Ragdolls

a beautiful ragdoll cat looking right at the camera

Are you looking for a new family pet? If so, then the Ragdoll might be the perfect fit for you. This cat breed is known for their sweet and gentle personality, making them ideal companions for families with children or other pets.

Ragdolls are a medium-sized breed that were created in California in the 1960s. They have long, silky fur that comes in a variety of colors and patterns, including seal, blue, chocolate, lilac, red, cream and tortoiseshell. They are also known for their large eyes and pointed ears.

Ragdoll cats get their name because of their tendency to go limp when picked up. Despite going limp when picked up, they do enjoy being picked up and cuddled by their family. These cats are very good with adults, children and other pets. The Ragdoll cat is an extremely lovable breed of cat. They are often referred to as “the lap cat”. They are playful and loving, and will enjoy spending time with their family. 

Ragdolls love attention. Ragdolls are very affectionate and outgoing. They have been known to follow their family around the house looking for affection. The Ragdoll is a large breed with a sweet and gentle disposition.

Ragdolls are known to be very affectionate cats who love to cuddle and spend time with their family. They tend to be quite laid-back and enjoy being around people, making them great companions.

Ragdolls are not overly active cats, but they do enjoy playing and exploring their environment. They love to climb and explore high places, so it’s important to give them plenty of scratching posts and other toys to keep them entertained.

The Ragdoll is a very attractive breed with striking blue eyes, pleasing coloring and a docile temperament. Ragdolls are very healthy and long-lived. Ragdolls are gentle, loving, and playful and are excellent with children.  They enjoy playing with toys and interacting with people.

Best suited to living indoors, this breed is not tolerant to extreme temperatures. Their grooming and exercise needs are considered to be fairly minimal. With these characteristics, Ragdolls would be very good cats for seniors or those wanting a therapy animal in addition to families looking for a very loving cat.

Because of their size and soft fur, Ragdolls are not recommended for homes where there are young children.

Ragdolls are generally healthy cats with few health issues, but it’s important to keep up with regular vet visits and vaccinations to ensure they stay healthy. They also need regular grooming to keep their fur looking its best.

Overall, Ragdolls make great family pets and are sure to bring lots of love and joy into your home. With their sweet personalities and loyalty, they are sure to be a welcome addition to any family.

Ragdolls Information

  • Average Height: 9 to 11 inches
  • Average Length: 17 to 21 inches
  • Average Weight: 15 pounds
  • Coat Type: Medium length
  • Coat Appearance: They have a medium, silky, and soft coat
  • Coat Colors: Six color points – seal, red, cream, chocolate, lilac, and blue
  • Grooming Needs: Low
  • Shedding: Low
  • Brushing Requirements: They need to be brushed once a week
  • Sensitive to Touch: No, they love being picked up and carried around 
  • Excessive Meow: No
  • Tolerance to Heat and Cold: No, they need a moderate climate. 
  • Good Pet: They are kind, affectionate, and kid-friendly, so yes!
  • Safe with Children: They get along very well with children, so yes!
  • Good with Other Cats: Yes
  • Good with Other Pets: Yes
  • Suitable to live in an Apartment: Moderate
  • Good for Less Experienced Pet Owners: Yes. 
  • Exercise Needs: Low 
  • Weight Gain: High
  • Health Concerns: Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, Cryptococcosis, Calcium oxalate urolithiasis, and Feline infectious peritonitis, and some dental diseases. 
  • Allergies: None
  • Average Life Span: 12 to 15 years

Physical Appearance of Ragdolls

a ragdoll cat laying in front of a gray backdrop looking up

The Ragdoll has a medium to large-sized body with heavy bones. The body is muscular and solid with a somewhat rectangular shape. They have a full chest and a thick neck. The shoulders and the hindquarters have an equal length.

The hind legs are slightly longer than front legs and the coat length of the hind legs is a little shorter. The paws are large and rounded. They have a long and fluffy tail.

The head is proportionately large and broad, having a wedge shape that is balanced from all sides. The snout is slightly long and gently rounded. They have medium-sized ears that are round and slightly bent forward. The cats have large blue oval shaped eyes.

They have a moderately long and silky coat that feels fluffy and soft. The fur on their face and the shoulders are shorter than on the rest of their body. Most cats of this breed have a cream to white color coat with four distinct style patterns – bicolor, van, mitted, and color print.

All the patterned coats have color points on different parts of the body, prominently on the ears, eyes, paws, and face. There are six color points on these cats – seal, lilac, chocolate, red, cream, and blue. These point colors can be solid, lynx (or tortie-lynx), tortie, or torbie. As they grow the color points get darker.

