* Ragdoll History *
The Ragdoll breed was developed in the early 1960's by Ann Baker in Riverside California. Her breeding program began with the combination of three feral cats. Many stories(both true and seemingly far-fetched) have been told about the breeds origins and characteristics.
Josephine, a white longhaired female, became the matriarch of the Ragdoll breed. Another of the cats, Daddy Warbucks, Josephine's son, had the appearance of a Birman(a blue-eyed pointed cat with mittens.) Genetic testing has proven that the white gloving of the Birman and the white spotting of the Ragdoll are genetically different. The first Birman arrived in the US in 1959. It is extremely unlikely that the cat was of Birman descent simply because they were so rare in the USA at this time.
The other cat, Buckweat, Josephine's daughter, was a reputed to have the coloration of the Burmese. This breed of cat was developed in San Francisco in the 1930's.
Ann Baker bred Ragdolls in both solid and pointed varieties. She believed that the solids were necessary to maintain size, enhance eye color and other various features of the pointed Ragdoll.
The Dayton's promoted only the pointed version of the Ragdoll to the breed clubs. The solid Ragdolls fell to the wayside, so to speak, and now are a very controversial aspect in the Ragdoll breed. They are true Ragdolls and as such are allowed to be registered and used in breeding programs but they have never been given champion status.
There are now around 60 breeders worldwide that are breeding these rare lines of Ragdolls. Those that have show quality non-pointed Ragdolls are now bringing them into the show halls and are presenting them to the judges for evaluation. Hopefully one day soon they will be accepted for championship status. Once they have championship status they can compete in the show rings for ribbons and win titles!
Some breeders use the non-pointed Ragdolls in their breeding program because they have no wish to outcross to other breeds as many, many breeders did to bring in red or lynx. Some breeders still had these rare lines of solid Ragdolls and used them to introduce the red and lynx rather than using other breeds. They wanted to keep the Ragdoll breed as pure as possible.
And by using these lines not only were they able to continue the non-pointed lines that Ann Baker had but they were able to introduce renewed vigor yet still keep the purity of the lines.
Many breeders continue these lines because we love the beautiful colors and wonderful laid back temperaments that go with them.