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This cat’s history is fundamental to the reason for the existence of this breed of purebred cat. I have set out the history in a chart (an overview). This purebred cat is intricately bound up with the Ragdoll cat and was formed from a group of Ragdoll cat breeders as per the chart below. The history is a little confusing and hazy. If this is not right please tell me.
Update April 2010: I have received an email from Jane in respect of the 1967 date above:
1967 is well before anybody bought Ragdolls (for breeding) so it’s not really possible that anybody split away from Ann Baker’s ‘strict and unworkable policies for the Ragdoll’. The rest is a bit of an unusual view but that first date is the most difficult to understand.
I am investigating this. In the meantime if anyone has good clean information that I can use please email me or post it. The answer is hard to come by. Update Nov. 2010: Gloria Stephens in Legacy of the Cat says that a group of IRCA (International Ragdoll Cat Association, started by Ann Baker) breeders broke away from the group in the late 1980s. The cats they bred were “descended from the original Ragdolls”. They were bred to moggie domestic cats, Ragdolls, Persians and Himalayans (pointed Persians). This brought in the non-pointed colours.
The RagaMuffin cat in the photo above is, LuvNMuffins St Nick of Cortez Cats. He is a natural mink McTabby and white – (see a page on tabby and white cats)(new window). He lives with Jean Colson of Bradenton, FL, who says this about this handsome boy:
“….We own two of them (and are fostering two others) and find them to be wonderful cats — big, furry (nice, pretty-much non-matting fur) and friendly cats. We happen to show our two boys — and I’ll brag that one of them, LuvNMuffins St Nick of Cortez Cats (I know, quite a name) won three awards in ACFA (American Cat Fancier’s Assoc.) in the SouthEast Region (of the U.S.): he was 7th Best Kitten, 18th Best Cat (meaning whole, non-neutered) and 5th Best Alter during the past show year!! Quite an accomplishment — he also won a 10th Best Household Pet in TICA’s SE Region. RagaMuffins are not accepted for championship in TICA thus that is why he was shown as a Household Pet instead. Still he had QUITE a year…”
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Detail on the Origin of the RagaMuffin cat
As the RagaMuffin has the same early history as the Ragdoll cat there is a huge connection with that breed and one expects that there is a great similarity in them. The reason, as mentioned in the chart, for the existence of this breed is the intransigence of the founder of the Ragdoll cat (Ann Baker).
She was asked to retire as head of the Ragdoll breeding organization by a group of loyal Ragdoll cat breeders due to her perceived increasingly unreasonable behavior. When she refused the group spit from her organization.
Due to Ann Baker patenting the name “Ragdoll”, they were not allowed to breed Ragdoll cats. They called their cat a RagaMuffin instead. So began this breed of purebred cat. Please read the memories of a person with first hand experience about the Ragdoll myth and origins.
Brief History in a Table
|early 1960s||Ann Baker, a Californian cat breeder, starts creating the breed|
|1960s and 70s?||Ann Baker seems to have created the myth that this breed is immune to pain and have human genes – alienating other breeders|
|?||Denny Dayton an early breeder of this breed founds the Ragdoll Fanciers Club International (RFCI)|
|1967||Ragdoll first registered in the USA due to the efforts of Denny Drayton|
|1971||Ann Baker creates her own cat association, International Ragdoll Cat Association (IRCA)|
|1975||Ann Baker patented the name “Ragdoll” – breeders who acquired their Ragdolls before the patent was issued, did not feel bound by it|
|2005||Patent for the the name “Ragdoll” expired|
|Currently||Ann Baker is deceased and despite her perhaps bitter fight to retain “rights” over her creation she left the legacy of this wonderful breed of cat. 500+ breeders worldwide. The breed is fully accepted with the major associations except TICA including CFA, FIFe and GCCF7.|
Appearance and Character
As the breed commenced its career path as a Ragdoll, the question is, how does this breed differ from the Ragdoll? Like the Ragdoll this cat is a large, muscular and heavy cat. It might be called “substantial” in cat fancy terms. The body is “long with a solid feel”1. The coat is medium long.
Also, as is the case for the Ragdoll, this breed has a docile nature and tends to go limp when picked up. So far they appear to be the same. However, the major difference is in the coat color/pattern range. While Ragdolls are pointed, this breed has no limit on coat color and pattern.
There is also a slight difference in the head shape. Apparently the top of the head between the ears is flat for the Ragdoll and is slightly domed for this breed. The RagaMuffin cat’s head is a broad modified wedge with rounded contours. Also the Ragdoll has a longer nose (hardly earth shatteringly different).
The objective, probably, is to make the difference between these two breeds more distinct. It is probably the RagaMuffin breeders who will have to achieve that over time through selective breeding. Their personality is probably the best part of this cat although they are very handsome too. Important, too, is that there are no outstanding genetically linked health issues (new window) to report, it seems.
I would have liked to compare the breed standards of the Ragdoll and this breed but the wording is different for both making it all but impossible to compare.
Breeders & Breed Standards
RagaMuffin cat – Breed standards (all open in new window/tabs)
Top 3 non-directory RagaMuffin cat catteries as listed by Google on a search, in the order listed by Google.co.uk as at early 2008 – things change:
- Ultimate Rags Cattery Located South East Florida, USA.
- LuvNMuffin Cattery Located Northern Georgia, USA.
- Encore RagaMuffins Located Brandon, Florida, USA.
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What Other Visitors Have Said
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RagaMuffin Cat — Sources: