Average Lifespan of a Ragdoll Cat

Last Updated on November 6, 2021 by Jenny

Originally published Nov 28, 2014

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 19.5.  My parents’ Caymus just passed at 16 years old in December 2020.  And some readers have had Ragdolls live as long as 26 years.

Rags on Patio 2008
Average Lifespan of a Ragdoll Cat

When my childhood Ragdoll cat, Rags, was around 14 years old, I remember Googling what the average lifespan of a Ragdoll cat was.  I found out that the average lifespan of a Ragdoll is 9-15 years.  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. 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 you have cats that die when they are older than 15 years old.

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.

Regardless, I would always estimate around 15 years old if you are considering adopting a kitten because that kitty will be with you 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 also think your life will be stable and something can happen that alters everything.  There’s not an exact to anything in life, but I believe it is important to consider the life expectancy of a kitty when you are adopting one.

No one wants to think about their kitty passing on, but it is a part of life and a sad part 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 in a moment of grief later.

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

Important Numbers about a Cat’s Age

Yes, the average lifespan of a Ragdoll cat is 9-15 years, but this extends far more than that. It’s important to keep in mind that the age of 10 is an important hump in a cat’s life and that most Ragdolls do get past it and live longer than that. Most of them get to the age of 15, but some of them live well past that as well, like my Rags, who made it all the way to 19.5.  My parents’ Ragdoll cat Caymus passed at 16.

You’ll be happy to know that there are Ragdoll cats that 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 much better idea of what the lifespan of a Ragdoll cat might be.

Blue Mitted Ragdoll Cat Ash on bed lying on bed IMG_9859
The lifespan average for the Ragdoll breed is 9-15. But you need to narrow 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 that this is how long your cat could live if all goes well. There are plenty of things that can leave a great mark on the body of a cat and either expand their life or shorten it. The good news is that you can actually control many of these. As long as you take proper care of your cat, which you surely have every intention to, you can provide it with an excellent chance at a long life. Here are the main factors you should be aware of:


As mentioned above, the lifespan average for the Ragdoll breed is 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. If possible, 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 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. By being aware of these, you can inform your veterinarian of them and you can 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.


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. Male cats are territorial and when they are in heat, they often fight other males to get to the females.

This can be a major risk factor if your male cat lives outdoors and actually has the chance to leave home in pursuit of females, and, naturally, if the male cat has not been neutered. However, it should be taken into account that most Ragdoll cats that come from catteries are already neutered when they get to their families, so running off after cats is an out of the ordinary situation.

Female cats, on the other hand, are exposed to some important risk factors. Even if neutered, there is still some risk that they might develop breast cancer. While neutering 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 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 life span of a cat.

Acute Diseases

Acute diseases have a rapid onset and development. Most of the time, they seem to appear out of nowhere and acting fast is absolutely 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, just to have it all cleared out.

Aside from that, it is very important that you are able to recognize the symptoms that your cat might be displaying. Some of them are quite subtle, life apathy, loss of appetite, not drinking enough water, not peeing enough, so you always need to pay attention to your cat. As for prevention for 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 that they are sure to get it.

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

This ensures that any disease that your cat might be suffering from will be caught in its early stages, rather than when it is already advanced. In some chronic diseases, the symptoms are extremely difficult to notice, if any.

For example, it’s very difficult to spot if a cat has chronic kidney disease, but it is something that would come up in a regular blood work checkup.

Seal Mitted with a Blaze Ragdoll Cat Murphy IMG_6193
Infectious diseases are quite 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 quite violent and difficult to treat. The good news is that vaccination covers a great deal of the very dangerous ones. This is why you should never overlook yearly vaccination.

This starts when your cat is just a kitten, when it will get the vaccines it needs to build a strong immunity to infectious diseases. But this has to be maintained throughout its life, so make sure you don’t miss vaccination appointments with your vet! It can help your cat live awhile longer. Please note that both outdoor and indoor cats have to be vaccinated.

Collage of ragdoll cats


In most cases, you can’t foresee trauma and when it comes, it can have dire consequences. After it happens, all you can do is call that emergency number and take your cat to the hospital. But while you can’t prevent everything, there are some major 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 make sure that your house is catproof. Another thing you can do is supervise your cat when it is outside, if that is the case.

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


This plays 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 in cat food, aim for products that do not use additives, artificial taste enhancers, and other chemicals.

It is also very important that your cat has a diet that is appropriate for its age. Young cats need a very different diet than adult cats, and an entirely different one than senior cats do. Another element to keep in mind is whether your cat is neutered. If you 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 cat, 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.


Where and how the cat lives will greatly influence its lifespan. Here are a few things that might have an important 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 certainly influence how long it will live. Cats that live only outdoor 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 cat and can shorten their lifespan.

However, this is something you can easily correct by playing with your cat. Overall, living indoors is better for your cat. What’s even better is living indoors, but being taken outside in the garden, or the park (with the proper protection of course) and being supervised in this time.

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 have a very negative influence on its health and lifespan.

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


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, in general. This is why it is very important to play with your cat every day. Choose cat toys that exercise its body, but its mind as well and your cat will be healthier.

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 every day and it will actually live longer!

Do you have a Ragdoll cat that’s alive?  What about one that has passed?  How old was your Ragdoll kitty when she or he passed?

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

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What is the lifespan for a ragdoll cat? | How Long do Cats Live | Old Ragdoll Cat | Lifespan of a Cat | Cat Lifespan | Cat Age | Cat Life Cycle #catlifespan #catage #catlifecycle #ragdollcatlifespan
What is the lifespan for a ragdoll cat? | How Long do Cats Live | Old Ragdoll Cat | Lifespan of a Cat | Cat Lifespan | Cat Age | Cat Life Cycle | Animal and Pet Supplies | Cat Tips
What is the lifespan for a ragdoll cat? | How Long do Cats Live | Old Ragdoll Cat | Lifespan of a Cat | Cat Lifespan | Cat Age | Cat Life Cycle | Animal and Pet Supplies | Cat Tips
What is the lifespan for a ragdoll cat? | How Long do Cats Live | Old Ragdoll Cat | Lifespan of a Cat | Cat Lifespan | Cat Age | Cat Life Cycle | Animal and Pet Supplies | Cat Tips

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145 thoughts on “Average Lifespan of a Ragdoll Cat

  1. Jared says:

    Thanks for the post. A very interesting article. I have 2 cats, 1 of which is a ragdoll. As of next March, he will turn 13yo. He is my best bud. I hope he lives to 25. But statistically, males don’t live as long as females. We’ll see. Fingers crossed.

    Btw, you can’t neuter female cats. You can spay them though.

  2. Beth Wilhelm says:

    My beautiful, sweet make Ragdoll Sunny died at 6 of renal disease. I was crushed. He was my first cat- I loved him to the moon and back. He was a flame point.

  3. Wendy Killian says:

    My ragdoll Fran passed at 6 from cancer. It was really fast. Just a week from when we noticed she wasn’t eating till she was gone. She was a runt. Only 4 pounds her whole life and tiny like a juvenile cat. She was a great cat. Very affectionate and playful. Miss her much.

  4. Susan Montgomery says:

    My kittens have a classic rag doll father and a slim black medium hair mother. They are 5 months old and look exactly like their mom, medium black hair (I can see some stripes almost like shadows. Mom has gold eyes and dad blue. Their eyes are brown with turquoise around the iris and we’re green for a time after their baby blue at birth. They are floppy but quite assertive and will struggle to be put down when “done” being held. I have a 10 1/2 year old neutered male tabby who is Mr mom to the girls and has cleaned them daily since he got to know them. I brought the kittens to visit since they were 4 weeks old twice a week (in a closed playpen) until they were allowed to come permanently at 8 weeks. He always hissed at them including at 8 weeks but only for about 1 1/2 days when they boldly walked up to him and touched noses. I would send photos of their interactions at being mothered if I new how. They both also attempted to nurse on him and one still does even though he now mounts them after they shamelessly flirt (my vet won’t fix them until 6 months., and that’s our story.

