Breeds

Bengal Ragdoll Mix: Traits, Facts, Habits & More

Meet the gorgeous and unusual Bengal Ragdoll mix. There is a lot more to this feline mix than meets the eye. I discuss the breed's history, temperament, care needs, and more.

Danielle DeGroot

Last Updated: May 7, 2024 | 15 min read

Girl holding a Bengal Ragdoll mix.

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There are plenty of mixed feline breeds, but one that you see less often is the Ragdoll Bengal mix. Both these breeds are highly sought after, but they have strikingly different appearances and personalities. A Bengal Ragdoll is not a kitty you will see every day, and you will undoubtedly remember your encounters for a long time to come.

The Ragdoll is a beloved breed famous for its docile personality and large floppy body. Bengals are revered as hybrid kitties and stand out in a crowd with their exotic, leopard-spotted coats. Combining these two feline treasures creates an adorable, exotic, and incredibly unique kitty.

Without further ado, let’s meet the amazing Ragdoll Bengal mix.

Bengal Ragdoll Mix
    • weight iconWeight12 - 25 pounds
    • height iconHeight12 - 16 Inches
    • lifespan iconLifespan12 - 15 Years
    • color iconColorsBrown, Chocolate, Cream, Blue, Seal, Silver, Charcoal, Cream, Red, Lilac, Mixed
    • color iconPatternsSpotted, Marbled, Sparbled
  • Child Friendliness
  • Canine Friendliness
  • Training Difficulty
  • Exercise
  • Grooming Upkeep
  • Breed Health
  • Kitten Costs

Breed History

The Ragdoll Bengal mix isn’t a hybrid cat breed you will see every day. While both are highly sought-after and popular feline breeds, they are pretty different regarding physical traits. Personality-wise, they have some similarities but markedly different energy levels. Blending the two creates a unique, elegant feline companion.

Keep in mind that with any mixed-breed kitty, there is a level of unpredictability regarding appearance and personality. Your kitty inherits genetic traits from both parent breeds; some may be more dominant than others. In many cases, it takes until your cat is fully grown to truly know exactly how big they will be and their personality.

We don’t know much about when this mixed breed got its start, but designer cat breeds have risen in popularity over the last several decades. Both breeds come from California, so it is likely the first Ragdoll Bengals also came from there.

Bengal Cats

Bengal mixed cat lying on back.
Bengal cats look like little leopards.

Bengals have an exotic look and an intriguing history. Bengal kitties are true hybrids, developed from the wild Asian leopard cat and the domestic feline. Initially, they were bred for research in the late 1960s. A physician and leukemia researcher named Dr. Willard Centerwall studied them to learn about the wild Asian Leopard cat’s partial immunity to feline leukemia. In the 1970s, when the research concluded, these hybrid kittens were given to a breeder. That breeder crossed them with other domestic kitties, leading to the exotic-looking Bengal cats of today.

Bengals kept as pets are far removed from their wild ancestors but retain their exotic looks, earning them the nickname of toy leopard. They are extremely intelligent and have an active prey drive. Bengals are also very athletic and energetic. Along with that, Bengals are among the most intelligent cat breeds. They need a lot of mental interaction, as well as physical exercise. Bengals are also very affectionate and enjoy spending time with people. They can become extremely attached, clingy, and quite vocal. They do not meow the same as most other cat breeds. Instead, these kitties make a chirping or chattering sound.

One of the most remarkable things about the Bengal cat is its appearance. Due to their wild Asian Leopard cat genetics, they have coats that look like tiny leopards. Bengals have smaller heads and lithe, muscular bodies. They often have exceptionally large eyes set wide apart on their faces. Their heads are shaped like a wedge with high cheekbones and prominent, round ears.

Bengals are generous in size and can weigh between eight and 20 pounds or more. They are also fairly tall cats, standing between 13 and 16 inches tall at the shoulder. Bengals have a unique body shape because their back legs are longer than the front legs. They also have very large paws. These physical features contribute to their wildcat-like appearance.

