The ragdoll breed has a very interesting and somewhat mysterious past, though it is a relatively new breed. The instigator of the breed, Ann Baker, of Riverside California, started experimenting in creating the ragdoll breed in the 1960's. It seems that no one is sure how the breed really was started, though there are several different accounts to be read. In order to avoid much speculation and stick to facts we will just say it all started with a white Persian-angora female named Josephine and a Birman male and a Burmese male that she borrowed from a friend. The resulting offspring were then cross-bred to create the huge, floppy, wonderfully tempered ragdoll breed. Ann was hopeful to keep the breeding of ragdolls under strict control. She was very slow about selling breeder cats to others, though she did so eventually. There were then struggles between these breeders who wanted to run their own catteries and Ann, who wanted some degree of control over what they could and couldn't do. This eventually drove the other breeders to break away from her and start promoting the breed on their own. Ann was strictly against showing the ragdolls in the various associations and she battled those who wanted to introduce the ragdolls into the show rings. Eventually, the ragdoll breed became recognized by all the major cat associations.
For more of the ragdoll history check out the following links (will open in a new window):