The Ragdoll is a breed of medium longhaired cat. It is best known for its docile and placid temperament and affectionate nature. They are non-aggressive to the point that many cats cannot or should not be let outside for prolonged periods as many will not defend themselves and most do not hunt. The name "Ragdoll" derived from the fact that many of these cats go completely limp and relax when picked up. Ragdolls have a sturdy body, short legs, and a thick coat with Siamese-style points.
Ragdolls were first bred in the 1960’s by Ann Baker, a Persian breeder in California. Some of the original stock consisted of sturdy, free-roaming cats. It is thought she created the foundations of the Ragdoll breed by selecting kittens out of Josephine, a semi-feral longhaired white female Persian/Angora type, sired by several unknown male Birman-like or Burmese-like cats, one with Siamese type markings. Out of those early litters came Blackie, an all black Burmese-like male and Daddy Warbucks, a seal point with white feet. Daddy Warbucks sired the founding bi-colour female Fugianna, and Blackie sired Buckwheat, a dark brown/black Burmese-like female. Both Fugianna and Buckwheat were daughters of Josephine. All Ragdoll cats are descended from Ann Baker's cats through matings of Daddy Warbucks to Fugianna and Buckwheat.
By selecting individuals with the look and temperament she wanted for her breeding program, Ann Baker created the standard Ragdoll type. Denny and Laura Dayton are credited with bringing the Ragdoll breed to worldwide recognition by various cat registration organisations. What is known is that this breed was selectively bred over many years for desirable traits, such as large size, gentle demeanour, and a tendency to go limp when picked up.*
Ragdoll kittens are born looking nearly white. Their points gradually darken with age.
All Ragdolls are pointed cats, with darker color marking on the ears, face, legs, and tail. The points may be overlaid with white in the bicolor or mitted patterns.
The Ragdoll commonly comes in four traditional pointed colors - seal point, blue point, chocolate point , and lilac point.
A seal point's body or ground color may range from fawn to cream to warm brown. The contrasting points on the ears, face, legs, and tail are a deep seal brown. The blue point's body color is ivory or bluish white with slate blue or silvery blue-gray points. The chocolate point is ivory- or cream colored with points the shade of light milk chocolate. The lilac point, sometimes called a frost, is a lovely milky white ground color with frosty-gray lilac or pinkish-beige points.
In addition to the four standard colors, the Ragdoll also commonly comes in three basic patterns-- colorpoint, mitted, and bicolor. The colorpoint or solid pattern has no white, whereas, the mitted and bicolor patterns overlay the darker point markings with white. Mitted Ragdolls have points on the face, ears, and legs with white mittens on the front feet and white boots on the hind legs. Bicolors have points on the ears and tail, but they sport even more white with an inverted "V" extending from the muzzle upward into the darker-colored mask on the face, plus white on the legs, feet, ruff(chin and chest area) and belly.