The beginnings of the Ragdoll are quite controversial and colored by myths and stories. Many have heard the famous story about queen Josephine, who got into a car accident and from then on, produced huge, floppy kittens with silky non-matting coat and low pain threshold. These stories were started by Mrs. Ann Baker in 1963, who was the founder of the breed. She was an eccentric woman who spun wild stories as a public relations tactic, so the public would purchase more kittens and that the breed would receive more attention. The reality is that Ragdoll cats were bred from preexisting breeds and, as the years went by, the traits that were more desirable were kept and the undesirable traits were bred out of the lines. The results were big, beautiful, Ragdoll Cats with excellent dispositions. You can see these spectacular modern version Ragdolls at many cats shows in your local area. Click on "Show News" to see which upcoming shows I will be attending.
Below is the story as told by Ann Baker historians.
The Ragdoll is a relatively new breed of cat which was first bred by Ann Baker of California in the1960's. Ann Baker was a breeder of Persians at that time and the founding queen of the Ragdoll breed was a non-pedigree Angora-type female called Josephine who was owned by one of Ann Baker's neighbors.
Josephine produced frequent litters of kittens which were all fairly wild until at some stage she was severely injured by a car. After her recovery the kittens she produced were quite different in that they seemed to crave human attention and were very playful, loving and relaxed. This aroused Ann's interest and she started to acquire some of Josephine's kittens. The first of these was a black solid female described as being similar to a Burmese but thick-furred. Also at this time Ann had been using one of Josephine's older sons, a black long haired cat, to sire litters in her Persian breeding program. One day Ann noticed that one of his littermates had the appearance of the Sacred Cat of Burma (the Birman Breed). She acquired this cat and named him Raggedy Ann Daddy Warbucks. Daddy Warbucks was used to continue the Ragdoll breeding program.
It is a common misconception that the Ragdoll was bred from the Birman Breed or the Siamese Breed but it is important to note that Ann Baker's description of Daddy Warbucks was that he had the "appearance" of the Sacred Cat of Burma (Birman). It should also be noted that the white spotting gene in the Bicolor and Mitted Ragdolls is quite different from that which produces the white gloves and laces in the Birman. This history is condensed from various books, people, and legends.
Citied: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia