Slide Show, above, from 2022 TICA Project Meow Cat Show in Brentwood, NY .
What is a Ragdoll?
That is a huge debate among Ragdoll breeders! The Ragdoll
that most people recognize is a medium haired, blue-eyed kitty
with a pale body, dark face, ears, legs and tail and is described as
being "pointed.” This coat color pattern is the result of the
recessive Siamese gene (cs) and it requires both parents to carry
this gene in order to pass it on to their offspring. Ann Baker
initially bred Josephine, a solid white cat and mother to all
Ragdolls, to create a pointed kitten, along with solid kittens.
Josephine had to posses the Siamese pointed gene (C cs) and the
father did as well. The father of Daddy Warbucks had to be either a solid carrying the Siamese pointed gene (C cs), a mink (cscb), or a pointed (cscs) cat. Ann Baker, the pioneer and originator of the Ragdoll breed, bred Buckwheat, a solid colored Burmese cat in appearance, to Daddy Warbucks that continued to produce kittens carrying the Burmese and Siamese pointed genes. “Traditional” Ragdolls are defined as those bred from the primary Ragdoll pedigree lines - a blue-eyed pointed cat in only the four colors of Seal, Blue, Chocolate, and Lilac transposed over the three recognized patterns of Colorpointed, Mitted, and Bicolor. “Original” Ragdolls (pure lines) are defined as those that can be fully traced to Ann Baker's 3 Original cats--Josephine, Blackie, and Beauty. The blue-eyed pointed Ragdolls have become world renowned because they were highly publicized by Denny and Laura Dayton in the show halls of various cat fancier associations (i.e., TICA, CFA, etc.).
“Non-Traditional” Ragdoll Felines consist of the four newly recognized colors of CINNAMON, FAWN (Cinnamon's dilute), RED (Flame) and CREAM (Flame's dilute). Any cat with Cinnamon, Fawn, Flame, Cream, or Tortie in its pedigree may have an outcross to another breed somewhere along the line, as Red was recognized by TICA in the 1980s and Cinnamon in early 2000. Likewise, any Ragdoll that has a LYNX pattern was either created early in the breed by Ann Baker, or outcrossed somewhere in the line to get the Lynx pattern. One needs only to look at their pedigrees to make the determination from whence it came (pure or outcrossed). The pointed areas of the cat will display distinct barring, or Tabby markings, which are separated by lighter background color. The Lynx markings appear with ANY of the three patterns (bicolor, mitted, and colorpoint) and in all colors. If a Ragdoll female has a Tortie coloring, as well as Lynx markings, she will be identified as a Torbie.
When certificates of registration were transferred from Ann Baker's IRCA Registry to the TICA Registry, all Ragdolls were reregistered as Ragdolls in one grouping, and not as individuals. Many Solid and Mink Ragdolls were actually registered as Pointed Ragdolls when they were transferred from IRCA to TICA, instead of being specifically registered as a Solid Ragdoll or a Mink Ragdoll. This was most prevalent in the case of the Solid Ragdolls. An examination of IRCA pedigrees transferred to TICA will reveal the very beginning lines of Solid Ragdolls, Mink Ragdolls, Lynx Ragdolls, Smoke and Silver Ragdolls, and yes, even Tortie and Torbie Ragdolls. Indisputable evidence is available on www.ragdolldnaregistry.org, in black and white, that all Ragdolls were created by Ann Baker. It was her every intention to include all of the following; Lynx, Red Factor, Chocolate, Lilac, Mink, Solid, and Pointed. There was not a point in time where she did want any of them to be excluded from her lines--she, herself, registered these mink and solid cats as Ragdolls.
The Pointed Ragdoll is a product of recessive traits, a mutation, that can only be produced by Solid, Mink, or two Pointed Ragdolls--of which are the foundation of the Ragdoll Breed created by Ann Baker. Curt Gehm is another who acquired some of Baker's Ragdolls, the Mink, Solid, and Sepia Ragdolls, rejected by Dayton. Gehm created a new breed that originated with a limited number of Ann Baker's cats (solid, mink, and sepia Ragdolls). Outcrossing was used in the further development of what was coined the “Ragamuffin.” All colors and patterns were accepted for the Ragamuffin and outcrosses were made to Persian, Siberian, Selkirk Longhair, British Longhair, Turkish Angora, and even longhaired domestic cats that have resulted in an extremely different appearance and Breed Standard to the Ragdoll, which was accepted only by CFA.
Mink, Sepia, and Solid purebred Ragdolls have been registered since TICA’s inception and can be shown in TICA, ironically, only under “New Traits,” as per the current Ragdoll Breed Committee. These are not new traits. It is time for this to change due to Ragdoll history and genetics. The Ragdoll Breed Committee would bring on a tsunami of exhibitors and spectators into the TICA show halls if they accepted the Mink, Solid, and Sepia Ragdolls for show and simply altered the current TICA Ragdoll Breed Standard to reflect the following breed groups under Categories: RD as Pointed Ragdolls; RD-M as Mink Ragdolls; RD-Sd as Solid Ragdolls; RD-Sa as Sepia Ragdolls. Thereafter, the Divisions and Colors should be written and delineated. Permissible outcrosses should be NONE. Eye color should be described for the respective breed groups. Everything else, that does not pertain to coloration, should remain the same.
All purebred, registered Mink, Solid, and Sepia Ragdolls must be recognized for championship status for all of the aforementioned reasons. There would be no Pointed Ragdoll without the others. Regardless of their coloration or patterns, ALL PUREBRED RAGDOLLS are famous for their extreme loyalty, inquisitiveness, immensely affectionate nature, intelligence, and of course, the Ragdoll flop that invites the coveted belly rub!
Check out the Ragdoll DNA Registry website:
The Ragdoll enthusiasts, and breeders, who founded this Registry share a common goal: to preserve the genetic markers of the purebred Ragdoll feline. By doing this, future Ragdoll owners, breeders, and exhibitors can share the same special experience of living with a true Ragdoll. Without the adherence to genetic standards, the Ragdoll may fall victim to the fate that has occurred with may cat breeds. Most notably, the Ragdoll could become overbred for breed "type" to the extent that they will be inbred, or line-bred, and ultimately changed. This breed registry is an official list of purebred Ragdolls whose parents are known. Futhermore, through the establishment of a genetic signature for Ragdolls, breeders may use DNA testing as a tool to ensure that Ragdolls remain a genetically distinct breed that is differentiated from others, as well as be confident in parentage due to DNA verification, and assured that the felines in this program are of optimal genetic health, or at least made aware of latent mutations that are present. Only responsible breeders will be considered for membership where information pertaining to registered Ragdolls’ genetic health is known and accurate pedigrees are guaranteed.