The breed is native to the United States, specifically Riverside California. It was created in 1963 by Ann Baker, breeder of Persians.
Ann Baker mated a long-haired white cat named Josephine with a male of unknown origin named Blackie
In the United States, the Ragdoll is recognized since 1965. In 1969, a couple of breeders, Laura and Denny Dayton, buy at Ann Baker four ragdolls and establish a breeding under the name of "Blossom Time". Ann Baker founded in 1971, the International Ragdoll Cat Association (I.R.C.A). She keeps control of Josephine's descendants and imposes many constraints on other ragdoll breeders, so that in 1994 a group of breeders decided to cut the bridges with the ragdoll world and created from this breed a new, named ragamuffin
In Europe, the first ragdolls, direct descendants of Josephine, are imported to Great Britain in 1981. These are two English friends, who intrigued by what they hear from the American media, decide to do each a breeding. They each get a couple of the cattery "Blossom Time". These four cats are for many in the establishment of the breed in Europe.
A fan club "British ragdoll Club" was founded in 1987 and the breed is recognized by the GCCF in 1991, a year later, the FIFe does the same. Meanwhile, the ragdoll is introduced in Germany (1985) and in France in 1986 by Noëlle Vialatte "Chatterie de Gailande" in Biarritz. It is a couple from one of the first two breeds of English friends: "Patriarca Ragabarfield", a male blue colourpoint, and "Patriarca Rag Blossom", a two-colored female seal. The breed is recognized that same year by the ANCFF. The first litter born in France at Madame Vialatte in 1988.
The First Ragdolls in France 1986.
The first French club The Ragdoll Club France is created in 1993.
The founder of the breed, Ann Baker, died in January 1997.
Its characteristic "rag doll" could be a neotenic character indeed when the mother carries a kitten by taking them by the neck, he lets himself completely do. It fades with age and then disappears almost completely (but not completely, which explains why we can control cats by taking them by the skin of the neck). In ragdoll this character remains marked in adulthood.
The Blackie breed, the male mated with Josephine after the accident (and therefore the father of the first ragdolls) is also unknown. On a sacred Burma and Burmese but these theories seem unlikely because these two races were rare at the time. Currently we think rather of a gutter cat with half-long hairs. Ann Baker practiced a strong consanguinity and mated Josephine with her male kittens several times, as well as the brothers and sisters between them.
Josephine was the pussy of a neighbor of Ann Baker. When this cat was hit by a car, she was treated at the university and healed without visible damage. The rest of the story is not always clear. Many legends surround this controversial race.
Legend has it that the car accident rendered Josephine insensitive to pain, and that her kittens, like her, were insensitive to it. This fable obviously has no scientific or logical basis, and these cats are not at all insensitive to pain.
Blackie is described by Ann Baker as an imposing cat, sometimes gloved like Burmese and with a white spot on the nose, sometimes it is rather a chocolate male.
It is said that Josephine had three little ones, and it was at this very moment that Ann Baker noticed the extremely sweet and affectionate nature of the kittens, which she adopted and had reproduced. Subsequently, she told many contradictory and incoherent stories, sometimes absurd, about the origin of this race, sometimes the result of genetic mutations, sometimes work of God or fruit of an abduction by extraterrestrials. She was the first breeder to use marketing (newspapers, local television, etc.) to promote a breed.
After the United States where the breed is very popular, the Ragdoll won the hearts of England, Scandinavia and much of Europe. In France, especially because of the high popularity of the sacred Burma, it took a while to conquer the public. Since 2007 the ragdoll has however entered the ten most represented breeds in France. However, this represents only 1.70% of the total number of French cats. In England, as in Scandinavia, he has been in the top 10 for many years.
Ragdolls are generally described as very balanced, calm, gentle, discreet and very affectionate cats. This cat would also show great discretion in his meow, very soft. He is a homebody and adapts very easily. The ragdoll would be a little shy cat that easily submits. He does not become aware of the danger and that is why it is often discouraged to leave him unattended. These character traits remain perfectly individual and are different depending on the history of each cat.