Q: Should I let my Ragdoll cat go outside?
A: Ragdolls should never be allowed to roam free. They are too trusting and do not have great outdoor skills. If left to wander they are at risk of RTA, theft, poisoning, etc. Free roaming also puts them at risk of contracting incurable, fatal diseases, such as FIV (similar to HIV in humans) and FeLV (feline infectious leukaemia). Most Ragdolls will live happily indoors, but if you do decide you wish your Ragdoll to have outside access, it should always be supervised and into a secure garden or, better still, into a cat pen or purpose built enclosure.
Q: I read somewhere that Ragdolls do not need much grooming, is this true?
A: Ragdoll cats do need regular grooming to remove shedding fur and to prevent the formation of knots. Ragdolls coats do vary, some are very silky and have less tendency to matt, while others are prone to matting. It is advisable to groom your Ragdoll two or three times a week. This will help to keep their coat healthy and matt free, but will also help you to establish a bond with them.
Q: Do Ragdolls moult?
A: Ragdolls most definitely moult and shed fur throughout the year. If you decide to own a Ragdoll, you will need to accept that clothes, furniture, carpets etc. will attract fur and that the need for vaccuming will increase, particularly if you are very house proud.
Q: Do Ragdolls feel pain?
A: Absolutely! Any suggestion that Ragdolls have a higher tolerance to pain or feel no pain is completely untrue. Like all cats, Ragdolls feel pain.
Q: Will my Ragdoll like cuddles and sit on my lap?
A: Every Ragdoll cat is an individual with its own personality. Some Ragdolls love to be picked up, cuddled and to sit on a lap, others do not. If you obtain your kitten from a breeder who has given lots of time to handling and socialising their babies, you should take on a well adjusted Ragdoll who is happy to be fussed, but whether they sit on your lap is entirely up to them!
Q: Can Ragdolls climb and jump?
A: Most Ragdoll cats will climb and jump and as a breed they can be very agile. Many Ragdoll owners will tell stories of their cats on the top of cupboards, wardrobes, on the kitchen sides, even climbing ladders! Many Ragdolls will easily scale a 6ft fence or wall. It would be fair to say that some Ragdolls never make any attempt to jump up high or climb, but many more do.
Q: Are Ragdolls more predisposed to certain illnesses or ailments?
A: Ragdolls are at risk from any of the diseases which affect cats. Protection against some infectious diseases can be offered by vaccination. As is the case with all cats, pedigrees and moggies alike, Ragdolls can develop kidney disease, particularly in their twilight years. Ragdolls do not stand alone as a breed prone to a specific illness/illnesses, unique to them, however there is some suggestion that Ragdolls are one of the breeds more predisposed to developing Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) if they have been exposed to the Feline Corona Virus. As is the case with other breeds, there are also occurrences of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) in the Ragdoll cat breed. In our experience Ragdolls can be prone to irritable bowel, which can lead to problems with diarrhoea. In such cases a sensitivity diet is often the answer to resolving the issue.
Q: Why do Ragdolls go floppy?
A: Over time some strange claims about the Ragdoll breed have been made and one of the most famous is that they are floppy. To clarify Ragdolls have the same anatomy and physiology as any other cat, however, as a breed tend to be quite laid back. Some, when feeling happy and secure, will lie on their backs, in their owner’s arms, in a relaxed posture. This is sometimes referred to as the ‘Raggie flop’, but this is not a behaviour unique to the Ragdoll breed. Many cats will relax in the same way. Equally, many Ragdolls do not like lying on their backs and never adopt the ‘Raggie flop’.
Q: What should I feed my Ragdoll cat?
