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.
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
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.
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.
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 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
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.
original varieties were Colorpoint, Mitted and Bicolor. The new ones are Lynx, Tortie, Torbie and Solid.
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.
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.
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' 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.
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 is the name for a cat which unites the Tortie and the Lynx markings.
Let us change over to the Non-Pointed Ragdolls:
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Points are in a pale cream color, the body is completely white. Nose and paw pads are pink.
Summary of the
|Country of Origin
||Females 4 - 7 kg (9 - 15 lbs),
Males 7 - 9 kg (15 - 20 lbs)
||easy to care
brush and comb 1-2 x per week
bathing when needed only
||friendly, devoted, cuddly
||friendly to children
||simply with other pets
|Manner of Learning
||high, very intelligent
outside under supervision only