Adult Ragdoll Cats: How Much Do You Know About These Furry Companions?
The adult ragdoll cat is magnificent in strength, beauty, and personality – or should we say, “purrrsonality”? Because of their sweet, laid-back dispositions, these cats make excellent family pets – but before you adopt, how much do you know about Ragdoll cats? Check your knowledge here with some basic Ragdoll cat facts about the breed:
#1 They grow and grow.
Large cats need more time to reach full maturity, so growing takes longer. As a result, the weight of a Ragdoll cat is, on average higher than that of other breeds. Male Ragdolls usually weigh between 12-25 lbs when fully grown, and female Ragdolls weigh anywhere from 10-25 lbs, depending on their parents’ weights.
To give some context, the average weight of an adult cat is between 8 and 10 pounds. As a slow-maturing breed, Ragdolls typically experience growth spurts up until they are four years old, at which point they have usually reached their mature size.
#2 They are known for their long, beautiful coats and bright baby blues.
Ragdoll breeds have semi-long hair and striking blue eyes, distinctive features that make them a wonderful breed.
They typically have a pointed coat pattern, meaning their fur is darker at points (face, paws, tail) than on the rest of the body. According to the American Cat Fanciers Association, Ragdoll cat colors include blue, seal, chocolate, lilac, cream, tortie, mink, and red (or flame). There are also black Ragdoll cats, but that color is not officially recognized as a breed standard.
Aside from color, there are also several patterns that Raggies can display, such as bi-color, van, colorpoint, and mitted. Regardless of their color, all Ragdoll kittens are born white. Then, as they grow, their fur begins to develop color.
Their color pattern is not fully developed until they get to the age of 2, when they grow into their full coat, and from there on, they continue to grow until the age of 4.
#3 They can live up to their name.
Ragdoll cats have been called “ragdolls” because they tend to go limp in the arms of someone holding them. They are a sweet, snuggly breed of cats who are affectionate towards their owners and prefer to stay near them, following their humans around the house and greeting them at the door. The amiable Ragdoll personality makes the breed great pets for families with children.
With the proper training, they typically get along well with other cats and dogs. If you’re thinking about bringing home a Ragdoll and you have kids, make sure you also teach the kids how to treat a cat with gentleness and respect, and especially how to properly hold a Ragdoll – with one arm beneath the front legs. One beneath the hind legs, never let them hold them just under their front arms with the hind legs hanging.
Although Ragdolls are generally calm and quiet, they love their playtime and enjoy toys, puzzles, or being a part of whatever the family does. With training, they are quick to pick up good habits, like using a scratching post or even learning tricks.
#4 The long hair needs some care.
As with most longhaired cats, adult Ragdolls need to be groomed at least twice a week to keep their coat clean and free of mats and tangles. Some Ragdoll’s coats are better than others, and some don’t mat as quickly.
Although Ragdolls shed less than other longhaired felines, they still need to be groomed regularly to keep their coats healthy. The secret to proper grooming for Raggies is having the right tools. You will need more than just a steel comb or a brush to get through all the fur. You can find plenty of valuable tips and tricks in my book, “Grooming the Fluff.”
#5 They need a big litter box.
Since Ragdolls are large cats, you will need a larger-sized litter box, so do your research before buying one because your Raggie might not fit in it. Also, be sure to clean this regularly, as all cats are exceptionally hygienic, and a neglected litter box can lead to reluctance to use it.
Depending on their litter box behavior, you may also want to look into special boxes for high-spraying cats. For example, large cats like Raggies often urinate outside the litter box, but with this type of box, everything can stay inside and off your floors.
#6 Like all cats, they have a few genetic disorders to look out for.
All cat breeds, just like humans, can be predisposed to different cat health issues, regardless of how insistent a breeder is about a lack of defects in their line. So while it is essential to do a little research on a breeder and ask about the incidence of health problems, it’s also good to be generally aware of some of the health issues Ragdolls can be prone to:
- FIP (feline infectious peritonitis) – All cats can get this horrible disease. Unfortunately, there aren’t reliable ways to test for or treat FIP, but the risk can be reduced through good nutrition, a clean environment, and keeping current on vaccinations – so check out a cattery/breeder for all these things.
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy – This genetic heart disease can be screened for through a DNA-based test.