Temperament of Ragdolls

The Ragdoll cats are affectionate and gentle. They are relaxed and have an even-temper which makes them an excellent pet for any size family. These cats are friendly and form strong bonds with their owners. As the name suggests the cat likes to be held and carried around in the hands of the family members.

They are medium energy cats and like to spend a great part of the day sleeping. Small, frequent play sessions with their family members is something they definitely enjoy. The Ragdoll is a quick learner and loves to play different games with its owners. If you have puzzle games for them to get treats, they will be able to solve the puzzles fairly quickly.

They are not very vocal and are generally well-mannered cats. Ragdolls are calm and can stay put for a while. Jumping and running around the house is not their thing.

Training a Ragdoll

a cute blue eyed Ragdoll kitten playing with a toy

These cats are intelligent and easy to litter box train. You’ll want to have a litter box that gives them some privacy, and is big enough for them to comfortably fit inside. As long as you can do that you should have no problems getting them to use it. Just remember to keep it clean because this is the main reason why cats stop using the litter box.

You may see a few accidents in the beginning but it’s best not to punish them. Give them praise and treats whenever they do use the litter box. Positive reinforcement will help them understand what kind of behavior is expected of them.

Like most cats, they do enjoy scratching their nails on things. If you like your furniture looking new it’s a good idea to set up one or two scratching posts around the house. Whenever you see them scratching your furniture or anything else, pick them and take the cat to the nearest scratching post. A scratching post will give them a place they can scratch anytime they have the urge and prevent damage to your furniture. Like teaching them anything, it may take time for them to understand the purpose of the scratching post. If you stick with it eventually they will learn.

If you already have pets in your home then there are some basic steps to take to teach the new cat how to interact with the existing pets. After you’ve introduced the new cat to each pet, watch their behavior. If the new cat is doing things that the other pets don’t like, you should step in to interrupt the behavior. If you want your current pets to accept the new one it’s best to do this before an existing pet gets too annoyed.

Clicker training is becoming more popular now. We have an entire article that shows you how to train your pets with clicker sounds. Basically you make a noise with the clicker when the cat does something which is considered good behavior. It will let them know that this is something that you like and hopefully they will continue to do it.

Their Compatibility with Children

a Ragdoll cat laying in the grass

The Ragdoll cats are kid-friendly and love spending time with them. They love being cuddled or carried around by children and playing with them. They have good tolerance towards kids and can be quite forgiving when kids don’t play with them as nicely as they should.

Since the Ragdolls are heavy, some younger children may not be able to hold them without hurting the cat. If they are big enough to carry them, teach them to keep one hand between the hind legs and the other between the front legs.

Have someone supervise the cat when they are playing with toddlers. While the cats can be quite forgiving, their fur can be quite sensitive to being pulled. Being around them will help keep an eye on their interactions and prevent some accidents from occurring.

Best Climate for Ragdolls

The Ragdoll is an indoor cat and room temperature is best for them. They can also adapt to most climates because of their snout. Because they have a slightly longer snout they’re better able to regulate their body temperature than other breeds of cats.

In the spring they will shed most of their winter coat so the summer heat won’t be terrible for them. In the winter months they are fine with a cooler temperature in the home because of their thick silky coat.

The Attention a Ragdoll Needs

a Ragdoll cat with bright blue eyes laying on a bed

Ragdolls need a lot of attention.They really like it when you spend time with them and show your affection to make them feel loved. Though they are not active, to get your attention they can follow you around the house. Ragdolls will often greet their owners at the door when they come home. They like cuddles and being picked up and held close.

Ragdolls should not be left alone for long periods of time. They do not like being left alone and have been known to feel lonely or even become depressed. If you have a family that is busy and away for most of the day, Ragdolls are not good cats for you. Ragdolls need to interact with their family members. Playing with them or letting them sit on your lap is what will keep your Ragdolls happy.

Health Issues

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a cardiac disease that occurs in 10-15 percent of Ragdolls. It happens when the muscular walls of the heart thicken, impacting the efficiency of the heart. Eventually it can lead to blood clots that typically develop in their rear legs.

Lethargy, loss of appetite, difficulty in breathing, and inability to exercise are visible symptoms of the disease. Cats with this disease can have a life span between a few months to a few years if not treated. There is a genetic test that can be done, but not all cats with the genetic markers will develop hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Periodontal Disease

Like many domesticated cats and dogs, Ragdolls can get periodontal disease if their oral health is not taken care of. Periodontal disease is a tooth and gum condition that can become serious in a few ways. One of the biggest problems is that this disease can destroy the gums and teeth of your pet if left untreated.

Another major problem is when the bacteria in the mouth enters the bloodstream. Plaque build-up in the mouth can damage the gums and let bacteria into the bloodstream. If this happens it can cause kidney and liver diseases and even narrow their blood vessels which can lead to heart problems.

