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Ragdoll History

In the world of cats it is not often that the origin of a breed is known for sure, however the development of Ragdoll cats is quite a well known story. As always myths surround the tale but we do know the basics.

A lady called Ann Baker from California is the first known breeder of Ragdoll cats. In the early 60's she mated a white Persian-Angora cat with Birman and Burmese cats creating the distinctive appearance and temperament of the Ragdoll breed. Ann advertised the Ragdoll cats and quite soon after the breed became highly sought after. She teamed up with a group of breeders who were all contracted under her, however many of the breeders began their own individual breeding programs later on. One of these individuals was Denny Dayton � another big name in the development of this breed. He fought to get the breed recognised by fanciers' standards and he is the founder of the Ragdoll Fanciers Club International (RFCI) � the most well known Ragdoll registry worldwide.

Ann Baker went on to set up the International Ragdoll Cat Association (IRCA) and in 1975 had the name 'Ragdoll' patented until 2005. She will be remembered for her battle to promote the breed and for giving us such wonderful creatures.

In 1987 The British Ragdoll Cat Club was established.

The Name 'Ragdoll'

I know most of you are probably thinking 'Why call a breed of cat Ragdoll?'. Well as some of you may have already realised the breed was named after the floppy fabric doll that sits quietly wherever you put it. Like the doll, the cats are extremely docile and a little floppy which is why Ann Baker chose this name.

Ragdoll Appearance

Ragdolls are large cats with bright blue eyes, semi-long hair and a pointed coat, this means that the points of the cat such as the face, legs and ears are a darker colour than the rest of the body. This characteristic was inherited from cats similar to Birman and Burmese that the Ragdoll breed derived from. Ragdolls mature quite slowly so the full pattern of their coats might not show until the age of 2. The do not reach their full size (15-20 lbs males and 10-15 lbs females) until the age of 4.

They can be born in four different pattern ranges; 'bi-colour' - white paws, white underbodies and white chests, 'van' - ears, tail and a few spots on the body are darker, 'colourpoint' - pointed markings with no white in their coats, and 'mitted' - white feet at the front, white boots at the back, a white chin and belly stripe. These patterns can be either seal, blue, cream, chocolate, red or lilac. The points themselves can be solid, tortie, lynx or torbie so there are a number of different colour and pattern combinations achievable.

Although their coats are quite long, Ragdolls require little grooming, a quick comb will remove loose hairs and this should be done more frequently during moulting seasons.

Ragdoll Character and Temperament

Ragdoll cats are bred to be big, beautiful creatures that are both affectionate and loyal to their human owners. They are extremely interested in people and will follow you around the house or greet you when you arrive home from work. They are fairly docile animals, playful as kittens but would prefer to snuggle up on the sofa or on your duvet than chase string around the front room. They don't particularly like being on their own so if you are thinking of getting a Ragdoll make sure someone is home most of the time.

Ragdolls tend to be great with other domestic animals and children, they are inquisitive and intelligent and genuinely just enjoy company.

  • Playfulness
  • Medium
  • Intelligence
  • High
  • Independence
  • Low
  • Attention Seeking
  • Medium
  • Affectionate
  • Very High
  • Activeness
  • Low
  • Friendliness to Children
  • High
  • Friendliness to other Pets
  • High

    Ragdoll Lifespan

    9 - 15 years

    Average Litter Size

    4 kittens

    Common Ailments

    Ragdoll Recognition

  • This breed has been given Championship Status by all respected Assosiations.
  • The British Ragdoll Cat Club was founded in 1987 and is now afiliated with the GCCF (Governing Council of the Cat Fancy) and The Feline Advisory Bureau (FAB).
  • In 1996 the Ragdoll was ranked 19th out of 36 breeds by the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA).
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