Average Lifespan of a Ragdoll Cat

This is a common question among Ragdoll owners and people looking to get their own Raggie. Knowing how long your cat will live is essential information, even if this is an approximation. So, how long does a Ragdoll cat live?

Rags on Patio 2008 - Average Lifespan of a Ragdoll Cat
Average Lifespan of a Ragdoll Cat

The lifespan of a Ragdoll Cat – The average lifespan of a Ragdoll cat is 9-15 years. They can certainly live longer. Some readers have had Ragdolls live as long as 26 years.
When my childhood Ragdoll cat, Rags, was around 14 years old, I remember Googling how long a Ragdoll cat lived. I found out that the average lifespan of a Ragdoll is 9-15 years. But, of course, with Rags being 14, I wasn’t crazy about reading that!
Of course, Rags died at 19.5 years old, so he helped that average grow a little bit. So how do they come up with those averages anyway?
Something to remember about averages is that they are taken from a large crop of numbers. In other words, you have cats that die before 9 years of age and cats that die when they are older than 15 years old.

How Long Does a Ragdoll Cat Live?

In short, the average lifespan of a Ragdoll cat is 9-15 years, but averages are just that – averages. They can certainly live longer. My Rags passed at 19.5 years old.  My parents’ Caymus passed at 16 years old and their Murphy at 16.5. And some readers have had Ragdolls live as long as 26 years.

16 year old Seal Mitted Ragdoll Cat Caymus smelling outside air in basement doorway 9-26-20 IMG_6268
Caymus

Regardless, I would always estimate around 15 years old if you consider adopting a kitten. That kitty will be with you for a long time, and if you don’t see stability in your life, then it might not be the right time to adopt a cat.

Of course, you can never predict the future, so you might think your life will be stable, and something can happen that alters everything. There’s no exact to anything in life. Still, it is essential to consider a kitty’s life expectancy when adopting one.

No one wants to think about their kitty passing on, but it is a part of life and a sad part that every responsible pet owner must face.

As your cat ages, you may be considering what you will do when they pass – how will you handle it? How will you commemorate their life? You might want to check out different pet burial options if you don’t already have something in mind – that way it might be easier to deal with when the time comes.

Research now could save you from making a spontaneous decision later in a moment of grief.

Seal Mitted Ragdoll Cat with a Blaze Charlie meowing profile looking up IMG_9848
The average lifespan of a Ragdoll cat is 9-15 years

Why is it Important to Know the Lifespan of Your Cat?

Knowing how long your cat is expected to live is crucial information for pet owners and people looking to become pet parents. Here are the main reasons why:

  • You must know that you can take care of your domestic cat for its entire life. Ask yourself if you can support your cat emotionally and financially now and in 10 or 15 years.
  • Knowing your cat’s lifespan can help you map out crucial developmental moments in its such as its time as a kitten, passing into adulthood, and reaching seniority. Kittens, adults, and geriatric cats require extra care and different lifestyles.
  • You should also know how long your cat is expected to live for emotional reasons. Losing your cat will be an excruciating experience, so you should be prepared to know when it might happen.

Important Numbers about a Cat’s Age

Yes, the average lifespan of a Ragdoll cat is 9-15 years, but there’s more to think about than just those numbers.
It’s essential to remember that the age of 10 is a significant hump in a cat’s life and that most Ragdolls do get past it and live longer. Most of them reach the age of 15. But some live well past that, like my Rags, who made it all the way to 19.5.

Unfortunately, my parents’ Ragdoll cat Caymus passed at 16.
You’ll be happy to know that Ragdoll cats have even made it to 25. That is nothing short of impressive, but there are a lot of factors that influence the longevity of a cat’s life. Let’s go through the most important ones because this should give you a better idea of a Ragdoll cat’s lifespan.

Blue Mitted Ragdoll Cat Ash on bed lying on bed IMG_9859
The lifespan average for the Ragdoll breed is 9-15. But it would be best if you narrowed that down to the individual, your Ragdoll cat.

Factors that Influence Longevity in Ragdoll Cats

When you hear a lifespan of up to 15 years, and even more, this means how long your cat could live if all goes well. But, unfortunately, plenty of things can leave a significant mark on a cat’s body and either expand its life or shorten it.

The good news is that you can actually control many of these. So as long as you take proper care of your cat, which you indeed have every intention of, you can give it an excellent chance at a long life. Here are the main factors you should be aware of:

Genetics

The lifespan average for the Ragdoll breed maybe 9-15, but you need to narrow that down to the individual, your Ragdoll cat. You might get more accurate information than the breed average can provide by asking how long your cat’s parents have lived. Look into the lifespan of its grandparents as well. This should offer more precise information.

