The breed can trace its origins back to the 1960s when a white domestic feline named Josephine was hit by a car and injured. She was brought to the University of California's veterinary hospital. After the incident, her owner noticed that her next litter of kittens exhibited a distinctly docile temperament, were extremely affectionate and had a tendency to relax to the point of going limp when relaxed. When her next litter exhibited the same type of behavior, Anne Baker purchased a few kittens from the owner who was a neighbor at the time. Believing that the cats were unique, she set out to breed what is now called as the Ragdoll. The breed went through a selective breeding program in order to emphasize their desirable traits such as the Ragdoll's large size, placid demeanor as well as the breed's tendency to go limp whenever held.
A signature of the breed are its striking blue eyes and pointed colouration is a semi-longhaired cat breed which means that they will need a thorough brushing twice a week and a light grooming ritual daily. Being a pointed breed, their body fur will be lighter in color than their face, tail, legs and ears.
They come in four types of traditional colors: chocolate, seal, lilac and blue. Those who fall under the solid division will have darker points which are immediately distinct. Aside from a solid coloration, Ragdolls are selectively bred in order to produce three specific patterns: one with no white or colorpoint and a pair of patterns with white (particolor bi-color and particolor mitted). Specifically, patterns may be tortie, torbie or lynx.
The body color is ideally a shade lighter than their point color with subtle shading allowed to a degree. No white patches must be visible. Mitted Ragdolls will have the same distinct points except on the feel wherein they will have four white "mittens". The hind legs may be all white and these extend no higher than their mid-thigh. Ragdolls may also have a white blaze on their noses. Those under the bi-color category will have a white mask that resembles an inverted "V" shape as well as white on all four of their legs, stomach, feet, ruff and their chest. Some white markings are allowed except on their dark colored points which should be well-defined.
Ideally, the Ragdoll is a well-balanced feline. It has no extremely shaped or sized features but it does fall under the large sized category. Males who are altered will typically be around fifteen to twenty pounds while females are slightly smaller and lighter at ten to fifteen pounds. Ragdolls are slow maturing, reaching their full coloring at about two years of age and being at their biggest size at about four years old.
Although not hyperactive, Ragdolls are more than happy to play with their owners or with another furry family member. They thrive on love and affection and will be more than happy to reciprocate their owner's attention. Do note that Ragdolls are in need of plenty of rest while they are growing as their bodies will be going through a lot of major changes. They are perfect indoor companions although some will be more than happy to follow their owners for a brief stay in an enclosed yard. Of course, they must be kept safe and supervised at all times as their trusting and easy-going nature may make them less attentive of potential dangers outside.