  5. RolandD says:

    We said goodbye to Woji today. She was a 15-year old seal point ragdoll. She had cancer in her tummy up but was happy, comfortable and alert up until this AM.
    I’ve lost cats before but wow nothing takes up residence in your heart like a ragdoll.

  6. Chad says:

    My kitty just passed away at 16yrs and 10 months. She was a lilac lynx Ragdoll.. She was loved by everyone who met her. She is greatly missed.

  7. Patti Johnson says:


    Big hugs & lots of love & hugs!

    Patti & Miss Pink Sugarbelle 🙂 <3 <3 <3

  8. ellieboo says:

    I’m wondering if anyone has any experience with lymphoma in cats.
    I had to put the love of my life Elliot (Ellie) to sleep yesterday—he was 11 1/2, and I am devastate beyond belief.
    I got Ellie from a pet rescue 11 1/2 years ago—he was about 4 months old.
    Until last year I thought he was a Himalayan/Siamese mix because of his long silky coat, point markings & he loved to talk! A friend came over last year & said “that’s a Ragdoll!” I had heard of Ragdolls, but wasn’t familiar with the breed—sure enough, when I did some research, he not only had the physical attributes of a Ragdoll, it all the personality traits too: followed me EVERYWHERE, slept on the pillow head-to-head, became “floppy” when I told him he was a good boy, thought he was a lap cat despite his 19 lbs, absolutely loved people, and was the most loving creature I’ve ever encountered.
    He’s always been healthy, was strictly indoors, was feed Wellness & Weruva since I got him, minimal kibble, & filtered water. Last week I was recovering from an emergency appendectomy. My friend—a very cat savvy, cat-loving cat owner, watched Ellie (& Zoli—my Russian Blue) while I was in the hospital for 2 days. I wish that week of recovery was clearer—I’m trying to remember everything I can, but because of the anesthesia & surgery, much of it is fuzzy. I got home Sunday afternoon on 9/16. Fed “the kids”as I call them, & hit the couch to rest. Sometime around probably Thursday (9/20) I noticed that Ellie hadn’t eaten any of his food, and he was camped out on an armoir in the other room—still with visibility of me, but not by my side as he always was. Friday the same thing, although he took a few bites of food & was drinking. I thought maybe he needed to cough up a fur ball, so I gave him some Petromalt. But his behavior continued to change. He wasn’t sleeping on the pillow with me, but on the edge of the bed, & seemed to want to be on the kitchen counter or armoir rather than by my side. Sunday night he had a near miss while jumping onto the kitchen counter—I heard it, didn’t see it—I went in and he appeared to be favoring his left leg. Monday I had to go into work, but made an appointment with his vet for the next day. That night he slept on the bathroom floor—something he’s never done, and he appeared weak in hind legs. He wasn’t eating at all, even though I was giving him his favorite food. I noticed now that he seemed to have lost muscle mass: I could feel his spine & leg bones. I knew something was very wrong, & couldn’t wait to get him to the vet. I took him in Tuesday morning, & by then the sclera of his eyes, his oral mucosa & the area right in front of his ears was jaundiced (yellow)—the vet said his gums also looked anemic. He had lost 2 1/2 lbs since his checkup 7 months ago. He had some tenderness in his abdomen on palpation. The vet’s initial diagnosis was pancreatitis, and suggested keeping him overnight with IV fluids, pain medication and something for nausea, which we did. They ran labs & got abdominal x-rays. The vet called that evening & said his WBC was 46,000–very high, but congruent with pancreatitis—he was waiting for the final breakdown of white blood cells which would zero in on what was going on. I called the next morning right after they opened for a status on Ellie, and I spoke to vet who said he had deteriorated over night & that he was now having some shortness of breath & there was fluid in his lungs. I left work to go see him, and omg I couldn’t believe how rapidly he had deteriorated. He looked ravaged, & seemed short of breath. I picked him up to hold him, and he was so uncomfortable, just miserable. The vet came in & said they’d received the WBC breakdown, & that the prognosis was very poor: Ellie had lymphoma. I was crushed & stunned. So quickly? He had been himself just 6-7 days ago, eating, playing, nothing that would indicate he was so sick. Looking at how miserable he was, and knowing I wouldn’t put him through the chemo experience ( It wasn’t even an option at that point), I put Ellie to sleep. I am so emotionally derailed, I can’t stop crying. The house is empty: he had such an amazing presence, so full,of life , such a happy boy all the time. Please help me get through this—I am crushed.

  9. TLam says:

    My sweet boy Gandalf the Grey passed last June at 15.8 YO. Oh the heartbreak is like none other. New kittens arrive in a few months…Frodo Baggins & Aragorn Stryder…the story must continue !

    • Jenny says:

      So sorry for your loss! It is a terrible loss, I know it well! Yay on the new kittens – bet you can’t wait – love their names!!

  10. CJ_McMeowin says:

    My Hadley was 3 years and 5 months when he passed exactly 5 years ago this Saturday. Chronic kidney disease that progressed into failure. These days I have a raggie/Siamese mix who is 2 1/2 years old. Great kitties.

    • CJ_McMeowin says:

      Also I love seeing so many Rag doll lovers and responsible owners helping their cats love long, healthy lives. My heart goes out to everyone else who has lost a pet as well. Terrible
      experience, but they are worth the pain ❤

  11. amosam says:

    Jenny–Thanks so much for all your hard work on this site, and reviewing this important information; it’s always helpful. I’m very sorry to everyone who has lost beloved Ragdolls, specially those who left us before their time, and share their grief and extend my condolences. Hope they find comfort in knowing that they gave their furpersons a much loved and cared for life.
    My Gorgeous and sweet girl Annie (Ragdoll of the week — https://www.floppycats.com/annie-ragdoll-of-the-week.html ) passed away just about a year ago from HCM. We tried so very hard to make her life better, and both her internist and her kitty cardiologist were careful to regulate medications and procedures to make sure that she had quality as well as quantity from her life. She was just 8 years old when she went to kitty heaven. Our other beloved Ragdoll George is now almost 10, and doing fine, and we are hoping for a very long and healthy life for him. I’ve had kitties who’ve lived as short as 7 years, and one that lived to 20. It’s heartbreaking to lose a member of your family, and of course we do all we can to make their life as comfortable as possible, but I’ve come to realize that–just like humans–genetics plays an important role in their longevity. But most of all, good care, lots of love, and a safe environment help a great deal in insuring a long and healthy life for our furchildren.

    • Jenny says:

      Thank you for sharing – and I hope George lives a long life too – btw, my next Ragdoll will be named, “George.” Love that name.

  12. fluffermylove says:

    My sweet Fluffer is a blue colorpoint mitted ragdoll. She will be 17 this coming February. All my cats have lived very long lives, as long as 21 years! She is in excellent health. I take her to the vet for a checkup every year and she has no health problems whatsoever. I feed her Wellness wet food twice a day, and try not to feed too much dry food. She sleeps in bed next to me on her own pillow, she is a princess, and I spoil her like crazy. Take good care of your cats and they can live a very long time and give you years and years of joy and happiness!

  13. Beth says:

    Follow up to my 2012 post… I’m sorry to say we haven’t had another Ragdoll but still hope for one someday. I don’t think breed is a really big issue in cats’ lifespans, any more than race would determine human lives. An article I read not long ago claimed 15 is a reasonable age expectation (as Jenny mentioned somewhere above). I agree with that estimate, although we’ve been and are lucky. Our oldest were Kidlet (19 1/2) and Holy Tara (18 1/2). Baby Mew will be 17 in July. We’ve never had a boy reach age 13, as far as we know, although in most cases we aren’t sure how old they are when we get them. Our girls seem to live longer, maybe because they don’t fight or try to roam.