A: If you have homed a kitten from a reputable breeder, then it is likely you will have received advice on diet and may even have been given some food to take home. What breeders feed to their kittens varies, but most feed a high quality dry kibble, such as Royal Canin. It is advisable to continue to feed the diet your kitten has been used to. Kitten food should be fed until a Ragdoll reaches 12 months of age and then an adult food can be fed. Cheaper cat foods are not as nutritionally beneficial as the high quality foods form Royal Canin so feeding a premium diets is advisable. Some owners like to give wet food, in addition to the kibble and if this suits your cat, there is no problem with this.
Q: Is my Ragdoll cat too fat?
A: We often have owners contact us with concerns because their vet has commented that their Ragdoll is over weight. In part this may be because some vets do not realise how large Ragdolls can become and so when they weigh them, they do not take in account the breed’s muscular ‘type’. However, if over fed, Ragdolls can become overweight which results in them laying down too much body fat. Over weight cats are not healthy cats and are at higher risk of developing diseases such as diabetes. The weight range for Ragdolls varies depending on gender, pedigree lines etc. So it is not possible to quote an ideal weight. The best way to judge whether your Ragdoll is over weight is to feel down their tummy. The abdomen in a Ragdoll should be muscular and there should be no sign of fat pads. If your Ragdoll is within the weight range for the breed, is muscular, with minimal body fat, then it is likely they are not overweight. If your Ragdoll has abdominal fat pads, then it would be worth discussing the matter with a vet.
Q: How long will my Ragdoll cat live?
A: As a pedigree cat, Ragdolls are not likely reach the ages that some moggies do, but Ragdolls can live beyond 12 years and we have known owners with Ragdolls reaching 16 years of age and onwards. There are of course no guarantees, so all we would say is cherish every day!
Q: What colour are Ragdoll cats?
A: All Ragdolls are born white and develop their colour gradually, taking up to four years to obtain their full coat colour. Ragdoll cats are always pointed, so they are darker on the extremities, for example, ears, nose, tail etc. The traditional colours are seal (very dark brown) and blue (slate grey). Chocolate and lilac are also possible, but these colours are rare. More recently red and cream Ragdolls have become available. All the Ragdoll colours can over lay the colourpointed, mitted and bicoloured patterns. In addition tabby or tortie can over lay all the colours and patterns. You can read more about this on our Colours and Patterns page.
Q: My cat does not have blue eyes. Is it still a Ragdoll?
A: All Ragdolls have blue eyes. If you cat does not have blue eyes then it is not a pure Ragdoll and it is likely the mother or father was not a Ragdoll cat.
Q: What is the best way to find a Ragdoll kitten?
A: It is very important to take the time to search for a responsible, reputable breeder, who has excellent breeding practices and husbandry. You should always visit the breeder before making the decision to buy a kitten. A good breeder will be happy for you to visit, meet their cats and answer any questions. They should ask you questions too, as they should care where their kittens are going. The breeder may not own the father of the kittens, but you should always meet the mother. Any kittens should look healthy, with bright, clear eyes and should be confident, playful and inquisitive. Choosing a kitten is an exciting time, but if you make the wrong decisions it can lead to heartache, so we would urge all would-be kitten owners to take care when finding a kitten.
Q: Are Ragdolls hypoallergenic?
A: There have been several articles in the press, suggesting that Ragdoll cats are hypoallergenic and suitable for people who have cat allergies. This is misinformation and if you have an allergic reaction to any other cats, you will be allergic to Ragdoll cats too.
Q: How long can I leave my Ragdoll during the day?
As a breed Ragdolls thrive on companionship and for this reason most reputable breeders and most rescues will refuse to home a single cat or kitten to a home where it is to be left for long hours. It is true to say that some Ragdolls will adapt to and cope with being left, but equally, a lonely Ragdoll can become stressed and may begin to exhibit stress behaviours, such as toileting away from the home. If you do have to leave your Ragdoll for long hours, regularly, for their happiness and welfare you should try to ensure they have the companionship of another cat. If you are considering homing a Ragdoll and know that it will be left alone during the day, regularly, then maybe the Ragdoll is not the breed for you, so please consider carefully before taking one on.