Bengals are high-maintenance and fairly rare. Many cat fans have heard of a Bengal cat, but only a few have been lucky enough to meet one in person.

Ragdoll

Couple of Ragdoll cats lying on white floor with white background.
Ragdolls are regal cats with beautiful bodies.

Ragdolls are a lovely breed known for their agreeable personalities and large floppy bodies. Their tendency to flop in your arms like a rag doll has earned them the nickname of floppy cats. Ragdolls have long topped the list as one of the most favorite breeds of cats around the world.

The Raggy, as they are affectionately called, is not a natural breed. Many refer to them as a designer breed. The breed originated in the 1960s in California. A breeder there, Ann Baker, bred her cats with free-roaming neighborhood cats to create the floppy cat breed. Despite some questionable claims about their origins and the history of the cats she used, the Ragdoll cat breed quickly became popular and continues to be one of the most sought-after breeds in the world.

Ragdolls are incredibly friendly with humans and other pets, both cats and dogs. They are also extremely easy to train, healthy, and unbelievably beautiful with long silky coats. They stand out for their huge, brilliant blue eyes. Ragdolls are relatively large, reaching between 12 and 20 or more pounds when fully grown.

Ragdolls are famous for their laid-back, affectionate personalities. Their loving nature makes them fantastic picks for family pets, especially in homes with children. These cats do not mind being dressed up, carried around, constantly petted, or made to be the center of attention. They eat it up. Even though Ragdolls love being a part of everything you do, they are also incredibly quiet cats.

Size & Appearance

The Ragdoll Bengal mix has an exquisite appearance. As they inherit characteristics from both parents, even cats in the same litter can look quite different.

Both parent breeds are hefty, so you can expect a relatively large cat. Anywhere from 12 to 25 pounds is realistic. The exact size depends on which parent breed they take after most. However, you can expect a kitty that stands at least 12 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs about 15 pounds. Depending on the dominant genetic traits, they may have a thicker, rounder body like the Ragdoll or a more agile, slender build like the toy leopard. Either way, this cat has a muscular body, strong legs, powerful bodies, and intense athletic ability.

These cats may inherit the longer back legs of the Bengal, though it is not likely to be as pronounced in a mixed breed. As both parent breeds have large, prominent eyes, their mixed offspring are likely to have impressive peepers.

Temperament

Both parent breeds are highly affectionate, very intelligent, and love attention. While the Ragdoll is calm and docile, Bengals tend to be high-energy and very vocal. These two extreme personalities can cause a remarkably interesting mix. Ragdoll Bengals are friendly, enjoy interaction with people and other animals, and are very agreeable and eager to learn new things. Their smarts and desire to please people make them highly trainable.

These cats are gentle but can inherit the higher prey drive of the hybrid Bengal. Many people consider this feline blend the best of both worlds: the highly athletic, exotic, leopard-like cat with the incredibly lovable and amicable Ragdoll personality. You can expect a cat that is very affectionate, social, and loves to be the center of attention. Of course, these traits vary from kitten to kitten.

It is important to remember that both parent breeds are highly intelligent. Higher intelligence means your kitty needs regular interactive play sessions with you as well as toys and entertainment to keep their minds stimulated. Puzzle feeders, tunnels, agility training, and other interactive activities are highly recommended. Because this breed is so smart, they can also become stubborn and act out if they don’t get enough mental exercise.

Coat & Colors

Bengals have short, dense coats, and Raggy cats have long, silky coats. Mixing the two yields a kitten with short to medium, dense, silky fur. They will likely inherit some form of leopard-like markings, but this will not be as obvious or striking as their purebred parent. These kitties come in a wide variety of colors. Shades of brown, chocolate, cream, blue, seal, silver, charcoal, lilac, cream, reds, oranges and bicolor are all possible. They can really be just about color.

Bengals come in a variety of coat patterns, including marbled, spotted, or a mix called sparbled. In many cases, cats may have a lighter-colored base coat with darker markings. However, some may have darker base coats with spotted or marble patterning. This often makes patterning on black, darker brown, and blue kitties harder to see, as it blends in well with their base coat color.