  14. Lisa says:

    Ideopathic Chylothorax in cats or dogs and sometimes humans,a strange desaease,where fluid builds around the lungs in the chest cavity.MY Murphy Bo was diagnosed just aug 5 2016 at41/2years old,he had a strong heart and no cancer or infectious desease.Im devastated he passed on 9/27/16,he as so healthy 16lbs.The Surgery here in Calif,is 10to 15thousand with a very guarded survival rate .We tried to see if meds would work,and spent about 5000on 2 months of treatment his lungs were becoming damaged from the fluid and neededto be put down,this ia a really strange desease in cats that the vets don’t understand,nor do I,poor thing had fluid drained about 12 times it was sad.to learn more of this rare cat desease just google.I HAD NEVER HEARD OF THIS IN MY LIFE IT IS NOT CONTAGIOUS,but in 50%of cases they have no idea why it occurs as in my Sweet Boys case,My poor intelligent Bo gone much too soon.Sincerly Lisa Brown

  15. bella.kirk says:

    My mix Ragdoll, Bella, is 10, she has had zero health problems except an allergy to food, she devoloped a year ago. She can only eat rabbit, venison and duck. She was a litter of 4 mixed, her one brother dies at a year old of a heart problem. Bella is large boned and 14lbs. She has been on hip supplements since the age of 8 because of her weight, and crashing into things while trying to jump, now she is fine. She travels in the car with me in her car carrier, but at the vet is evil! She gets cat Xanax to not be so crazy. She follows me everywhere, if I’m sick, she stays in bed with me and won’t move until I do. We have parties at the house and she is right in the middle of the mix. Never knew I had a mix Ragdoll until I did research, my brother’s 4 kids carried her around as a kitty, she never protested, just hung out. I know UC Davis does DNA cat testing for $150, but they said it is hard for them to process cats since, well we all know, they love each other. They send you a kit to do the DNA. I’ll be doing it this December. She has green eyes, but the most mellow cat I’ve had, and loves everyone!

  16. Patty Newell says:

    Not sure how to attach a picture but my baby Tiny Bubbles is 23 years old and somedays runs and plays like a normal crazy kitten

    • Jenny says:

      WOW! Love it – tell us more – what has he eaten during his life? Did you adopt him as a kitten? You can’t upload a photo – only I can – so if you want to send me one at info@floppycats.com – I can load it here for you.

  17. poshpaws says:

    I am very disappointed, I first bought a ragdoll 2 years ago, he was the most amazing cat I have ever owned, I couldn’t believe how amazing he was, I named him Figaro, he always was by my side and played fetch a lot. He turned out to be stunning, when I went to get him spayed, the vet said he couldn’t do it as he seemed to have a heart murmur, so I took him to a specialist cardiologist, I left him with him to do tests, as we were driving away, my phone rang and the vet told me, he was very sorry but as he took him out of the cage he had a heart attack and died, there was 3 cardiologists there as he died, they made the heart work but he was brain dead. So he died age 10 months. I was so devastated. Thinking it was just bad luck and I loved ragdolls so much I eventually got another one, I chose a different colour so it would be a complete new cat. the breeder was fine and she showed me certificates for years gone back from this new kitten he was Theodore, she told me it was fine to let them out when they were older, my back garden is quite secure, he cant get to any roads. When he was 10 months, he went three gardens up, I never knew this but the lady who lives there had 5 Staffordshire bull terriers, she never took them out. I got a call from a vet telling me they had Theo, we went to the vet with his carrier expecting him to come home but he never did, three days later after loads of tests I made the terrible decision to have him put down, he was undergoing all these stupid tests and nothing ever helped. He was getting worse. I decided I had to get another, I eventually got Berlioz, he looked and acted like Figaro, so I was so so happy, he was my baby, a picture of health, loved food, always by my side, he had a face saying “I love you” I work from home, so I was with him all the time, he was the most beautiful cat, I never let him out unless I was with him, but he wanted to be with me all the time anyway. He was HCM tested and his breeder was amazing and showed cats for years.
    One day he got a bit ill, I decided to take him to the vets even though I knew there was nothing wrong, I couldn’t believe what the vet now told me, he probably has FIP and will die, he kept him in for three days, I couldn’t bear it, finally I opted for euthanasia again. I went to be with him for that, it was the worse time, he really reacted badly to the injection and the vet, you see, he was so human like. I don’t like to think about it too much its too sad. But it was horrendous.
    I had a break down after this, and it took me ages to get over it, Im a lot better now but still so sad.
    Why why why, three young cats in 18 months. I cant do this anymore. Is it just me, how could I pick three cats that wouldn’t make it past 14 months. Unbelievable. From what I can gather it is rare. So how come. I just don’t get it.

  18. Mary Wysocki Carnes says:

    I have had 2 rags. I got them within one year apart. . I lost my first one Oscar at 10 years old and my 2nd one…well let’s just say Maddie is a trooper and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. He will be turning 18 this June!!

    Last October he had his teeth cleaned, so of corse he had to have the full panel of tests. The dr. was amazed as she was the year before with his results. Stating Maddie apparently never received the memo he was 17 and should be slowing down.

    He now only has 6 teeth left and is no where near the 18lbs he was at his prime. But when the toys come out, he is the first one to play before the 6 or the11 year old alley cats even pick their heads up. His hearing and eye sight are perfect. He wakes me up at 6:00 am for breakfast every day. I can’t imagine life without him.

  19. Lisa says:

    Wow so many great comments happy and sad,scary,My Ragdolls are young not even 3.I look at my Murphy Bo Dee straight into his bright eyes and tell him don’t ever get sick and leave Mom,and he looks deep into my eyes as if he knows what Im saying an feeling,like don’t worry Mom I know how much u love me,and my younger boy who is still totally a baby and likes to be carried ,cuddled and kissed still so I don’t communicate deep feelings with our eyes as much as Murphy.But anyhow after what I have read tonight ,they will certainly be getting a yearly real soon,and immunizations that are mabey a month over due.I feel like a bad Mom cause they need a bath and their flea meds applied that are a few weeks over due.My prayers go out to all of the strong Ragdoll Moms out there who have been through so much with their feline children.ALL THESE POSTS ARE A WAKE UP CALL TO ME,NOT TO IGNORE CHECK UPS AN STUFF JUST CAUSE THEY SEEM WELL.Thanks LISA

  20. Patti Johnson says:

    Thanks for revisiting this great info, Jenny! I found all of this information and everyone’s comments VERY HELPFUL!

    Big hugs!

    Patti & Pink Sugar 🙂 <3

  21. Gloria Galun Weissman says:

    My boy, Bandit was 17+ 1 month when he passed on Oct. 29, 2014…He had CRF, but that morning, he had a stroke. Bandit was my buddy..I loved that boy with all my heart…a true puppy cat from the get-go. He never met a stranger. Always woke me up at 6:30 am,… my little alarm clock. I miss him, and think about him every day. He was our 3rd Ragdoll. Our other 2, Roxie and Ricky passed at 15 and 16 yrs. We have 3 other non-Ragdoll cats now, but one day, I will be getting another Ragdoll…they are the best!

