Fluffy ragdoll cats taking over Kissimmee

Ragdolls Around the World cat show comes to Florida for first time

By Carolina Cardona - Reporter

KISSIMMEE, Fla. - On Saturday, more than 200 ragdoll cats will be taking over Kissimmee.

Hera, named after the Greek goddess, came from Brazil with her owner to compete in the fourth semiannual Ragdolls Around the World. The cat show will be held for the first time in Florida since it started in 2013. 

"We have 38 breeds coming; we're going to have, I think, 62 ragdolls" Susan Ross, master clerk for the Skyway Cat Club, said.

Murilo Rocha, one of the show exhibitors, said she regularly competes in cat shows in Brazil.

"It's a very popular breed here in the U.S., and in Brazil, I think, they are the second-most popular," Rocha said. 

Saturday will be the first time his feline friend will be going for the championship internationally.

"They are very affectionate, and they go around with the owners," Rocha said about the particular breed.

The name ragdoll is because their body becomes flimsy when they're carried, similar to an actual rag doll that small children.

"They always want to be around their humans. He likes to play fetch," Kim Walkling said.

She arrived to Kissimmee from Kansas, where she has about a dozen ragdoll cats. For the show, Walkling brought three of them. 

"They just fall in love with the breed, you know, and it's just a beautiful cat," Mary Riddell, one of the coordinators for Ragdolls Around The World, said.

It's a breed that's likeable because of its personality and intense blue eyes. Although ragdolls are the most popular at the event, they aren't the only ones competing on Saturday.

"All kinds of breeds. We're going to have Abyssinian Brits, British shorthairs, American shorthairs, Devon rexes," Ross said. 

Still, Riddell is partial toward ragdolls.

"It's a very, very classy looking cat and easy to maintain so it's a big draw from that, and people once they've had one, it's like potatoe chips, they can't just have one," Riddell said.

The show will be held at The Park Inn Radisson, in Kissimmee.

Organizers of the show plan to give part of the proceeds to animal rescue groups. For more information about tickets, click here.

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