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Very special thanks goes to Mady Janssens, Calaquendi's Dolls cattery, Belgium, who contributed with some pictures of her beautiful cats!
Ragdoll bicolor seal & blue
Calaquendi's Dolls Meixiu & Ferchil
Breeder: Mady Janssens, Calaquendi's Dolls cattery, Wuustwezel, Belgium
 

How did the Ragdoll get its name?

The name was taken from the Rag-Dolls, which go limp, and because the breed is very docile, relaxed and goes limp when picked up. They also sleep completely relaxed lying on their back like a rag.

 

Patterns

The traditional Ragdoll is a cat with points and comes in 3 patterns:

Pointed

Only the face (mask), ears, legs and paws, and the tail are colored with color. The nose leather has the same color as the points.
The white on the body - also in the Colorpoint (having the Siamese-points) - is shaded.
In the Colorpoint the contrast between the body and points is strong, the body is evidently paler.

Ragdoll sealpoint
Tatjana's Halyssa of Silmarilions
Owner: Maria Federica Guagnano, Silmarilions cattery, Rome, Italy
Ragdoll sealpoint
Showme My Fair Lady
Owner: Michele Brandis, Rivendolls cattery, Mandurah, Western Australia
 

Bicolor

The pointed cat has also a bicolor-pattern. In the face there is an inverted "V", the back is shaded in the color of the points (but distinctly paler) and may have white patches. The nose leather is pink. The legs and paws are white.

Ragdoll seal bicolor
S*Pocahontas Baileys of Calaquendi
Breeder: Susanna Lindkvist, Sweden
Owner: Mady Janssens, Calaquendi's Dolls cattery, Wuustwezel, Belgium
 

Mitted

The pointed cat has points, i.e. the face (mask), the ears, the legs and the tail are colored with color, but the paws are white. The chin must be white. The cat has a white stripe starting at the chin and running over the throat down to the belly and abdomen.
A white stripe on the nose is optional, the stripe is only on the nose bridge, the nose leather is colored in the point color.

Ragdoll seal mitted
Calaquendi's Dolls Meili
Breeder: Mady Janssens, Calaquendi's Dolls cattery, Wuustwezel, Belgium
 

Colors

It is quite different amongst the various organizations, when it comes to the color.

Colorpoint

In some organizations only cats with Colorpoint-pattern (Siamese-gene: cscs) are recognized in the 3 patterns described above.

The Colorpoint has a paler body.
The eyes are blue in all 3 patterns.

Mink

In other organizations there exist also Mink Ragdoll in these 3 patterns.
Mink is genetically cbcs.

Mink have a distinctly darker body.
The eye color is aquamarine in all 3 patterns.
The colors are called, as follows: mink, mink bicolor, mink mitted, for example: seal mink, blue mink bicolor, chocolate mink mitted.

Ragdoll blue mink mitted
Castletops Love potion
Breeder: Heather Kerns, Castletops cattery, Conowingo, Maryland, USA
 

Non-pointed

There are also organizations, which have non-pointed Ragdolls registered (genetically: C-, where "-" may be also cs or cb), in all colors and patterns.
The eye color may be, besides blue, also orange, green or odd-eyed.

Ragdoll cream
Calaquendi's Dolls Ginger Moon
Breeder: Mady Janssens, Calaquendi's Dolls cattery, Wuustwezel, Belgium
Ragdoll black mitted
Calaquendi's Dolls Milky Way Brownie
Breeder: Mady Janssens, Calaquendi's Dolls cattery, Wuustwezel, Belgium
 