  22. Joyce Cartwright says:

    Hi, Jenny. Happy to see there’s a site for us Ragdoll lovers. My Ragdoll, Sassy, adopted us while we lived in Michigan’s. U.P. from 2002-2005. She appeared to have been around two years old and very skittish when she came to us, as she had lived out of doors. We checked for evidence of former ownership but got no replies and there was no chip. I believe she was not fully anesthetized during her tendonectomy, probably ran away the first chance she got, and then happened upon us. How lucky was that!? She wouldn’t let anyone near her paws for about six months, poor thing. Sassy chooses her favorite peeps carefully, as do most cats; but she will not tolerate anyone (except me) petting her on the stomach or fooling around with her tail. Other than that, she’s very affectionate..and very smart! Sassy looks much like your cat in the photo. She is now around 14, within her normal weight limit for her size (smaller than many), and has no health issues to date except her teeth, which I have cleaned every other year. She also gets regular checkups and vaccinations. Sassy is the first cat that’s lived with us who turns up her nose at most people food, which is actually a good thing. When we brought her into the house she walked past wet food and soft food, heading straight for the dry food. Her only people food must-haves are the juice from canned tuna packed in water (I dilute juice three times, freeze it in an ice cube tray, put it in a Ziploc bag, then dole out one ounce per night as a treat)and an occasional nibble of peanut butter. When I was eating more junk food, Sassy would also lick all the cheese off a Cheetos corn curl or a Dorito. I fed her Purina Cat Chow for about nine years without incident; but then she developed a skin problem, which I attributed to a change in the formula or her just developing a reaction to the formula. I moved up to any which has no animal byproducts; but her absolute favorite food now is Spot’s Stew in either salmon or mixed seafood. She is not a chicken, beef, pork, or turkey cat…just seafood, thank you very much! I get such a kick out of her behavior, true to her breed, more like a dog than a cat. She follows me around like a little puppy, greets me when I come in by displaying a submissive position on the floor to be petted; she sleeps with me, of course, and oh boy is she ever vocal!!! She lets me know when she feels ignored or when she wants to play. She also runs up and down the stairs frequently, playing with her imaginary friend. When my husband passed two years ago, Sassy would sit in her favorite chair next to the door leading to the garage, softly and pitifully meowing, waiting for my husband to walk through the door. She did that almost every night for the better part of a year. It’s been better since we moved to another home. Sassy tolerates small dogs that don’t yap all the time, but is NOT good with other cats. She is still a very important part of my life and seems quite happy to be the Queen of her castle here. The vet was surprised to learn her age. Sassy has been strictly an indoor cat since joining our family. I’m hoping Sassy will be with me for many, many years to come. All we need to do for our pets is provide them with a safe home, food, good medical care and affection. In return, they provide us with hours on end of hilarious entertainment; cat purrs, hugs, licks on the hand or cheek, and those head butts (the supreme sign of affection); an understanding of human emotions many people fail to grasp; and most importantly, unconditional love. What would we do without these adorable creatures who ask for and need so little and give us so much?? 😀

  23. Dementia Boy says:

    I agree with Jena. Your boy needs complete geriatric labs, and I’d throw in a chest x-ray and/or ultrasounds as well. Has he had baseline senior labs done in the last few years?

    Some problems show up in urine before they ever show up in blood. By the time they show up in blood, a lot of damage has been done.

    Some problems can be determined by a complete blood count, chemistry panel, and a few add-ons which your vet will suggest, such as a free T4. (No, it isn’t free.) To paraphrase Shakespeare, one of the dudes after whom my William was named, blood doesn’t lie.

    One of my vets said that anything over 14 was borrowed time. I’ve done a lot of borrowing =)

  24. J says:


    Have a 13yr old Ragdoll(mot purebreed)-his dad was a mixed stray) but he looks JUST LIKE A PURE!

    He seems very very healthy- leaps high and runs like a leopard in the house

    Hearing these age span numbers scares me now abt how long my guys may live- he is indoor only and loves chicken every night with me when i have dinner! :))

    He is so so lovable

  25. Jena says:

    I agree I would get a vet check up done plus gave a complete blood panel run as it can check for thyroid, and other problems. Older cats can have pain from arthritis and may need medication to help with inflammation. My older boy Neko who is 10 gas some arthritis in his back and is sleeping more but still plays a great deal. He is on fish oil, glucosamine, and DGP at times. Bladder problems can also cause pain so if everything else is normal you could run a urine panel on him as well.

  26. Lynette says:

    I hope there’s some wisdom here for me.

    My Izzy (17 pound neutered male) will be 10 on July 30. I’ve noticed some behavior changes in the past month. Most notably, he is slowing down and sleeps more, rather like I do, at 70. He has always met me at the door when I come home from work, and for the past month, he hasn’t done that… when I get in the house, I find him asleep in one of his favorite spots. His diet is strictly Iams weight controlfor mature cats with hairball issues. He’s never been really interested in food unless he can see the bottom of his kibble bowl. He’s an inside cat, although he’s allowed out on the patio if I’m there with him… never roams or socializes with other critters. Until Izzy came into my life, I’d never had a cat that wasn’t just a garden variety 8 to 12 pound alley cat, and I’m wondering if this is normal aging or if it is something I need to be concerned about.

    • Katherine says:

      I’d take Izzy in for a checkup, with a particular focus on his heart health. My Rosalind slowed down a lot in her last six months; her heart attack came after surgery, but I’m thinking that her heart was weakening for a while before that. She slept a lot even by ragdoll standards, and I noticed that her breathing was getting more audible as well.

    • Marissa says:

      Yes I agree with the other two posts. Get Izzy to the vet and discuss these behavior changes. This could be part of the aging process. Your Izzy sounds a lot like my parents cat who is 10 years old as well. He goes outdoors but he doesn’t play or run around. Rather just sort of sits, etc. Don’t go to crazy with getting all the blood work done to stress Izzy out but just enough to see if there is a problem. If Izzy is peeing and pooing regulary and eating then it is probably normal. My ragdoll who is 2.5 has never been interested in food…Good luck!

  27. MIlla says:

    My pure breed Regdoll buddy died from kidney failure. He was just about 9 years old. Problems with kidney were found one year ago. Diet, medication and IV did not help. In 6 month he lost weight. Last months it was a battle for his life, but nothing worked. It is just like some part of me died with him. I have one more cat. She is 7. I am glad she is not a pure breed. Maybe she has a chance to live longer life.

  28. Erika says:

    Dylan and Déjà just turned 11 in February. They are brother and sister (alpha and runt of their litter). So far, the only health issues we have experienced have been teeth abscess (2 removed) and a recent respiratory infection – both Dylan. I can’t even comprehend our home without either of these guys…. It is so nice to read all of your stories about Ragdolls that have lived such long lives and heartbreaking to hear the stories of those who haven’t. They are truly the best cats on the planet! :).

  29. Fluffy says:

    My grandparents have a cat that’s 18 years old! She’s very friendly an loving. She’s much smaller than other rag doll cats, but she’s also been a sickly cat since they got her. My grandparents took her and her sister in a really long time ago. They were used for breeding so they always had a lot of health issues. Sadly the cat’s sister had to be put down because of cancerous sores in her mouth. My grandparents cat is still pretty spry for an old lady.

  30. Michelle Barbour says:

    I have three generations = grandma Athena is 14. She has always been small but doing well. She had three kittens – one with cliff pallet. She lived 4 years, and loved every minute she was here – miss her dearly. Frankie and Sissy are 12, Sissy lives down the street at a neighbors and Frankie is and always has been the perfect Ragdoll. Frankie is loosing some of his hair on his sides, but otherwise in good health. Sissy had a litter of five kittens, I sold two and kept the other three (yes it was time to not do that again, I couldn’t sell them as they are my furry children lol). They are now 10 years old. Princess was with my daughter for a while and got over weight – has had weight problems ever since. Misty is very healthy, except she got a urinary track infection when she was young and we put her on Prescription CD. You need a prescription to purchase it, but Petsmart carries it and all my cats loved it. My vet said it is good food and fine to keep them all on it. They have all been on it for about 9 years now and I haven’t had any problems….except for Marty. He was one of the three I kept and at 6 he got Lipidosis (liver disease) – an awful disease and they don’t know why or how he got it. He died in my arms four days later, and I still miss him every day. All of my Ragdolls stay inside 100% of the time.

  31. Kristi says:

    I loved my Ragdoll, Jazzy. I was forced to send her to kitty heaven this morning. She had enlarged kidneys several months ago. The vet couldn’t figure out what it was. I gave her several meds for a month, and then she came back with severe anemia. She dropped weight like crazy. We got to the point of a bone marrow aspiration that showed feline leukemia. After 2 blood transfusions she was ok for a few months, eating and drinking just fine, even playing. She just took a turn for the worse and I decided it was time. She was just 3 weeks shy of her 6th birthday. Jazzy was the love of my life and I can’t imagine that any other animal could ever replace her. I keep expecting her to turn the corner any second. Her passing was so peaceful. I brought her to a beautiful pet cemetary in Napa, California where she will be cremated and places in a beautiful pewter earn shaped like a kitten playing with a ball of yarn. She will always be my little kitty.

