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A Bit About The Ragdoll Breed ...

The Ragdoll has somewhat of a controversial past… stories about their origins, some more dubious then others. To obtain more details, you are encouraged to view Ragdoll breed club web sites. Several links to these are provided for you in the 'link' page.

What I am presenting here is my interpretation of the tidbits I have accumulated over the last few years.

Ann & Josephine

Although the breed was only recognized for Championship in the Canadian Cat Association (CCA) in 1992, and in the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) in 2000, the Ragdoll is an American breed that came about somewhere around 1965, everyone agrees about that.

The "creator", Ann Baker, lived in Riverside California, where she used the offspring of her neighbors' cat, a white semi-long haired female cat called Josephine, (and its offspring,) to develop the Ragdoll breed.  As Josephine, was an outdoor barn cat, it is uncertain who the true father of the kittens was.  However, according to various sightings at the time, of a seal pointed tom cat that with white socks, and the similar "look" that was produced in some of the kittens, there has been some talk that the male was a Birman-lookalike.

Whether this is true or not, we may never know, however, there are a few facts which do not coincide with this theory.  First and foremost, it would be extremely careless for someone to let a purebred Birman roam free in California when we know that the "Sacred Cat of Burma" was extremely rare and a priceless treasure to behold at the time.  Also, the fact that  the inheritance of the white gloving gene is different from that of the Birman, has convinced me that although this "mitted" cat may be the father of some of the original Ragdolls, he was in no way related to the Birmans as we know them, but simply exhibited some similarities in appearance.


Fact & Myth ...

The original Ragdolls were "marketed" on the fact that they were large, had non-shedding, non-matting coats, went limp in your arms when picked up, just like a child's doll (which is where they earned their name), and did not react to dangerous situations or feel pain.  As far as I am concerned, all of the above needs to be taken with a grain of salt.  After all, a cat is a cat! 

The last two items of the description are perhaps the greatest fallacy.

They DO feel pain and they DO react when attacked.  However, they are the most placid, easy-going creatures I've ever met.  They are trusting, "happy", and to some extent, naive towards the threats of life. 

A cat tree IS necessary though, as they must use "something" to sharpen them.  Trainable, very sociable and people oriented, they like being with their family without being too invasive.  Although they love to cuddle and stay on your lap while watching a good movie, I know few who will enjoy being chucked around for long periods of time. 

Ragdolls are moderately active, but are somewhat clumsy - so don't expect them to keep the rodent population under control.

They are likely to watch the mouse go by or make a bleak attempt at galloping behind and wondering where it went! 

You will probably not have to worry too much about them climbing to the top of your fridge or cupboards, but may need a little training to keep them off the table and counter-tops where they are likely to go sniffing for goodies to eat. 

Ragdolls are chunky cats, with altered males weighing around 15 to 20 pounds when they reach maturity at 3 to 4 years old, females being about 5 pounds less.  Now for those that are paranoid about weight problems… the Ragdolls IS SUPPOSED to have a flabby tummy!  It's even written in the standard! They do shed, but maintenance is low - a weekly combing should be sufficient to keep the cat hairs out of your soup.  Mats are usually not a problem unless you have a toddler who likes to chew bubble gum!

The ideal house cat, it is not recommended to encourage them to go outside as they are likely to go up to the neighbor's dog and play with its ID tags.  I know, as many of my new kitties did this to the Pyr the first time they met, and trust me, not all dogs are as nice about it!  Their sociable nature and good looks also makes them susceptible to cat-nappers!

A Coat of Many Colors ...

Ragdolls come in an array of pointed colors and patterns.  Colorpoints, mitteds, and bicolors refer to the increasing expression of white where the colorpoint has no white at all, the mitted has the white socks and boots, and the bicolor has the white inverted "V" which gives it the characteristic mask.

Blue and seal refer to the color of the points where "blue" is gray, and "seal" is brown. 

I have restricted my breeding program, for the moment, to the traditional colors and patterns described above. ( Lilac and chocolat points are also approved but many such cats were actually misregistered as they were much darker and totally of the wrong shade when they reached maturity and attained their colors.  Many of the ones currently available and correctly registered are the result of outcrosses so I have chosen not to work with them. Ragdolls where also recently recognized in "Lynx" pattern and Flame, Cream and Tortie colors. These too were the result of outcrosses.) I am working towards improving eye color and pattern definition, especially in the bicolors,  while maintaining good size,  abundant plush coats and sound temperaments.  My breeding stock is varied, some having been imported from the breed's hometown of Riverside in California, and others coming from as far as England.




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