The United Kingdom RagaMuffin Cat Society
President: John Hansson Founded 2008 Vice President: Steve Crow
Origins of the RagaMuffin
The beginnings of the RagaMuffin date back to the early 1960’s when Mrs.Ann Baker in California was very active in “developing” various new breeds. She called the whole group “Cherubims,” (angels) as they all possessed such sweet dispositions. Out of the many breeds, only the Ragdoll, Miracle Ragdoll and Honeybear remain today.
Ann Baker was considered an eccentric personality and working with her could probably be described as “dictatorial franchising”. At the beginning of the 1970’s a first group of breeders left her and eventually they petitioned for acceptance in some of the cat-registries.
In 1994 another group of breeders including Janet Klarmann, Curt Gehm and Kim Clark left Mrs. Baker and had to honor her terms of contract, which prohibited the further use of the word “Ragdoll”. They had to focus on what to call the cats and in the process of submitting a standard to the American Cat Fanciers Association Janet Klarmann credits Curt Gehm of Liebling cats in Virginia with the choice of RagaMuffin because they came from little urchin cats of Riverside. The ‘M’ is capatalised because they are big huggable loveable Muffins. The new name stuck and in May 2001 the cats gained championship recognition with the ACFA.
A Breed Apart
From the beginning, RagaMuffin breeders have faced a 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 RagaMuffin breeders. They accept every colour and pattern with or without white, but the differences go deeper than that. The RagaMuffin has a distinct head shape rather than having a flat plane between the ears the skull has a slight dome. The Muffin has a shorter nose than the Ragdoll and walnut rather than oval shaped eyes. While the Ragdolls profile exhibits a gentle curve with the final segment being straight the RagaMuffin standard requires an obvious nose dip and scoop. RagaMuffin breeders aim to produce a rounded more heavily boned cat. The RagaMuffin’s coat is texturally similar to that of a rabbit shorter and thicker than a Ragdoll’s medium long silky coat.