Much controversy surrounds the history of ragdoll cats, which gained recognition in the USA in the 1960's. The charm of a Ragdoll is said to lie in the fact that it will flop in your arms when handled, but this is not uncommon in any cat that trusts its owner.
The truth of the Ragdoll's background is open to speculation. Many say that Ragdolls were first bred in the 1960’s by Ann Baker, a Persian breeder in California. It is thought she created the foundations of the Ragdoll breed by selecting kittens out of Josephine, a semi-feral longhaired white female Persian/Angora type, sired by several unknown male Birman-like or Burmese-like cats, one with Siamese type markings.
By selecting individuals with the look and temperament she wanted for her breeding program, Ann Baker created the standard Ragdoll type. Denny and Laura Dayton are credited with bringing the Ragdoll breed to worldwide recognition by various cat registration organisations.
What is known is that this breed was selectively bred over many years for desirable traits, such as large size, gentle demeanour, and a tendency to go limp when picked up.
The Ragdoll is probably one of the most laid-back of all breeds of domesticated cats. It is relatively undemanding, very tolerant of most situations, and is gentle and relaxed. It is said that these cats have a lower pain threshold than most, but it is a debatable point, and certainly not one that should be tested.
Ragdoll cats' coat colours can be seal, blue, chocolate, and lilac point colours, either with or without markings on the face and feet. In some associations, they are also available in non traditional colors, such as red (flame), tortie and lynx point. The semi-long coats need minimal care and also do not usually become matted with regular combing.
Ragdoll cats typically take up to 4 years to fully mature physically. An adult Ragdoll male cat can weigh between 12 and 20 lb, while the female cats can weigh between 10 and 15 lb.