  32. Katherine says:

    I just lost my beloved Rosalind last week. She was seven years old. One morning I got up to find her apparently sitting on a piece of dirty string – when she got up to walk away, it was still attached to her body. It turned out that she had eaten a substantial quantity of ribbon and had to have emergency surgery to have it removed. It had bound her up so badly that she lost about a two-inch section of her bowel.

    Two days later, the vet called to say that Rosalind was ready to come home, at the front of her cage, talking to everyone, and reaching out to touch the techs at the hospital. And then the later call, telling me that while they were getting her ready to come home, she collapsed suddenly without a heartbeat. They had been doing CPR for nearly ten minutes when I gave them permission to let my precious girl go.

    Rosalind was the cat of my heart. She came to me within just a few weeks of my husband dying in 2006, and she never EVER let me grieve alone. And now I grieve for her. I brought her home that day. Her last resting place is in my back yard among the hydrangeas and peonies, marked with a large stone from my grandmother’s farm. I will miss her for the rest of my life.

    • Betty says:

      Katherine – I am so sorry, this is so sad. Your pain is so clear, I cried for you. Rosalind is loving your husband now and they both are with you always. You are in my thoughts as I go to sleep tonight.

  33. Betty says:

    Hi Jordan – Be gentle on yourself. Take solace in the fact that you know how much you loved him and that he knew it. It was a terrible accident, but it was an accident and you have learned from it. The guilt you are punishing yourself with is not serving any purpose. Take special care of Sasha now – you all need that love right now.

    • Jordan says:

      Thank you Betty for your kind and thoughtful response.

      I’ve been extra attentive of Sasha the past few days. She’s an incredibly independant cat however and often feels like running around and playing in the bushes on the side of our house.

      We’ve actually just adopted another ragdoll, a female this time who’s roughly 6months old. We got her as a rescue from animal control and she has her claws, currently am in the process of re-directing all the claw fury to a scratching pad and not our furniture. She’s sweet in temperment much like Sammy, however she obviously has her own personality. This is primarily for my wife and I think it’s good for her as she was having a really hard time.

      I like this new one, but am still very fixated on Sammy. He was my lil’ pal, I often referred to him as any number of nicknames: Lil’ buddy, Sam-cat/rat, Lil’ Mr. Sam-Sam, Bubbers, Samuel L. Ratson, Puff Master, Bear-puss, etc.

      An endless list of names and I constantly doted on him. I used to kiss his soft forehead or cheek and he would purr and nestle his head into my stomach or chest. We literally did everything together in our home. He hung out on me as basically a mobile lazy boy. I loved him without real words to describe the bond.

      Thank you again and I’m looking to continue to adopt the lil’ guys and hopefully I’ve learned what it means to protect this special breed.

      • Betty says:

        Hi Jordan – That love is called unconditional and it sounds like you had quite the full expression of it! You both were lucky to find each other. You know how Sammy buried his head in you? That is purely a statement of affection. When it’s the cheeks, they are marking but when it’s the top of the head, it’s an expression of love. Cats are like children – they are each unique and cannot replace one another. We love each other for who we are. You should allow yourself to fall in love with your new kitty with the full knowledge that you are not being disloyal to your Sammy. Love is the best healer; but you already know that – that’s why you adopted a new raggie for your wife. Let yourself fall in love with whoever this new kitty is and find healing. Holding back is not fair to this newbie who will love you unconditionally.

  34. Jordan says:

    Hello everyone,

    My name is Jordan I had a ragdoll named Sammy pass away 3 days ago at 11 or 12. I’m uncertain as until recently I didn’t even know what he was. We took him in as a pity/love at first site rescue from a friend leaving the states going back to Polland. He was owned by an older woman prior to this. For whatever reason he was declawed which always made me sad for him as he was a gentle giant.

    Sammy spent a ton of time outdoors. He had our trusty first cat Sasha who is 4 with him and she, although small in stature, is a fighter and defender. Her and Sammy spent a great deal of time outside playing in our yard and generally just hanging out.

    He also spent a large amount of time inside with me. Doing sumersaults across my legs and lounging in my lap, he was a great cat. I really didn’t know much about the breed and thought he was just a weird cat that maybe had dependancy issues due to his declawing. He was the sweetest animal I’ve ever had and I loved him dearly. He’d wander around our neighborhood and make friends with all our neighbors. We lived in a fairly quiet street and not much traffic, so his risk of cars was low.

    Unfortunately luck ran out and short sighted as I was he was killed by a car. The car was actually my own and me and my wife were responsible for it. As soon as we went over him I rushed as he ran for the garage crying. I scooped him up and rushed to a vet wich was less a mile from our home. he was moving, crying and had peed but I did not see blood and hoped it was a minor injury of his leg or something similar. Unforunately this was not the case, he was put on oxygen but after a short 10mins in the back with a tech and the vet he came back to a waiting room we had been sent to and told us he had passed away. They gave him pain meds and even tried CPR on him but were unable to revive him.

    I was crushed and my wife feels terrible guilt. We’ve both sobbed for days following this as I feel so terrible about what happened. I can’t remove the image from my head and know that he would have lived many more years if it wasn’t for my carelessness. I didn’t really understand what kind of cat that I had. I loved him like a child and loved how cheerful and happy he always was. He brought a special warmth to my life and we’ve dedicated a special rememberance spot in our cario at home for him.

    I’ve never missed anything, not people in my life who’ve passed or otherwise, quite as much as I miss this cat. He wasn’t a pet, he was a family member and one I will never feel ok about as I was completely responsible and could have prevented his death.

    Thank you for this website and I appreciate anyone who reads this.

  35. Suzy says:

    I own 2 rag dolls. Chipper will be 14 in October, and his brother Rocky will turn 12 in July. They have always been house cats and never sick except for the occasion tummy upset.

  36. Sue says:

    Cheryl and family, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. It brought back memories over fifty years ago when I lost a dear kitten who I can still picture in my mind. I have always had cats, losing one at two years to feline leukemia in the 1970’s, but others lived to be 10, 14, 18 years. No matter what the age, it is so painful. They are truly part of our families. I get teary just reading the stories on this site. I discovered Ragdolls almost five years ago when I lost my beloved Maine Coon mix at age 14. She was perfect in every way and so loved. My wise daughter suggested a breed I had never heard of, but she thought it would be a perfect match for me. All my life I found kittens/cats from a variety of sources: shelters, strays, gift from a student, even one that was living outside at a boatyard. That little sweet kitten needed so much medical care that my vet joked that he didn’t know how these cats found me… When I learned about Ragdolls I just fell in love. Four years later, my Ragdoll girls, sisters Molly and Daisy, are such a joy! It may be that I am retired and spend so much time with them, but judging by the reactions of those who meet them, they really are very special. They are gorgeous and have such personalities! I am so thankful for this site. There are so many knowledgeable, caring readers who understand what these little furballs mean to us! For needed support at any time with medical or other issues, this site is a resource. My best wishes for those of you going through difficult times with your babies.

  37. monica says:

    Do the vet check her renal values? It could be an underlying kidney disease going on. One of my cats had what we thought at the time was a stroke and it turned out she had pain on her kidney area. Muscle and weight lost are common symptoms of Kidney Disease as well…

  38. monica says:

    Do the vet check her renal values? It could be an underlying kidney disease going on. One of my cats had what we thought at the time was a stroke and it turned out she had pain on her kidney area. Muscle and weight lost are common symptoms of Kidney Disease as well…

  39. Linda says:

    I would consider a trip to a specialty clinic . One that houses doctors of various types such as oncology, neurology etc., what you are describing is far from normal even at 15. it, you may get your answer there. I did after three years with my regular Vet.