Pointed

seal point The color of the points is a very dark brown (called "seal").
blue point The color of the points is blue-grey.
Ragdoll blue bicolor
Calaquendi's Mi-Âme Mirabilis
Breeder: Mady Janssens, Calaquendi's Dolls cattery, Wuustwezel, Belgium
Ragdoll blue point
CH. Filensio Miss Faberjai
Breeder: Helen Sallows, Filensio cattery, Perranporth, Cornwall, United Kingdom
 
chocolate point The color of the points is chocolate, it shall not be too dark.
Frequently one may notice white spectacles around the eyes, which is undesirable.
lilac point The color of the points has a grey color tone with a pinkish tinge, it is a rather pale color.
red point The color of the points is orange.
It is quite usual that the front legs are colored in a paler tone and show faint rings.
cream point The color of the points is a pale cream.
In general these cats look very pale.
Ragdoll flame point mitted
Quad Champion Brier Rose Mango Margarita
Breeder: Bonnie Hansson, Brier Rose cattery, Burlington, Iowa, USA
 
seal tortie point The dark-brown color of the points has orange patches.
Very often these cats also have an orange flame starting in the upper part of the nose and continuing to the forehead. The cats are quite attractive.
blue tortie point The blue-cream points are the diluted variety of seal tortie. The blue-grey color of the points is patched with very pale cream patches.
A very delicate color.
chocolate tortie point The chocolate points have paler orange patches.
lilac tortie point The light grey colored points have very pale cream patches.
  • In some organizations also cinnamon and fawn are recognized, and consequently also cinnamon tortie and fawn tortie.
  • Also caramel and apricot are recognized in some organizations.
  • And in some organizations also smoke point for the non-tabby point variety, and silver tabby point for the tabbypoint variety.

All these color varieties also exist with stripes, called Tabby point:

  • seal tabby point, blue tabby point
  • chocolate tabby point, lilac tabby point
Ragdoll blue tabby colorpoint
Rivendolls Muffin
Breeder: Michele Brandis, Rivendolls cattery, Mandurah, Western Australia
 
  • cinnamon tabby point, fawn tabby point
  • red tabby point, cream tabby point
  • seal tortie tabby point, blue tortie tabby point
  • chocolate tortie tabby point, lilac tortie tabby point.
  • cinnamon tortie tabbypoint, fawn tortie tabbypoint

The name "tortie" indicates that the cats have orange or cream colored patches.
It is quite common in pointed cats to use the English color names and not to translate them.

Silmarilions Padraigin
Breeder: Maria Federica Guagnano, Silmarilions cattery, Rome, Italy
 

Eurocatfancy

Standard AACE
Standard ACF
Standard ACFA
Standard CCA
Standard CFF
Standard CFA
Standard FIFe
Standard GCCF
(You must buy the booklet.)
Standard LOOF
Standard SACC
Standard TICA
Standard WCF
 
[RFCI] (Ragdoll Fanciers Club International)
 
Show Ragdoll breeders
Enter cattery into breeders list
 

Breed profile

Ragdoll are medium to large in size with semi-long coat, and the "traditional" Ragdolls have points.
This breed is one of the larger cat breeds.

The cats are solid built, the body is slightly elongated, and not cobby. The legs are medium in length and solid, the hind legs are somewhat longer than the front legs. The paws are large and round, and shall have tufts between the toes.

The head is broad and forms a wedge with rounded contours. The cheeks are rounded, the muzzle is broad and rounded. The head is flat on top between the ears.
The nose is medium in length and straight, in profile it shows a gently curve in the upper third, i.e. the profile is not straight.
The ears are medium-sized, broad at the base (open) and - which is characteristic for this breed - slightly tilted forward.
The eyes are large and oval. See the description of colors for the eye color.

The coat is medium in length, plushy and silky with medium underwool. The is longest around the neck, framing the face, and thus giving a bib. In the face the coat is short. The coat falls smoothly from the body and becomes longer toward the hind legs, thus being semi-long at the flaks and on the belly and forming breeches at the hind legs. On the front legs the coat is short.

The tail is as long as the body and fully furnished.

