Genetic Research in Ragdolls

$9,574 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 128 people in 24 months

Even though breeders strive to breed only healthy animals, unfortunately issues do happen.
This fundraiser has been created to help fund a genetic research that can help keep our wonderful Ragdolls healthy. 

The first project we are fundraising for is one uterine horn/one kidney issue that has been happening in Ragdolls for several years. It will be conducted by Dr. Leslie Lyons and Dr. Susan Little. As soon as we raise the first $5000, Dr Lyons will be able to start analysing the DNA samples she has already received.

For several years Ragdoll breeders have reported cases of female cats missing a uterine horn and also the kidney on the same side. Male cats have been reported missing a kidney.

It is important to note that in almost all cases, females have both ovaries. There have been cases reported where a second spay surgery had to be performed to locate and remove the second ovary.

This defect may be called various names, such as uterus unicornis, uterine horn aplasia, uterine horn hypoplasia and renal agenesis.

This project will help to determine if and how this issue, which can happen in other breeds and domestic cats, is inherited in Ragdolls. We are hoping that the research will help develop a test to determine which cats carry the gene responsible for this issue so that we can eliminate this problem.

If you are a Ragdoll breeder who had this issue please contact Dr Lyons directly and please send DNA samples of both affected cat/kitten and it’s normal relatives so they can be inculded in this research. Please include an x-ray or a vet report if available that confirms the condition and send it to:

Leslie A. Lyons, PhD
Gilbreath-McLorn Endowed Professor of Comparative Medicine
Department of Veterinary Medicine & Surgery
College of Veterinary Medicine
E109 Vet Med Building, 1600 E. Rollins St.
University of Missouri - Columbia
Columbia, MO 65211
Lyonsla@Missouri.edu Phone: 01 573 882 9777
Website: felinegenetics.missouri.edu
Lab: 01 573 884 2287 Lab e-mail: felinegenome@missouri.edu
Professor Emerita - University of California - Davis

Another project that we are talking to Dr. Leslie Lyons about, and talking about repeating it, is genetic diversity* in Ragdolls. Genetic diversity project in Ragdolls was last done 15 years ago and it may no longer be relevant. There are several issues happening in the breed that could possibly be attributed to the inbreeding depression**.

To better understand why genetic diversity is very important for any species, please see articles written by Carol Beuchat, PhD:


*Genetic diversity is the total number of genetic characteristics in the genetic makeup of a species. It is distinguished from genetic variability, which describes the tendency of genetic characteristics to vary. Genetic diversity serves as a way for populations to adapt to changing environments.

**Inbreeding depression is the reduced biological fitness in a given population as a result of inbreeding, or breeding of related individuals. Population biological fitness refers to an organism's ability to survive and perpetuate its genetic material. Inbreeding depression is often the result of a population bottleneck.
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I am sorry, the previous update did not show the complete report from dr. Leslie and I have no way to attach pdf file here. If you would like to see the complete update and you are not in the FB group Health Problems and Inbreeding issues in Ragdolls where this report was originally posted, please contact me and I will send you a copy.

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Dear friends and supporters,

If you are a member of 'Health Problems and Inbreeding Issues in Ragdolls' group on Facebook, then you might have already seen an update from Dr. Lyons. As Ragdoll breeders we have been asked by Dr. Lyons to help with funds for the next stage. We have some money still left, but it is not enough so please share with all Ragdoll breeders. If we all give just $10 it will be enough to complete the project and hopefully the causal DNA variant will be identified, which will mean we will be able to test for carriers of one kidney/one uterine horn issue and hopefully breed it out. I hope all of you understand how important this research is for the breed and I hope you will be willing to give a small donation. Please do not forget - even if you never had this issue, you might get it tomorrow. It is very present in the breed and it is in some of the most popular lines.
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Thank you everyone for your continuing support!

$5000 was now sent to dr. Leslie Lyons.

Sue Shorey has confirmed that RFCI has sent $500 and I have just sent $4500 from our GoFundMe fundraiser (if we include GoFundMe fees that is $4887 of what we have raised with GoFundMe. That leaves us with a balance of $1173 at the moment (or $1080 once the fees are deducted).

I am attaching a photo of my payment - I had to do it in two payments due to restrictions on my card.

I will update you once I hear back from Leslie that she has received it all and hopefully she will be able to give us progress reports about the research.

Kind regards,

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Hi everyone,

I want to thank you all for your support! Great news is that Ragdoll Fanciers Club International ( http://www.rfci.org/) has approved to donate $500 for one uterine horn/one kidney research so now we have enough to cover the fees (which are at the moment $399.3 for $5055) and start the project!!!

We currently have $4655.7 when fees are deducted. I will be sending $4500 as soon as money is transferred (it will take several days so please be patient - I will update you as soon as it is done).

We will have $155.7 left for the diversity research and I will keep the fundraising going for this purpose. Diversity project as just as important as only by knowing where Ragdolls really stand today can we make an informed decision how to best work with our cats to improve their health and help reduce possible other issues that could appear in the breed. However one uterine horn project will still be a priority and in case Dr. Leslie Lyons identifies the gene and is ready to start working on developing the test and needs more funding we will draw on the funds raised for diversity. I will keep you all informed with the progress.

In any case all money raised by this fundraiser will be transferred to Dr. Leslie Lyons for any current research involving the Ragdoll breed.

One more time I want to thank you all for your trust and support and special thanks to Sue Shorey and RFCI for helping us with that one last push we needed.

Don't forget the fight is not over and this is just the beginning, so please continue to spread the word!

Kindest regards,


"Neun un Neunzig" -one uterine horn girl
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Raised by 128 people in 24 months
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