Ann Baker’s fight against the recognition
The group of Ragdoll breeders grew and they wanted to recognize the Ragdoll in different associations. Ann said that the Ragdoll was not a cat that belongs on show. Ann also thought that only mitted Ragdolls would continue to exist and that the other patterns would disappear after 7 generations. As a result, there was only a standard for the mitted Ragdoll. After the 8th generation the breeders saw that the other patterns still existed. If the other patterns would be recognized they needed standards for the other patterns. At that time Ann called the color point: black-legged, the bicolour: white-legged and the mitted she just called mitted. Because these names did not sound good for the standard and on show, the names bicolour, mitted and color point were chosen. Ann started a fight because she developed the breed and so she said only she can decide what the future of the Ragdoll should be.
The disagreements grew between Ann Baker and the other breeders. It came to the point that many breeders had enough. They united to get the Ragdoll recognized in all associations and in the 3 patterns.
Denny Dayton invited all breeders to sit together and to discuss ideas. A lawyer was also invited to document everything legally. The costs were divided among the 7 breeders ($ 150 per person). This way they could avoid future problems and continue to breed their beloved Ragdoll. Ann Baker was also invited, but she did not respond.
So in 1975 the first Ragdoll club “Ragdoll Society” (now the Ragdoll Fanciers Club) was created. The purpose of the Ragdoll Society was to get the 3 patterns recognized within all associations, exchanging ideas about genetics, marketing and talking about other topics related to the development of the Ragdoll breed. But also publishing a magazine with information for Ragdoll owners was one of the goals of the club. With the recognition of the bicolour and the colour point, the Ragdoll Society also had to write 2 new breed standards. Ann was fiercely opposed to this. She started lawsuits. The more Ann lost control of the Ragdoll, the fiercer her fight became against the RFC and the Daytons.
In the 80s it was time to get the Ragdoll recognized in the biggest club. In the first instance, the CFA (The Cat Fanciers Association) was opposed to the recognition. That is why as many Ragdoll breeders as possible had to become members of the CFA. Denny Dayton had to make sure that the breed standard was ready, that there was genetics information and that all breeders would sign for it. Then he had to appear with Ragdolls in the 3 different patterns. Breeders were flown in and they to talk to many people about the Ragdoll on Saturday and Sunday … however, the Ragdoll was not recognized. It then took another 12 years before another attempt was taken and the recognition came. Then the Ragdoll took its position as a recognized breed within the CFA. Now the Ragdoll has recognition for the colours seal, blue, chocolate and lilac and in the 3 patterns colour point, mitted and bicolour.
(Ragdoll Historical Society, History & Development of the Ragdoll Breed, Ragdoll History 1969-1975)
(Source: Ragdoll Historical Society, History & Development of the Ragdoll Breed, Ragdoll History 1976-1980)