When you pick up a ragdoll cat, it’ll go limp — like a cuddly, floppy doll. These stuffed animal-like kitties are a popular choice among families due to their sweet personalities and plush coats.
If you choose this breed of cat, you’ll get an affectionate feline friend. However, ragdoll cats have a range of unique needs you should prepare for.
In this article, we’ll give you a rundown of the most common personality traits in ragdoll cats. Plus, we’ll tell you how to care for your sweet feline friend.
What is a ragdoll cat?
Ragdoll cats have been around since the 1960s. The first one, named Josephine, was bred in the U.S. by a cat breeder named Ann Baker.
Since then, ragdoll cats have been nicknamed the “puppy cat.” Why? These cute kitties often act more like dogs than cats. For example, your cat may like playing fetch or following you around. Ragdoll cats are also good at learning basic tricks.
Ragdolls are one of the largest cat breeds. They weigh between 10 and 20 pounds and are typically between 9 and 11 inches tall. And, like most cat breeds, males are typically bigger than females.
What about their life span? Most healthy ragdolls will live for between 12 and 15 years.
A ragdoll’s pedigree can affect its final price tag. As such, it can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars to bring home one of these affectionate fur babies. Remember to always choose a reputable breeder to reduce the likelihood of future health issues.
What does a ragdoll cat look like?
Ragdoll cats are soft and fluffy with medium-length coats. Their tails are long and they have small, rounded ears. Though they are a large breed, they’re also quite flexible.
When they’re born, all ragdolls are completely white. Over the first few months, they begin to get patches of coloring, and by two years old, their final coat pattern is clear.
Ragdoll cats’ bodies remain white into adulthood, while their faces, tails, legs, and ears usually get darker. Possible colors include chocolate, cream, red, and gray.
Another feature that makes the ragdoll stand out is its striking, bright blue eyes. These eyes are a distinctive trait of purebred ragdoll cats.
What type of personality do ragdoll cats have?
While the ragdoll cat’s temperament is innate, your cat’s environment and how it’s raised will affect its personality.
Here’s a look at six ragdoll cat personality traits:
Ragdoll cats are known for their gentle nature. They’re ideal pets for families with children, singles, couples, and seniors.
As mentioned earlier, these cats become limp when held. As long as they’ve been socialized early, they’ll typically be happy to be picked up and carried around.
These calm felines are tolerant and unlikely to hiss or swipe at their favorite humans, including kids. Keep in mind, though, that it’s important to also teach your kids to be gentle with animals.
If you’re looking for a calm, quiet breed, you’ll find everything you need in the ragdoll.
It’s no secret that cats can be temperamental. One minute your feline companion may be trying to sleep on your head — and the next, they’ll ignore you completely.
But this is less of an issue with the ragdoll. These furry friends always want to be close to their humans.
Ragdolls are typically an affectionate breed and love to cuddle and snuggle on a lap.
However, because they are so people-oriented, most ragdolls shouldn’t be left alone for too long. They may even suffer from separation anxiety and fret when you leave the house.
As long as they are introduced to each other properly, your ragdoll cat will likely appreciate the company of another cuddle companion, such as another cat or a friendly dog.
Just because they have a calm nature doesn’t mean ragdolls don’t enjoy playtime.
These “puppy cats” will want to participate in all your family activities — they might even be happy walking on a leash. Their activity level is fairly low overall, but you should still schedule some playtime each day.
What kinds of games can you play with your ragdoll? They’ll enjoy chasing lights and lasers, playing fetch, and climbing up cat trees.
As with any animal, it’s important to give your ragdoll toys to keep them occupied. Scratching posts and food-dispensing toys can help reduce destructive behaviors when you’re not there.
Ragdoll cats are known for their curious nature. They’re intelligent and like to know what’s going on.
For example, your beloved companion will likely be social and interested when guests come over. They enjoy being the center of attention and will make their presence known.
This breed will also be curious about objects around the house. From an empty box to a new toy mouse, your cat will want to investigate everything.
You can keep your ragdoll mentally stimulated with toys that require problem-solving. For example, you can set up a cat-friendly obstacle course.
Ragdolls are often quieter than other cats, but they do still have kitty conversations. They might meow softly when they’re in a good mood and purr when they’re enjoying a cuddle. Because they want to be noticed, these felines may also meow when they crave attention.
If your ragdoll cat is hungry and feels like you’re ignoring its needs, you can expect the meows to be louder and more demanding.
Like all cats, ragdolls will tell you if they’re in pain with a distressed meow.
Ragdoll cats are also known to use their tails to communicate. They may even wag their tail to show happiness.
Another common ragdoll cat trait is adaptability. This is a laid-back breed and, while there are certainly exceptions, most ragdolls are comfortable around other pets.
Ragdolls can easily adapt to different living environments. Let’s say, for instance, that you live in a big house and move to a small apartment. Your ragdoll will likely be comfortable in their new living space as long as they’re with you.
Similarly, if a new baby joins your family, ragdolls won’t usually be concerned by the change in family dynamics.
