Ragdoll: Origin and Personalities
The ragdoll is one of the most popular cat breeds. This kind of feline is a large, semi-longhaired cat with a soft and silky coat. They have been recognized because of their blue eyes and distinct color point coat. The name “Ragdoll” is derived from the predisposition of the cats to go limp and relaxed when picked up. It is believed that this breed of cat was developed by the American breeder, Ann Baker. Furthermore, Ragdolls have been known for their docile and easygoing temperament and affectionate nature.
History of the Ragdolls
Ragdolls were believed to have been developed by an American breeder named Ann Baker. It is said that in the 1960s, Ann Baker started with a non-pedigreed, white longhaired cat named Josephine. Josephine was a Persian/Angora mix and had litters of kittens sired by numerous male Birman cats, one of which had the Siamese point coloration. Josephine was injured in a car accident and was taken to the veterinary hospital at the University of California. Ann Baker thought that Josephine was subject to a secret government genetic experiment during treatment at the lab and claimed that it made Josephine docile, calm when picked up, and immune to pain.
Another assertion from her was that Josephine’s kittens were relaxed and docile because Josephine had been pregnant with the kittens at the time of the accident. So far, none of these claims have been found to true whatsoever. After Josephine recovered, she produced kittens with the placid disposition. When the succeeding litter produced more the same, Ann Baker purchased a number of kittens from the owner, who lived behind her. Believing she had something exceptional, she set out to create what is now identified as the Ragdoll. The breed was selectively bred over many years for the wanted traits, such as the large size, gentle appearance, and a tendency to go limp when picked up, as well as the striking pointed coloration.
Ann, in an unusual move, rejected traditional cat breeding associations. She trademarked the name “Ragdoll”, set up her own registry which is the International Ragdoll Cat Association (IRCA) and enforced strict standards on anyone who wanted to breed or sell cats under that name. The Ragdolls were also not allowed to be registered in other breed associations. A group which was led by Denny Dayton broke rank with IRCA with the aim of achieving mainstream recognition for the Ragdoll. This group finally developed the Ragdoll standard currently recognized by major cat registries in 1975.
A breeding pair of Ragdolls was exported to the UK since the spread of the Ragdoll breed in America during the early 1960s. This was followed by 8 more cats to fully launch the breed in the UK, where it is accepted by the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy.
Ragdolls are truly a fascinating breed offering everything you could want in cat and a whole lot more in one distinctive package. They’re beautiful and have an exceptionally trusting, loyal, and affectionate disposition. Sweet and docile, they are very much extroverts and very adaptable to most situations. As what its name suggests, Ragdolls are very much like a child in the respect that when they are picked up or held, they do have the ability to become very limp and floppy. They are very relaxed and love to be held and cuddled like a baby. Also, they really like chin and tummy rubs.
With regards to its physical characteristics, the Ragdoll is often described as one of the largest domesticated cat breeds with tough body, huge frame and proportionate legs. They may come in six different colors including chocolate, seal, flame, and the corresponding dilutes such as cream, lilac, and blue. Generally, Ragdolls are considered as essentially pointed cats whereby they have color on their face, ears, feet, and tail and a lighter contrasting body color. All Ragdoll kittens are born white. They may have good color at 8-10 weeks and full color and coat at 3-4 years.