Ragdolls are generally pretty healthy, but if you are considering adopting one, you must first be educated on what health problems they are at risk for.
#7 There are a few different ways to adopt a Ragdoll cat.
Are you looking to adopt a Ragdoll cat? There are several options. Suppose you want to adopt an adult ragdoll cat specifically. In that case, Ragdoll Fancier’s Club International has a page on their site for adult Ragdolls available for adoption. On Floppycats.com, we have a page dedicated to helping you find a Ragdoll cat rescue, which will help you locate a Ragdoll in a local shelter, on Craig’s list, etc.
Another option is the Ragdoll Fancier’s Worldwide Club, which has a page where breeders can list their retired Ragdoll cats for adoption. Ragdoll cat breeders who belong to Ragdoll Fanciers Worldwide and Ragdoll Fancier’s Club International have the opportunity to list their retired breeding females, their retired show cats, and their retired studs (breeding males).
Because the breeders are looking for good permanent homes for these kitties, they are usually available for a lower price than a kitten. If you’re interested in any of these, check out the links below:
Another option is to check individual breeders’ websites to see if they have listed any available adults or retired breeders. Finally, visit our Ragdoll Breeders’ page to look through our list of breeders as well as our breeder directory. Overall, ragdolls are a sweet, beautiful breed and a great addition to a pet-loving home!
Do you have a Ragdoll cat? What stories do you have to share about them?
Pictures of Ragdolls
Seal Point Ragdoll See more seal point Ragdoll cat photos.
Blue Lynx Mitted Ragdoll See more blue lynx mitted Ragdoll photos.
Mitted Ragdoll Cats
My parent cat are tested N/N for HCM and PKD. Yet I once in a while have a kitren die as a result of HCM. And one daughter from a giant hole in her kidney at age 2. What am I not understanding? DNA tests were done at UCDavis
I would reach out to UCDavis or get involved in a Ragdoll Breeder Group on Facebook? Or a Ragdoll Cat Breed organization to ask? I am not sure this is the place where people are going to know the answer to that question.
Thank you, Jenny, for creating this site. I had no idea my kitty, Boots, was a Ragdoll. My late wife once mentioned something about a “ragdoll,” but I assumed it was just because Boots goes so limp when held. I did not know it was an actual breed!
Regardless, Boots is a WONDERFUL cat and displays many of the behaviors noted here. I’ve enjoyed reading about his brothers and sisters, and seeing their pix. Again, thank you! 🙂
Hi Paul, you’re welcome. There are many cats that go limp that are not purebred Ragdolls – and there are many purebred Ragdolls that do not go limp. So just because a kitty goes limp, does not mean it’s a Ragdoll. Regardless, I am glad you enjoy your kitty and the site. And sorry about your wife. Thanks, Jenny
Additionally, he looks VERY MUCH like Caymus!
Hi Andra – I wish I had known this when I adopted him I would have asked if she actually had papers from the breeder. She was able to give me all his vet visits information but nothing on his breed and I didn’t know to ask. It makes that this is truly the best way to know the breed. I am no longer in contact with his previous family as they have moved, so we shall just keep on loving him no matter what! Thanks very much for this valuable information.
Hi Georgina. I’m interested in this too. My 5 month old kitten is one of a litter I rescued in a rainy state park last June. At two weeks old only two survived. I kept the little Calico. She acts like my friends Ragdoll. She has the characteristic of going completely limp when I pick her up. When I cradle her on her back it’s hilarious because she just flops all 4 legs out and lets her head hang back. It seems too good to be true to have ended up with this sweet little cat. Her brother that survived is much more rambunctious than she is. He is an orange tiger. How do I know if she’s a Ragdoll?
Here is an ‘odd’ question for everyone. How do you know that your Ragdoll is a true Ragdoll? I was told Sparky was a Ragdoll but he does not go limp when you pick him up … EVER! He looks like the pictures of the cats above, especially the Seal Point so I’m just not really sure he isn’t just a gorgeous Siamese Seal Point. Any comments would help me figure out what he really is, not that it changes how I love him all to bits, just me being a curious cat!
