Get to know the Ragdoll
All you need to know about the breed
The Ragdoll is a cat that really does seem to have it all. Not only do they have beauty but also brains, too, and a laid-back, affable approach to pretty much everything. The Ragdoll even has a good lifespan, often living well into their late teens.
And yet, as a breed, they have not been around for very long at all. Only developed in the 1960’s, in the United States, the Ragdoll is a relatively new addition to the feline world. In that short time, however, they have become one of the most popular cats of them all.
One of the largest domesticated cat breeds, the female can reach up to 13 pounds (6kg) and the male up to 20 pounds (9kg). Despite the Ragdoll cat’s statuesque size, however, they are not an especially energetic breed, and even quite quiet, so they usually fit in fine to most home set-ups. They are also known for their tolerant attitude towards children and other animals.
As well as their actual size, their fluffy ‘plush’ coat – and the undercoat beneath – can make them seem even bigger than they are. Very varied in pattern, the Ragdoll cat colours can range from chocolate, lilac and cream to seal, blue and a red. However, as a pointed breed, the common theme is that they usually have darker markings on their extremities.
2 facts about Ragdolls
Things to look out for
From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Ragdoll
It's important to keep a close eye on their weight
Due to their sizeable stature, and long growth period, Ragdoll cats can sometimes experience problems with their joints and bones. Tell-tale symptoms of this are an abnormal gait, obvious limping or more general signs of discomfort. The good news is that problems can be largely prevented from the outset by feeding them a high-quality diet, which supports healthy growth, and keeping an eye on their weight. As always, stick to the guidelines on their food packaging and ensure they have enough daily activity. Also, no unhealthy snacks in-between meals!
They can be prone to mouth problems
Like many breeds, Ragdoll cats can also suffer with gum and dental issues. These tend to occur when plaque on the surface of the teeth is allowed to build up. This can induce an inflammatory reaction at gum level (gingivitis) – and, if it develops into tartar, this can result in an inflammation of the tooth’s support structures (periodontal disease). Symptoms can include red gums, pain and bad breath – and, in severe cases, the resulting toxins can cause damage to the organs. As always, prevention is better than cure, so daily brushing and regular check-ups are key. Also, feeding your cat a special dental diet may help. The action of the kibble rubbing against the teeth will remove some of the plaque and calcium chelators will help slow the formation of tartar.
And they can be predisposed to a heart condition
Ragdoll cats are among the breeds genetically prone to something called ‘hypertrophic cardiomyopathy’. This is a heart condition that occurs independently of other cardiac or systemic disorders and causes a thickening in the walls of the heart chambers. The impact on the normal cardiac function varies, but affected cats may develop problems ranging from exercise intolerance to a more serious prognosis. As always, forewarned is forearmed, so have a chat with your vet. Diagnosis can be done using various techniques and a DNA test is also available. In addition, if you are thinking of getting a Ragdoll kitten, be sure to ask for the parents’ health certificate.
Your vet may also discuss your Ragdoll's weight management as a preventive measure. These simple tools can help you stay on top of potential problems.
Caring for your Ragdoll
Grooming, training and exercise tips