top of page


History of the Breed (with pics!)

Ann Baker with Fugianna 1966 (a mis-marked bi-colour)_edited.jpg


The Ragdoll breed was started by Ann Baker in California in 1963. She worked in a Laundromat and her next-door neighbour was the owner and had 40-50 semi-feral cats living on her farm property. One was a white ‘Angora type’ cat named Josephine. Ann had been ‘borrowing’ Blackie, a black Persian-looking cat, from her neighbour for breeding. Ann got very interested in the calm and docile personality of Josephine after a car accident.

Ann acquired ‘Raggedy Ann Buckwheat’, a daughter of Josephine and Blackie, and ‘Raggedy Ann Fugianna’, a daughter of Josephine and ‘Daddy Warbucks’ (Daddy Warbucks was also a son of Josephine). From here, ‘Raggedy Ann Buckwheat’ was mated with ‘Daddy Warbucks’ (her father via stud service), and their offspring were mated together, or with other offspring of Josephine’s, and the core foundation cats were expanded.

Josephine was protective of her litter of kittens, and attacked the family dog, resulting in the owner putting her to sleep. Ann Baker then went on to split kittens from Fugianna as the ‘light side’, whilst those from Buckwheat were termed ‘the dark side’. Ann registered the ‘Ragdoll’ name and set a franchise where she sold offspring from a cross of Fugianna and Tiki, requiring line breeding for seven generations, never using male offspring for breeding, only the male initially purchased. After seven generations they had to use another direct son of Josephine’s.

In 1969, Laura and Denny Dayton purchased cats from Ann Baker, ‘Raggedy Ann Buddy’. (a seal colourpoint male) – their first stud boy, and Raggedy Ann Rosie (a seal mitted female), they bred under the prefix ‘Blossom-Time’ and the offspring were named after plants, flowers etc. Over time they fell out with Ann Baker who wanted royalty payments for every ragdoll sold and there were ongoing legal battles. Other breeders purchasing cats from Ann Baker had similar experiences which made them step away from the breed, and the Daytons were able to acquire their cats. Joshua, Lolita, Miss Chef and Little Orphan Annie were acquired in this manner.

In September 1975, ten years after Ann Baker registered her Ragdoll breed, she put a patent on Ragdolls, on three patterns (colourpoint, mitted, and bicolour) and on the 4 colour (seal, blue, chocolate and lilac).

Later, Red, tortie, and lynx marked Ragdolls were introduced by breeders by outcrossing with another breed to introduce the colours and patterns. These are registered in all cat associations and accepted for championship.

In 1981 the Ragdoll breed came to the UK. Pat Brownsell and Lulu Rowley both from Norwich acquired cats from the Deyton’s Blossom Time cattery. Lulu of ‘Petil-lu’ cattery had Blossom-Time Lass and Blossom Time Lad, two 6-month-old kittens (not siblings), and her friend Pat of ‘Patriarca’ cattery imported Blossom Time Prim and Blossom Time Proper, a seal colourpoint and a chocolate bicolour (also not siblings). The imported cats were required to be in quarantine for 6 months and Lass gave birth during that time to a litter of three kittens. The ladies quickly imported a further eight ragdolls within a year from Blossom Time (Romeo, Juliet, Pistil, Camellia, Bananas, Myrtie, Spring and Summer), making 12 imported cats in total. With the variety between the friends, they could produce the 3 patterns (colourpoint, mitted and bicolour) and the original colours (seal, blue, chocolate, and lilac).

The British Ragdoll Club was founded in 1987 by Sue Ward-Smith, a Ragdoll breeder under the prefix ‘Pandapaws’. Sue was also instrumental in getting ragdolls accepted into GCCF in March 1990.

Mink, sepias and solids are not accepted with multiple breed associations that state ragdolls are a blue-eyed pointed cat. Outcrosses to Tonkinese, Burmese and Ragamuffins have been made to produce these colours and patterns.


  • History of the Ragdoll Cat, Lorna Wallace. (Also co-authored ‘The Definitive Guide to Ragdolls’ - LINK

  • TBRCC History of the Ragdoll Breed - LINK

  • Ragdoll Cats World – History and Origin of Ragdoll Cats - LINK

bottom of page