It is a good question and one that a lot of people ask. To be a true Ragdoll, the cat or kitten needs to have papers showing that they come from the Ragdoll lines. The Ragdoll characteristic of going limp when you pick them up is not the determining factor because there are cats that are not Ragdolls that will also go limp when handled. It is also possible to have a purebred Ragdoll that doesn’t go limp. A good breeder will aim to breed cats that have kittens with all the wonderful characteristics expected in Ragdolls, but it is possible to occasionally have kittens that do not go limp when held. So your cat could be a Ragdoll, but the only way to know for sure is to have the papers. I hope that helps!
Little Apple Ragdolls
I’m back again. I have a question for everyone about how their cat’s react when you are cleaning their litter box. We’ve had Sparky for 41/2 months now and he has really settled in quite nicely. We are still getting to know all the ‘ins and outs’ of his personality but on the whole it’s pretty good. He has taken to attacking me when I am cleaning his litter box. This week was the worst when he yowled and caught me unawares on the leg with full claws open as I was scooping the poop. I turned and told him NO but had to stop what I was doing as he wouldn’t stop hissing at me. To say the least it was somewhat distressing for both of us. I now shut him the bedroom when I clean the box. Anyone experience anything like this?
My ragdoll Gavin was not as bad, but he used to get mad when I scooped his box. I think it’s a combination of my messing around with HIS box and the fact that I’m digging up the poo he worked so hard to bury lol When he was a kitten, he’d paw at me and nip my ankles and hands when I would scoop. I realized that the daily scooping was what brought it on. If I scoop it every couple of days instead, he’s happy to have me clean his box. He has an extra large box, so maybe he didn’t realize it was dirty enough to be cleaned everyday or something. I don’t try to understand his logic 🙂
Hi Ashley – thanks for sharing. He did start off just nipping at my ankles and hissing but this was full blown ‘don’t mess with my “s**t” !! I think you hit the nail on the head about working hard to bury it, he definitely spends a great deal of time digging. Yes logic vs cat …. hmmmmmm …. I don’t think the two will ever be compatible LOL.
I have the opposite…Mooshu sits in between my legs as i crouch down…and seems to ALWAYS have to pee right when i am scooping…but he never hisses or attacks me. Was Sparky previously sharing a box with other cats? Did they hog it? Maybe he’s just VERY territorial? I dunno…But yes…shutting him out sounds like a good idea.
Hi Julie – isn’t it funny how they all have different reactions? My previous cat (a Maine Coon) did exactly the same thing and if I put new litter in he jumped in before I was done! Sparky was an only child, or so I’m told. I do believe he is VERY territorial and so shutting the bedroom door for a few minutes works well for both of us! Thanks for writing.
My adult son and I rescued an abandoned littler of 2 week old kittens last June. It was a terribly rainy day in a secluded, forest park. So sad. We fostered the kittens because the local shelter was full. Kitten season and litters found everywhere. Two of the kitties survived. The male was adopted by friends. We kept the female, named Picaso. She is a long hair calico. Beautifully and funky marked, hence her name. Anyway, she has such strong similarities to the rag doll kitties. She goes limp when we pick her up, she wants to be on me all the time, she loves people. She is not like any cat we have ever had. She is comfortable in the most vulnerable positions. I believe she may have some rag doll in her. I absolutely love her and am so thankful for her.
I just wanted to tell my story, which has had a happy ending.
Thank you for sharing – love it!
Awwww! You done good! I love happy endings! Thanks for sharing yours & hers!
Another new development for Sparky is he bites and chews on a microfibre blanket I have for him. He just started this a few days ago. He was kneading at first only but now bites on it and shakes it. Is this something from his childhood or is he trying to make himself feel more ‘at home’ since he’s been relocated. It must be hard for him about being with another owner for 8 years. I’m worried he might bite a piece of the blanket off and choke on it!
We adopted an 8-year-old Chocolate Point Ragdoll two weeks ago. We are concerned that when we pick him up after a few minutes he has tried to bite each of us. He actually did bite my ear and almost got my husband. He comes to us to be picked up, but he also likes to bite when playing. I am not sure what to do and I don’t want him up near my face anymore. He likes to sit on your chest and nuzzle at your chin while purring, which now makes me extremely nervous. Any suggestions? His previous owner said he never did this before but I’m not sure I’m getting the whole story.
