The RagaMuffin Breed
By KAT COSTAN, The RagaMuffin Kitten Breeders Society

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In The Beginning . . . Ragdolls

The history of the RagaMuffin cat breed began in the 1960's with Ann Baker, who was a Persian Breeder in Riverside, California.

Ann developed a friendship with a neighbor who fed and cared for a colony of feral cats. A car struck one of these cats — a female named Josephine.

Josephine has been described as a white Angora or Persian. After Josephine recovered from her accident, she delivered a litter of unusually docile kittens that impressed people with their sweetness and sociability.

When Josephine's next litter produced more kittens with the remarkable temperament, Ann purchased several kittens from her neighbor and set out to create what is now known as the Ragdoll breed of cats by crossing the the docile kittens with sires of unrecorded Birman and Burmese ancestry.

While differences in the temperament of these kittens might be explained by the normal variation that occurs among kittens in litters, Ann Baker preferred to believe the difference in temperament was a result of Josephine's accident.   This theory persists in the minds of some people to this day and is part of the mystique that surrounds the origin of the breed. 

In the mid 1970s, Ann spurned all the traditional cat breeding associations.  She trademarked the name "Ragdoll",and set up her own registry, International Ragdoll Cat Association (IRCA).  She imposed stringent standards on anyone who wanted to breed or sell cats under that name.  The IRCA Ragdolls were also not allowed to be registered in other breed associations.

The RagaMuffin . . .

By 1993, after a group of breeders had left Ann’s group and registered their cats in a recognized cat registry as “Ragdolls,” a group of breeders persuaded Ann to retire and planned to take over management of IRCA.

However, after a few months Ann refused to relinquish her control. Regretfully the group voted to leave IRCA completely and seek recognition with established registries.

The group had signed contracts with Ann agreeing not to use the Ragdoll name . . . so the first issue the breeders focused on was what to call their cats when submitting a breed standard to the American Cat Fanciers Association.

The name "RagaMuffin" was chosen to honor the origins of the breed — the little urchin cats of a small town in California where the first kittens were born.  The "M" in RagaMuffin is capitalized because they are big huggable lovable Muffins.

The new name stuck. United Feline Organization (UFO) was the first registry to accept the new breed, followed in May 2001 by ACFA. 

Through a labor of love, the RagaMuffin breeders were able to achieve Championship status for the RagaMuffin breed in the CFA in 2011.


The RagaMuffin Breed Description

Photo by Blue Sky Photography

When you first see a RagaMuffin from a distance – you will find yourself in awe. The RagaMuffin is a gorgeous cat, with large expressive eyes that are just begging you to come closer.   You will not believe its sumptuous color, its soft coat or the substantial feel to its body.   As you approach this beautiful cat you will find yourself drawn by its eyes that welcome your attention and at the first touch of its luxurious coat, you will think you are in heaven.

RagaMuffins come in all coat colors and patterns, with or without white.  In CFA, although the pointed and pointed with white colors are registered, they cannot be shown.

RagaMuffins are striking cats whether the color is solid, tabby and white, tortoiseshell, or mink. Its coat pattern and its symmetry are not considered important, but all RagaMuffin breeders love the unique patterns and varieties that come naturally within the breed.

RagaMuffin coats are medium-long and fully furred – similar to the coat of a rabbit.   Although their coats are thick and plush, surprisingly they do not readily mat or clump and are easy to care for. They are low maintenance cats.   Their overall softness makes you want to continually pet them, and when you go, these cats love every minute of your attention and just keep purring.

RagaMuffins are classically medium to large cats.   Females tend to be significantly smaller than males, averaging between eight and thirteen pounds while males average between fourteen to twenty pounds.   Each cat is heavily boned and fully fleshed, with a tendency toward a fatty pad on the lower abdomen.

RagaMuffins are fully mature at four years of age and have a long life expectancy.

The RagaMuffin Personality

A RagaMuffin’s personality is one of extreme sweetness.   While this is hard to describe, it is best understood when you are owned by one of these cats.   Over time, you begin to understand their exceptional personality and how it differs from that of most other cats.

RagaMuffins form a strong bond with their families and once your home has been blessed with one, you will be forever hooked on the breed.   They are addictive and you may soon find that just one of these cuddly teddy bears is just not enough.

RagaMuffins are wonderful with children and other pets.   Their calm and patient temperament lends itself to the boisterous, robust play of youngsters and they can easily be found attending tea parties or taking rides in baby strollers.

RagaMuffins want to please, and some pet owners teach their kitties tricks such as fetching or wearing a harness and leash.   RagaMuffins also make wonderful companions for those who live alone because they provide much needed company and support. They listen to you and offer their love in response.

RagaMuffins are quite likely to go limp in your arms, as the “rag” part of their name implies.   As for their disposition, they tend to be calm and are likely to be found curled in your lap as you read a book or watch television.   Yet, these are not lazy cats.   Just pull out a toy and you will find them ready for action.

Because they are very trusting animals, RagaMuffins must be kept indoors only.   There are far too many dangers for them beyond the front door.


The Difference Between A RagaMuffin and A Ragdoll

The temperament of RagaMuffins and Ragdolls is similar.  However, when the founders of the RagaMuffin breed broke away from Ann Baker, they brought in new genes to increase diversity in the gene pool.  Ann hadn't even allowed other breeders to see the pedigrees of the cats they were buying from her.

The RagaMuffin breeders started by outcrossing to the Persian, using the doll-faced type with longer noses rather than the flat-faced Persian. This reinforced the sweet expression that the RagaMuffin is known for. 

In addition, breeders continued to outcross to the Ragdoll. 

The use of the Persian brought in much needed genetic diversity, but it also resulted in a distinct difference in the appearance of the RagaMuffin and the Ragdoll breeds. 

The RagaMuffin has walnut-shaped eyes and a distinct scoop (not a break like the Persians) to the profile on the nose.  The Ragdoll has almond shaped eyes and the profile is sloped, rather than the look of the "ice-cream" like scoop of the RagaMuffin. 

The forehead of the RagaMuffin is rounded, almost slightly domed.  The Ragdoll breed has a flatter forehead.  In addition, in CFA, the area between the ears of the RagaMuffin should be curved, not flat.  The RagaMuffin also has a shorter profile than the Ragdoll. 

There are no extremes in the RagaMuffin breed, except an extremely sweet expression!

Perhaps the most obvious difference between the two breeds is that RagaMuffins come in just about every color available.  The Ragdoll breed made the decision to stay exclusively with the beautiful pointed cats with the blue eyes. 

Both the RagaMuffin breed and the Ragdoll breed are gorgeous, wonderful cats to have in your life! 

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