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Ragdoll Cat History

Ragdolls are now one of the number one most popular breeds in the world, due to their loving personalities and gentle, loyal, nature. 

The early work with the breed began in 1963 with Ann Baker who lived in California and bred ‘Burmese’ experimental Persians. She worked in a Laundromat and the owner, Mrs Pennels, had about forty to fifty semi-feral cats living on her farm property. One of the cats was a white ‘Angora type’ cat named Josephine. Josephine was hit by a car when she was pregnant and was nursed back to health, after which Ann noticed a difference in the kittens born to Josephine. Ann noted that the resulting kittens were of wonderful nature, craving human attention and were large in size. They didn’t have matting fur, and had a non-fighting disposition, and become limp like a child’s ragdoll when handled. Josephine had several litters of kittens before she was sadly put down by Mr. Pennels for being protective of her current litter and attacking their dog.

Ann acquired three of Josephine’s offspring and began line breeding to produce the new breed which she named ‘Ragdoll’. The original three cats that become the foundation in creating the Ragdoll breed were:Daddy Warbucks – a seal mitted cat with a nose blaze and white-tipped tail. Fugianna – a seal bicolor, Buckwheat – a thick furred black self (solid). These cats and their offspring have been compared to other breeds such as Birmans and Burmese but Josephine and the fathers were semi-feral cats and therefore their parentage was unknown. Ann started a breeding program that yielded three new patterns out of her original cats and their offspring., Colourpoint, Mitted and Bicolour.   The first record of Ragdolls being sold was in early 1969 when Denny and Laura Dayton bought one breeding pair of Ragdolls from Ann Baker. Rosie and Buddy were the names given to these two cats, who became the foundation for what is now known as the Blossom-Time Cattery.

It is from these small beginnings by the Daytons that most of our current Ragdolls trace their ancestry. During the years 1969-1973, the Daytons tried very hard to work with Ann to help promote the Ragdoll breed, but Ann wanted to retain total control.

In 1971 Ann set up her own registering body called International Ragdoll Cat Association (IRCA). She patented the Ragdoll name in 1975 and franchised out ‘breeding stock’ under strict contracts. Her aim was to develop a breed who resembled Daddy Warbucks and felt over time the Colourpoint and Bicolour patterns would disappear.

Ann became very eccentric and paranoid over the years and several of the original purchasers of her Ragdolls, such as the Daytons, ended their business with her. Many other early owners and breeders rebelled against being franchised, wanting no part of such an arrangement. The Dayton family continued breeding Ragdolls from the original lines until the 1980’s.

During their 13 years of breeding Ragdolls, the Daytons can be seen as having a pivotable role in Ragdoll history, which has helped to preserve the Ragdoll breed standards that we know and love.  The Daytons created the Ragdoll Genetic Chart and formed the Ragdoll Society, with Denny serving as its first President. They also started up the first Ragdoll Cat newsletter and played a huge part in getting Ragdolls registered in all the various international cat associations over time.

 

 

 

 

Ragdoll Cat History Timeline

1963 – Ann begins work on what would be known worldwide as the Ragdoll breed of cat.


1965 – First Ragdolls are born in Riverside, California.


1966 – First Ragdolls are registered in NCFA:  Daddy Warbucks, Fugianna, Tiki & Kyoto.


1969 – Ann Baker sells her first breeding pair of Ragdolls to Denny & Laura Dayton.


1971 – After a dispute with NCFA, Ann Baker creates her own registry of cats named International Ragdoll Cat Association (IRCA).


1973 – Blanche Herman buys her first breeding pair of Ragdolls from Ann Baker.


1973 – Ragdolls make their first appearance in cat shows in NCFA.


1973 – The Mitted Ragdoll receives Championship status in NCFA.


1975 – Denny Dayton forms the First Ragdoll Club named “The Ragdoll Society”.


1975 – Denny Dayton becomes the first President of The Ragdoll Society.


1975 – Denny Dayton authorizes the publishing of the first Ragdoll Newsletter.


1975 – Denny Dayton begins work on the Ragdoll Genetic Chart which continues to this day.

1976 – Ragdolls shown in ACFA, CFF, UCF, CROWN & ACC.


1976 – All 3 patterns of Ragdolls accepted for Championship in CFF & Crown.


1977 – The Ragdolls are rejected for membership in ACFA.


1977 – The Ragdoll Society newsletter is renamed the RAG with a new Editor, Doris Michaux.


1978 – The Ragdoll Society changes its name to Ragdoll Fanciers Club (RFC).


1978 – UCF accepts Ragdolls for championship competition.`


1979 – Riegelman Perpetual Trophy in introduced as an incentive to show more Ragdolls.


1979 – TICA breaks away from ACFA and accepts the Ragdolls for Championship competition.


1979 – CFF accepts RFC as an official breed club similar to CFA membership today.


1979 – Ragdolls included in Encyclopedia of American Cats.


1979 – ACC accepts the Ragdolls for Championship competition.


1979 – First Genetic Seminar is held by Solveig Pflueger PhD, proving that Ragdolls do breed true.

1980 – Denny & Laura sell 12 Ragdolls to Lulu Rowley in England.


1980 – Blossom-Time Pip appears on the cover of Cats Magazine.


1980 – ACFA again rejects accepting the Ragdoll.


1981 – ACFA finally accepts the Ragdoll for Championship status.


1981 – The Ragdolls make their first petition to CFA for acceptance but are rejected.


1982 – Denny & Laura Dayton retire from breeding.


1993 – CFA accepts Ragdolls to be allowed to be shown in Miscellaneous Class.


1993 – Ragdolls make their first appearance at the CFA International Show in Nashville, Tennessee.


1994 – Mitted and Colorpoint Ragdolls could no longer be shown in Miscellaneous class but still could be shown in Exhibition Class. This lasted until 2006.


1997 – RAG accepted by the CFA as an official Ragdoll Breed Club.


1997 – Ann Baker dies of lung cancer.


1998 – Bicolor Ragdoll Cats advanced to Provisional by the CFA from Miscellaneous class. The Van pattern was also advanced.


1999 – CFA rejects to advance Bicolor and Van patten Ragdolls to Championship status.


2000 – CFA advances Ragdoll Bicolors and Vans to Championship status.


2004 – A second CFA Ragdoll Club – the Ragdoll Breed Club was started.

2005 – CFA reject to advance Colorpoint and Mittted Ragdolls to AOV status.


2006 – CFA Board vote to advance Colorpoint and Mittted Ragdolls to AOV status.


2008 – CFA Board vote to advance Mitted and colorpoint Ragdolls to Championship status. 

Credit to Ragdoll Cats World

 
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