I have several Raggies of my own as well, and they are a wonderful and unique breed.
Ragdolls do shed, although it is minimal compared to other breeds. I have never had a Ragdoll mat on me, the grooming of a Ragdoll is very minimal, although they do love being brushed. Each kitty has their own individual personality, but as a whole the Ragdoll breed is known for their loving, laidback personalities. They are known for getting along well with other animals. We have 2 Old English Sheepodgs, that just adore our Ragdolls, and our Raggies adore them right back. They are often found snuggling together. Just like the last post, I have a Raggie supervising me as I type, and one on my lap. They are a very social breed, and I joke and call them them a "Velcro kitty's" as they love to be attached to us at all times. They also have the nickname "puppy cats", we have a few that will fetch little furry micey men, and paper balls. They also follow us from room to room and like "helping" AKA being "nosey", with everything.
Most of ours are door greeters and have never met a stranger, but we do have a couple that are more shy towards new people, and they like to stay at a far distance until they get to know the person more.
I am sure there are several Ragdoll breeders, including myself, who think that the breeding cats should be HCM scanned on a routine basis. If you go to the site www.ragdollresearch.org
, it will explain a bit about HCM (hypertrophic cardiomyapathy)
I think it is wonderful that you are doing the research before you adopt a Ragdoll. I believe that all cats should be indoors, but Ragdolls in general have a very trusting nature, and if allowed outside without supervision could lead to many problems.
If you would like to be directed to a few Ragdoll specific forums, I would be happy to let you know what they are.
If you have breeders close to you, go and meet them and their kitty family. Cat shows are also a great way to meet breeders, and see examples of their cats. If you check out TICA and CFA's website, you can see the show calendar, to find out if there are any shows near you. When you find a breeder that you feel comfortable with, you might ask for references to find out how their past kittens are doing and how happy the families who adopted them are.
I believe there are other Ragdoll lovers on here as well, that will chime in.
If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask.
Please update us when/if you add a Ragdoll or any kitty to your family, it is always a special moment to celebrate!!