the Ragdolls are a giant size cats, but they have the best temperament ever: they are lovely, cuddly and they love to stay at home with you...they are really a live rag doll! The Ragdoll brred was quite recently develloped, neverthless its cloud in a mistery....
History and standardThe Ragdoll breed was quite recenlty developped; nevertheless, its beginning is cloud in a mistery…..the “mum” of the breed was Mrs Ann Baker from Riverside, in California, who started the breeding in the early ’60.
We know for sure that the foundation cat was a White “angora cat” (in the ’60, this name indicated all the longhair cats) called Josephine. Ann Baker borrowed this cat from Mrs Pennel, her neighbor.
Here start the legend: indeed, Mrs Baker told that Josephine, after a car accident were she was seriously damaged and an hospitalization for several months at the UCLA, changed her temperament and became sweet and cuddle.
Also Josephine’s sons became different, and more playful, sweet and relax.
Here is the mistery: in the ’60 and ’70, many people narrate about scientific experiments, genetic manipulations and even….alien hybridization!
Landing, the first selection of the Ragdoll breed started with a dark side and a light side.
The “dark side” started with Buckweat, daughter of Josephine and Blackie (a like-persian black cat. According to someone he was one of Josephine’s sons),
The ligh side born with Daddy Warbuks, a well-sized pointed cat, son of Josephine.
We don’t know for sure who was Daddy Warbuks’s father, but in some pedigrees he is called “Beauty”.
Daddy Warbuks was mitted.
Ann Baker mated Daddy Warbuks with Buckwheat and the sons were born on 1965 and called Raggedy Ann Tiki and Raggedy Ann Kioto.
From the mate Daddy Warbuks and Josephine, Ann Baker obtained on 1965 Raggedy Ann Fugianna, a bicolor girl with a great size.
Raggedy Ann Tiki
Ann Baker wuth Raggedy Ann Fugianna
Raggedy Ann Fugianna, Raggedy Ann Kioto, Raggedy Ann Tiki and Daddy Warbuks were the first cats registred as “Ragdolls” on 1966.
The first cat Association to recognize the ragdoll as a breed was the NCFA.
The breed was seriously developped from Laura and Denny Dayton, who bought a pair of Ragdoll from Ann Baker.
The cats was called Raggedy Ann Rosie and Raggedy Ann Buddy.
The Dayton started a cattery with the name “Blossom Time”
We feel part of this history: our foundation queen, Caramia Pia Von Anhalt, daughter of Alois vom Norstrand, in only six generation from Raggdey Ann Fugianna, daughter of Daddy Warbuks and Josephine, and Tatjana Pearl is six generation from Raggedy Ann Tiki, daughter of Daddy Warbuks and Buckwheat.
Spouses Dayton with Raggedy Ann Rosie and Raggedy Ann Buddy
The WCF Ragdoll Standard
THERE ARE THREE CATEGORIES RAGDOLL:
The medium to large sized cat is muscular and heavy. The legs are also muscular and of medium length. The paws are large, compact and round with toe tufts. The tail is long, slightly tapering and with a bushy furnishing.
The solid, rounded part of the muzzle elongates over well developed cheeks into an equilateral triangle. The top of the head between the ears is noticeably flat. The profile is slightly curved, the nose slightly concave.The chin is firm.
The ears are medium sized, broad at the base with a slightly rounded tip. They are set wide apart and slightly tilted forwards.
The eyes are large, open and oval. They are set with wide apart and slightly slanted. The colour is an intense blue, the darker the better.
The coat is of medium length, silky in texture and with minimal undercoat. The coat is longest at the neck. Breeches are desirable.
Classical pointed pattern without white. See the list of colours.
Pointed pattern with white. The belly, chest and the legs are white. Starting on the forehead the white continues in form of an inverted "V"over the cheeks and the muzzle, it runs into a white chest without any interruption.
Pointed pattern with white
White even gloves on the front paws, white boots on the hind legs reaching to the joint. White on the chin, which continues to a white chest without interruption, white belly.
