A ragdoll cat walks through a flower patch.

10 Things You Should Know About Ragdoll Cats

Ragdolls are a wonderful breed of cat with unique characteristics and traits. The goal of this article is to help you better understand the breed, so that you can have the best relationship possible once you bring one home.

When I started my website, Floppycats.com, which unites Ragdoll cat lovers worldwide, I never anticipated the amount of e-mails I would receive from people complaining that their new Ragdoll cat was not like the breed description they found online. They wanted to rehome the cat because they were allergic, the cat shed too much, or the cat’s personality was different than descriptions they read online.

These emails are extremely disappointing. Pets are living, breathing souls and each one has a different personality and quirks. Certainly, some Ragdoll cats will have personality traits and behaviors like others, but, in general, they are not made in a factory and, therefore, are not exactly the same.

Various factors affect a Ragdoll cat’s ultimate personality. Certainly the breed has a lot to do with it, but much like a small child, the environment a cat is placed into will also determine their behavior. It is well known, for instance, that a cat that was not a lap cat in one home can become a lap cat in another home solely based on how the cat feels in that new home.

Below are some things you should know or consider before adopting a Ragdoll cat:

10 Things to Know About Ragdoll Cats

  1. Shedding – There are pages on the Internet that claim that Ragdoll cats do not shed. They are a long-haired cat breed and they most certainly shed a lot – especially if they are living in warmer conditions.
  2. Grooming – There is a stereotype out there that Ragdoll coats are mat-free. While some are, it is still necessary to groom them on a regular basis to avoid long hair matting.
  3. Not Hypoallergenic – People are allergic to two things on a cat, their undercoat and/or their saliva. Ragdolls are known not to have an undercoat, but unless you know what the cause of your allergy is, then you can’t know if you’re allergic to a Ragdoll or not. Certainly, like other healthy cats, Ragdolls use their tongue to clean themselves, so their fur has cat saliva all over it. They are not hypoallergenic.
  4. Cuddles/Lap Cats – If you want a lap cat, you might get one in a Ragdoll, you might not. If you want a cuddle bug, you might get one in a Ragdoll, you might not. My Charlie, who is now 6 years old, just started laying on me when he was 5 years old. Before Charlie, I’ve never had a Ragdoll cat that was a lap cat.
  5. Floppy – Although I named my site “Floppycats,” not all Ragdolls are floppy. Even though the name “Ragdoll” notes their resemblance to a child’s ragdoll doll, many do not live up to the breed’s name in that sense. There are Ragdolls that do not go limp when held or don’t enjoy being held at all.
  6. Large Breed – If you are used to having short-haired domestic cats, then you might be surprised by how big Ragdolls are and can be. Of course, I am hesitant to say this, as there are smaller Ragdolls. However, in general, they are considered a large-breed cat. So, you’ll need a larger litter box, larger cat bed, larger cat tree, and so on. You will also need a larger cat carrier, as Ragdolls not only weigh more, but are taller and longer than average kitties.
  7. Scams – Believe it or not, there are a lot of scams online when it comes to adopting a purebred cat or kitten. You want to make sure that you’re adopting a Ragdoll cat through a reputable breeder who is registered with TICA and CFA. A referral from a friend or a family member is even better. Make sure to do your homework to be sure you are adopting from a legitimate breeder. A reputable breeder can and will be your first step in getting a healthy, well- tempered and well-behaved Ragdoll.
  8. Cost of Owning a Cat – There are so many people that are concerned with the price of a Ragdoll kitten or cat. However, the price to buy or adopt a Ragdoll should really be considered secondary to the cost of owning a Ragdoll cat or any cat for that matter. The Ragdoll I grew up with lived for 19.5 years. So going into adopting the two I have now, I knew it was at least a 15-20 year commitment. While it’s impossible to predict the future, having a good idea that you can afford vet bills, litter, food, toys, and more every year is crucial.
  9. Gorgeous – If you are adopting a purebred cat, then more than likely you are going for a certain look. This is probably the one breed stereotype you can rely on – your Ragdoll cat will look like a Ragdoll cat. After all, that’s probably part of the reason you’re choosing to adopt a Ragdoll.
  10. Obsession – Chances are, if you adopt a Ragdoll cat or kitten and fall in love with it, you will end up wanting another one very soon!

I am of the belief that you are matched or introduced to different souls in your lifetime on purpose. I believe each soul encounter will help you grow. So when I adopt a cat, I look forward to what we will learn from one another, rather than having expectations of them before we even get home.

I hope the information above helps you understand more about Ragdoll cats, so your new cat will fit into your home and heart for years to come.