Photo Courtesy of Toly & Valentina

The first litter of Ragdolls was born in America in 1963 to a white Angora called Josephine. The story goes that she was involved in a road accident, and was nursed back to health, before being mated to both a Burmese and a Birman male. The resultant offspring were of an unusually quiet and relaxed nature. This gave rise to speculation that damage to the pelvis or uterus of the queen, may have meant any subsequent foetuses were held in the womb too long, or that placental dysfunction took place, leading to brain damage to the kittens which manifested itself as a particularly quiet disposition.
Did Josephine really have a road accident which altered the genetic disposition of Ragdoll kittens for all time? As far as we can establish, Josephine was indeed involved in an accident, but as for altering the genetics of any subsequent kittens - Lewis Carroll's White Queen in Alice may have been able to believe six impossible things before breakfast, but I can't!

Feeling pain
When they first came to the UK, rumour was put about that Ragdolls could feel no pain, but this myth was exploded many years ago when Glasgow University Veterinary Department carried out tests on some of the original cats imported from the USA. It concluded that, not surprisingly, they were indistinguishable from other cats in this respect. Despite such evidence, there are some journalists today who still insist on repeating such stories.

A Ragdoll is a large cat; male neuters can reach over 20 lbs when mature. The coat is semi-longhaired and can vary in texture from fine and silky, to rather thick and almost woolly. Their temperament is gentle, and quiet - very few Raggies have much of a voice, although they can let you know their needs. Furthermore, they are affectionate and loving.

There are four colours and three patterns. The three established patterns are
* colour pointed (Siamese pattern),
* mitted (colour pointed with white mittens on the front feet and white boots on the back legs)
* bicolour (colour pointed with an inverted white "V" on the face and white legs and underside)
All Ragdolls, without exception, have blue eyes; deep blue being the ideal. For a full description, a Standard of Points can be obtained from one of the clubs, the Ragdoll BAC or one of the registering bodies, such as the GCCF or the CA.
There are at present some breeders who are trying to introduce new colours and patterns; red, cream, tabby and tortie. The GCCF does not recognise these varieties, although the CA does. The pedigree of some imported cats in these colours would bear closer examination, before accepting them as genuine Ragdolls.

A physical description cannot convey the wonderful temperament, which is the most important feature of the cat. A gentle, affectionate, loving, people-cat - almost human; so knowing, intelligent and alive are they. In the early days when the Ragdoll had been introduced to Great Britain, someone coined the phrase "Ragdolls are addictive", and they were so right. Many people come to breeders just to see if the Ragdoll appeals to them, and very shortly afterwards, find that they are enslaved by more than one!
A Ragdoll can be cheeky, mischievous, loving and crazy, all within the space of a few seconds. I have known of kittens who developed magpie tendencies, stealing things which appealed to them, such as car keys, watches, ear rings, etc., before hiding them in a secret place, (inside a wardrobe, behind a bedside cabinet are two reported places).
Ragdolls often like to play 'fetch', just to prove their superiority to dogs. Ragdoll kittens will arrive in a new home with a dog, impose their willpower and thereafter, lord it over the poor enslaved creature forever more.

Special Care
So attractive in looks and personality is the Ragdoll, that it would be tempting to buy on impulse! But it is important to be aware that regular and thorough grooming is required to keep the coat in tip-top condition. Some say that they have non-matting fur, and although it is exceptionally silky, it is not a strictly true statement, and attention is required.

The future
Who can say what the future holds for the Ragdoll, but with a lot of dedication and effort from their slaves, they can only go from strength to strength. The biggest stumbling block at present is the resistance from the GCCF to their promotion to full Championship status; the CA already accepts them in one form or another, even the 'new colours', as described previously.
One thing is absolutely certain; Ragdolls will continue in sublime indifference to all of the controversy surrounding them, and continue doing what they do best - just being wonderful Raggies.








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To View a list of Ragdoll Breeders Click Here


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