10 Things to Know Before Getting a Ragdoll Cat

So you are thinking about getting a ragdoll cat, and whether this cat breed is right for you. When you consider their big blue eyes, cute faces, and easy going nature, it's easy to fall in love with a ragdoll cat. After three years of owning two ragdoll cats, Teemo and Arya, I am going to explain 10 things you should know before getting a ragdoll cat. 

cream bicolor ragdoll cat

My cats Teemo and Arya - Cream Bicolor Ragdolls

1. Floppy Cats

The ragdoll name comes from the tendency of the cat breed to go limp and relaxed when picked up, this is also why they are known as floppy cats. They don’t mind being carried around or held like you would an actual rag doll. The master of being chill. Ragdoll cats love attention and affection so much they simply go limp when they are cradled happily in your loving arms. Most ragdoll cats exhibit this floppy trait, but not all ragdoll cats may have this trait.

2. Puppy Like Personality

Docile, gentle and sweet. They are very dependent and like to be by your side.
Like dogs, ragdoll cats will greet you at the door when you come home. Sit on your lap when you are not feeling well. Looking for a cuddle session. Or follow you throughout the house. This is a cat that loves affection and being very close to people. Making it ideal for children and making friends with other pets in the household. Sometimes ragdoll cats even like to play fetch.

female cream bicolor ragdoll cat

My Cat's Mom - Cream Bicolor Ragdoll

3. Appearance

In terms of appearance, all purebred ragdoll cats have gorgeous blue eyes according to the breed standard. Ragdolls come in four main patterns: bicolor, van, mitted, and colorpoint. These patterns also appear in six major colors: seal, blue, chocolate, lilac, red, and cream. All ragdoll kittens are born completely white and their color becomes more evident by 8 to 12 weeks. A ragdolls semi-long coat is also plush and silky.

blue bicolor ragdoll

Blue Bicolor Ragdoll

4. Life Expectancy

Ragdoll cats live for a very long time. On average the lifespan of a ragdoll cat is 15-20 years old. Factors that can help improve the lifespan of a ragdoll cat include feeding your cat a high quality raw meat diet, keeping your cats indoors, neutering and spaying your cat, and providing the best medical care. Some ragdoll cats have even lived to the age of 25. Ragdolls are a slow maturing cat breed, becoming adults at the age of 4.

5. HCM

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or HCM is the most common cardiac disease in cats. Affected cats are at risk of sudden cardiac death due to defects in the heart.
The heart walls thicken, thereby decreasing the heart’s efficiency and causing symptoms in other parts of the body. In Ragdoll cats the condition is inherited due to breed specific mutations. The HCM mutation increases the likelihood of a cat having hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. To reduce the chances of having HCM, reputable breeders test the ragdoll kitten for the HCM mutation and guarantee that your kitten will be HCM negative. So make sure you get your ragdoll kitten from a reputable breeder.

Blue Mitted Ragdoll

Blue Mitted Ragdoll

6. Don't Like to Be Alone

Ragdoll cats don’t like to be alone. They are significantly more social and need more attention than regular cats. Consider getting a companion if you are away from home a lot. Having a friend for your ragdoll will ensure that your cat will not get lonely when you are not able to play with the cat, such as when you are at work or when you are asleep. This can allow both you and your cats to enjoy life to the fullest a little bit more, since neither of you will feel burdened by the other needing or not giving attention as needed. A lonely cat may exhibit destructive behavior such as scratching the furniture or knocking things over. You can get your cat to stop scratching your furniture by redirecting that behavior to a scratching post like the one below.

Shop Scratching Post

For my two cats Teemo and Arya together, I got them from the same litter and it has been the best decision I made as a cat dad. They cuddle together when they sleep. Wrestle with each other. And even play hide and seek. 

7. Big Cat

Ragdoll cats are extremely large cats! A fully grown male cat can weigh up to 20 pounds, while a female cat can be between 8 to 15 pounds. Don’t be fooled by their large size, ragdoll cats don’t have a killer instinct like in other cats nor are they good hunters. They cannot protect themselves against stray dogs or cats so keep them inside when you aren’t there. Their large size do make them super cuddly and downright teddy-bear like. As a result they are great to hold and snuggle with. Just make sure to hold them with both hands to provide adequate support. Lastly the size of a ragdoll cat requires a bigger litter box and bigger bed so they can comfortably fit. So you will need to create a living space designed for a larger cat. Such as this cat cave below. 

cat cave

 Shop Cat Cave

8. Shedding

As a long hair cat breed, expect some shedding from a ragdoll cat. The temperature, season, and their diets will have an impact on how much they shed. In the winter ragdoll cats develop a thicker coat, which they shed in spring. Ragdoll cats will require grooming to help prevent tangles, mats, and excessive shedding. Most ragdoll cats will enjoy bonding with you during the grooming sessions. I brush my ragdoll cats daily and if you like to learn how to a brush a cat's hair I will link it below. 

9. Hypoallergenic

Unfortunately for people with allergies, ragdoll cats are not hypoallergenic. Even though ragdolls don’t have a thick undercoat which can reduce allergies to dander. Most people are allergic to the saliva from cats. When cats groom they spread their saliva all over their body. The hair with the dried saliva is then shed all over the furniture and floors.

10. Cost

A purebred Ragdoll Cat is not cheap. In the US Ragdoll kittens from a reputable breeder registered with the TICA can cost from $1,500 to $3,500 depending on the quality and pattern of the cat. When looking for a purebred cat you may hear the terms pet or show quality. A show quality cat is one that has been judged to be close to the physical ideal for its breed standard at a cat show, while also having a great temperament.

cream ragdoll cats

My cat's Brother and Mother in a Coco Cat Bed - Shop Here

While a pet quality cat may have a minor cosmetic flaw, like a misplaced marking. A show quality cat usually costs more than a pet quality cat. In terms of patterns the classic bicolor pattern can also cost more. Familiarizing yourself with the ragdoll breed is a very important step in buyer protection. Breeding ragdoll cats responsibly and ethically requires time and money. So err on the side of caution when the price of a kitten is too low. Avoid backyard breeders. I hope you got to know the ragdoll breed.

See this video for the Pros and Cons of getting a Ragdoll Cat:

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It is important that toys are made of high quality materials and is safe for your cat.

The Cat Butler