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Ragdoll

Height: 15-25 inches
Weight: 10-20 pounds
Lifespan: 9-15 years
Colors: White, cream, seal, red, chocolate, lilac, blue
Suitable for: Families and individuals looking for an affectionate, large cat
Temperament: Loving, intelligent, gentle, easygoing

You’ll know you’ve found a unique cat the first time you see a Ragdoll. There are so many things to notice, starting with her large size. She is bigger than many other breeds, with a muscular form that makes you think she’d make an excellent mouser. Then, there’s her luxurious coat of silky fur. Lest we forget, there are also those gorgeous blue eyes.

The Ragdoll is classified as a pointed breed. That means she’ll have different colors on her mask, ears, feet, or tail, depending on the type. She may or may not have white on her body. The colorpoint Ragdolls do not. You’ll see a lot of variation with the recognized patterns of mitted, van, or bi-color. The points’ coloration can also vary from solid to tortie to lynx, or a combination of the last two called torbie.

The Ragdoll is a relatively new breed, but she has a devoted following. Part of the reason is her temperament. She may appear almost dog-like in the amount of affection she’ll shower on her human companions. There’s nothing standoffish about this feline. As you may expect, the Ragdoll is a popular breed for a good reason—several, really!

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Ragdoll Kittens – Before You Buy…

By now, we’re sure we’ve sold you on how sweet a Ragdoll is. Even her name suggests it. The essential thing to understand with this cat is that not only does she want attention, but she needs it, too. She’s not a cat to leave alone all day long. The Ragdoll bonds strongly with her owner. She may become your shadow, following you around the house.

Her adult size is another vital consideration. Everything your pet will use, including her bed, scratching post, and litterbox, is going to cost more, too. The same caution applies to care. A long-haired cat like a Ragdoll needs regular maintenance. Overall, the financial and time commitments are higher with this breed than many other similar pets.

Ragdoll
Image Credit: atrix9, Pixabay

The Ragdoll is a slow-growing breed. She may not reach her full size until she’s 3 or 4 years old. That’s another thing to keep in mind when you buy supplies for your new pet. She’ll likely outgrow a lot of her stuff when she reaches adulthood. The other point to remember is the age of your new pet.

Most breeders will keep their kittens until they are 12 weeks old. It’s essential for a slow-maturing cat like the Ragdoll. Nonetheless, you’re bringing home a pet that is the feline version of the terrible twos. Kittens of this age are inquisitive. The Ragdoll is no exception, either.

She’ll explore her world in the way that all cats do, even if it means climbing your curtains. Supervise her first days to stop any bad habits in their tracks.

Energy
Trainability
Health
Lifespan
Sociability

What’s the Price of Ragdoll Kittens?

You should take into account several considerations when it comes to bringing any pet into your home. For a Ragdoll, the first task is finding a breeder, which won’t pose a problem. However, it’s a popular breed that may affect availability and indeed the cost of a kitten. You can expect to pay several hundred dollars for a Ragdoll.

However, you’ll likely pay more for some point patterns. Pets from champion lines can easily boost the price to four figures. The other options are to opt for a kitten that isn’t of show or breeding quality. There are also rescue organizations that would be more than happy to match you with a cat. In any case, we recommend sticking with a seller who will provide a health guarantee.

Bear in mind that the cost of buying a cat is just the beginning. The average annual expenses will run about $900. Remember that the Ragdoll is a bigger feline, which will make your costs more.

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Ragdoll

1. The Ragdoll got her start as a feral cat.

California cat breeder, Ann Baker, developed the Ragdoll through selective breeding in the 1960s. As beautiful as this feline is, it’s hard to believe that she began life as a stray. Baker’s careful work made this pet into the gentle, loving animal she is today.

2. All Ragdoll kittens are born looking the same.

Like many other cat and dog breeds, the Ragdoll begins life in a different color than what they end up as adults. For this feline, it’s white and those beautiful blue eyes.

3. The Ragdoll is appropriately named.

If you don’t know much about the breed, its name might have you scratching your head. It turns out that there’s a good reason for it. It describes how the cat acts when you pick one up to cuddle. After all, the Ragdoll wrote the book on being a lap cat.

Ragdoll
Image Credit: monicore, Pixabay

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Ragdoll

The Ragdoll is a sweetheart of a cat. She is laid back and content to spend time with you and your family. This breed is an excellent choice if you prefer a pet that isn’t quite as vocal as some, such as a Siamese. She is also readily adaptable, which comes from her easygoing nature. The Ragdoll is a curious cat. She’ll try to figure things out for herself, making her seem like a toddler at times.

The Ragdoll is also observant. She’ll learn the patterns of her household, such as when you get home from work or the sound of your car in the drive. As we mentioned, she is a lap cat. We suggest having everything you need on the table next to you before you settle into your armchair. You’ll likely find that you’ll be owned by your pet once she decides to cuddle with you.