  40. Puuurrrrrrrrfect says:

    I have a 14 year old lady ragdoll – queen cobweb!!
    She is showing no signs of slowing Down just yet!! She is quite possibly the LOUDEST cat In the world, when she’s trying to get mine & my 1 year old sons attention it hurts your ears! She had a urinary Tract infection when she was about 6 / 7 – I personally think she suffered some kind of stroke, half her body went limb she collapsed a curved her neck and was making the most awful noise I was extremely upset 🙁 we took her in to hospital within a couple of hours and were told it was a urinary tract infection – hmm!
    I wonder if anyone could shed a little light on something, she occasionally does this little dance type thing, she backs up and starts shaking her bum and sort of tippy toeing on her back paws, she doesn’t seem in any pain and makes no noise as though she is in discomfort.
    Also she has virtually NO muscle mass anymore, her skin is so thin I can actually see her bone in certain places on her legs !! :S she eats Iams senior and she polishes her meals off but just seems to be wasting away ?!

    • Betty says:

      She sounds very sweet. I have had a couple of cats who did that little dance. It always seemed to me to be a “happy dance”. They always did/do it when they see people they love – like after we’ve been gone all day – its a big welcome home rather than the usual “Its so good to see you” stretch. Could this be it?

    • Jordan says:

      What your describing with the “dance” is usually reserved for scenting or marking. They shake the tail and are immitting a scent or mark on something. This can be due to a cat being overwhelmed and exhibiting it externally or a sign of solidarity. Cats love to mark things and what thing do they love most? US! And our stuff!

      • Betty says:

        Ha ha! I can laugh, Jordan because my cats are all fixed – they can try to mark all they want – I get the big welcome but not the stink! Thanks for the laugh 😀

      • alexandra Purcellawada says:

        Yes….indeed, marking is communication in the cat world. Just as people talk, some like to talk more then others wether they are fixed or not.
        Its part of our world and must be tolerated if you are a cat lover. You learn to fight the marking and you live with it. But you must also learn each cats language so you will not be far behind answering like a human with the cat cleaner.

  41. Sheryl says:

    Posh paws,
    The last couple of posts before yours was of our heartbreak of losing our ragdoll at the tender little age of 15 months. It has been nearly 3 months since we lost Bella, and only now have I been able to come back to site. As soon as I did, and saw all the beautiful pics of the ragdolls again, I knew I shouldn’t have.

    But to read your pain, straight underneath mine. How heartbreaking this is. I’m like you, we can’t live without a ragdoll again either, but we are (we have a 13yo very healthy, but lazy moggy). The pain of losing Bella was so severe, I can’t replace her. And hearing so many stories, of so many health issues they have, confirms it for me, I/we just can’t face it again. We had a little piece of perfection for just a short time, but it will always be with me. Good luck on your decision, sending loads of love xo

  42. Posh paws says:

    Also, I just wondered about this?

    This breeder that I may get my kitten from says she does not do the test because all her 5 generations are clear. Just say I take the kitten to the vet at some stage and get him tested and it comes back that he has got it. What would I do?
    Does that make sense? sorry if not.

  43. Posh paws says:

    Thank you, I am so devastated. Can you believe how it happend? I mean, we thought he was fine, just having tests for the day. There were two cardiologists there and they brought his heartbeat back but he lost oxygen to the brain for too long so he was dead really.

    Ive been talking to a lot of breeders and they say its unusual, they have never had anything like that. I found one who has the mum dad and granparents and proof of 5 generations.
    Thanks for the link Laura
    What is Tachycardia Gayle? is that a heart thing?

    • Gayle says:

      Tachycardia is a heart problem in which her heart beats much too fast. We give her Atenolol 2x a day which slows the heart down a bit. This heart problem affects her appetite, too, so we give her a prescription med for that so that she will eat. She was diagnosed with this about 3 years ago. The Vet had to pull most of her teeth because of this condition, too, but she manages to eat without them. I love her dearly; she is the sweetest little girl.
      I told the breeder about it and she said that none of her other Ragdolls had it.
      It is so sad that these precious cats end up with this awful heart condition. I’m so sorry that your precious baby had it.

  44. Posh paws says:

    I bought my ragdoll last July, he was the most amazing cat I ever had. He loved me so much. He got an abscess when he was about 7 months old then the vet told me he could hear a heart murmur, he said not to worry for now as it was not too bad. I went back a month later to get him neutered, the vet didnt want to do it with the heart being a bit funny and referred the cat to a specialist, we went two weeks later. The cardiologist said he was going to do lots of tests so we left our lovely boy with him. As we were driving home 10 mins later we got a call from the vet to say he just took my boy out of his box to weigh him and he had a heart attack and died suddenly. I cant believe it, I am so sad, miss him so much.
    I cant be without a ragdoll now, so Ive gone and put a deposit down on another kitten but Im so worried now. Im thinking I should of just got a moggie. This has been so hard and horrible, I cant cope with it again.

    • Gayle says:

      I am so sorry about your Ragdoll. Mine has Tachycardia and is now 5 years old. i feel lucky that she has made it this long and hope she is with me for many years to come. I give her meds everyday and hope it extends her life. Again, my heartfelt sympathy goes out to you.

  45. Sheryl Hunter says:

    Your loving thoughts are so very appreciated thankyou.

    And to Betty, what an absolutely heartwarming message of love and support. This touched me so much, I was unable to read it aloud to the rest of the family.

    Your words regarding animals isolating themselves at their time of death and reminding me that Bella stayed with us, on us, have really left an impact on me. A thought that I can hold with me as the days wear on and remember it as her last gift of love to us. Thank you so much xx

  46. Betty says:

    Dear Sheryl – You are all in my heart and thoughts for the coming days. Dying is not a passive act, it is the act of letting go. The letting go is a difficult thing for both humans and animals. For animals, it involves becoming completely defenseless which is perhaps why so many isolate when it is their time. Bella did not isolate, she did the opposite. Bella held on to come home to pass in the comfort of her family. You all should try to take comfort in the knowledge that your love for her was reciprocal. She knew she was well-loved and she showed that in the only way she could – by coming home to engage in perhaps the most personal of acts. But even knowing this, my heart feels your pain and I am sorry that you lost such a brave little baby. Be gentle on yourselves in the coming days and weeks.

  47. Gayle says:


    I am so very sorry that sweet Bella passed away. You tried your best for her to get better. I know how you feel; it’s devastating to lose your furry baby.


  48. Monica says:


    I am SO sorry. Bella was loved, she knew warmth and happiness before she grew her little wings and went to heaven. Bella touched us all, so did you! <3


  49. Alexandra Purcellawada says:

    Dear sheryl and Family,
    Bella passing so soon in her life saddened us here and bring tears to my eyes. She may have been dealt a bad gene just as our Boo, it happens in the cat world as well as the human.
    Prayers to you all now that Bella is a shining star looking down and watching her loved ones go on without her presence. Her spirit will remind forever in our hearts.
    Alexandra and Boo plus the whole clan here of his uncles, mom and litter mates.

  50. Sheryl Hunter says:

    I’m heartbroken to report that Bella passed away last night. She was at least surrounded by her adoring family. We may never know the cause. The vet feels it may have been inherited or in her bone marrow. We have never felt such heartbreak than to watch Bella gasp for breath and die before our eyes. We hope it’s a vision we can erase over time. Thanks so much everyone for their love and advice xx

    • Roman says:

      That is terrible news to hear 🙁 – Our Ragdoll Zeus passed away recently too and he is sorely missed, Bella was lucky to have someone as loving as you in her last moments. I am sorry for your loss 🙁

    • Tara Jones says:

      Hi Sheryl,

      I just joined this site and came across this article and then to the story of your sweet Bella. My kitty, Halley (11 years old), who wasn’t a ragdoll, but my sweet angel nonetheless, just passed away on April 1st. My wife took her to the vet because she seemed to have developed arthritis because she was having problems jumping up on the bed. Well – it wasn’t arthritis. She called and I had to go to the vet immediately. Halley’s blood work was off the chart, anemic, enlarged liver & kidneys, etc., and she was put to sleep that day. It was almost the worst thing me & my family have ever had to go through. Seriously – one of the hardest things ever. Just wanted you to know that your story of Bella touched my heart and I seriously hope you’ve found some peace. :'(

    • Jody C says:

      It sounds like Bella had IMHA (Immune mediated hemolytic anemia).

