RagaMuffin History

RagaMuffin

The history of the RagaMuffin began in the 1960's with Ann Baker, a Persian breeder. Ann developed a friendship with a neighbor who fed and cared for a colony of feral cats. A car struck one of these cats, named Josephine. Josephine was described as a white Angora or Persian. After Josephine return to health, she delivered a litter of kittens that impressed Ann with their sweetness and sociability. Although any difference in temperament can be explained by natural variation or having different fathers, Ann explained the differencenes using a highly unscientific theory, that the accident somehow accounted for the kittens docile nature. This theory persists to this day.

Ann gathered as many of Josephine's kittens as possible and began breeding to preserve the wonderful personality of these cats that went limp as a Rag Doll when cuddled. She gave the cats the angelic name Cherubim. The most well-known of Josephine's random-bred offspring were Buckwheat, a black shorthair female who resembled a Burmese, and Daddy Warbucks, a male with Birman-like points and white mitts. Many of the Cherubim had points and mitts, but others came in a rainbow of solid colors and bi-color variations. Ann called these non-pointed and non-mitted cats Miracle Ragdolls.

Determined to direct the progress of her Cherubim cats, Ann developed strict rules for anyone wishing to breed. She alone knew the ancestry of each cat and made all breeding decisions. In 1967, a group split away from Ann's control, taking their cats to mainstream registries to show and make their own breeding choices. They chose to call their cats Ragdolls and to breed only pointed cats in three patterns.

RagaMuffin

Ann was bitter and took steps to exert greater control over the development of "her" breed. She set up her own registry, the International Ragdoll Cat Association, and required all her breeders to register only with her. Ann patented the name Ragdoll for use only with cats of her breeding and registry. Catteries were franchised and paid royalties for each kitten sold. For more than 20 years, Baker's program continued, with breeders relatively content to enjoy raising the kittens while allowing Ann to make marketing and breeding decisions.

RagaMuffin

Eventually, even her loyal group developed misgivings about Ann, who struggled to keep a healthy cattery while handling the responsibilities of the registry. By 1993 a group of breeders including Janet Klarmann, Curt Gehm and Kim Clark persuaded Ann to retire and planned to take over management of the association. After a few months, however, Baker refused to relinquish control. Regretfully, the group voted to leave IRCA and seek recognition with established registries.

Since their cats included all colors and patterns and they signed contracts not to use the Ragdoll name, the first crisis focused on what to call the cats, in the process of submitting a standard to American Cat Fanciers' Association. Janet Klarmann credits Curt Gehm of Liebling Cats with the choice of "RagaMuffin" because they came from the endearing little street urchin cats. The M is capitalized "because they're big huggable, loveable Muffins. The new name stuck and in May 2001 the cats gained championship recognition in ACFA.


Differences Between The Ragdoll and RagaMuffins

RagaMuffin

From the beginning, RagaMuffin breeders have faced the challenge of gaining acceptance for their cats as a distinct breed, despite the common origins with the Ragdolls. The patterns that form such an important part of the Ragdoll standard receive little emphasis from the RagaMuffin breeders. The RagaMuffin breeders accept every color and pattern with or without white, but the differences go deeper than mere color. The RagaMuffin has head shape that is distinct from the Ragdoll. Rather than having a flat plane between the ears, the skull of the Ragamuffin has a slight dome. The RagaMuffin has a shorter nose than the Ragdoll and walnut rather than oval shaped eyes. While the Ragdoll profile exhibits a gentle curve with the final segment being straight, the RagaMuffin standard requires an obvious nose dip and scoop. The RagaMuffin cat has a bit more chubby looking face, and slightly tipped forward ears. The walnut shaped eyes, the puffiness of the whisker pads, and the scoop in the nose all give the RagaMuffin cat its characteristic sweet expression. RagaMuffin breeders aim to produce a rounded more heavily boned cat. The RagaMuffin's coat is texturally similar to that of a rabbit and is shorter and thicker than the Ragdoll's medium long silky coat. While both the Ragdoll and the RagaMuffin have the same sweet, affectionate, puppy-like temperament, the RagaMuffin breeders elected to allow certain outcrosses to other breeds in order to insure that the gene pool was large enough to provide for the excellent health of the RagaMuffin cat. The use of the outcrosses has strengthened the health of the RagaMuffin cat, as well as given the RagaMuffin cat a look that is distinct from the look of the Ragdoll.


RagaMuffin
RagaMuffin

Muffins are not highly vocal or energetic cats, but they are playful and affectionate. They are individuals with slight variations in their nature. They follow you from room to room like a puppy. They enjoy good health and fortunately, unlike many other breeds, are not susceptible to any particular known health conditions. They tend to be “soft pawed” which means they very seldom use their claws. They are sweet, charming, good-natured and floppy too!


Being breed to have such a docile, trusting nature, the RagaMuffin thinks everyone should be his or her friend. Because of this nature they do not possess normal instincts with which to defend themselves. Like all beloved cats they should live their lives strictly indoors and away from harm. Muffins are very content with an indoor life-style.




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