chocolate genes to give - the kitten will inherit a dilute and a chocolate gene from dad, and a dilute and chocolate gene from mum. This means the kitten's pattern would be written as bbdd - fully chocolate and fully dilute, so they are a true lilac. This gets trickier when you mate a Lilac boy to a Seal girl carrying chocolate as there is more than one possibility - (Lilac - bbdd & Seal - BbDD). You can guarantee that all kittens will carry both chocolate and dilute as the Lilac parent only has these genes to give- so all kittens in the litter inherit one dilute gene and one chocolate gene from Dad, but as mum doesnt carry dilute they can not be blue or lilac kittens (you need two dilute genes for this). This means you are left with the possibilities of Bb Dd (Seal carrying chocolate) and bbDd (chocolate carrying dilute). Hopefully these examples are enough to help explain how colour gene inheritance works, we will try to describe how pattern prediction works as well (this is also hard to explain lol but we are working on it), so that instead of just telling you what will produce what, you will actually understand how to figure out the possibilities for yourself. The below links will give you a helping hand.