If you’re thinking about getting a pedigree kitty you may want to know all about ragdoll cats. They are one of the most popular breeds today and very sought after.
The ragdoll originated back in the 1960s making it a very new breed. It was purely by chance this cat came into existence, and is thanks to Anne Baker.
She’d often bred feral cats with domesticated ones, and discovered one of her females was producing unusually docile kittens. Anne began selecting males with certain characteristics to mate with this female.
After a few generations of selection the ragdoll was officially registered in 1966. A few decades later this new breed was being registered with the cat fanciers association.
In this article you’ll learn all about the ragdoll cats personality and discover if this is the right pet for you. We’ll look at basic coat colours and fur type, as well as tips on grooming specific to ragdolls.
You’ll discover the cost of keeping a ragdoll and if it fits in with your budget and lifestyle. Plus, you’ll learn about any health issues specific to this breed.
Is the ragdoll cats personality the right match for you?
When you’re deciding on the type of cat you want you also have to consider its temperament. Ragdolls are noted for their very docile nature. However, they’re so laid back, defending themselves against attack rarely happens.
If you’d love a gentle, sweet natured kitty that gets on well with children, a ragdoll may be your ideal pet. Most cats tolerate young kids up to a point, but soon make it known when they’ve had enough
Being fussed over and loved by an over enthusiastic child won’t worry a ragdoll, in fact you’ll find a ragdoll loves the attention and would soon become best friends.
A ragdoll cat’s sociable character makes them great company. In many ways this breed is quite dog like and if you decide to own a ragdoll you’ll never be short of love.
Don’t be surprised if your kitty greets you at the door on your arrival home. Due to their highly social nature you may consider getting two ragdolls.
If you’re at home most of the time a solitary cat is fine, but if your lifestyle demands you’re out at work all day, your ragdoll cat will get lonely.
It’s also been noted by some ragdoll owners that this breed has great empathy and can pick up on feelings and emotions. Though this is a trait with many cats, some breeds such as the ragdoll seem particularly in tune with their owners.
Is it safe to let your ragdoll cat go outside
This may seem an odd question as the majority of cat owners allow their pets to go outside. However, the ragdoll breed has a very trusting nature and will make friends with anyone,
Added to this some ragdolls go floppy when picked up. Hence the name! It must be noted though that not all have this curious trait.
I suppose some owners see this as a vulnerability making them a target for thieves, or other cats in the neighbourhood. As long as you keep an eye out for your ragdoll and don’t leave her out all day you should be fine.
Make sure your cat has somewhere she can retreat to if she feels scared. An accessible window or door are ideal if you’re at home.
Giving your cat the freedom to explore is important for her well being. Cats have a natural hunting instinct and though some believe ragdolls are too docile to hunt, many have proven them wrong!!
Training a ragdoll cat- teaching your kitty to do tricks
Ragdolls are very dog like in nature and highly intelligent. This makes it slightly easier to teach your ragdoll to do simple tricks.
However, even though your kitty may share a few doggy traits, your ragdoll is still a cat. Dogs as we all know are pack animals and will look to you as leader.
Your doggy friends will do anything to please to you, unlike cats. Having said that, your ragdoll may respond to simple commands given time and lots of treats!
Never ever shout at your cat as she won’t understand and will start learning not to trust you. Always praise and give lots of cuddles if your ragdoll responds to a command.
Clicker training your ragdoll tips and tricks
Clicker training is mostly associated with dogs, but in fact it can also be used with cats as well. The reason clickers work so well is the sound is consistent unlike the human voice.
Getting your cat to associate a certain sound with treats is a great way of bribing her to do tricks. Once your ragdoll knows she’ll get a treat by sitting or shaking paws with you, you’ve succeeded!
Praising as well giving treats always works well and enforces trust. Always talk gently to your cat even if she doesn’t quite understand and gets confused.
The video below demonstrates how you can teach your ragdoll to shake a paw with you. Always be patient and never try to force your cat as it won’t work. You don’t want an unhappy kitty on your hands!
Are ragdoll and siamese cats the same?
Ragdoll cats are often mistaken for siamese due their striking coat colours and blue eyes. However, if you have a ragdoll you’ll be well aware of the difference.
While siamese cats are very vocal and extrovert, you’ll find your ragdoll docile in nature. Added to that you’ll never find a long hair siamese as they don’t exist.