All colours: stop in the profile, Roman nose, dense undercoat, which permits the coat to stand off the body are severe faults
Mitted: absence of the white chin
SCALE OF POINTS
Body: 30 points
Head: 30 points
Coat Texture: 10 points
Coat colour and pattern: 25 points
Condition: 5 points
Notes about geneticWe don’t want to write a scientific essay, but we have to illustrate something about genes in cats:
First of all, we have to talk a little about genoma, the genetic material of an organism. The Genoma is made of thousands genes, that control all the information about a living organism. Genes are inherit features from the ancestors.
Genes are units located in the chromosomes. A chromosome is a packaged and organized structure containing most of the DNA of a living organism
Scientists suppose that cats have about 20.000 genes.
Various alternative forms of the same gene are called alleles.
For example, in cats we have the gene Agouti, that causes the striped (called tabby or Lynx) coat. This gene could have the alleles “A” (and the cat will be striped) or “a” (the will not be striped). Only one of this allele can be in the single chromosome.
But, the cat, like most of the mammals, is a diploid organism, which means that have two homologous copies of each chromosome, one inherit from the mother and one from the father: the cats have 18 couples of autosomes chromosomes ( identical to one another) and 2 sexual chromosomes: this are different in the males (XY) and identical in the females (XX)
So, the cats have 19 couples of chromosomes. The chromosomes which are part of the same couple are knowing as “omologues”
For every couple, the chromosomes could be identical or different: back up to the example of Aguti gene, the possible alleles are, as we said before, “A” or “a”
Mixing them, we can have 3 different events:When we have 2 identical alleles, we talk about “homozygous” (AA or aa), when they are different we talk about “heterozygous” (A;a)
This combinations rapresent the organism’s genotype. Genotype is the inherited map it carries within its genetic code, and its never change. It is opposed to phenotype, that is the composite of an organism's observable characteristics or traits. Phenotype can change during the year.
For example, with Agouti gene we have 3 possible pairs of genotype, but only 2 phenotype: tabby or non tabby.
Between the two different alleles who are in a single gene there is an hierarchical relationship.
Some alleles are called “dominants”, because they mask the effect to the others, called “recessive”
In genetic sciences, the capital letter indicates the dominant alleles, and the lowercase letter indicates the recessive alleles
A trait related to a recessive allele shows itself only when this allele is homozygous for both chromosomes.
This is easily to check when the trait is regulated only by one single gene.
It’s harder to check, on the contrary, when you have a multifactorial trait; Those traits are controlled to more than one gene.
Indeed, someone of them could be more strong then the others, and they could mask the phenotype: this is called epistasis
For example, this happen with the allele “W” (White): when this allele is in the genotype, even if it is heterozygous, the cat is totally white, because this allele mask the other colors.
We have, also, Co-dominance, that occurs when the contributions of both alleles are visible in the phenotype, and Incomplete dominance, that occurs when the phenotype of the heterozygous genotype is distinct from and often intermediate to the phenotypes of the homozygous genotypes.
For example, the point Siamese gene .“cs” and the sepia Burmese gene “cb” give the genotype “cscb”, and we see a mixed colour called “mink”
Moreover, Genetic traits on the X and Y chromosomes are called sex-linked, because they are linked to sex chromosomes,( not because they are characteristic of one sex or the other). In practice, the term almost always refers to X-linked traits and a great many such are not affected by sex. Females have two copies of every gene locus found on the X chromosome, just as for the autosomes, and the same dominance relationships apply. Males however have only one copy of each X chromosome gene locus, and are described as hemizygous for these genes. The Y chromosome is much smaller than the X, and contains a much smaller set of genes. Dominance rules for sex-linked gene loci are determined by their behavior in the female: because the male has only one allele that allele is always expressed regardless of whether it is dominant or recessive.
An X-linked gene is the one who determinated red colour in cats, the Orange “O” gene: males, that have only one X chromosome, could have only one copy of the gene, so they can or cannot be red.
Females have 2 copy of the X chromosome, so they can have the Orange Gene in both of the X chromosome (so, they will be Red) or in only one Chromosome (so, they will have some parts of the coat red, and some parts of another colour. This cats are called “Tortieshell”)
Now, we are ready to learn more about Ragdoll traits!
The Ragdoll is basically a longhaired cat (l l) who has the Himalayan gene (cs cs).