One of the easiest ways to prevent periodontal disease is to regularly brush your pets mouth. They generally don’t like it, but regular brushing is the best way you can prevent plaque buildup in your pets mouth.

Calcium Oxalate Urolithiasis

Calcium oxalate urolithiasis is a very common disease found with Ragdolls. As many as half the cats alive now can have this at some point in their life. This disease is caused by high levels of oxalate in urine that can lead to the formation of crystals. These crystals can stick together to form kidney stones.

Affected cats need to be fed with a prescription diet suggested by the vet. The special diet will help regulate the pH level of their urine.

Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP)

an image of a feline infectious peritonitis virus

Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is also a disease that some Ragdolls can have. It is a type of viral disease caused by the virus FeCV which attacks the intestinal walls. Initially, there will be no visible symptoms but as the infection spreads, it can cause respiratory gastrointestinal conditions.

If you see these symptoms in your Ragdoll, take them to the vet immediately. The sooner the diagnosis starts the better would be the chances of the cat living a healthier life ahead. Once the disease mutates from FeCV to FIP it becomes terminal. The sooner the treatment starts, the better the chance to save your cat’s life.

This disease is often spread in animal shelters where a healthy cat is exposed to an infected cat’s fecal waste. If you think you have a cat with this disease it is important to keep them away from other cats to prevent infections.

Cryptococcosis

Cats can have a lung infection called Cryptococcosis. The infection usually is caused by breathing in a fungus. Gradually it can spread and will also affect the brain. Fortunately this fungal infection is rare, and only affects cats that are exposed to a contaminated area outside. If your cat is an indoor cat, it’s almost impossible for them to get Cryptococcosis. The infection is not contagious to other pets that were not exposed to the fungus outside.

Bathing, Coat, and Cleaning

a cute Ragdoll kitten very focused on something in front of it.

Ragdoll cats have low maintenance needs. Their coat sheds moderately and needs to be brushed about once a week. They have a silky coat and shouldn’t need anything more than a soft bristle brush. The backside of their legs is the most likely place where you’ll find matting. Any matted areas will be a little sensitive while you brush and they’ll appreciate you being gentle. Regular brushings will help remove the loose hair, prevent matting and maintain the soft texture of their coat.

Clean the area under the tail with water frequently. The dense fur in this area has a habit of getting bits of poop stuck to it. They only need a bath if they stink or aren’t cleaning themselves as well as they should. If you feel their coat has become dirty or too oily, bathe them using a high-quality cat shampoo.

To maintain good dental health, brush their teeth twice a week. Ask your vet what toothpaste they recommend you use. To keep the ears clean, check it once a week for dirt or wax build-up. If it needs cleaning, use a small moist cotton makeup removal pad to wipe only the visible area of the ears.

Like other cats, they’ll sometimes have teary eyes. Use a small moist cotton makeup removal pad to softly wipe the stains.

Trim their nails every other week. Keeping their nails short will help minimize damage to your furniture and also accidents from happening when they play with your family.

Every week it is important to check their nose, paws, and other areas of your cat while brushing them for signs of redness or other infections. If you see any signs of infection, call your vet immediately.

Feeding A Ragdoll

a lot of cat food spread out

We recommend that you feed your Ragdoll between ⅓ to ½ cup of high-quality cat food that is split between two meals. The exact meal size will depend upon the activities that your cat does during the day. A high energy cat who spends a lot of time playing will need more food than a low energy cat who prefers to relax.

Ragdolls have a tendency to gain weight quickly. Monitor their activity level and how much you feed them and don’t feed them table scraps or people food.

The food that you feed should contain taurine which is an essential nutrient that every cat needs. It is an amino acid that nourishes the brain, eyes, and also helps to improve the immune system of the cats. Consult your vet to find out if the food that you feed them has the necessary nutrients.

Related Questions:

Are There Any Differences Between Male and Female Ragdolls?

While most of the Ragdolls are loving and affectionate, the males are somewhat more open and outgoing in comparison to the females. The females tend to be more selective about making friends and approaching other animals. Also, in terms of physical appearance females are considerably smaller than males.

Are Ragdolls a Mixed Breed Cat?

Yes. The cats were first bred by Ann Baker, a breeder from California in the 1960s. She used a domestic longhair in the beginning by carefully selecting even-tempered and large-sized cats.

Her selective breeding created a cat that would flop joyfully when picked up in arms, hence the name Ragdoll. Later, Persians, Birmans, and Burmese also contributed to the breed. What resulted is the present day Ragdoll cats.

Do Ragdoll Kittens Mature Slowly?

Yes, Ragdolls are a slow maturing breed. They can take up to 4 years to reach their adult size. Kittens are born pure white. The color points on their coat come in gradually. It can take up to two years for the color to become fully developed.