However, don’t forget to ask about the conditions of the parents’ and grandparents’ deaths. It’s essential to get a bit of medical history because that could point you to the genetic diseases that they might have passed on to your cat. By being aware of these, you can inform your veterinarian and work more thoroughly on preventing them.

Blue Lynx Mitted Ragdoll cat Trigg sitting IMG_1981
It’s important to get a bit of medical history because that could point you to the genetic diseases that they might have passed on to your cat.

Gender

It is difficult to pinpoint whether tomcats or female cats (mollies) live longer because each gender is exposed to certain factors that might influence their lifespan. For example, male cats are territorial, and when they are in heat, they often fight other males to get to the females.

This can be a significant risk factor if your male cat lives outdoors and has the chance to leave home in pursuit of females and, naturally, if the male cat has not been neutered.

However, most Ragdoll cats that come from catteries are already altered (neutered or spayed) when they get to their families. So running off after cats is an out-of-the-ordinary situation.

On the other hand, female cats are exposed to some critical risk factors. Even if spayed, there is still some risk that they might develop breast cancer. While spaying minimizes the risk, it cannot remove it altogether.

On regular checkups, the veterinarian will always examine the cat’s breasts because prevention is the best policy when dealing with this issue. As for female cats that are not neutered, that will produce kittens, they are exposed to the risks brought on by complications when giving birth.

Seal mitted Ragdoll cat Caymus and Murphy IMG_5002
Acute diseases have a rapid onset and development. This can affect the lifespan of a cat.

Acute diseases

Acute diseases have a rapid onset and development. Yet, most of the time, they appear out of nowhere, and acting fast is crucial.

To make sure you can do that, you should do some research into emergency veterinary care options. If the time ever comes for you to need urgent care for your cat, it’s best to know where to turn to. Talk to your veterinarian about this next time to have it all cleared out.

Aside from that, you must be able to recognize the symptoms that your cat might be displaying. Some are pretty subtle – life apathy, loss of appetite, not drinking enough water, not peeing enough, etc. So you always need to pay attention to your cat. As for the prevention of acute diseases, it all goes into general preventative measures.

Chronic diseases

Due to genetic factors, Ragdoll cats are prone to developing hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. But just because they are prone to it as a breed does not mean they are sure to get it.

However, you can use this information to prevent heart disease in your cat. In fact, when it comes to chronic disease, that is the very best you can do – work on prevention. But, first, take your cat to the vet at least two times a year for checkups.

This ensures that any disease your cat might suffer from is caught in the early stages, not the advanced ones. In some chronic diseases, the symptoms are challenging to notice, if any. For example, it’s tough to spot if a cat has chronic kidney disease, but it would come up in a regular blood work checkup.

Seal Mitted with a Blaze Ragdoll Cat Murphy IMG_6193
Infectious diseases are pretty violent and difficult to treat. The good news is that vaccination covers a great deal of the very dangerous ones.

Infectious diseases

Infectious diseases are pretty violent and difficult to treat. The good news is that vaccination covers a great deal of the very dangerous ones.

This starts when your cat is just a kitten, and when it gets the vaccines, it needs to build a strong immunity to infectious diseases. But this has to be maintained throughout life, so make sure you attend vaccination appointments with your vet! It can help your cat live a while longer. Please note that both outdoor and indoor cats have to be vaccinated.

Collage of ragdoll cats

Trauma

In most cases, you can’t foresee trauma, and when it comes, it can have dire consequences. After it happens, nothing is left to do except call that emergency number and take your cat to the hospital. But while you can’t prevent everything, there are some serious situations that you can make sure your cat is never in.

For instance, you can install a catio for your balcony and safety for your windows to ensure your house is catproof. Another thing you can do is supervise your cat when it is outside if that is the case.

Flea and parasite control

Fleas and macroparasites are a considerable threat to your cat, even if it lives indoors. However, it is one that you can eliminate with parasitic control.
Your vet can offer the best medication options for your cat. This can help prevent diseases that drastically reduce your cat’s life expectancy.

Ziwi Peak Canned Cat Food - Mackerel and Lamb Ragdoll Cat Trigg Eating 4
Nutrition plays a vital role in your cat’s development and quality of life.

Nutrition

This is an immensely important role in your cat’s development and quality of life. Providing your cat with a balanced diet and high-quality food will help its body stay healthy. Regardless of your preference for cat food, aim for products that do not use additives, artificial taste enhancers, and other chemicals.