Our very cuddliest Ragdoll has a pinched nerve in his shoulder off and on. When it is bothering him, he will nip and squawk, but I would not deprive him of his cuddles. Perhaps your baby has an injury or something else that is bothering him? Another possibility is that he just needs some time to get used to you and he may be asserting dominance. I would recommend observing him carefully and noting exactly when he bites, what was happening at that moment, etc. Also, I would immediately put him down the minute he bites, quickly but gently. It doesn’t hurt to make a little “ouch” sound when he bites, just to let him know it’s hurting you.
Thank you for such good advice. It is very possible he has an injury and we just don’t know about it. We have decided not to pick him up for now but when he does jump into our laps we can’t help but cuddle him, he does drool so we keep kleenex on hand. We did put him down each time and said “NO” and within an hour he was back purring and being his normal self. Our vet is coming to meet him next week (he is a house call vet) and will check him over for any ‘wounds’ he may have. He and we are adjusting in every other way, i.e., litter box, food, water from the bathroom taps … he has stolen our hearts for sure! Thanks again.
I forgot to mention, we pay good attention to his nail flicking when we are patting him or playing. Once we see his tail flicking we immediately stop what we are doing as I do believe it is a sign he is getting over stimulated and will do what any normal cat would do … ‘play like a cat with a mouse’ …
My Sammy has a tendency to bite as well. I saw on Martha Stewarts fb page that she bites back, as their mothers would have done to them as kittens!
Sorry that should read ‘tail flicking’ … not nail flicking …
If you don’t think it’s too far out there, you might consider talking to an animal communicator about your kitty – we use the following animal communicator:
hollyjpets [at] yahoo [dot] com
Holly and I have worked with rescues and rehoming before and she told me that she is able to find out a lot about the kitty’s past experience to help the new owners.
Hope that helps and good on you for rescuing!
I don’t think this is too far out there Jenny. I feel as though his previous owner is holding back information that is important, in that he may have been mistreated or mishandled by her ex, it’s hard to say. So I am keeping this information handy and thank you. He is our third rescue in the past 20 years and they have all been very different, different breeds too so we hope this will go well in the end and we can keep him. Too bad we can’t show pics of our babies!
Good – I think she’s awesome and incredibly good!
I would have any of my babies into the vet – healthy cats do not drool! His ragdoll nature is urging him to be close to you, but something is happening during handling that stimulates a bite response.
From what you’ve told us, it does not seem to be agression or fear based, as your kitty is voluntarilary approaching you, so it could very well be pain based. While you’re waiting for your vet, I would suggest you start taking notes of when a biting episode occurs. Was your cat laying on right or left side, belly down or belly up. How were you touching your kitty? A full pet down along thespine or were you skritching neck, right or left shoulder? Since the doctor is coming to your home, your through notes could offer as much information to him as an x-ray would in his office.
And do write it down! Don’t worry about how it will look – you will only show the doctor the health of your cat is your primary concern. When you’re under stress the things you are certain you will remember to tell the doctor, especially when asked a direct question, your mind will go blank and vital information is often overlooked. Take my word for it. I was a fire/ambulance dispatcher for m-a-n-y years. People will forget their own address when they are in an overwhelming situation. Our purrs are with you! >^!!^<
Really they don’t drool when they are nuzzling you? I am going to make notes right now on what I can remember while I’m thinking about how we were holding him. We haven’t yet approached his tummy, I thought we should let more time pass as he gets used to us rubbing/cuddling him. He prefers your left shoulder and moves over to it when you have him up in your arms and we were both rubbing down his spine so that tells us something right there! He only seems aggressive when you play with him, he wants to play rough … claws and biting which we are not used to so have a few battle scars and now are wary of hand to hand play! I use a shoelace, feather thingee and I made him a catnip sock which he loves to bite and use his back feet on. Thank you so much for the wonderful information, I will let you know after the vet sees him.
Did he come from a home with other cats? If so, it sounds like he is needing a way to get out his playful energy. Ragdolls tend to be playful into adulthood and often need ways to rough and tumble. If there are no other cats for him to do that with at your home, he might turn to you for that play time. It is not necessarily a bad thing to him, as he would think of this as bonding and showing he likes you. I often suggest to people to try using a stuffed toy while you are playing with him to let him bite that and get aggressive with that (instead of you or your hands). Have play time before snuggle time to see if he gets his energy out if he will no longer bite during snuggles. If you watch cats and kittens, they will bite during snuggle time to transition to play time. I think he is telling you he wants to play. It is important if you have a single cat home to make sure he has plenty of toys to play with and that he has play time with you every day. If he came from a home with other cats it might take him a while to adjust to the fact that he is alone and he might need more play time at first. Another thing, the way cats tell each other not to do something is to cry out (if someone bites too hard or if they don’t want to play right now). If he is biting hard enough to hurt it would be appropriate to say “ouch” and pull away from him. This will train him to know that it is not appropriate behavior with you.