      My ragdoll girl Flopsy had it and almost died. She spent 6 nights in the specialty hospital and had 3 live cell blood transfusions. Her blood count was down to 12% at her lowest point. Very scary. Same sort of listlessness for a few weeks prior.

      The Vet was never able to name a cause for Flopsy getting IMHA, and ran numerous tests.
      The failure rate for losing cats or dogs with IMHA is almost 80% and the Vet says it happens very suddenly and silently, and there is nothing an owner can do to prevent it., their red bloods cells just cannibalize themselves.
      Very very sad.

      My heart goes out to Bella and to you, Sheryl.

  51. Monica says:


    Something that can work is to syringe feed Bella meat flavored baby food (cats love Gerbers baby food beef, chicken, ham). She needs to eat something in order to get better.

  52. Monica says:


    Something that can work is to syringe feed Bella meat flavored baby food (cats love Gerbers baby food beef, chicken, ham). If she does not eat she won’t get better.

  53. Monica says:

    Hi Sheryl,

    I am heart broken to read about Bella. She will feel so much better at home than at the veteribary’s office. I really thought she would be recovering since you said she was producing baby red cells, this type of anemia in cats have a better outcome than the non-regenerative one. Wich antibiotic are you giving to Bella ? Also, do you know if your vet checked Bella for intestinal parasites?. I am still hoping for a recovery.


  54. Sheryl Hunter says:

    She won’t eat anything either. We’ve tried everything we can think of. Hopefully later tonight she might, or perhaps in the morning. She’s still eat least drinking.

  55. Sheryl Hunter says:

    Thanks Betty 🙂
    It’s Monday evening here (we’re in Australia and a bit ahead of you guys I think). I called to vet today and Bella looked absolutely shocking, I burst into tears. Then figured there’s no way we’ll be taking her home today.

    The vet said her blood has gone from 12% to 15%, she was in two minds whether to let her come home or not. Because my hubby will be home for most of the week on holidays, I decided that she would be best with us and so does the vet. The vet is noisy with comings and goings all the time, and the barks and meows of the animals would cause stress before it would help. So I have taken her home, and will take her back each day to get her bloods checked. She moaned and moaned it was quite heartbreaking, but the vet assures me she would not be in pain, that she felt that it was more Bellas way of communicating to us.

    She has doubled her antibiotics and doubled her steriods. Now we wait for a couple of days for any improvement. If the antibiotics have not kicked in by Wednesday or Thursday (that would be just over a weeks worth) then something more sinister is going on and it may be time to look at putting Bella at rest. Not something any of us can deal with at the moment. But we know that whatever is eating away inside of her, won’t go away if antibiotics don’t work. And then it gets to the point of putting our needs to keep her, ahead of Bellas need to be free. I can’t believe that 2 weeks ago we had a seemingly perfectly healthy beautifully spirited Ragdoll kitten, today we all have broken hearts. My 15 year old daughter had to come home from school today because she kept bursting into tears. The harsh reality of pet ownership is well and truly surrounding us 🙁

    • Betty says:

      Hi Sheryl –
      On my way to work but checking in to see about Bella. I am so sorry to read about her stress and yours. She may relax more at home and be able to eat. Home is where the heart is and no matter what, that is where she should be. And at home, everyone can see and trust any decisions about what is best for Bella. My family just went through exactly this agonizing decision. And while we all still miss Oscar, we all are a peace because we all know exactly what he was dealing with every minute and how he was suffering.

      Something new that some vets are starting to do here in NY is housecalls. Even euthanasia. A very nice & compassionate vet came to our home so that we could all be here and Oscar did not have to take another dreaded car ride. She did not rush our good-byes and explained everything before each step. It was so peaceful – for Oscar and for all of us. She cried with us. She was comforting and non-intrusive.

      Of course, it was more expensive than going in. But they way I see it, we did everything to keep him here for us – this we did so his leaving was for him.

      Unconditional love is always worth it. The love you, your family and Bella share is worth this pain – or you would not be feeling it. Keep your head up, your heart open and close to Bella. I hope home brings improvements.

  56. Betty says:

    Hi Sheryl –

    I was away this weekend and just checked in to see how you guys are doing. Bella will be in thoughts as I go to sleep tonight. Your distress is so palpable, my heart hurts for you. Like Alexandra, I will pray that she starts producing healthy baby reds like bunnies.

  57. Laurel says:

    My first Ragdoll, Tasha died from renal failure last year, just before Halloween. She was a little over 14 years old. I got her just before she turned 5. Her first people moved out of state and decided it was too much trouble to take her with. Their loss was my gain – loved her dearly, especially the sound of her purring as we drifted off to sleep. She has been greatly missed.
    As of a few hours ago, I am now mom to a 5 yr old mitted blue point Ragdoll. Love having a cat again – they make my house a home. I’m looking forward to getting to know her. (sorry, I am changing her name, but haven’t quite decided on her new one yet)

  58. Alexandra Purcellawada says:

    Dear Sheryl,
    Glad to know Bella had her transfusion and the fact that she is able to produce baby red cells if wonderful news……her loss of them sounds worst then it is maybe. That is the balancing act Boo and I do every two months. Poor Bella, she sounds so so fragile not on like my Boo I prey that she gets back to her health soon ,there is nothing more important that our little health.
    Love , Alexa and Boo

  59. Sheryl Hunter says:

    Thanks Betty, I will mention this to the vet.
    Bellas bloods dropped to 12% overnight and lunchtime today (Saturday) she had a blood transfusion. From all reports she is doing ok, (5 hours ago) and will obviously pick up considerably following this. As the vet said, the 3-4 days grace that the transfusion will give her, will hopefully be enough for her little body to heal. She said she could see on the smear that she had grown some new red blood cells overnight, but that she had lost more than she had grown. But at least her body is still making them, and with the transfusion done, will have a few days to grow some more of her own. This is all with the presumption that she will respond to antibiotics and that what is killing off her red bloods is not something more sinister. But, she’s hanging in there. I wish I could post a pic of her here 🙂

  60. Sheryl Hunter says:

    Hi everyone, thankyou for your thoughts and advice, it helps to have some great advice at hand.

    We took Bella back to vet at lunchtime today. She has slightly gained some weight, but her red bloods had dropped to 15% which she advised is the line at which she would recommend a transfusion. She is still struggling for breath and eating only the tiniest bits. And constantly moaning. She stayed the rest of the afternoon at the vets for monitoring and she will give her a transfusion in the morning if it stays at 15% or drops. When I asked her if Bella could die at any point in her current state, she replied ‘yes’. This is very difficult to hear given that she will spend the night at the vet. If we are to lose her, it would be much easier to deal with having her here with us, than locked away in a cage at the vet. But we also understand that she’s in the best place at the moment. This is really difficult for us all, the thought of losing her at 15 months, or anytime is heartbreaking. We’re trying to be brave for our teens, but it’s not working out so well. I guess the weekend will give us some answers, we only hope they are all good ones. I hope I have some good news next time I come here 🙂

    • Sheryl Hunter says:

      Also Lynn and Michelle, so sorry, I had not seen your comments regarding the drug, it appears that I ignored it all when I have only just scrolled back up and read it all !! I agree totally, you have to go in knowing as much as you possibly can and armed with as much information as you can. Thanks for your contributions 🙂

      • Betty says:

        Hi Sheryl –

        The weight gain is good news. She sounds like she has the will to live – which is so important. I will certainly keep Bella and your family in my thoughts this weekend. Be gentle on yourself. You are providing her with good care – she is a lucky girl and I am sure she knows it.
        Something you wrote stopped me. When Oscar was struggling with his cancer, and the with the chemo, and finally when the chemo wasn’t working and he was very clearly uncomfortable and in pain, he never moaned. Sometimes he would meow very loudly (like a feral male in the Spring), but never moan. Andy moans when he is constipated and the miralax & laxatone have not kicked in. I am not saying that there is any correlation, but am merely saying this is when Andy moans. He moans when it is intestinally related.