Your ragdoll kitty will have long silky fur, and her coat will moult quite a lot. Her markings and colouring will be almost identical to that of a siamese.
If you’re thinking about getting a ragdoll you’ll be able to choose from the following colour patterns. Bi-colour, colourpoint, mitted, and van.
Mitted ragdolls are so called as they have white mitts on their paws and a white chin. Colours are cream, lilac, red, lilac, and blue. You can find out more about ragdoll colours here.
How big is a ragdoll cat?
Ragdolls are a larger size than other breeds, in fact you can even find real giants that dwarf your average moggy! An average size cat will weigh about 10lbs, but a ragdoll averages between 15 to 20lb!
They take a long time to mature and often take up to four years before they’re fully grown. Ragdolls are born pure white and markings appear gradually over a couple of years.
What is the cost of keeping a ragdoll cat?
If you’re considering getting a pedigree cat such as a ragdoll you have to think carefully about costs. Unless you find a rehoming centre and adopt an adult, you’re probably going to buy a kitten from a breeder.
You can expect to pay around $400 t0 $500 for a ragdoll kitten, and a lot higher for those with show qualities. Never buy a kitten without visiting the breeder first.
It’s important you’re allowed to wander freely and see where the cats are kept. You should also be able to view any documentation and certificates.
You may find your breeder neuters kittens before selling them. Many do this now to stop unethical breeding. Your kitten should also be vaccinated against cat flu and enteritis before you take her home.
A good breeder will let you visit your kitten several times before you take her home. All kittens should be able to stay with their mother until at least 12 weeks old.
You can expect to pay around £150 to insure a ragdoll cat if you live in the UK. If you live in America expect to pay between $18-$20 a month.
Feeding your ragdoll should be no more expensive than any other type of cat. Always buy quality pet food though.
Ragdolls are noted for shedding lots of hair, so you’ll need to invest in a quality brush for grooming. Despite their long coat, this breed of cat doesn’t suffer mats or tangles.
This is because they don’t have an undercoat unlike persians. You will need to groom your ragdoll regularly though. You can read my recent post on how to groom your cat for tips and tricks.
Are there any ragdoll cat health issues?
You’ll find that some breeds of cat are more prone to health problems than others. Ragdolls are generally very healthy cats, but you should be aware of the following.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a heart condition genetically passed on to ragdolls. Unfortunately, it can result in heart failure at any age.
Before you buy a ragdoll you should ask the breeder to produce hcm certificates. Screening is now available to detect the gene, making it possible to produce kittens free from this disease.
Urinary tract disease
Urinary tract disease is common in all breeds of cat and one of the main reasons you may end up taking your ragdoll to the vet. However, one of the causes can be obesity, something which laid back ragdolls are prone to.
Urinary tract disease can usually be treated very successfully with a prescription diet. Struvite crystals seem to be more common in certain breeds of cat including ragdolls and burmese.
The ragdoll’s placid nature tends to make this breed very lazy. If you adopt a ragdoll you’ll probably find she’s quite content to lie around all day.
It’s important to get your cat to exercise, particularly if she’s an indoor cat. Ragdolls are big cats and weigh heavier than your average moggie. Gaining weight isn’t hard for most ragdolls.
You may find it hard to resist that beautiful face and big blue eyes, but too many treats and a sedentary lifestyle soon take their toll. Regular checkups at the vet will soon spot early signs of obesity, and you will be advised on feeding.
Is a ragdoll your perfect match?
So now you know all about ragdoll cats do you feel this is the right breed for you? You’ve discovered how sociable and docile they are.
If you have children or dogs a gentle natured ragdoll will soon become a much loved family member. You may find though that your ragdoll gets lonely if you’re out at work all day.
As I previously mentioned, they hate being left alone. Getting two cats may be a good solution for you if you’re out a lot, but consider the added expense first.
Of course, the ideal solution would be to work from home so you can spend all day with your ragdoll! If you’re a stay at home mum or retired person that’s great.
We’ve also looked at a few health issues this breed of cat are prone to. Though known for their good health there are a few conditions you need to watch out for.
Ragdolls really are the perfect cat, and you’ll find a ton of information by reading Ragdoll Secrets. Take your time to find a good breeder and don’t rush into buying the first kitten you see unless you’re absolutely sure.
Feel free to leave your comments below, or share experiences if you already own a ragdoll cat.
Wishing you a purrfect day 🙂