Ragdolls were originated by Late Ann Baker in Riverside, California in the early 1960's. The Ragdoll cat is a hybrid breed. Many breeders believe the hybridization was achieved by crossbreeding Persian, Birman and Burmese. Ann Baker's started her foundation Ragdoll with a feral, white, long-haired Persian or Angora type cat named Josephine. Josephine lived among a wild cat colony of the Baker's neighbors, Mrs. Pennels. Lots of stories have been told about the origins and characteristics of Ragdolls but the myth of the story goes that Josephine was hit by a car and laid next to a curb for two days. Josephine suffered head injuries and internal injuries. Ann's neighbor worked at a local University and Josephine was taken there and nursed back to health. After this accident Josephine's kittens were now different prior to before the accident, perhaps due to Josephine's injuries. Before the accident the kittens were wild like Josephine. After the accident, the kittens were playful, loving and relax. Ann Baker would borrow one of Josephine's older sons to sire progeny in her Black Persian breeding program from her neighbor. This son had the appearances of a Black/Brown Persian and was named Blackie. Ann obtained a female kitten from Blackie and Josephine. The kitten was a black female called Buckwheat. Buckwheat's appearance was similar to a Burmese. Ann Baker's neighbor also kept one of the kittens which was a pointed male with white mittens. This male was named Raggedy Ann Daddy Warbucks. He had the appearance of a Birman breed-Scared Cat of Burma ( Birman breed). It was on one of Ann's visits to borrow Blackie that she saw Blackie's brother, Daddy Warbucks. Blackie and Raggedy Ann Warbucks are both Josephine's sons, but with different sires. Having already established trust with the owner, Ann borrowed Daddy Warbucks to breed to her females. Ann Baker then obtained a daughter of Daddy Warbucks and Josephine and named her Raggedy Ann Fugianna. Fugianna was the first bicolor Ragdoll to be born. Having now two females, Buckwheat and Fugianna, Ann continued the stud service of Daddy Warbucks. With these breedings the foundation stock of the Ragdoll breed was laid. The first two Ragdolls to be born were from Daddy Warbucks and Buckwheat. Ann Baker stated she owes the look of the Ragdoll to Daddy Warbucks.
Today, we know the Ragdoll breed to be one of the largest "Gentle Giant" domestic cats. Males average in weight around 18-20 lbs while the females are usually 5 pounds less. They are known for their floppy laid back personality & to go limp like a child's ragdoll. Their personality is so docile and non-aggressive that they usually will not defend themselves. Because of this, Ragdolls are strictly indoor cats.
Ragdolls have a very sweet loving temperament that makes them an ideal house or apartment pet. Ragdolls are loyal and affectionate and develop a strong attachments to their owners. They thrive on attention and love to be in the middle of what ever you are doing. When you arrive home, they will greet you at the door and follow you around the house until you sit down so they can sit in your lap. Because of their intellect, they can be easily taught to play fetch just like a dog and enjoy the companion of dogs. Many of them like the water. Do not be surprise if you find a toy in their water bowl. They love to please their owners and are willing to do what is asked of them. They are quiet with a musical voice. Their coat is medium-long, soft rabbit-like hair, very little matting, low shedding if groomed daily. Ragdolls are a blue eye, pointed cat.
When Ragdoll kittens are born they are white. Within 3-6 days, they start to get their color (points). Points mean color on their faces, ears, legs and tail. The body should be lighter from the point markings. It takes 2 years for for the color to mature. Colors are seal, chocolate, blue and lilac. There are three patterns which are bicolor, mitted and colorpoint. Eyes open around 7-10 days with medium to dark blue eyes. It takes about 2-3 years for a Ragdoll to mature to full term in size.
Ragdolls are a "peace maker" with their sweet personality and it is hard to own just one.
They will enrich your household and once you have owned a Ragdoll, many people will not own another breed of cat. If you want a friendly, laid back, follow you around the house cat then a Ragdoll is for you.