Where Do Ragdoll Cats Originate From?

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Origins of the Ragdoll Cat

Rags Ragdoll Cat in a SinkEver wonder about the origins of your beautiful, loveable Ragdoll kitty? Ragdoll cats have such a distinctive temperament and physical appearance, even with some variations in coloring, and these traits were intentionally bred to eventually arrive at the docile, soft, affectionate cats that cat owners know and love today. Below is some information on the beginnings of the Ragdoll cat breed.

Ragdoll Origins: Maverick Breeders

The origins of Ragdoll cat breeding are a bit nontraditional, with the first Ragdoll breeder, Ann Baker, turning away from traditional cat breeding associations to set up her own registry, the international Ragdoll Cat Association (IRCA), in 1971. Baker trademarked the breed name “Ragdoll” and required Ragdoll breeders or sellers to follow specific standards and not register their cats in other breeding associations.

Although the IRCA still exists today, it is small and still not recognized by major cat breed or show associations. Because no other association can use the name “Ragdoll,” other offshoot groups have left the IRCA and established their own breeds, including the Ragamuffin breed.

Ragdoll Cat Breed: Back to the Founding Cats

The Ragdoll cat line can be traced back to Josephine, a non-pedigreed, white, long-haired Persian/Angora cat, who was bred with several Birman or Burmese-esque cats. The litters they produced included docile, affectionate cats with the famous Ragdoll trait of going limp when picked up.

Baker continued to breed the line for cats with these characteristics, selecting for traits like the tendency to relax when picked up, pointed coloration, large size, and the sweet Ragdoll cat personality. These early litters ultimately led to Daddy Warbucks, a white-footed seal point, who was bred with Buckwheat, a brown-black Burmese-like female and the bi-color Fugianna. All recognized ragdolls today are descendants of these cats.

Today, Ragdolls are marketed by Ragdoll cat breeders as being particularly family-friendly, calm cats, with striking blue eyes, and Ragdoll cat colors include pointed, mitted, bi-color, high-mitted bi-color and lynx. As a beautiful and sweet breed, these kitties make great pets and are a delight to so many cat lovers.

Do you have any facts to share about where Ragdoll cats originate from?

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Comments (9)

  1. Absolutely fascinating post, Jenny! Thanks for the great info!!!! God bless Ms. Baker for creating such a wonderful breed of cat! 🙂 <3

    Unfortunately, I don't have any other Ragdoll origin info to contribute. But look forward to any other info some of the other Floppycatters might post about this!

    Big hugs!

    Patti & Miss Pink Sugarbelle 🙂 <3

  2. I don’t have any other info to add as I am new to this awesome breed and trying to learn as much as I can about them. I do have a couple questions though. From things I’ve read or seen on YouTube, I am confused a little. Is it true that if the kitty is solid color or has any other eye color than blue, they aren’t a true Ragdoll and may be a mix? I’ve seen breeders with solids and with green eyed kitty’s saying they are purebred and asking high prices for these kitty’s. I just want to be well educated before I find a sweet Ragdoll baby. I want to make sure I have the personality and look of what’s most expected from this breed, I do know every cats personality will be different but still you expect certain ways with certain breeds. I just love how Ragdolls generally are. I just love your kitty’s Charlie and Trigg, they are beautiful and so special. All your families Ragdolls are awesome! I Love watching your videos and reading your blog, I’ve learned so much about Ragdolls from you and your the reason I want this breed of kitty baby. Thank you for all your effort and education!

    1. There are solid Ragdolls – I don’t get much into the breed qualifications, etc. It’s usually a color pointed cat with blue eyes – which also fits a Siamese description. So not sure how helpful that is.

      You will never be able to guarantee personality and you’re going to set the cat and yourself up for failure if you have those expectations. I have learned one thing from this site in 10 years – you can’t stereotype a breed, nor can you guarantee anything – they are living animals with souls.

      I am not sure how to help beyond that. I rely heavily on my gut, so I just go with my gut and not worry too much about what is written, etc.

      1. Thank you Jenny,
        I’m just trying to educate myself and all info helps.
        I certainly know that when it’s right, it’s right. That’s how it was with my Gus. From the first time I laid eyes on him I just knew it was him, he was the one, For thirteen years.
        I wish I had been more informed about food for him, I would have given him only wet food way sooner. I’ve really learned a lot from you about food and cheats…lol
        I know every kitty is different with their own unique personality. But breed does stand for something otherwise no one would pay money for a certain kind of kitty. Unless I guess your only paying money for coloring.
        I’m looking forward to finding my own sweet Ragdoll one day.
        Have a great day! Hugs to your fur babies ❤️

      2. “I certainly know that when it’s right, it’s right. That’s how it was with my Gus. From the first time I laid eyes on him I just knew it was him, he was the one, For thirteen years.” – YES! I love this. Same with me with Charlie.

        I am glad you have learned about wet food – but I would feed my two raw, if they’d eat it. Have you read catinfo.org? If not, that’s where to start with feline nutrition.

        I am VERY sensitive to breed stereotypes – I do believe you are buying a “look” more than anything. But yes, hopefully a calmer disposition. It’s just that I receive the most absurd emails from people talking about a Ragdoll as if it was built in a factory and didn’t come with factory settings. That I cannot understand – a living soul is a living soul =).

  3. Yes for sure I believe that too “a living soul is a living soul” I thank God for everyday that I had with my sweet Gus, he was so unique and had such awareness to him. I have had kitty’s all my life but he was just something so special, he was my baby.
    I totally get it about people and being absurd…lol that was to funny about the factory settings, good one ;0)
    After I reread my post comment I thought “oh my gosh I hope you didn’t think I was some kinda weirdo” lol
    Honestly I’ve been in such a funk since my Gussy passed a year ago that it’s a struggle everyday and finding you and your two sweet Boys have made such a difference in my life and have made me think again that I still have a lot of love to give and I have such a need to share it. That’s what has brought me back to the real world again. Oh sorry I’m getting mushy there :o)
    But thank you so much I’ll check out that website catinfo.org for sure, like I said I want to educate myself as much as I can so I can have a healthy, happy fur baby. Someday

    1. No problem – and yes, it’s important to recognize the grief, but also more important to recognize that you have more love to share and love. Maybe a Ragdoll Rescue or a rehoming situation might work for you too! Some people on the site have gotten awesome Ragdolls from rescues or rehoming situations – my sister being one of them.

      1. I have actually kept an eye out in my local shelters but I’m still debating on if I want a baby kitty so I can raise it and watch it grow and blossom with me. So I’m not sure yet but each is definitely an option. Thank you for the suggestion! I really liked seeing your sisters rescue kitty’s , they are gorgeous and I really loved the two stories of Rahja and Maggie raggie that you featured. It really goes to show the kitty love…lol
        I posted my Gusser Beans pics on a few of your Facebook posts, I hope ya get a chance to notice them.
        Tell Charlie and Chiggy “Stay Calm” over the Fourth of July holiday! Darned ol’ fireworks anyways…

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