In the family of cat breeds, Ragdolls are among the younger siblings. The cats were first developed by breeder Ann Baker in Riverside, California, in the 1960s.
Baker’s foundation stock consisted of Josephine, a domestic longhair whose white coat concealed the genes for either a seal mitted or black tuxedo pattern, and various other longhaired cats of unknown ancestry that she owned or found in her neighborhood.
Baker selected for cats with gentle, placid personalities, large size, and beautiful long coats characterized by a Himalayan pattern, the name for the “points” seen on Siamese-type cats.
The result was a cat she called the Ragdoll, for its propensity to flop happily into the arms of anyone who picked it up. Later, Persians, Birmans and Burmese may also have contributed to the Ragdoll’s development.