Grooming

Pet hair brush with pet fur clump after grooming cat and bowl of cat food in a blue bowl next to it.
Expect this kitty to shed a bit.

Your Bengal Ragdoll mix will need plenty of grooming. Toy leopards are not as high-shedding as many other breeds, and Ragdolls shed less than one might think. That said, expect a fair amount of shedding. Shedding happens all year round, but your little leopard will experience two heavier shedding seasons corresponding to the change in temperatures.

You must groom them regularly to keep their coats clean, healthy, and silky smooth. For longer-haired kitties, daily grooming may be required. Medium—and shorter-length coats often need twice a week or more brushing. You will also need to inspect your little leopard’s coat regularly for debris, tangles, matting, and irritations or injuries to its skin.

Along with regular brushing, you should expect to bathe your Raggy Bengal once every three or so months. Because of their longer coats, they often pick up debris and need a good bath to clean it all out. You must also work to brush their teeth a few times a week and clip their nails regularly. You can learn more about brushing your cat’s teeth in our guide on cat toothbrushes.

These kitties are not hypoallergenic, so if you have cat allergies, they may not be the best mix for you.

Living Requirements

Bengal Ragdoll mix laying on a laptop keyboard.
This kitty doesn’t like cramped spaces.

A Bengal Raggy hybrid needs a home with plenty of room to roam. These kitties are physically large and excellent climbers due to their Bengal genetics. Bengals love to climb and are highly skilled. It is not unusual to find them perched atop your bookshelves, refrigerators, or high up in your closets. Because they are so smart, they can discover ridiculously small openings to sneak through and get into areas they shouldn’t, like the attic, or even escape outside.

Bengal cats love to climb so much that it is vital to install climbing elements inside the home that are safe and secure. This can include steps mounted on the wall, cat towers, playgrounds, outdoor enclosed spaces, and more.

Along with plenty of room to roam and a wide variety of toys, this mixed kitty must have a home with their own space. All cats need a safe space to retreat to, and with a kitty of this size and intelligence, they must have a place to unwind away from the action.

Because they are so active and invested in being with you all the time, Bengal Raggy mixes may not like to be left home alone for lengthy periods of time. This can vary from cat to cat, as some Ragdolls are very aloof and don’t mind alone time. However, it is best to keep this in mind if you have a job that requires you to be away from home for prolonged periods or take lots of trips and plan to leave your kitty at home. If they develop separation anxiety, they can become quite destructive as well as have impacts on their health, such as developing urinary tract infections and blockages, as well as changes in appetite and weight loss and gain.

Exercise

Your Ragdoll Bengal hybrid requires plenty of daily exercise. Try for at least two 30-minute sessions of rigorous activity. With this breed, exercise means more than tossing a cat ball across the house or having a quick session with a feather wand. These cats have a very high prey instinct and love chasing things. For this reason, laser pointers, obstacle courses, moving toys like the floppy fish, and other activities that require them to stalk and chase things are extremely helpful in expelling all that energy. This kind of play also allows them to engage in that hunter’s instinct, which is something they feel every day.

If you are patient enough to lay firm boundaries, you can train this mixed breed to walk on a leash. Alternatively, you can create a safe cat walkway or climbing structure outside that is enclosed so they can get that fresh air but remain secure. It is not quite the same as exploring the outdoors freely, but it gives them a healthy outlet for some physical energy.

Training

Positive reward-based training goes a long way with the Bengal Ragdoll hybrid. Because they are so bright, they pick up on training quickly, and as natural people pleasers, they love doing well. They will happily perform for this reward because they love attention and tasty treats. With patience and practice, these kitties can learn to do many things that some other breeds cannot.

Along with learning tricks and games, your kitty needs training in basic behavior expectations. The litter box training, of course, starts on day one. Litter box behavior must be reinforced throughout the first year to ensure that it sticks. Your cat must also understand behavior boundaries, such as places they are not allowed to go, not to scratch up your furniture or walls, and not to attack, bite, or scratch other people and pets. Learn more about how to discipline cats, which can help with the training process.

