is graphic intensive - please be patient - it's worth
The late Ann Baker of
Riverside, California (USA) is the founder of the Ragdoll breed.
recounted the history of the Ragdoll as follows:
Ann's neighbour, Mrs
Pennels, owned a white Angora-type female, called Josephine.
Josephine often had kittens, but they were all wild like their
Stand in for
Josephine with the first Ragdoll kittens, Summer 1965,
to right : Gueber, Mitts, Tiki and Kyoto
Josephine was run over by a
car and left lying
by the side of the road for a couple of days.
Eventually she was taken to the local university for treatment.
firmly believed that during her time at the university,
"genetically manipulated", resulting in future
kittens being loving,
relaxed, "floppy" and unable to feel pain.
Today, this belief in
Josephine's genetic manipulation is
rejected as a fallacy as the Ragdoll
experiences pain in the same
way as any other breed of cat.
as the "floppiness" is concerned, kittens and cats
from any breed could
present this trait - it is not caused
by any genetic characteristic, but
by the way in which the kitten is raised and socialised.
The first Mitted Ragdoll, and the father of the "Ragdoll
her kittens, Kyoto and Tiki
Ann acquired three of
Josephine's half-related kittens from
her neighbour – Pretty Boy, "a cat
with the appearance
of the Sacred Cat of Burma" (The Birman
Ann later called Daddy Warbucks; Buckwheat
and Fugianna (a badly marked Bicolour female).
three cats became the founding Ragdolls,
producing the first Ragdoll
kittens. In the summer of 1965,
a litter of four kittens were born
pointed and two non-pointed kittens.
Ann ruled the Ragdoll
breeding programme with
a strict hand, registering and patenting the name
Ragdoll and franchising out future breeding stock under strict
Ann Baker with
Kyoto and Kookie Tu
Remaining protective over her
kittens, Josephine fought
with the family dog. It is alleged that Mr
Baker, who had
had enough of Josephine's protectiveness, had Josephine
her kittens destroyed, thereby ending the life of the
founding queen of
the Ragdoll breed.
Ann Baker passed away in 1997.
During mid-1997 the first
Ragdolls were imported to South Africa,
and in November 1999 the Ragdoll
breed achieved full
championship status in the South African show
Early 2000 the non-pointed Ragdoll was granted full
championship status in South Africa.
Raglin Ragdolls produced the
first Ragdoll to qualify for,
and compete in, the
prestigious annual Cat of The Year competition.
Read more about SP
PM Raglin's Mille Miglia on the Gallery :
(Some information and all
pictures above from "The Definitive Guide
to Ragdolls" by
Wallace, Robin Pickering & David Pollard)
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE
Ragdolls have amiable
temperaments. Although they differ individually,
they are gentle
and quiet cats. They enjoy human companionship
some individuals might enjoy sitting next to you, rather than in
They also enjoy the company of
other pets, including dogs.
Due to Ragdolls
being trusting, they should never ever be allowed
neighbourhood where they could get into harm's way.
The ideal Ragdoll is a large,
imposing, strongly built cat with an elongated body,
moderately long legs
and plumed tail in proportion to the body.
They may also have a fat pad
(Greater Omentum) on the lower abdomen.
Neutered males could grow into
gentle giants weighing more than 10 kg
but the norm seems to be around 7
kg. Spayed females could weigh up
about 7kg but in general
they are around 5 kg. Ragdolls mature slowly and
do not reach
maturity until they are approximately four years
Point colouring could take up to three years to
born without colour. They are not white, they are not beige.
The term "whiter shade of pale" is most applicable for newborn pointed
Within about 12 hours, the first sign of colour is visible
on the ears.
By day three colour is visible on nose
kittens showing colour and pattern
are Mink or Sepia
accepted in South Africa. Those kittens may not be registered
The purple markings you see on the kittens above are our way of
for weight record keeping purposes. We use Gentian Violet
in order to tell kittens apart at this
Pointed Ragdolls come in three
Colourpoint – Dark mask, ears, legs &
tail; no white whatsoever allowed
Mitted – Dark mask, ears and tail; white
mittens on front feet and white hind legs
Bicolour – Dark ears &
tail; white legs; inverted "V" on the face
From L to R : BoomBoom, Lori & Bailey
Pointed Ragdolls come in six
- Seal – Points are deep seal brown
- Blue – Points are slate blue
- Chocolate – Points are milk chocolate in
colour (not available in South Africa)
- Lilac – Points are frosty grey (not
available in South Africa)
- Flame - Points are deep orange flame to
- Cream - Points are buff cream to apricot
Non-pointed Ragdolls come in
the Bicolour and Mitted patterns, as well
as the solid
These cats are purebred and
descending from the foundation cats.
At present there are no purebred,
registered non-pointed Ragdolls
being bred with in South Africa.
Ragdolls have a soft, medium
length coat which sheds just like any other cat breed.