Are These Cats Good for Families? 👪

There’s no question about the Ragdoll being an excellent family pet. She’ll love everyone in your home, even the visitors who come to your home. The one suggestion we would make is to supervise time with smaller children. The bigger size of the Ragdoll will make it difficult for little ones who may want to pick her up from the floor.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

The laidback attitude of the Ragdoll extends to other pets, too. Early socialization is the key. We suggest keeping her separated from the other animals in your household until she acclimates to being in a new home. Introduce the other pets slowly, preferably on neutral ground. Using a pheromone spray or diffuser can ease the transition for everyone.

Small animals, particularly rodents, are another story. After all, she is a cat, and they will chase mice and rats. The same caution applies to guinea pigs and smaller rabbits.

Ragdoll
Image Credit: monicore, Pixabay

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Things to Know When Owning a Ragdoll:

Every pet has a quirk or two. Some may have unwanted behaviors, too. That’s why it’s imperative to provide new experiences for your Ragdoll to prevent her from becoming fearful. Her adaptability and curiosity will help on that score. The same advice applies to introducing her to other people. The Ragdoll is friendly by nature. However, it won’t hurt for her to meet other humans.

Food & Diet Requirements

If possible, feed your new Ragdoll the same food as the breeder gave her. It will help prevent GI distress from a sudden diet change. That’s a vital point, given the breed’s tendency to vomit. The other essential thing is to offer her a diet that is appropriate for her life stage. Kittens and cats vary in their nutritional needs, particularly with protein and some vitamins, such as vitamin A.

While the Ragdoll grows slowly, you still must make sure she gets the nutrients she needs for proper development. You can offer her four small meals a day at 12 weeks. As she gets older, you can dial it back to two at 12 months old. Remember that the feeding instructions on the food are a suggestion. Unfortunately, Ragdolls are prone to weight gain. Monitor her body condition and adjust as needed.

Exercise 🐈

Ragdolls are playful cats. They entertain you for hours on end. However, they are not as active as other breeds. Remember that she likes to cuddle. Therefore, you may need to coax her to get some exercise with toys that speak to her. The other thing to consider is her intelligence. Smart felines get bored quickly. She may ignore her new teaser wand after a few days.

We suggest swapping out her toys every couple of weeks. The old ones will seem like “new” toys to her. Interactive toys are another way to provide vital mental stimulation. Challenging her can offer an excellent way to keep her occupied while burning a few calories to keep her weight in check.

ragdoll cat on bed
Image Credit: choosangyeon, Shutterstock

Training 🧶

Curiosity and intelligence are ideal traits for this aspect of pet ownership. It also helps that she’s eager to please you. You might even be able to teach her some commands or a trick or two. Positive reinforcement is the best way to approach training. Giving her a treat can make the process faster for a food-motivated cat like the Ragdoll. Just make sure to limit them to her lessons.

Grooming ✂️

Grooming is an essential part of the care for a Ragdoll. Like the rest of her, her coat grows slowly. Nevertheless, it’s vital to get her used to regular combing. It will prevent mats and tangles. It’ll also give you a chance to check her nails and ears for any maintenance they may need. We suggest handling her feet as a kitten to make it easier to do when she’s an adult.

Health and Conditions 🏥

The Ragdoll is a relatively healthy breed. Her size probably gives her an edge in that department. However, she has a higher propensity for some types of heart disease. That’s part of the reason that we stress buying from a reputable dealer. There are genetic tests for some conditions that a seller can do to remove carriers from their breeding stock.

We strongly urge you to keep your cat current with annual veterinary exams because of this risk factor. It’s a must-do task for all responsible pet owners. It’s worth noting that both the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) issued position statements against declawing.

For good or bad, the Ragdoll is such a loving and trusting cat, even with strangers. If she should get out, declawing would leave her with little defense against dogs or wildlife.

Minor Conditions
  • Obesity
  • Ear infections
  • Urinary tract infection
Serious Conditions
  • Dilated and restricted cardiomyopathy
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
  • Renal disease

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Male vs. Female

There are two reasons that you may choose one sex over the other. First, there is that nagging size issue. The differences between males and females are significant in Ragdolls. A large male will weigh in at almost twice that of a small female. Either way, you’ll have a delightful pet.

Second, there is the cost of spaying and neutering. The surgery is a lot more expensive and riskier for a female versus a male. It offers compelling benefits for either sex. Pet owners will also appreciate a female cat that stops going into heat. Likewise, a male cat will no longer spray. It’s also the responsible thing to do if you’re not going to breed your Ragdoll.

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Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a loving cat, look no further than the Ragdoll. She has so much to offer the right home with her laid-back manner. The fact that she’s adorable only adds to all the reasons for inviting this sweetie into your life. As long as you have the time and willingness to give the attention she craves, you’ll have a delightful pet that will bring joy to you and your family.

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Featured Image: Serita Vossen, Shutterstock