Health

A Ragdoll cat at the vet.
Ragdolls have a few health issues you should be aware of with this mixed breed.

Bengal Ragdoll mixes are fairly healthy overall because they are a designer breed bred from two highly pedigreed parents. They have an average lifespan of 12 to 15 years and are often healthier than their parent breeds.

Both Bengals and Ragdolls are known for being quite healthy. Bengals rarely suffer from breed-specific health issues, which is good news for any breed mixed with them. Ragdolls are also quite healthy but are at risk from some genetic health concerns, such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. However, the mixing of genetics reduces that risk considerably.

Below, I run through a few potential health issues to be aware of.

  1. Heart DiseaseHypertrophic cardiomyopathy, or HCM for short, is a heart disease in which the heart muscle thickens. This disease has no cure, but breeders often screen for it.
  2. Obesity – Ragdolls are large cats who love to eat, and both parent breeds are quite hefty in size. Because of this, it is quite easy to overfeed them, leading to weight issues. While chonky cats are adorable, they’re not always very healthy, so you want to avoid this possibility. Regular exercise, a healthy diet, and portion control are pivotal to keeping this breed at a healthy weight. With obesity comes a risk of developing feline diabetes.
  3. Urinary Health Dysfunction – Bladder stones and urinary tract issues are also common among felines, particularly males. You must watch out for urinary tract infections, struvite crystals, and kidney dysfunction.
  4. Kidney Disease – Polycystic kidney disease can also be a concern for Ragdolls.
  5. Hip Dysplasia – Hip dysplasia and other joint dysfunction can impact all cat breeds, but larger breeds like this are at higher risk. It can cause pain and limit mobility if left untreated.

Your Bengal Ragdoll hybrid needs regular veterinary care throughout its life. They require more during their kitten years, and both these breeds can take a little longer to mature. They will need vaccinations, regular checkups, as well as a spay or neuter procedure. Once they reach adulthood, they will need vaccinations updated and a regular checkup at least twice a year.

These preventative care visits are especially important, as they allow you to discuss concerns with your vet and catch any conditions in the early stages. It is much better to take the time to go to the vet a few times a year than to try to find care in an emergency.

Pet insurance is worth it because of the risk of some of these health conditions. Pet insurance will not cover pre-existing conditions or routine care, but it can be beneficial in the case of an emergency, injury, or long-term illness. In some cases, it can help you access lifesaving care for your pet that you would not otherwise be able to afford. You can learn more about pet insurance and our top recommendations in our best pet insurance guide.

Nutrition

The Bengal Ragdoll mix does not need a special diet. However, feeding them the highest quality food you can afford is essential. Because they risk obesity and their love of food, high-quality animal proteins are of significant importance. Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they need meat to survive, have enough energy, and develop properly. Looking for cat foods that list named animal meats as the first ingredients is important, and while cats need some fiber, plant-based ingredients should make up a minimal amount of their diet. They also need healthy fats to promote skin health and brain development and support the immune system.

Cats require a balance of different minerals, vitamins, fatty acids, and amino acids. Calcium is essential as it supports bone and blood health. Phosphorus, iron, magnesium, and zinc are also minerals that support their overall health. Vitamins A, D, B1, B2, B3, and B6 are pivotal to promoting overall growth, supporting the immune system, and helping regulate the metabolism of carbohydrates and proteins.

If you have any concerns about your cat’s nutrition, it is best to discuss this with your veterinarian or pet nutritionist before making significant changes.

Mixing fresh and human-grade foods into your fur baby’s diet can be beneficial. Not only does this provide a pop of great flavor, but it also gives them a boost of top-quality nutrition. Mixing this in with a daily meal or as an occasional treat can help provide your pet with a balanced, highly nutritious diet. You can also consider adding freeze-dried meats and treats to your pet’s diet.

