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Ragdoll Cats

There are many reasons why Ragdoll cats are the second most popular breed in the UK. Not only are they particularly friendly, but they can easily be kept in small apartments. Here you can learn all about this breed and what you should consider before bringing a Ragdoll kitten into your home.

Ragdoll cats’ origins

The Ragdoll is an American cat breed, as you might have gathered from the name. These cats were bred from the early 1960s but it took until 2000 before the breed was officially recognised. The exact origin of the breed is not entirely clear. However, experts believe it originated as a cross between a white Persian and a Burmese and the breed’s appearance certainly supports this theory.

Ragdolls’ Appearance

You can easily recognize the breed by their bigger than average size and their thick, silky medium length coat. Their bright blue eyes contrast strikingly with their lighter coats and they carry a beautiful fluffy tail.

Ragdoll cats are slightly larger than other cat breeds, growing to a height of about 25 cm. They are only fully grown at around four years of age. Adult male cats weigh between 7-10 Kg, and females between 5-8 Kg.

All Ragdoll kittens are born with white fur and very blue eyes. Over time, the coat changes colour and their eventual colour only becomes clear once they are around three years old. All their points - legs, tail, nose and ears - are slightly darker than the rest of their coat.

Ragdoll cats’ personality

Many owners compare Ragdoll cats to dogs. The breed is very friendly and also exceptionally social. Your cat will follow you around the house, so be careful because they will often walk in front of you. There's also a good chance that they will be waiting outside the bathroom door for you to come out.

One of the most typical characteristics of these cats is that they are very calm. This is often confused as disinterest, but what it really means is that they trust their family. This confidence is often clear from the vulnerable way in which the cat sleeps with an exposed belly and legs stretched out as far as possible.

The name Ragdoll refers to the way that the cats react when they are picked up. They become completely limp and hang in your arms just like a floppy rag doll. They adore being picked up and would probably love to be in your arms all day long.

People often mistakenly believe that the breed doesn’t feel pain because they can twist themselves into the strangest positions. However, you should make sure your Ragdoll is well supported when you pick them up.

These cats will generally not lie on your lap, probably because they are just a bit too big for this. However, you can be sure that they will often settle down next to you on the sofa.

The breed is also known for being undemanding and easily satisfied. Of course they would prefer you to be at home all day to play and cuddle with them. But, for example, Ragdoll cats are less likely than other breeds to meow next to your bed for attention in the middle of the night.

Make some time to play with your Ragdoll cat, even when they are older, because they remain playful throughout their life. Their toys can be simple as playtime is more about spending time together and building a bond. These cats are not particularly active and so playing for about 15 minutes a day is more than enough.

Raising Ragdoll kittens

It is very easy to train this breed because they are very focused on their owners. They want to please you and are intelligent enough to understand exactly what you want.

You should have no trouble teaching your cat where the litter box is and how it should be used. This trait also makes a Ragdoll kitten suitable for people who have no experience in raising a kitten.

As with all other cats, it is best to focus on rewarding good behaviour. You can do this by giving your kitten a tasty treat or by cuddling them.

As soon as your kitten does something that is not allowed, like scratching the sofa or climbing up the curtains, you should distract them with an alternative activity. By, for example, placing them near the scratching post.

Remember that these kittens will grow to an above-average size for a cat, so it will be a good idea to buy a large litter box and scratching post right from the start.

The perfect conditions for Ragdolls

Ragdolls don't really need any outdoor space and so an apartment is a suitable home for them. In the first place, it is never a good idea to allow an expensive pedigree cat to roam around freely outside. Secondly, they simply have little interest in being outdoors.

Because these cats are so trusting they also run a greater risk than other domestic cats of, for example, being hit by a car. They are not very good at assessing dangers and so they are at high risk of accidents outdoors.

In general, Ragdolls have little interest in scaling heights. You will never find them higher than a counter and they only jump up there because they want to keep a close eye on what you are doing. If these cats do have access to a back garden, it is usually not necessary to take steps to prevent them from scaling the fence.