Regular grooming assists in removing loose, dead hair and prevents
hairballs and mats.
Grooming is a wonderful one-on-one
and bonding experience for both owner and
Taking Care of your
When looking at overseas
Ragdoll websites, one is reminded that the Ragdoll
is a strictly indoor
breed. That is because they are kept indoors
(all windows and
doors shut) ... not because they have a gene that
will prevent them from
going outside the house.
If you choose to have a strictly indoor Ragdoll pet,
to walk on a body harness.
Here's 8 month old Carlos
taking his mom for a brisk walk!
All cats love to be outdoors
and there is no harm
in letting them do so
- on condition that they
to a cat escape-proof and extremely safe outdoor
Johannesburg based company "D's Fencing
& Security" specialises
pet fencing and one of my
kitten owners found them
to be very reliable and fairly priced.
can view their website for
contact details and more information at http://www.dsfencing.co.za/
Disclaimer : Raglin Ragdolls is not
associated with this company; we do not
commission on referrals; and
if you decide to appoint them
for a contract we are
not to be held
responsible in case of any disputes.
Alf and Diana made this very beautiful, safe and
safety enclosure for their new kitten, Darwin.
This is not where their kitten lives - this enclosure is only there for
playtime in the garden during the day, and probably during hot Summer
Look under the solid roof - there Darwin has a safe enclosed "house"
where he can go hide and sleep, if he wants to.
This enclosure has a beautiful water feature, shelves, tree branches ...
a lot of fun for any cat ... Darwin is one very lucky boy!
Below : an interesting wooden walk-way for an energetic Ragdoll
Raglin Ragdoll kitten owners
Mike & Gail built this beautiful
"cat house" themselves.
Below are photographs which will
inspire you to make a safe enclosure
for your own kitten/cat
& Annie Hall in George had a special outdoor cage built for their
This cage is attached to the outside wall and can be
should they so wish.
The cage also has
an outdoor gate which makes gardening easy
Outdoor scratch posts, wooden logs,
lovely lawn and cat-safe plants
and shrubs make this a very safe and
aesthetically pleasing place for the cats to play
prevent their Ragdolls from jumping over walls,
they constructed this
their Ragdolls from climbing this tree,
they attached an "umbrella" of
mesh around the trunk
My sincerest thanks to Geoff &
Annie for the above photographs
A friend's Maine Coon
went missing and that spurred him on to investigate
some kind of tracking
device for pets. Such a product is being launched in
and you can read more about at http://www.ptrack.co.za
Weight and size can be found on the FAQ
page. This device is also suitable to track children.
Disclaimer : Please note that I am not associated with this company
product and do not earn commission on any sales. Please do not contact me for sales or enquiries.
need any special treatment. High-quality premium foods and
fresh water, a secure and loving home, de-worming, annual booster vaccinations
and an annual vet check are all that are
needed to maintain their health.
easily trained and can be taught to come on command, fetch and do
taught 15 week old Jessie to "beg" in only one day!
A Ragdoll should
never be dangled like a toy rag doll.
Always pick up a kitten or lift a cat by supporting it with
under the armpits and the other hand under the
Never pick up a kitten
or cat by the scruff ... only queens
know how to do it without
hurting their kittens.
holding ChiChi in a safe and comfortable cradle
On a Personal
I am often asked exactly what attracted me to the Ragdoll breed.
is quite easy ...
There is nothing extreme about the Ragdoll.
The "overall package" of the Ragdoll is pleasing to the eye.
ideal Ragdoll should be large, friendly, soft-spoken,
inquisitive (yet not adventurous) cat - always ready to "lend a
They will greet visitors, head-butt
for massages, walk around showing
off their plumed tails and
flop down at your feet.
produce kittens that are very relaxed when held, like ChiChi above
However, there isn't a "flop gene" in the
Ragdoll that makes them go limp
At Raglin Ragdolls, our aim is to only breed with
lines that produce kittens
with the above personality
as well as only work with healthy
lines that produce kittens with strong immunities
and healthy systems.
Ragdoll owners have to say about this special breed :
We have been owned by Ragdolls
since end 2001 ~ was there life before
Ragdoll cats we often ask
Monty and Kashka (aka Chicken,
Baby, Button and a host of other
kitchee-coo names) are half brothers
sharing the same dad and they
arrived with us on a Christmas morning aged
just over 3 months.
One Blue Mitted Lynx and one Seal Mitted bundle of
creamy fur with enormous blue eyes.
Our hearts were theirs from
first instance. And our bed, morning newspaper, couch, chairs as
empty box or plastic packet!
Slowly but surely they
re-arranged the entire house to suit themselves
and their agenda. Monty
slept in the guest
room until noon while Kashka
found that alternating
between my in-tray and my t-shirt shelf suited him better.
time of day is late afternoon when Da returns from
work and Mom is home
and thinking about supper.
