written by Silvia Klaus, 'of Lucill's Doll', Okt. ©2009
The reason why the population of the Original Ragdoll is getting smaller
This is easily explained:
In German speaking countries the Original Ragdoll was scarce and rare. The breeders took great care to avoid inbreeding. No cat was allowed to be too closely related to one another. In the end a broad basis of non-too closely related Original Ragdolls could be established.
Simultaneously the breeders strived for recognition of the Mitted-Version. To have the Version recognized 30 perfect coloured cats of the Mitted-Version have to be shown on Exhibit. (Note: The FIFť is asking for a white chin in the Mitted-Ragdoll Version, so as to make a clear distinction between the Birma and the Ragdoll).
In the first few years of their attempt the breeders mainly tried to achieve the perfect colouring. The rest like size, eye colour, type, fur length and quality were sadly neglected. After the official recognition of the Mitted-Version in 1999 the breeders could have started to improve and strengthen these qualities. Unfortunately at this point they discovered that in the US and overseas, bigger Ragdolls were bred with new and different colour variations. And suddenly such cats were wanted. Genetic database or not, purebred breeding was not important anymore.
And it is also true: a Main Coon (American domestic cat) or Norwegian Forest Cat for sure is bigger in height. Why is this so? One has to remember, the Original-Ragdoll is a young breed and only 45 years old. And if you have to keep an eye on the inbreeding coefficient it is difficult to achieve next to perfect colouring also the perfect standard of the breeding type.
So when finally in 1999 enough breeding-stock was available, breeders made the unforgivable mistake and took such coloured, non pure bread cats into their breeding program. And in one go 15 years of careful breeding and hard work was destroyed. All of this, because a bigger Ragdoll was wanted. Colour and size meant more than achieving the perfect standard of the breeding type with cats who were registered in D. Daytonís database.
But Colour and Variety should not be the most important thing. The essence, the loving character, health and beauty, as the Ragdoll was portrayed in many ancient books of cats, should be much more important. And last, but not least it should be compatible with D. Daytonís lifework, his genetic database. Then only a Ragdoll like that is pure bred.
! The Original is a documented, pure bread Ragdoll !
And today? Not many breeders knew of this and quite frankly, most of them didnít care.
They thought: What does it matter? Because of ten catsÖ whatís the fuss? And so they continued to mix the Original Ragdoll with the coloured ones. This had the result that within 5 years nearly the whole work of 15 hard yearís careful breeding was virtually destroyed.
How quick something like that can happen we would like to demonstrate with the following two examples:
1) Take a tomcat, which has no ancestors within the D. Dayton database, and mate him with a female Original- Ragdoll cat. All of their offspring will not be original anymore and cannot be used for further breeding.
2) This of course works also the other way round: The tomcat is an Original-Ragdoll and the female cat is of the new coloured kind. Their offspring is also not original anymore.
Even today in 2009 after 5 years of clarification, the breeders of these coloured Ragdolls do not want to reconsider their position. The Original-Ragdolls are today still very much wanted within the coloured breeding program. This especially because of their two colours: Lilac and Chocolate. There are a few colour breeders who have recognised the fact that the Original-Ragdoll is important to them to maintain the equal marking of these three original versions within their colour breeding program. This is the reason why also today the Original-Ragdoll is still in danger.
Please read more about this in the chapter: Traditional/Original
This is why we have founded on May 17th, 2008 the association of the Original Ragdoll (VdOR). We want to preserve our loving, beautiful, pure bred and Original-Ragdoll according to the standard of A. Baker in 1965.