 

History

The breed has an eventful history. Its founder, Ann Baker (Raggedy Ann cattery), Riverside, California, was a colorful person, who wanted to establish very restrictive selling-contracts on a franchise basis, the buyers very soon separated from Mrs. Baker.
She started in 1963 with this breed, when she crossed Josephine (probably a white Angora cat) with the Burmese-like tom-cat of her neighbour, Mrs. Pennel, which resulted in Daddy Warbucks in 1965, a seal mitted boy. She also acquired Buckwheat, a black colored daughter of Josephine. Daddy Warbucks was crossed back to Josephine, which resulted in Fugianna, a seal bicolor female born on the 5th of May, 1965. These three cats, Daddy Warbucks, Buckwheat and Fugianna, did not resemble a Ragdoll, but are the foundation cats of the Ragdoll. Daddy Warbucks was also crossed with Buckwheat, which resulted in four kittens in 1965, two solid black colored kittens, Gueber and Mitts (with white paws), one seal mitted boy, called Kyoto and one chocolate point girl, called Tiki. Kyoto and Tiki were the cats to be registered as Ragdolls in the NCFA (National Cat Fanciers Association), on the 30th of December, 1966.
Ann Baker divided the litters of Fugianna and Buckwheat into 2 groups:
  • Light Side (with paler color), their points were somewhat paler in color: the succeeding generations of Fugianna
  • Dark Side (with darker color), they had a darker color at all: the succeeding generations of Buckwheat.

In 1969 Laura and Denny Dayton (Blossom-Time cattery) bought a breeding pair from Ann Baker, called Buddy (seal colorpoint) and Rosie (seal mitted). They had not signed one of those restrictive contracts of Mrs. Baker. As Mrs. Baker wanted to control all buyers and breeders, she founded the IRCA in 1971 to establish her restrictive franchise-contracts. Thus, many of the buyers wanted to get rid of their contract and sold their Ragdolls. Mrs Opel Jensen sold her 5 Ragdolls in 1971 to the Daytons, in February 1972 Bob Minter sold his two Ragdolls, Pancho Villa and Melonie, to the Daytons, and they also got the cats from Nancy & Phil Delano, called Pecos Bill and Barbie. Ann Baker was not interested to get the Ragdoll recognized by the major cat organizations, it was the merit of the Daytons to get them recognized. The breed was recognized by CFF in 1975, in 1993 it was recognized by CFA for registration and in 2000 it was recognized for championship.

You may read a very detailed history on the web site of RFCI (in English).

 

Temperament

Mrs. Baker claimed that Josephine got her docile character due to the severe car accident, which she had, and that Josephine thereafter was genetically mutated in her temperament, which she passed on to her kittens (it is not correct that a car accident causes a genetic mutation). This is one of the mystic legends, how the Ragdoll got her sweet character. Another story, which was told by Ann Baker, was that Ragdolls do not feel pain. Also this legend proofed to be false, a Ragdoll feels pain in the same way as all other cats do.
In fact, the Ragdoll has a lovely and docile character. It is a very quiet and relaxed breed. The cats may easily be trained to go on lashes. They make very good companions with children and other companion animals. They adore their owners.

 

Grooming

The Ragdoll has a beautiful coat, which is very easy going. The coat does not mat and knot. Their coat sheds very little. Very little grooming is necessary, but the Ragdolls love to be brushed.
 

Breeding and Health

There has been found one Mutation for HCM in May 2007 by Dr.Kathryn Meurs, Washington State University, Veterinary Cardiac Lab: cMyBP-C (MYBPC3-gene, cardiac myosin binding protein C), for this mutation a DNA-test is available; the scientific name is R820W, C>T.

Please donate and participate in this research!

This mutation is inherited autosomal (sex-independent) dominant.
But, this is only one mutation, it cannot be excluded that there are more than one mutations causing HCM. Thus, cats used for breeding have to be tested by an echocardiogram every year, even they have been tested negative for the mutation in the MYBPC3-gene.

 

Literature

Winn Foundation, Update Jan. 2008 (in English) about HCM

Winn Foundation, Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (in English)

Washington State University, Veterinary Cardiac Genetics Lab, Pullman, WA

 

 

 
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