The best diet for a cat is a raw food diet – this mirrors the food they would eat in the wild and ensures you aren’t feeding your cat any ‘fillers’ like grains. Unfortunately, switching to a raw food diet from a wet or dry food diet can take some time and persistence. Still, the benefits, including potentially extending your cat’s lifespan, are worth it.

It is also imperative that your cat has a diet that is appropriate for its age. Young cats need a different diet than adult cats and an entirely different one than senior cats. Another element to keep in mind is whether your cat is neutered. If your cat has been neutered, then it must receive a diet for neutered cats for the rest of its life to avoid obesity.

Aside from the diet, there are some nutritional supplements that you can give your cats, such as Omega-3 or vitamins. However, it is best to consult your veterinarian before your start giving your cat supplements, especially when it comes to vitamins.

Seal mitted Ragdoll cat Caymus cleaning himself bathing IMG_5922
Where and how the cat lives will greatly influence its lifespan.

Lifestyle

Where and how the cat lives will significantly influence its lifespan. Here are a few things that might have an essential role in the cat’s lifestyle:

Indoor or outdoor

Whether a cat lives indoors, in an apartment or a house, or if it lives outdoors will undoubtedly influence how long it will live. Cats that live only outdoors get much more exercise and breathe fresh air all day, which is very healthy and can make them live longer.

On the other hand, they are also exposed to meteorological factors such as rain, snow, and extreme cold. This can have a negative influence on their health in the long run. They are also exposed to trauma if they only live outside.

As for indoor cats, they are sheltered from cold and dangers, but they are at risk of living a sedentary life, which is abnormal for cats and can shorten their lifespan.

However, you can quickly correct this by playing with your cat. Overall, living indoors is better for your cat. An even better option for an indoor cat is being taken outside in the garden. Or, you can take your cat to the park (with the proper protection of course) and have it under supervision at all times.

What Is a Female Cat Called Addie Seal Bicolor Ragdoll Cat IMG_0959
If your cat is stressed in its day-to-day life, this can negatively influence its health and lifespan

Stress

If your cat is stressed in its day-to-day life, this can negatively influence its health and lifespan. Cats can be stressed by other cats, family members, noises, inability to sleep, dogs or other animals that can scare them, and many other things. The only thing you can do is observe your cat and make sure that it is calm and relaxed. If not, try to identify the stress factors and work on removing them.

Activity

A sedentary lifestyle will actively shorten a cat’s life because it predisposes it to certain chronic diseases and diminishes its ability to fight disease. This is why playing daily with your cat is very important. Choose cat toys that exercise their body and mind, and your cat will be healthier.

Cats are independent animals, of course, but they still need a great deal of affection.

Seal Mitted Ragdoll Cat with a Blaze Charlie IMG_9847
Cats are independent animals, of course, but they still need a great deal of affection.

Affection and involvement

Cats are independent animals, of course, but they still need a great deal of affection. If their owners are affectionate with them, cats are more engaged and happier, which also helps them live longer. A state of happiness means a cascade of “positive” hormones in the body, which definitely provide a longer life to the cat. So, spend time with your cat daily, and it will live longer!

Do you have a Ragdoll cat? Or have you owned one that has passed? How old was your Ragdoll kitty when they passed?

How old is your cat now? Tell us all about it in the comments section below.

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Hi, I’m Jenny Dean, creator of Floppycats! Ever since my Aunt got the first Ragdoll cat in our family, I have loved the breed. Inspired by my childhood Ragdoll cat, Rags, I created Floppycats to connect, share and inspire other Ragdoll cat lovers around the world,

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172 Comments

  1. I had a mitted seal ragdoll from the time she was a very young kitten until she died from kidney disease at age 19. I then adopted a 7 1/2 year old blue point. I never imagined I could love her so much. She just passed away in April and I’m still devastated. She had very dense fur and even though I took her for sanitary cuts she would get urinary tract infections that required antibiotics. I always gave her probiotics when she was on them but I guess it wasn’t enough. Finally last December she was diagnosed with irritable bowel disease. I thought we could manage it with steroids, a special diet, and probiotics but in March she lost a lot of weight and by early April she stopped eating. We had her euthanized peacefully at home. I wonder if all the antibiotics destroyed her gut flora to the point where she could not recover. After having a ragdoll that lived to age 19 I felt that 14 1/2 was way too young. I expected to have her around for at least another couple of years. I had heard the average age of a ragdoll was 15-19. I feel a little better knowing she didn’t die too prematurely.

    1. I am so sorry, Jane, for your losses. I would suggest to work with Pam of Purrrfectly Holistic if you are in that position in the future. Yes, antibiotics can be great, but not for long-term. What probiotics did you have her on? I prefer those from Adored Beast.

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