History and Development
Evolution of the Ragdoll Cat
The origins and development of the Ragdoll breed is difficult to establish and is somewhat shrouded in myths. Nonetheless, there are certain things that we do know for sure.
The Ragdolls were originated by Ann Baker, a breeder in Riverside, California. It was in early 1960 that the breed was created. It is believed that a long-haired white cat, named Josephine was the beginning of the breed.
Back then, Ann Baker advertised widely and mailed out literature promoting the breed to cat-lovers nationwide. Early publicity spread like wild fire and the breed quickly became an object of controversy.
Baker's breeding program consisted of a handful of breeders contracted under her. She was paid a royalty fee for every kitten sold.
As time when on, Ann Baker's statements and claims about the breed became strange, supernatural - and - very hard to believe. She publicized statements outlining how Ragdoll cats have human genes in them, that they are immune to pain & that they represent a link between us and space aliens.
The breeders once loyal to her were now having doubts about how to develop the breed without losing the integrity that these wonderful cats deserve. Because of this, several breeders broke off from Ann Baker and continued breeding Ragdolls for what they are - highly affectionate companions - with a lot of love to share with humans.
Denny Dayton was an instrumental figure in the history & development of the breed. After he broke away from Ann Baker, he fought hard to make the breed legitimate and acceptable by cat fanciers' standards. Dayton succeeded and in 1967, the Ragdoll breed was first recognized in the United States.
Dayton is the originator of RFCI (Ragdoll Fanciers Club International) the most reputable and highly respected Ragdoll cat registry in the world. Dayton also worked very hard to get the breed recognized by TICA.