History

     Ragdolls have existed since the 60s. The exact history of their origin is still unknown. A lot of myths and uncounted, unproven theories rule their history. Just a few fragments are really proven. One fact is that they were born in Riverside, California.

     The ancestor of all Ragdolls is Josephine, a half-wilde, white, longhaired street cat, which lived in the neighborhood of Ann Baker, a breeder of Persian cats. Once Josephine had an accident and Mrs. Baker noticed that her new litter was much more calmer and more trusting than any other she had had before. There are a lot of theories out there why they behaved differently, but not a single one has yet been proven.

     Ann got one of these kittens. It was a black cat, called Buckwheat, which should have been very similar to a Burman. Later she adopted another one of Josephine's kittens, a female cat called Raggedy Ann Fugianna. Their father Warbuck, also an offspring of Josephine, should have been very similar to a Birman. She used him quite often for the breeding of the Ragdolls. These three cats became the ancestors of the Ragdoll, because Josephine died with her next litter.


     Ann Baker was a very businesslike woman. She advertised her new breeding by ads and flyers and she was successful. But Ann went where no other cat-breeder had gone before - she trademarked the name "Ragdoll". Each new breeder had to pay her a fee for every kitten sold. She also was the founder of the still existing "International Ragdoll Cat Association (IRCA)" - an organization which is still not connected to any other cat organzation in the whole world.

     Her breeding rules were very strict and those who didn't follow them had to face the fact that their cats were not listed as real "Ragdolls". This was approximately the time when Ann started to make strange comments, like 'the Ragdolls are not able to feel any kind of pain or fear' or 'they would have human genes'. Afterwards a lot of Ragdoll breeders gave up, others left her behind and tried to persuade the other cat-associations to accept the Ragdolls as an independent breed. We can be grateful that Laura and Danny Deyton started their breeding program before Ann published her breeding rules, cause they are responsible for the wonderful Ragdolls we have today.

     It took years until the wrong comments were forgotten and the other organizations accepted the Ragdolls. The first Ragdoll left the States in 1981. Eleven years later the Fife (Federation Internationale Feline) officially accepted the first Ragdoll (Bi-color), followed by the colorpoint version in 1997 and the Mitted in 1999.

 

Characteristic

     Their name was chosen very well, because they have a unique habit: as soon as you lift them up, they relax all their muscles and go limp in your arm. They are friendly, gentle and very cuddly. It is certainly their personality which is so fascinating that you easily get addicted.

     Ragdolls are very devoted to their owners. They tend to follow them wherever they go and want to be a part of whatever is going on in their home.

     They are calm, moderately active and love to play. They hardly use their claws. Ragdolls adapt easily. They are happy even in the smallest apartment as long as you play with them, make sure they have enough cat-toys and a scratching post.

     Because of their friendly nature they should never be allowed to go outside without supervision. In their view, each stranger is a friend. The advantage is, of course, that they hardly cause problems with children and other pets. They are grateful for a secured place on the balcony, window sill or even a cat-secured open-air enclosure in the garden.

     Let us continue with their advantages. Ragdolls mostly are not as stubborn as other cats, they even tend to be trained easily. Many of them learn to fetch their toys like dogs, others can be trained to a collar and leash easily. They are also known for not causing damage like other cats. As they have no undercoat they are loosing less hair than other mid-length or long-haired cats. Even traveling with a Ragdoll is easy, if you start with the training early.

     Of course, you will not find each of their advantages in any Ragdoll, but mostly a lot of them are united in this wonderful breed.

     One fact should be mentioned above all, Ragdolls don't like it to be alone. If you are working and the house is empty all day, a Ragdoll definitely needs the company of another cat. The breed is not important, but you shouldn't add a too lively cat.

 

Standard of the Ragdoll

     Todays Ragdoll belong to the group of the half- or semi-long-haired cats. They have a very soft, silky fur, which is longer around their neck and their rear. Their body is strong, their eyes are oval and blue, the ears large and rounded and the tail is long and bushy.

     A specialty of all pointed cats is that they are born completely white. First traces of color appear when they are approximately 10 days old. Their fur color will not be completely developed until they are nearly 4 years old. Their wonderful blue eyes are showing from the day of birth.

     Ragdolls are the largest cats on Earth, even made it to the Guinness Book of Records. A female weighs from 4 - 7 kg (9-15 lbs), a male from 7 - 9 kg (15-20 lbs).

     They are available in a lot of varieties and colors, which are distinguished into the original and the new breedings. Only the first ones are accepted by the most cat-organizations.