Hi Andra – thanks for the feedback. He was an only cat I am told and your suggestions are great. We have now established “play time” in the morning when I get up and as soon as I get home. He greets me at the door and it’s “catch the kitty” for a good half hour. I have a few toys but will get more stuffed ones so he can bite. I do say “ouch” or “no” when he bites really hard. He starts off very gentle with no claws out but gets over stimulated very quickly. My vet came a week ago and we discussed his “agressive” behaviour when he wants to nuzzle on our chins (you can actually feel his teeth!). The vet says he is trying to dominate us, which makes perfect sense since he is in a brand new home. We let him come up but when he gets too close to our face we stop him and say “nooooo” and place him where we feel comfortable with him. He’s incredibly smart! He now hesitates to see what the reaction is going to be, he still tries it on every other day or so but it has gotten much better. I have to admit I am very surprised at how energetic he is for his age, but he’s very healthy according to my vet. So we are all learning how to live together! It’s exciting and scary all at the same time, guess I waited far too long to have a pet (it’s been 11 years). So we are now trying to think of life from his perspective. Thank you kindly for your advice I do appreciate all the advice I have received on this site.
Do you know who makes the scratcher? I’d love to check it out!
she did get along with the other cat. and i feel sorry for that too. i can assure you she is already very loved and will be . we lost our othere beloved cat bobo two years ago and said we would never do it again, but i fell in love with this one ,nutmeg as soon as i saw her, we are in our sixties and will take great care of her.. i thank you for responding to my e-mail i will take your advice.. the litter i am using at the moment is breeders choice.. like i said it sticks all to her fur.
oh that breaks my heart about the other kitty! not only for Nutmeg (great name!) but also for the other kitty! i am sure she will be loved and glad she was able to go to a good home.
thank you once again for you reply… she has been a lot more settled this morning and is loving her new cat scratcher, she is inside the bottom of it at the moment.. off to look for another new toy for her…
What scratcher did you get her? I always like learning about new toys!
i just mean a three tier scratch post with a tunnel shelf and a big base with an arch opening, she sleeps in the bottom of it at night. i got her some crystel litter yesterday. just changed it straight over and she used it last night.. each day is better. last night she was relly exploring around the house. jumped up onto the couch and snuggeled into my hubby , which was a first. been cleaning herself and eating now. i am very happy as i know all this is a good sign that she is accepting us. at the moment she is on my 10year old grandaughters lap .. my grandaughter is so gentle with animals. she wants to be a vet.so i think eveything is going to be fine.. we are very happy to have her as a member of our family.
thank you for your reply. she did wee and poo last night and ate a little,, got her off my nephew, as they are having a second baby and have another ragdoll, they said she was getting a bit timid of there 20month old so thought it best to give her a new home.she seems timid when a male enters the room.. she is good with me and sits on my lap and purrs.
also the litter they brought me is the paper granual stuff. when she goes on the tray she is covered in the stuff with her being fluffy, is there a better one i could get..
It would be best to keep her in one room where she can get used to the smells and sounds of your home and then let her venture out on her own.
Litter – yes, there are great litters out there – Purr & Simple, World’s Best Cat Litter that are biodegradable. The process of switching goes like this:
first week – 3/4 old litter, 1/4 new litter
second week – 1/2 new litter and 1/2 old
third week – 1/4 old litter, 3/4 new
fourth week – all new litter
Of course, new litter and old litter refers to the old brand and new brand.
i feel badly for your cat – did she get along with the other cat? she probably doesn’t understand what happened.
i have just adopted a beutiful seal ragdoll cat.. she is very affectionate but a little timid at the moment only had her a day,, having a little trouble getting her to eat, and she has not urinated yet, am i to be worried.. she is four years old
where did you get her from? did you put her in a safe room to start out with rather than allowing her to have access to the entire home?