Ragdolls are also usually content riding in a vehicle.
Caring for your ragdoll cat
Thinking of adopting a ragdoll cat? Becoming a pet owner is a big commitment, as your cat could be with you for 10 years or more.
Here are a few tips to help you care for your fur baby.
Ragdoll cats have semi-long coats without an undercoat. This means their grooming needs are lower than those of some other breeds.
You should still brush your ragdoll at least twice a week. Regular grooming will reduce any knotting from occurring in their silky coat and remove any loose hair. These kitties also shed, but it’s usually not excessive.
If you want to wash your ragdoll, once a month should be enough, and you can trim their claws at the same time. You should also brush your cat’s teeth a few times a week.
Try to start your grooming routine when your ragdoll is still young so that they get used to the process.
Ragdolls are a large breed, so they tend to eat more than other, smaller breeds.
You should feed your ragdoll twice a day — in the morning and night. Try not to overfeed your cat because obesity can lead to other health problems.
Their diet should consist mostly of wet food with some dry kibble. It should also be meat-based, so choose a food that’s high in protein.
Adult female Ragdolls need around 250 calories per day, while adult males will eat around 350 calories.
Make sure your cat always has fresh water to drink.
Your blue-eyed kitty won’t have high exercise needs. Ragdoll cats have medium to low energy levels and will spend most of the day sleeping or grooming themselves.
They do get short energy bursts, however, so you’ll still need toys to keep them entertained.
For example, your ragdoll might like climbing up a cat tree. They can also use this toy for scratching — which could help save your furniture.
Your pet will like some playtime with their humans, too. Aim for around 15 minutes of playtime per day. Whether you’re rolling a ball to them or waving around a feather on a string, your cat will benefit from the exercise.
Kittens are typically more playful than adult cats, so if your Ragdoll has a particularly high energy level when it’s young, rest assured that it will usually calm down in adulthood.
Ragdolls are typically healthy, but there are a few conditions to keep an eye out for. Heart disease, kidney failure, and bladder stones aren’t uncommon for this breed.
These cats can also be prone to gum disease, so regular tooth brushing is important.
Your furry friend can live a long, happy life if they have the right veterinary care. Regular checkups can flag any changes to their health, and preventative treatments can improve your cat’s life span.
Make sure you keep your ragdoll’s vaccinations up to date. Following the vaccination schedule can prevent a range of illnesses, including feline leukemia, rabies, and feline distemper.
As mentioned earlier, if you’re thinking of bringing home a ragdoll cat, it’s important to look for a reputable breeder. Cats that are bred ethically usually have fewer health issues than those that come from “kitten mills.”
Ragdoll cats don’t need a lot of space. They’re best suited to indoor environments and can even live comfortably in an apartment.
While the ragdoll cat was bred to live inside, they can still enjoy a backyard. Just make sure your yard is secure and well-maintained.
As mentioned earlier, these cuties are happiest when they’re around their families. You can expect your ragdoll to follow you from room to room and sleep at the end of your bed.
Due to their calm nature and low exercise needs, a ragdoll cat can be the perfect pet for a rental property. However, you may need to pay pet rent to keep a ragdoll in your rental.
Responsible pet owners keep their furry friends safe. So how can you protect your ragdoll?
Consider keeping your pet indoors, and make sure there’s nowhere for your ragdoll to escape. You can also pet-proof your window screens.
If you have a yard, make sure it’s secure and hazard-free. Also, keep in mind that poor weather can scare your cat, and toxic substances, such as fertilizers and pest control products, might be present outside.
For those that live in an apartment, balconies can be a hazard. Even though cats are known to land on their feet, a ragdoll that falls off a balcony might not be so lucky.
Additionally, it’s important to avoid choking hazards inside the home. Tinsel, rubber bands, balloons, ribbons, and toys can get stuck in your cat’s throat. They can also get stuck inside your cat’s stomach — a situation that often requires an operation to remedy.
If your pet is injured or ill, seek advice from your veterinary clinic.
Knowing your ragdoll cat — is this breed right for you?
Looking for a soft, fluffy cat with vivid blue eyes? Ragdolls are a popular choice due to their good looks and sweet temperaments. In fact, they consistently make the list of the most favorite cat breeds for every kind of pet owner.
While cats can have unique personalities, there are a few common ragdoll personality traits. They’re known to be gentle, affectionate, and comfortable around people of all ages.
While ragdolls do sleep a lot, they have a playful and curious nature. They’ll vocalize when they’re hungry, happy, or injured. They’ll also let you know when they want attention.
Plus, ragdoll cats are adaptable. They are typically content living in different environments, including apartments.
This is typically an indoor breed, and pet owners are encouraged to keep their ragdolls inside for their safety. Don’t forget to take your cat to the vet regularly and groom them a few times per week.
If you’re interested in everything there is to know about smart, responsible pet care and ownership, visit betterpet.com. Our team of vet and pet experts offer the essentials that every pet parent needs to know!