     Regardless of the color, the care is easy compared to the other longhaired breeds. Brushing and combing twice a week is more than enough.

     Before we deal with the markings and colors of the Ragdolls, we want to mention that they are rarely of interest for the usual catlover. These things are important for those who want to visit catshows or start breeding themselves.

The Standard-Patterns

     The original varieties were Colorpoint, Mitted and Bicolor. The new ones are Lynx, Tortie, Torbie and Solid.

Colorpoint
Mask, ears, legs, paws and tail are colored in one of the varieties mentioned below. The body is a little bit lighter than the Point color. Collar and bib are even lighter. Nose and paw pads have different colors in each variety.

Mitted
In this pattern the mask, the ears, the legs and the tail are colored in one of the colors mentioned below, too. The body is lighter than the points. White chin, collar and bib as well as white mittens on the front legs and white boots on the back legs, not higher than mid-thigh. A white stripe runs down from the bib to the base of the tail.

Bicolor
Ears, mask and tail are colored in one of the point-color varieties. The mask shows an inverted white "V". Belly and all legs are completely white. The body is a shade lighter than the point-color and shows white and colored patches. Nose and paw pads are pink.

Lynx
Lynx' shows dark stripes in bodycolor in addition to one of the patterns and colors mentioned above. The inside of the ears is always white and the nose is brick-colored. A specialty of the Lynx is that they can unite two patterns.

Tortie
This pattern is, oddly enough, sex-specific, it appears on females only. If you crossbreed a red Ragdoll with a seal or blue one, you may get some kittens with Tortie patterns. The Blue Tortiepoint or Bluecream Point variety has bluish gray points with cream patches. The Seal Tortiepoint is a very dark brown with red patches. Torties can show up in Colorpoint, Mitted and Bicolor varieties.

Torbie
Torbie is the name for a cat which unites the Tortie and the Lynx markings.

 

Let us change over to the Non-Pointed Ragdolls:

Solid
One of the very new (or old) breedings - the uni-colored Ragdolls. Solids are no Point-cats, but they do show the for Ragdolls usual markings. Solids are not blue-eyed.

Solid White
This is a very special breeding, because they are really completely white, but their genetic information can be the one of a point cat. This means that Solid Whites have different eyecolor, they even can be odd-eyed.

Calico
The Calico belongs to the Solids and is a Non-Pointed Ragdoll. Calico means a color-mix of white, red and black.

The very special of all Non-Pointed Ragdolls is that they can give birth to Pointed Kittens, because they do carry the Pointed genes. The above pic shows a typical colorful litter of a Solid cat. Solid Ragdolls are not really new breedings, but there are a lot of breeders who do not like them. As we already mentioned in the beginning, the Ragdolls are a breed, which came out of Pointed and Non-Pointed cats, which means they carry both genes. A look to Josephine or Buckwheat, which is shown with two of her kittens here, shows it well.

The Colors

     The first recognized colors are Seal, Blue, Chocolate and Lilac. The palette of colors keeps growing. One of the newer colors is e.g. Red/Flame or Cream. Most of the cat organisations already accepted all of these varieties.

Seal
The points are deep seal brown, the body color goes from fawn or warm brown to cream. Bib and collar are lighter. The nose and paw pads are dark brown.

Blue
Points are slate blue, the body ranges from bluish white to cream. Bib and collar are a shade lighter than the rest of the body. Nose and paw pads are slate blue.

Chocolate
A warm milk-chocolate color for the Points. Bodycolor goes from ivory to a lighter shade of the point-color. Nose and paw pads show the same warm brown color in the Colorpoint variety.

Lilac
The points range from a pinkish-gray to a pinkish-beige. The body has a warm magnolia color. The Colorpoint has a lavender colored nose and paw pads.

Red / Flame
In this version the points are in a red-orange color, the body is cream with a slight touch of red. Colorpoints show a pink nose, which can be freckled, and pink paw pads.

Cream
Points are in a pale cream color, the body is completely white. Nose and paw pads are pink.

 

Summary of the Ragdoll

Country of Origin USA, California
Weight Females 4 - 7 kg (9 - 15 lbs),
Males 7 - 9 kg (15 - 20 lbs)
Fur semilong, silky
Care easy to care
brush and comb 1-2 x per week
bathing when needed only
Nature friendly, devoted, cuddly
Children friendly to children
Animals simply with other pets
Manner of Learning high, very intelligent
Activity moderate
Habitat in-house cat,
outside under supervision only