The history begins in the 1960's with a white Persian/Angora type cat by the name of Josephine (pictured left). Some say she belonged to Ann Baker a Persian breeder from Riverside, California, others claim that Josephine was a feral cat who lived in a colony belonging to her neighbours, the Pennels.
What we do know that Josephine was hit by a car, and this is where the story takes on a somewhat bizarre twist. She was taken to the veterinary hospital at the University of California, where Ann claims she was subjected to government testing which resulted in Josephine being relaxed when picked up and no longer feeling pain. Ann noticed that the next litter of kittens were larger and all had the same laid back temperament as Josephine had developed.
Government conspiracies aside, Josephine had two boys to two fathers. Blackie, as the name would suggest, a black cat and Raggedy Ann Daddy Warbucks (Daddy Warbucks for short), who had a cream coloured coat, with dark points and white mitts. These two males are considered to be the founding fathers of the Ragdoll breed. Daddy Warbucks, was mated to one of Blackie's daughters, producing two kittens, Raggedy Ann Tiki (Tiki) and Raggedy Ann Kyoto (Kyoto). Another daughter of Josephine's, Buckwheat was mated to Daddy Warbucks producing Fugianna. It is Daddy Warbucks, Tiki, Kyoto and Fugianna who were registered as the first Ragdoll cats with the NCFA in 1966. Daddy Warbucks being number 1.
During this time, several breeders became involved in breeding the Ragdoll cat and in 1971 Ann founded the International Ragdoll Cat Association (IRCA) and placed strict rules on how Ragdoll cats could be bred. A number of breeders rebelled against Ann's strict regulations and set out to establish the breed without her involvement. Laura and Denny Dayton were a couple who decided to breed the Ragdoll cat so that other cat associations would eventually accept it and in 1975 the Ragdoll Fanciers Club International (RFCI) was formed.
In 1981, Lulu Rowley of the Petil-lu Cattery, purchased four Ragdolls from the Daytons and introduced the breed to Britain.
Temperament of the Ragdoll cat:
The Ragdoll is an extremely laid back and placid breed of cat. Despite claims made by Ann Baker that they feel no pain, this is definitely not true. All cats feel pain, including the Ragdoll. What may be the case is that they just hide it better.
The breed was named the Ragdoll due to it's relaxed nature. When picked up, it will go limp and flop in your arms.
Ragdolls thrive on companionship and are never far from their human companions. They are extremely loyal and almost "dog like" in their nature. They get along extremely well with people, including children and other pets.
Ragdolls are playful in nature and it is said that they are easy to train and enjoy playing fetch with their owners. They will meet you at the door when you return home from and follow you around the house as you do your chores.
Ragdolls are strictly an indoor cat, and should only ever be allowed outside in an enclosure or on a leash. They are way too trusting and placid to be allowed to roam free.
Appearance of the Ragdoll cat:
Ragdoll kittens are all white when they are born. Their mask, ears and tail darken up later. The Ragdoll comes in three patterns, bi-colour, mitted, and colourpoint.
Ragdolls are a large breed of cat with a muscular body. The head is wedge shaped with well developed cheeks, and medium sized ears. They have stunningly blue eyes.
The semi-longhaired coat is silky, lying smoothly on the body.
Ragdoll cat colours:
The Ragdoll comes in a range of colours, including seal, chocolate, blue, lilac, flame (red) and tortie.