About RagdollsEARLY BEGINNINGSThe late Ann Baker of Riverside, California (USA) is the founder of the Ragdoll breed. Ann Baker recounted the history of the Ragdoll as follows: Ann's neighbour, Mrs Pennels, owned a white Angora-type female, called Josephine. Josephine often had kittens, but they were all wild like their mother.

Stand in for Josephine with the first Ragdoll kittens, Summer 1965, Left to right : Gueber, Mitts, Tiki and Kyoto

 

 

Stand in for Josephine with the first Ragdoll kittens, Summer 1965,  Left to right :  Gueber, Mitts, Tiki and Kyoto

Josephine was run over by a car and left lying by the side of the road for a couple of days.  Eventually she was taken to the local university for treatment.  Ann firmly believed that during her time at the university, Josephine was "genetically manipulated", resulting in future kittens being loving, relaxed, "floppy" and unable to feel pain.  Today, this belief in Josephine's genetic manipulation is rejected as a fallacy as the Ragdoll experiences pain in the same way as any other breed of cat.  As far as the "floppiness" is concerned, kittens and cats from any breed could present this trait - it is not caused by any genetic characteristic, but rather by the way in which the kitten is raised and socialised.

Ann acquired three of Josephine's half-related kittens from her neighbour – Pretty Boy, "a cat with the appearance of the Sacred Cat of Burma" (The Birman breed) which Ann later called Daddy Warbucks; Buckwheat (a black non-pointed female); and Fugianna (a badly marked Bicolour female). These three cats became the founding Ragdolls, producing the first Ragdoll kittens. In the summer of 1965, a litter of four kittens were born - two pointed and two non-pointed kittens.  Ann ruled the Ragdoll breeding programme with a strict hand, registering and patenting the name Ragdoll and franchising out future breeding stock under strict contracts. 

Remaining protective over her kittens, Josephine fought with the family dog. It is alleged that Mr Baker, who had had enough of Josephine's protectiveness, had Josephine and her kittens destroyed, thereby ending the life of the founding queen of the Ragdoll breed.  Ann Baker passed away in 1997.During mid-1997 the first Ragdolls were imported to South Africa, and in November 1999 the Ragdoll breed achieved full championship status in the South African show halls.   Early 2000 the non-pointed Ragdoll was granted full championship status in South Africa.  Raglin Ragdolls produced the first Ragdoll to qualify for, and compete in, the prestigious annual Cat of The Year competition.  Read more about SP PM Raglin's Mille Miglia on the Gallery : Colourpoint web pages.(Some information and all pictures above from "The Definitive Guide to Ragdolls" by Lorna Wallace, Robin Pickering & David Pollard)


CHARACTERISTICS OF THE RAGDOLL
Temperament
Ragdolls have amiable temperaments.  Although they differ individually, they are gentle and quiet cats.  They enjoy human companionship although some individuals might enjoy sitting next to you, rather than in your lap.  They also enjoy the company of other pets, including dogs.  Due to Ragdolls being trusting, they should never ever be allowed to roam the neighbourhood where they could get into harm's way.Gentle GiantsThe ideal Ragdoll is a large, imposing, strongly built cat with an elongated body, moderately long legs and plumed tail in proportion to the body.  They may also have a fat pad (Greater Omentum) on the lower abdomen.Neutered males could easily grow into gentle giants weighing more than 10 kg.  Spayed females could weigh up to about 7kg.  Ragdolls mature slowly and do not reach maturity until they are approximately four years old.  Point colouring could take up to three years to develop.PatternsPointed Ragdolls come in three different patterns:

  • Colourpoint – Dark mask, ears, legs & tail; no white whatsoever allowed
  • Mitted – Dark mask, ears and tail; white mittens on front feet and white hind legs
  • Bicolour – Dark ears & tail; white legs; inverted "V" on the face

  • Seal Colourpoint

    Seal Mitted

    Seal Bicolour

ColoursPointed Ragdolls come in six different colours:
  • Seal – Points are deep seal brown
  • Blue – Points are slate blue
  • Chocolate – Points are milk chocolate in colour (rare and not available in South Africa)
  • Lilac – Points are frosty gray (rare and not available in South Africa)
  • Flame - Points are deep orange flame to deep red
  • Cream - Points are buff cream to apricot in colour

Blue
Colourpoint

Blue Lynx Bicolour

Cream
Colourpoint

Seal Tortie 
Mitted

During the last couple of years, the Red and Lynx patterns were introduced to the breed and accepted by cat organisations.  Non-Pointed RagdollsNon-pointed Ragdolls come in the Bicolour and Mitted patterns, as well as the solid (self-coloured) cat. These cats are purebred and registered Ragdolls, descending from the foundation cats and have been implemented in some Ragdoll breeding programmes to indroduce new genes, vitality and size.  At present there are no purebred, registered non-pointed Ragdolls being bred with in South Africa.  The Ragdoll CoatRagdolls have a soft, medium length, non-matting coat which sheds just like any other cat breed.  Regular grooming assists in removing loose, dead hairs and preventing hairballs.  Grooming is a wonderful one-on-one communication and bonding experience for both owner and pet.Taking Care of your RagdollRagdolls don’t need any special treatment.  High-quality premium foods and healthy treats, fresh water, a secure and loving home, de-worming and vaccinations are all that are needed to maintain their health. Ragdolls are intelligent, alert, easily trained and can be taught to come on command, fetch and do tricks.A Ragdoll should never be dangled like a toy ragdoll.  Always pick up a kitten or lift a cat by supporting it with one hand under the armpits and the other hand under the buttocks.  Never pick up a kitten or cat by the scruff ... only queens know how to do it without hurting their kittens.

On a Personal Note:
I am often asked exactly what attracted me to the Ragdoll breed.  It is quite easy ... There is nothing extreme about the Ragdoll.  The "overall package" of the Ragdoll is pleasing to the eye.  The ideal Ragdoll should be large, friendly, soft-spoken, inquisitive yet not adventurous, and always ready to "lend a helping hand".  They will greet visitors, head-butt for massages, walk around showing off their plumed tails and flop down at your feet.

At Raglin Ragdolls, our aim is to only breed with lines that produce kittens with the above personality traits;  as well as only work with healthy lines that produce kittens with strong immunities and healthy systems.


 

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