That is a huge debate among Ragdoll breeders! The Ragdoll that most people recognize is a medium haired, blue-eyed kitty with a pale body, dark face, ears, legs and tail and is described as being “pointed.” This coat color pattern is the result of the recessive Siamese gene (cs) and it requires both parents to carry this gene in order to pass it on to their offspring. Ann Baker initially bred Josephine, a solid white cat and mother to all Ragdolls, to create a pointed kitten, along with solid kittens. Josephine had to possess the Siamese pointed gene (C cs) and the father did as well. The father of Daddy Warbucks had to be either a solid carrying the Siamese pointed gene (C cs), a mink (cscb), or a pointed (cscs) cat. Ann Baker, the pioneer and originator of the Ragdoll breed, bred Buckwheat, a solid colored Burmese cat in appearance, to Daddy Warbucks that continued to produce kittens carrying the Burmese and Siamese pointed genes. “Traditional” Ragdolls are defined as those bred from the primary Ragdoll pedigree lines – a blue-eyed pointed cat in only the four colors of Seal, Blue, Chocolate, and Lilac transposed over the three recognized patterns of Colorpointed, Mitted, and Bicolor. “Original” Ragdolls are defined as those that can be fully traced to Ann Baker’s 3 Original cats–Josephine, Blackie, and Beauty. The blue-eyed pointed Ragdolls have become world renowned because they were highly publicized by Denny and Laura Dayton in the show halls of TICA (The International Cat Association) and CFA (Cat Fancier’s Association).
“Non-Traditional” Ragdoll Felines consist of the four newly recognized colors of CINNAMON, FAWN (Cinnamon’s dilute), RED (Flame) and CREAM (Flame’s dilute). Any cat with Cinnamon, Fawn, Flame, Cream, or Tortie in its pedigree may have an outcross to another breed somewhere along the line, as Red was recognized by TICA in the 1980s and Cinnamon in early 2000. Likewise, any Ragdoll that has a LYNX pattern was either created early in the breed by Ann Baker, or outcrossed somewhere in the line to get the Lynx pattern. One needs only to look at their pedigrees to make the determination from whence it came. The pointed areas of the cat will display distinct barring, or Tabby markings, which are separated by lighter background color. The Lynx markings appear with ANY of the three patterns (bicolor, mitted, and colorpoint) and in all colors. If a Ragdoll female has a Tortie coloring, as well as Lynx markings, she will be identified as a Torbie.
When certificates of registration were transferred from Ann Baker’s IRCA Registry to the TICA Registry, all Ragdolls were reregistered as Ragdolls in one grouping, and not as individuals. Many Solid and Mink Ragdolls were actually registered as Pointed Ragdolls when they were transferred from IRCA to TICA, instead of being specifically registered as a Solid Ragdoll or a Mink Ragdoll. This was most prevalent in the case of the Solid Ragdolls. An examination of IRCA pedigrees transferred to TICA will reveal the very beginning lines of Solid Ragdolls, Mink Ragdolls, Lynx Ragdolls, Smoke and Silver Ragdolls, and yes, even Tortie and Torbie Ragdolls. It was Baker’s intention to include all of the following; Lynx, Red Factor, Chocolate, Lilac, Mink, Solid, and Pointed. There was not a point in time where she did want any of them to be excluded from her lines–she, herself, registered these mink and solid cats as RAGDOLLS.
Denny Dayton and his followers dismissed Ann Baker’s vision of her Ragdoll and made it their mission to establish a small representation of the breed, the Pointed Ragdoll, in the multiple cat associations and show halls. The Pointed Ragdoll is a product of recessive traits, a mutation, that can only be produced by Solid, Mink, or two Pointed Ragdolls–of which are the foundation of the Ragdoll Breed created by Ann Baker. Curt Gehm is another who acquired some of Baker’s Ragdolls, which encompassed the Mink, Solid, and Sepia Ragdolls rejected by Dayton for show. Gehm created a new breed that originated with a limited number of Ann Baker’s cats. Outcrossing was used in the further development of what was coined the “Ragamuffin.” All colors and patterns were accepted for the Ragamuffin and outcrosses were made to Persian, Siberian, Selkirk Longhair, British Longhair, Turkish Angora, and even longhaired domestic cats that have resulted in an extremely different appearance, and Breed Standard, to the Ragdoll.
Mink, Sepia, and Solid purebred Ragdolls have been registered since TICA’s inception in 1979 and can be shown in TICA, ironically, only under “New Traits.” This should be changed due to Ragdoll history and genetics. The Ragdoll Breed Committee would bring on an influx of exhibitors into the TICA show halls if they accepted the Mink, Solid, and Sepia Ragdolls for show and altered the current Ragdoll Breed Standard to reflect the following breed groups under Categories. For example: RD as Pointed Ragdolls; RD-M as Mink Ragdolls; RD-Sd as Solid Ragdolls; RD-Sa as Sepia Ragdolls. Thereafter, the Divisions and Colors should be written and delineated. Permissible outcrosses should be NONE. Eye color should be described for the respective breed groups. Everything else, that does not pertain to coloration, should remain the same.
All purebred, registered Mink, Solid, and Sepia Ragdolls should be recognized for championship status for all of the aforementioned reasons. There would be no Pointed Ragdoll without the others. Regardless of their coloration or patterns, all purebred Ragdolls are famous for their extreme loyalty, inquisitiveness, immensely affectionate nature, intelligence, and of course, the Ragdoll flop that invites the coveted belly rubs!