In an attempt to maintain control over the growing number of owners and breeders, Ann created the International Ragdoll Cat Association (IRCA) in 1971 and registered her as her business. The name “Ragdoll” corresponded to the trademark, and anyone who wanted to breed the Ragdolls could do this only on the basis of a franchise with registration through their own International Ann Baker Association, observing strict rules for the breeding of this breed. Many of the early owners and breeders rebelled against franchising and did not want to participate in such an agreement. The Dayton bought all the Ragdolls from them, but also could not agree with this new franchise concept. The prospect of Danny Dayton was the adoption of the Ragdolls by large organizations and registration in them. He worked in that direction, concentrating on the distinctive features of the breed and fixing them. In order to further breed and promote these cats, in February 1975 he founded the Ragdoll Society, which later became the RFC and is now known as the RFCI (Ragdoll Fanciers Club International). Initially, this society included the Dayton and eight other breeders. Since 1975, two groups of Ragdoll breeders began to exist – IRCA members Ann Baker and founding members of today’s RFCI. In parallel to these events, Ann received a patent issued by the US Patent Office on December 19, 1975 (Patent 1026916) and registered in California (# 53044) on April 16, 1975. The patent was valid until 2005 and allowed the use of the name “Ragdoll” only to IRCA breeders. But the Dayton and other breeders of his society, however, do not believe that the restrictions, superimposed on the use of the name refer to them because they acquired their cats before the start of the patent. Thanks to the efforts of Denny Dayton and his Ragdoll Society, the “rag doll” is currently being accepted by major feline associations in the US and North America. Thanks to the painstaking work of the RFCI community, Ragdoll is a popular and internationally recognized breed.
Under the gaze of Ann Baker, IRCA breeders continued to work on the breed. Over the years of “high security” Ann forced many breeders to leave the IRCA and register their cats in other associations. In 1994, a large group left Ms. Baker’s company. This third group had problems naming their cats, as they were not entitled to use the name “Ragdoll” due to Anne Baker’s patent. They chose the name “Ragamuffin” (“Ragamuffin”). In order to be accepted as a separate breed by the primary Cat Associations, they also needed to define a standard that should differ from the “rag doll”. Ragamuffin breeders continue to breed these cats in all original colors. But we are still talking about the Ragdolls.
Several experienced British cat breeders became very interested in this breed, and in 1981 the first Ragdolls were imported to the UK. Thus began the conquest of Europe. In 1987 they were recognized in GCCF (England), in 1991 the breed was registered in SCFF (France), and in 1992 the “rag doll” thoroughly entrenched in Europe after the recognition of FIFe (Federation International Feline). Currently, Ragdolls still belong to rare breeds in Russia, but the number of Ragdolls and breeders is growing very quickly both in our country and around the world.
Anne Baker passed away in 1997, the IRCA is still dependent on other major feline Associations, the RFCI is still active. To date, the Ragdoll cat breed is recognized in almost all societies in the world, and some breeders are working on the introduction of new colors and patterns.
As mentioned above, today Ragdolls are recognized by almost all large organizations ( CFA, WCF, TICA, FIFe…), although there are disagreements in the adoption of colors. United States organizations recognize traditional colors; unlike the American Associations, the Europeans also recognize tortoiseshell, red and cream tabby colors.