Because of this gene, the Ragdoll is a “pointed” cat: it has a pale body and relatively darker extremities, i.e. the face, ears, feet, tail, and (in males) scrotum, with blue eyes.
Ann Baker selected this traits from first generations.
Coat color in Ragdoll cats depends on several factors:
Pigmetation’s gene is “B” (black) or “b” (brown). The 3 genotype’s combinatinos give to us two different phenotypes:
The Seal (dark brown) with “B” heterozygous or homozygous, and the Chocolate (light brown), where “b” is only homozygous.
But we see this colours in this way only when there isn’t, in another locus, the gene “d” in both chromosome:
When the dominant gene “D” (density) is present, the colours will be unalterated. When we have “d” (diluition) in both chromosome, the color will be lighter.
So, we have “blue” (grey) with “B B d d” or “B b d d” and Lilac (light grey) with the rare combination “b b d d”
But this isn’t all: if there is also the Orange gene “O”, that is an X-linked epistatic gene, we could have the red colour “O” or, with also the diluition “d”, the cream colour “o” .
In females, both colours can be shown togheter in Tortieshell females: they could be Seal-Red, Chocolate-Red, Blue-Cream and Lilac-Cream
All this colours could be also striped (we call this Tabby or Lynx), if there is the Agouti gene “A”. This gene is dominant, so it may be present in heterozygousity.
Coat’s pattern is relative to the gene “piedbald spot”, that control the white spots on the coat.
This gene is hepistatic to the others we saw before.
Its alleles are 3 ( “s”, “S”, “sm” ), with 6 differents combinations, but we have only 3 phenotypes: point, mitted or bicolour.
The “point” is the classic Siamese coat, without any white spot. It is represented with the combination “s s “.
Mitted Ragdoll have white gloves on front paws, and white boots on hinds legs. They have white on the chin, which continues to a white chest without interruption, and white belly. The mitted pattern is represented with the combination “ s sm “. A Mitted Ragdoll looks quite similar to the Burma cats, but the genes are really different!
The bicolour pattern could have 4 genotypes: all of them have white belly, chest and the legs. Starting on the forehead the white continues in form of an inverted "V"over the cheeks and the muzzle, it runs into a white chest without any interruption
The genotypes are:
- Bicolor True ( s S )
- High Mitted ( sm sm )
-Mid-High White ( sm S )
-High-White ( S S )
Overall, considering the 4 basic colours, the red gene, the stripe gene, and the 3 different patterns of the coat, we have 36 variety of males and 60 variety of females in Ragdoll breed.
HCM - Hypertrofic Cardiomyopathy
The answer is because the Ragdoll breed is predisposed to this disease and, as breeder, we have to be more clear as we can: The occurrence of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a significant cause of sudden unexpected cardiac death in any age cats and is frequently asymptomatic until sudden cardiac death.
A cardiomyopathy is a disease that affects the muscle of the heart. With HCM, the myocytes (cardiac contractile cells) in the heart increase in size, which results in the thickening of the heart muscle. In addition, the normal alignment of muscle cells is disrupted, a phenomenon known as myocardial disarray. HCM also causes disruptions of the electrical functions of the heart.
The clinical course of HCM is variable. Many cats are asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic. The symptoms of HCM include dyspnea (shortness of breath) , activity intolerance, fatigue, fainting (called syncope) and sudden cardiac death.
Even if in really rare case HCM is the consequence of an other disease, usually in the Ragdoll breed, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a primary disease and genetically inherited as an autosomal dominant trait; then, if you use for breeding an heterozygous carrier cat, you will have a 50% chanche of passing the disease to the offsprings.
The HCM may also remain asymptomatic during all life of a sick cat, but this cat could still transmit the disease to the offsprings.
There is no cure for feline HCM.
As a reputable breeders, we have the duty to warn you that some back yard breeder could minimize the problem, to the point to say that HCM is not a problem!
Luckily, we have a DNA test for HCM and we have to test all our cats.
We belive that our duty, as breeder, is to breed not only beautiful kittens, but also healty kittens!
We don’t care if you will buy a kitten elsewhere, but, please….be away from who minimize this problem!
Ask for the DNA test!
Goodbye, little Penny…