It was the early 1960s when an American, Ann Baker, noticed that her neighbor’s semi-longhaired white cat, with access to the outside, had given birth to a litter of solid-colored kittens. colourpoint with a striking and exceptional character: they were very, very docile, and seemed to adore above the ordinary to be in armswhere they relaxed like a doll.
This cat, who lived in semi-freedom, and named Josephine, had been run over while pregnant. She hadn’t been the first litter she’d had living with access to the outdoors, but her kittens, to date, had been raised wild and therefore feisty. After her recovery, Josephine continued with her life in semi-liberty and giving birth to litters of unknown parents, but apparently all the kittens of these post-accident litters displayed the same affectionate and naturally friendly disposition with humans. Ann Baker also had a rather unique personality, shall we say, and she maintained that Josephine had been genetically manipulated during her stay in the veterinary hospital after the hit-and-run.
From those early litters, Ann Baker adopted several kittens that became the origins of the ragdoll. Josephine was never her property.
Other breeders, interested in this initial program to create a new feline breed with such an affectionate character without the need for early socialization, joined Ann Baker, but the strict control exercised, preventing the breed from being registered in international associations, and maintaining some unforgiving breeding conditions, caused all contributors to leave the show a decade later. Ann created her own feline association, and it was not until his death, in 1997, that the ragdoll could be registered in the other associations and create an international standard, opening the door for more people to have access to this spectacular feline breed over which Ann maintained a jealous domain in life.
Moderate behavior, meek and dependent
the ragdolls they have a slow maturationthey do not reach their size and definitive sexual development until they are 3-4 years old, something common in almost all large feline breeds such as the Maine Coon or the Norwegian Forest Cat.
In coexistence, they are described as cats very affectionatetremendously sociable and with the extreme docility that made Ann notice that original litter and why her name was not randomly put. This meekness is such that there is currently a debate among breeders about the suitability of a trait that can have a negative reading, since it is particularly difficult to recognize the features of pain or discomfort in a ragdoll, by not showing, generically, more expressive reactions. And speaking of health, a good breeder must deliver official veterinary certificate that the breeders are free from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, an inherited heart condition caused by a breed-only mutation known as R820W, which alters the function of a protein essential to heart development. This, mainly, is due to the rigid control that Ann Baker maintained over the breed at the beginning, with an inbreeding percentage of approximately 40%.
In terms of patterns and colors, the ragdoll is a breed colourpoint, and therefore, the eyes must be blue. Inside of the colourpointthe ragdoll can have the pattern admitted (colourpoint with white socks), and the two-tone, with a white inverted V on the face mask.
The ragdoll and the ragamuffin, a whole feline soap opera
Due to the rigid demands that the founder of the breed imposed on her collaborators, and her often extreme and senseless decisions, as we have already said, the partners in the breeding project left her alone, and because the name of ragdoll was recorded by Ann Baker, created a new program with the few copies that he had allowed them to keep, race they called ragamuffin. It is still a very rare and little-known breed, with barely a dozen breeders in the United States and Europe, and not yet recognized by all the international feline associations. To find out more about ragamuffins, you can consult the website of the RagaMuffin Associated Group, where there is a list of European breeders.
To contact Spanish ragdoll breeders, we recommend the Spanish Ragdoll Cat Association, but essentially we propose the adoption of cats who most urgently need a family and a home, like this kitten with a two-tone pattern seal point.