You don’t have to be concerned about children and other pets if you want to bring a Ragdoll into your home. You should, however, always pay attention to your cat’s reactions. This breed is not very good at communicating their own boundaries - they would rather just walk away. If you notice that your cat is withdrawing, try to establish the reason why.

Grooming your Ragdoll

You will be surprised that, despite its long hair, a Ragdoll cat generally needs little grooming. Their coats don’t tend to tangle so they don’t need much care. A good combing twice a week will be more than enough and if you do this calmly your cat will enjoy the care.

Furthermore, they have relatively little undercoat, which means that they don’t shed a lot. You could occasionally use a rubber brush to remove loose hairs. This will keep the hair off your furniture and also help to prevent your cat from getting hairballs in their throat.

You should also check regularly whether your cat's ears are still clean. Dirt can easily be removed with a damp cloth or cotton wool ball.

Ragdolls are very hygienic cats, so you shouldn’t be surprised to see them spending hours licking and cleaning their fur. Be sure to change their litter box regularly, otherwise your cat might not want to use it any more.

The right food for Ragdolls

An adult Ragdoll cat's diet must contain the right nutrients to support their needs. You have to find a healthy balance between how much they need and feeding them too much. Indoor cats are slightly less active than those that also go outside and so they could easily gain too much weight.

The filters on the Yarrah website allow you to indicate that you are looking for food for cats that have been spayed or neutered. The recommended food for this option has a lower fat content which helps to prevent weight gain. Of course, all Yarrah’s pet food is also completely free from artificial fragrances, colours and flavours, pesticides and GMO and only the most absorbable proteins have been selected.

Not sure how much to feed your Ragdoll cat? Then access our nutrition guide by indicating your cat’s weight and how active they are. For example, you can feed a normally active cat weighing 6 Kg, 61 grams of our organic cat food with chicken and peas per day. You will find the nutrition guide on the product page of the food you have selected.

Common Diseases and Life Expectancy of Ragdoll Cats

Even Ragdolls that come from a recognized breeder could develop hereditary conditions later in life. The breed is prone to heart failure (HCM) and renal failure (PKD). Also check your cat's skin regularly for lumps, as the breed is also susceptible to certain types of skin tumours. Having these tumours removed at an early stage reduces the risk of them returning later.

Ragdoll cats don’t have many health risks compared to other pedigree cats and so most of them don’t experience serious health problems. A healthy cat can live to between 12-17 years of age. This is slightly older than the average of 13 years for mixed-breed domestic cats.

Buying Ragdoll kittens

Has this article persuaded you to welcome a Ragdoll kitten into your home? There are a number of things that you should take into account.

In the first place you need to consider the price. A Ragdoll kitten can set you back between £500 to £1,200, depending on the breeder, lineage and other factors. For this price you can expect the breeder to fully vaccinate, chip and deworm your kitten.

Only buy a Ragdoll kitten if it has a veterinary health certificate, a passport and the relevant pedigree documents. Also check whether the kitten's parents have been tested for hereditary diseases to increase the likelihood that your kitten will be healthy.

There are a number of points by which you can recognize ethical and reliable breeders. One of them is that Ragdoll kittens should only be removed from their litter after 13 weeks. This is because the young cat needs this long to be properly socialised and learn important life skills.

At 13 weeks of age a Ragdoll kitten can already eat solid food. It is important that you choose a diet with adequate protein and calories, because this is what large cats need to grow into healthy adults.

Preferably you should feed your cat a combination of wet and dry food. Wet food contains sufficient moisture to ensure that your kitten stays hydrated and chewing dry food helps to develop their jaws and teeth.

On the Yarrah website you can easily indicate that you are looking for kitten food options. For example, our organic grain-free cat food with organic chicken, MSC herring, tapioca and peas is suitable for kittens from as young as six weeks.

Organic Adult dry cat food with fish

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€3.45
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€23.19
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Organic cat food chunks with fish

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Organic cat food fillets with beef in sauce

€20.29
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Organic cat food fillets with turkey in sauce

€20.29
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