Then they go
for walks in and around the garden
with us, chase leaves or bugs
and play hide-and-seek with
each other in
Suddenly they remember they are adults and cats after all and
preen and wash,
look aloof and think about sleeping off their supper.
They sleep. Goodness how they
sleep! After a good night’s rest they are
exhausted and so move to their ‘flavour of the month’ day time place and
sleep some more. In winter they
will sleep like real cats, all curled up
neatly with paws tucked under and
noses covered by tail.
But in summer they fly the Ragdoll colours! Whether
the floor, the couch or
a chair they sleep either on their backs with
legs akimbo or drape
themselves over the back
of a sofa like a floppy soft
We always thought our previous
feline owners were large cats
until the Raggies arrived and grew . . . .
and grew . . . . . and grew.
I think they have stopped now and
fluctuations are only between winter coats with
heavy ruffs and slinkier
summer attire. They don’t so much run as lope across
the lawn, their
lion-like bellies swaying.
But they would rather walk than run any
They are placid, predictable,
affectionate (on their terms), cuddlers
and not fighters, homebodies and
Their voices, like their coats, are rabbit soft. They are
vocal at suppertime,
sometimes when spoken to and when they
want the water
fountain turned on.
They prrrrrrrrt greetings when we return home and
first thing in the morning
but are never loud and never yowl.
Last week we had four new
visitors from overseas to our home.
They spent more time on the carpet
offered tummies, stroking floppy,
draped backs and taking
photographs than eating their braai.
Our hearts and homes would be
empty without them.
other "cat people" consider myself born a "cat person".
I have been
so enriched by all the
whiskered friends I have met on my
journey. I have truly felt every moment of time spent with
to have been so precious.
year, to my great joy and delight I "found" the Ragdoll breed.
of my vet "they are the most
encountered some of the characteristics I list here in all of
but my two Ragdoll's have displayed
ALL of these
characteristics. Large, muscular, talkative, relaxed,
gentle, exceptionally affectionate, responsive, healthy,
bushy tailed, playful, companionable, friendly,
inquisitive, always ready for a game.
truly are the most magnificent friends one could ever wish
Hall, February 2006
Cats have owned me my entire life, and in 2000 two
came into my life,
Pie a Seal Mitted and Skye a Blue
Like many potential owners, prior to deciding on
I researched the breed and found they were commonly
large cats with medium length fur and gentle temperaments.
What a bland description for an
amazing breed. Don’t be
Ragdolls have all those lovable mischievous qualities that make
admire and adore cats and then that intangible something extra.
Although there are certain breed specifications with
which they should
conform, each is a unique character. Pie is outgoing and adventuresome
and somehow always seems to land up in trouble.
If it rains he will be caught in
coming in with his fur standing on end,
his tree climbing activities
tend to result in him getting stuck and needing
rescuing and he is always
on the wrong side of a closed door.
Skye however prefers his home comforts
and even when venturing
outside prefers to stay close to the door and his humans.
He is happiest lying on a chair or
table next to his humans.
too loves to know his humans are close
but doesn’t believe in being
demonstrative about it. When
you are busy in a room
he will be
on the windowsill, move
to a new room and you soon
find he has followed you and dozing where he
keep an eye on you.
must be left open so he can patrol his territory,
checking on the humans
(even during the night).
Ragdolls are very intelligent and are experienced human
Pie informs us long
before he gets
to the door that he wants to
come in and has trained us to
wait with the door open whilst
he comes ambling up the steps. It is quite likely at this point
that he will
tell you he needs a rest from all that exertion and flops
over onto his
exposing his tummy for a rub. Tummy rubs are one of his
favourite activities and he will find every opportunity
to lie in your
so you have to bend over and give him attention.
Ragdolls like to talk,
but don’t see the need
to raise their voices unless
all other means of
communication have failed.
Both boys greet us with
when they come into a
room. Skye extends this
courtesy to his doggy friends and can often be found rubbing up
the dogs’ faces in greeting (much to the dogs’ embarrassment)
out of the house through a dog’s legs.
Despite their bulk Ragdolls are incredibly gentle, and
are more likely
to restrain your hand with a large fluffy paw
to using claws.
Their large paws are a wonderful feature of the breed, when
you need a bit of comfort; just holding a huge paw
feel much better. My Ragdolls
love their cuddles;
Skye loves to be picked up, folding himself to fit
snugly into your arms.
finds the feet off ground thing a bit off-putting, preferring you to be
for a Rag cuddle. If
you get too preoccupied to do the cuddle thing,
a quick furry head but is
used to get your attention.
Ragdolls are the gentle
giants of the cat world and are loving,
companions who thrive on human
If you are looking
for the stereotypical cat, the one you only see
at mealtimes then don’t
even consider a Ragdoll.
Ragdoll is a partner, a friend, a family member, a very human soul
in a large furry cat form and yes I am
their very willing
Hine, February 2006
Word of caution … Ragdolls