Ragdoll Cats: The Gentle Giants
Ragdoll cats are often referred to as "The Gentle Giants" and are very affectionate, easygoing, and loving cats to live with. However, most owners don't keep just one Ragdoll solely because of its captivating appearance and calm, relaxed personality. Ragdolls are interested and willing, but they prefer to relax beside their owner while they read a book, do paperwork, or watch you work in the garden from a sunny spot.
There was a long-standing myth that Ragdolls were too floppy, had a reduced pain threshold, and would simply accept being handled like a kind of "toy." This is not accurate and not something they will tolerate.
Origin and History
Ragdolls were created as a man-made breed in the early 1960s by the California cat breeder Ann Baker. To create her foundation Ragdolls, Ann used an Angora-type cat and a black cat. Ragdolls were first brought to the UK by two different breeders in 1981. Ragdoll cats were meant to be glamorous cats with a very laid-back, relaxed demeanor, perfect for a family pet. This vision came true, as Ragdolls are known for their incredibly relaxed outlook on life.
It's easy to fall in love with a Ragdoll cat due to its stunning large blue eyes, cheerful behavior, and distinctive semi-long hair. Ragdolls come in various shades. Dark brown, blue, chocolate, lilac, and cream are some of the most common colors and patterns.
Ragdolls like to be around people and will follow you around, seeking your attention. Their need for human attention is strong, and they have even been known to greet you at the door when you come home. Ragdolls are ideal for households with children because they are so adaptable, affectionate, and laid-back. They enjoy playing and always retract their claws, resulting in far fewer "accidents" than with other cat breeds.
Due to their easygoing personalities, Ragdoll cats don't fare well under harsh outdoor conditions and are best suited for indoor living. While Ragdolls are known for their laid-back nature, they still have needs that must be met. They don't like being left alone for extended periods and can become bored if not stimulated. They also prefer routine and won't tolerate changes in meal times or significant changes to their living area. Ragdolls are very affectionate animals but also require a lot of attention from their owners.
Ragdoll Cats' Size and Age
As domestic cats, Ragdolls are large and robust. Males can weigh 6-9 kg (13-20 pounds), while females weigh 4-7 kg (9-15 pounds). They mature gradually and, with the right care and a nutritious diet, typically live to be 15 years or older.
Health Issues with Ragdolls
Despite Ragdolls typically being healthy cats, they are prone to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a genetic heart condition. When purchasing a Ragdoll cat, it's crucial to confirm with the breeder that neither of the parents has this condition if you plan to buy a kitten.
Ragdolls are known for their wonderfully soft fur, which also means they require a lot of grooming and care. Because of their semi-long hair, they need more frequent brushing and grooming to prevent matting and tangling. But don't worry; Ragdolls enjoy the attention, and the more you dote on them, the more they will adore you.
Ragdoll kittens are adorable little bundles of fluff that typically go to their new owners when they are 12 weeks old. It's essential to provide the kittens with the right amount of care and love so they develop into friendly and devoted companions. While adult Ragdolls aren't picky eaters, kittens may sometimes have digestive issues. Maintaining a consistent feeding schedule with high-quality food and feeding the kitten at the same times each day is essential. If you need to adjust their diet, do so gradually over several days.
Considering Getting a Ragdoll Kitten?
Ragdolls have an incredible capacity for generosity but also a need for fulfillment. They don't like to be alone and prefer a regular and stable daily routine. A Ragdoll can be the right pet for you if your house is rarely empty during the day, and if you can maintain a consistent feeding schedule.
Deworming for Ragdolls
Deworming is an essential part of keeping your Ragdoll cat healthy and free from disease. Worms can be harmful to your cat and can lead to serious health problems if left untreated. Our veterinarian recommends treating your cat 2-4 times a year, depending on how often the cat is exposed to worms. Since Ragdolls are generally indoor cats, they require fewer worm treatments than cats frequently roaming outdoors. Our most popular dewormers are Milprazon and Milbemax, effective against tapeworms, roundworms, whipworms, and heartworm prevention. For Ragdolls, typically large cats over 2 kg, be sure to buy tablets designed for "large cats." If the cat is a kitten weighing under 2 kg, you should buy tablets for "small cats."
Treating Fleas and Ticks in Ragdolls
Fleas are small, blood-sucking insects that can be very irritating to cats. They feed on a cat's blood, leading to itching and flaking, and can transmit parasites like tapeworms, as fleas serve as intermediate hosts for the parasite. Ticks are also blood-sucking insects, but they are larger than fleas and can be even more dangerous to cats. They can transmit serious diseases such as feline infectious anemia and Lyme disease. There are various forms of insect control you can use to treat your Ragdoll cat for fleas and ticks. These include spot-on treatments applied to the skin on the back of the neck, flea/tick collars placed around the neck, oral tablets, and sprays to remove insects from your pet and their environment.