Due to the Ragdoll breed’s propensity to develop kidney issues, it is vital they have wet food as a part of their diet. A healthy mix of both wet and dry is best.

Learn more about different food options in our reviews of Smalls, Stella & Chewy’s, and Dr. Marty’s cat food.

Does My Cat Need A Raw Diet?

I often hear questions about feeding both Ragdolls and Bengals raw diets. In some cases, this can be beneficial, and they will certainly love the taste. Raw feeding must be done under the guidance of your veterinarian. It is essential to give your cat the appropriate balance of nutrition. In commercial cat foods, this is often approached by a team of nutritionists. Trying to do this at home is a challenge, so it is best to seek out guidance from your vet first. Additionally, there are several high-quality raw cat foods available on the market for you to consider.

Breeders & Kitten Costs

Expect to pay a pretty penny for a Bengal Ragdoll mix. Both purebred parents are quite pricey, especially if they come from highly pedigreed lines or are intended as show cats. Because of the rarity of the leopard-coated Raggy mix, the price tag is high, usually starting at about $1,500 for a healthy kitten. The price can go up significantly, topping $3,500 or more.

To find this specific hybrid breed, you can start by reaching out to both Bengal and Ragdoll breeders. It may take some time to track down these kittens. Limited availability, location, time of year, and the kitten’s age will also impact the price. Be ready to make a sizable investment if you want to bring one of these exotic beauties home.

Shelters & Rescues

It is very unlikely that the Bengal Ragdoll mix would end up in a shelter or rescue. Of course, anything is possible. Cats run away, and some owners give them up in various circumstances. It will not hurt to investigate breed-specific rescues as well to see if they have any mixed kittens. Of course, as with all rescue and shelter cats, it is impossible to know precisely what breed or mix of breeds they are. The only way to really tell is to invest in a DNA test, which can give you a clearer indication of where your kittens’ genetics lie.

As Family Pets

Bengal Ragdoll mixes make fantastic family pets. That said, they may not be right for every home. While purebred Ragdolls are very agreeable, docile, and adaptable, the Bengal is a high-maintenance, extremely energetic, very clingy breed. It is possible any of their mixed offspring may inherit these traits. Traits may be muted or even more powerful than their parents.

The Bengal Ragdoll mix must have a home where there is plenty of room and lots of people around to give them attention. They are not a breed that does well being left home alone for several hours a day, nor do they do well in small, confined spaces.

These cats also require a lot of grooming, as well as a consistent selection of toys and interactive activities. You must be ready to commit a significant amount of money to keeping your cat entertained, as well as meeting their basic needs like food, veterinary care, beds, toys, and treats.

More Mixed Cat Breeds To Consider

If you love both the Bengal and Ragdoll breeds but are still wondering if this particular mix is for you, fear not. There is a lengthy list of other amazing mixed breeds to choose from. The Ragdoll Siamese is an exquisitely beautiful, highly affectionate cat, and if you want an even more exotic mix, consider the Savannah Bengal. The Persian Ragdoll and the Bengal Siamese are two more unique mixed felines worth learning about.

It’s important to remember that bringing home any cat breed, mixed or purebred, is a huge responsibility. Cats bring endless joy and positivity to our lives, but there are also high-need animals. There is a misconception that because they’re independent, they don’t need as much care, and this is simply not true. It is important to be ready to commit time, energy, finances, and room in your house to give your new kitten a comfortable, healthy, and safe home.

Have you adopted a Bengal Ragdoll mix? I’d love to hear about your experience with this magnificent breed in the comments.

Why Trust Love Your Cat

Danielle is a devoted pet owner with over 30 years of feline care experience. She has expertise in caring for cats with special medical needs, including deafness, kidney disease, urinary dysfunction, and more. Danielle has a special place in her heart for needy animals. Every cat she has is a rescue pet. Danielle is a passionate and skilled researcher who spends countless hours investigating and learning about the latest data, scientific developments, trends, care, and health. Her goal is to provide cat parents with valuable information to better the quality of their pet’s lives.

Woman kneeling cleaning litter box covering nose for smell.

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