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What is a Ragdoll?

By Christine Lupo

         That is a huge debate among Ragdoll breeders!  The pointed Ragdoll that most people recognize is a medium haired, blue-eyed kitty with a pale body, dark face, ears, legs and tail. This coat color pattern is the result of the recessive Siamese gene (cs) and it requires both parents to carry this gene in order to pass it on to their offspring. Ann Baker initially bred Josephine, a solid white cat and mother to all Ragdolls, to create a pointed kitten, along with solid kittens. Josephine had to possess the Siamese pointed gene (C cs) and the father did as well. The father of Daddy Warbucks had to be either a solid carrying the Siamese pointed gene (C cs), a mink (cscb), or a pointed (cscs) cat. Ann Baker, the pioneer and originator of the Ragdoll breed, bred Buckwheat, a solid colored Burmese cat in appearance, to Daddy Warbucks that continued to produce kittens carrying the Burmese and Siamese pointed genes.

       Traditional Ragdolls are defined as those bred from the primary Ragdoll pedigree lines - a blue-eyed pointed cat in only the four colors of Seal, Blue, Chocolate, and Lilac transposed over the three recognized patterns of Colorpointed, Mitted, and Bicolor.

      Original Ragdolls are defined as those that can be fully traced to Ann Baker's 4 Original cats--Raggedy Ann Daddy Warbucks, Josephine, Blackie, and Beauty. The blue-eyed pointed variety have become world renowned because they were highly publicized in the show halls of TICA (The International Cat Association) and CFA (Cat Fancier’s Association).

         Purebred "nontraditional" Ragdoll Felines also consist of seal, chocolate, blue, and lilac, in addition to the four newly introduced colors of CINNAMON, FAWN (Cinnamon's dilute), RED (Flame) and CREAM (Flame's dilute). Any cat with Cinnamon, Fawn, Flame, Cream, or Tortie in its pedigree has to have an outcross to another breed somewhere along the line, as Red was introduced in the show halls in the 1980s (some Red Ragdolls can be traced to Baker's original lines, some derived the color from outcrosses) and Cinnamon was created and introduced in the show halls in early 2000.

        Any Ragdoll that has a LYNX pattern was either created early in the breed by Ann Baker, or outcrossed somewhere in the line to get the Lynx pattern. One needs only to look at their pedigrees to make the determination from whence it came. The pointed areas of the cat will display distinct barring, or Tabby markings, which are separated by lighter background color. The Lynx markings appear with ANY of the three patterns (bicolor, mitted, and colorpoint) and in all colors. If a Ragdoll female has a Tortie coloring, as well as Lynx markings, she will be identified as a Torbie.

         Mink, Sepia, and Solid Ragdolls are not registrable in all cat associations. They are not currently accepted for championship in North America. Many Ragdoll clubs do not allow breeders of the mink, solid, and sepia Ragdolls to join or advertise their non-blue eyed kittens. The Mink, Sepia, and Solid Ragdolls may be registered and shown, however, in TICA, ironically, under “New Traits.” Our goal has become to obtain the recognition that they absolutely deserve in the show halls. 

        Mink, Sepia, and Solid Ragdolls (that are not blue-eyed white) currently do not adhere to the breed standard of multiple organizations and clubs, which state that a Ragdoll is a blue-eyed pointed cat. This was, and is, the written standard initially created and commercialized by Denny and Laura Dayton who purchased blue eyed Ragdolls from Ann Baker, a cat breeder, of the 1960s. The Daytons, and a group of their followers, dismissed Ann Baker's vision of her Ragdoll and made it their mission to establish only the pointed Ragdolls in the various cat fancier associations and show halls. The blue-eyed pointed Ragdoll is a product of recessive traits from Solid and Mink Ragdolls. 

        Regardless of their many exquisite colorations and patterns, ALL purebred Ragdolls are famous for their extreme loyalty, inquisitiveness, immensely affectionate nature, intelligence, and of course, the coveted belly rubs and the Ragdoll flop!

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