  61. Betty says:

    Hi Sheryl –
    When one of my old men was on chemo, getting him to eat was a frequent problem we faced. We let him lead us. The vet & staff also seemed to know what all their patients loved and were helpful in sharing their experience. Rotisserie chicken from the deli (skin & all) was a favorite that was never refused (discovered when the staff shared their lunch). Some days, he ate white tuna from a can. Some days he ate raw chicken liver, some days he ate scrambled eggs. And he developed a taste for all cheeses. Keep offering her everything. Resort to the syringe if you must (Gently…I know). The weight they lose is not easily regained.

    Please keep us informed. Your story has touched my heart. It could be any one of us.

  62. Monica says:

    Hi Sheryl,

    I can not imagine how bad it was last night 🙁 Good news she is doing better today, the antibiotics usually take 3 days to kick in, and she is in her third dose so it looks there is an infection going on. Cats are amazing healers but if her red blood count is still bad tomorrow is probably not a bad idea to consider a transfusion. Please keep us updated. Lots of love for Bella



  63. Alexandra Purcellawada says:

    I am so glad Bella is doing better , believe 10-20% is allot when they are so lifeless.
    The $3,500 was a six month total of cost seeing the vets once to twice a week and having all kinds of test done ….yes it is sad that no answers were found….but even the vets feels a failure were Boo is concern and now will just take my calls if he takes a turn fast and fill a prescription for him. On top of going regular for his two months visit to have a blood test it is manageable at the moment.

    Cost does come in play when the cause of a illness is a mystery….. with each test it jumps a couple hundred more dollars, you just have to know in your heart when enough is enough.

    One thing I learned is to take care of any infections right away….I’ve have gotten to the point where I can now even smell infection. Their immune systems are always low and getting them to eat is the most important thing, getting them to drink water though was never a problem for Boo it is eating.

    One supplement I found that gets him eating is “Life’s Abundance Wellness Food Supplement” just eating 6 of these gets him to eat regular after. Well enough to keep his weight even, he still is too thin. At first I got them at the vet for $19.00 a bottle but now I order three bottles per month on the internet at $13.00 each. They saved his life if only for the fact he eats them. Just getting anything down them is hard with this issue. Force feeding was awful thank goodness I have not had to do that in 4 years now.

    Anything that Bella loves to eat ……I mean “loves” it so much that no matter how sick she gets she just has to eat them is worth its its weight in gold, because the key is to keep their weight stable. That is the challenge I live with with Boo every day.

    Let us know how Bella is doing we are thinking of her every time we watch our Boo.

  64. Sheryl Hunter says:

    Thankyou so much Alexandra, Betty and Monica xx
    Bella had a very bad night last night and I was sure that during the night we would lose her. I was too scared to look this morning when we woke up, and for a little bit, couldn’t find her (she had been sleeping beside our bed on her cushion). She was under the bed in the corner up against the wall, but still alive. It was such a tense moment.

    She appeared to have slightly improved, by maybe 10% – 20%, we were really happy. My hubby stayed home from work for the day to be with her and monitor her. She did OK and has slipped slightly, but nothing compared to the trauma of looking at her last night. She had been totally limp, sunken dark eyes, moaning, breathing rapidly and appeared in much pain. It’s after tea now and she is not great again, but she is still a teeny bit better than 24 hours ago. She is eating teeny amounts every couple of hours, and drinking heaps of water which she has passed a few times today. The vet assured me this morning that as long as there has been improvement in the last 24 hours (albeit small improvement), that she is on the right track and will see her in the morning as scheduled unless she deteriorates badly again. Hanging out very bad for the bloods tomorrow to see where we are at, she has now had 3 doses of antibiotics, so hopefully tomorrow will see improvement, but still very fearful given her limpness and massive weight loss when she was so little to begin with. Alexandra, that is frightening that you paid $3500 and still had no answers. We really aren’t in a position to spend that and it would be heartbreaking to be faced with a financial decision, we absolutely love and adore her so much. It seems so unfair. Fingers crossed, thanks for your support guys 🙂


  65. Monica says:

    Hi Sheryl,

    I hope Bella’s anemia is caused by an infection, then the antibiotic will be helpful! Cats in general respond quickly to the right treatment. May I know which type of antibiotic was prescribed to Bella? Also, I think is always useful to request copies of any lab work performed on your cat. It would give you a better understanding of the overall health of your cat.

    Sending lots of healing light to Bella !

  66. Alexandra Purcellawada says:

    Dear Sheryl,
    I was once in your position even though I have over 25 years of Ragdoll experience I never had one with a blood issue. When Boo was a year old he did have to have one transfusion because he was so severe and weak. But after two different Vets who ended up working together for Boo sake and still no answer was ever found and 3,500 dollars later I just excepted that this is what we are dealt with.

    The vet is good when ever he needs antibodies ect. because of a infection they give it no questions asked. After all I think we are lucky, the only option was to have him put to sleep. As long as he is happy and still does kitty things I will fight to keep him with us. He is one of nine Ragdolls I have and the son of my retired queen Rowan who will be 20 years old this May.

    Because their immune is not great they will pick up colds and things when the weather changes this does not help and has to be watched also and dealt with fast because losing any more weight at all is a killer at this point.

    Having myself only dealt with big healthy ragdolls all these years that maybe only get a urinary infections every now and again….. this was a whole new experience for myself as well.

    Bella will probably need the blood for right now and I would do that at least. You already have put a lot in to her health this far she might surprise you and jump back. In our case this did not happen but Boo is a happy happy guy I do not think after 4 years of being ill with a blood disorder he knows life any other way. But it does require (work) you must watch their health each and every day and getting a feel for when they need more help then just living can give them.

    Also none of my cats go outside ever if one goes out it is like letting them all go out.
    Some cats are very healthy and are just carriers of illnesses that they themselves can fight off but the Bella and Boo’s of the world simply can not.

    We will be thinking of your Bella on Friday and prayers will be heard she will get healthy once more!

  67. Sheryl Hunter says:

    Thanks everyone for their advice. At this point, we are only going on what the vet has informed us, we have been a little naive as we haven’t experienced any health issues with cats before. I have googled much last night and have a little better understanding of what’s going on.

    Our vet did full ‘inhouse’ blood tests, which showed an extremely low red blood count, which she said put Bella in the “severe” category. Didn’t mention white cell count and we didn’t ask, not understanding too much about the bloods. These set us back about $300 and told us if further bloods were required to be sent away, they were far more expensive. When we picked her up 4 hours later, she said she would put her on a steriod (Prednisolone) for a week and see how she responded. Up until that point,she was not particularly eating at all, but drinking plenty of water.

    Took her back yesterday, after one week and she has lost further weight, despite the fact that she was eating again daily. Probs equivalent to a handful of dry food plus plenty of fluids. Seemed a teeny bit better in herself, but very very weak.

    She now is treating her for a possible blood parasite with an antibiotic. She said to bring her back Friday and if her red bloods don’t improve, she would like to discuss a blood transfusion as she is getting very boney and weak and doesn’t want to waste any time. This is all we know at this stage, we haven’t known what questions to ask as we’ve had no experience with cat health issues. This vet is in a country town and has an excellent reputation.

    Bella does not go outside, but our other moggy cat Molly does occassionally. She is 12 and whilst overweight has never had any health issues.

    ANY advice would be greatly appreciated so we can return Friday armed with lots of questions and options 🙂

  68. Monica says:

    Hi Sheryl,

    My cat always developed anemia whenever she was having an infection going on. Her hematocrit improved rapidly with a course of antibiotics and vitamin B. Do you know if Bella’s blood work showed any elevated white blood cells levels?


  69. Alexandra Purcellawada says:

    I have Blue pt male Ragdoll who has blood issues for about 4 years now he will be 5 years this spring. It was my first experience with this issue.I did all the medications ect. but his loss of weight and liver problems only made him worse. I also had the same issues that you are having …all of them….until I just decided that getting him to eat and add healthy supplements were my only option if I was going to keep him with us.
    He still has these issues and remains very thin, but happy to be a cat….the one thing he never lost in his fight for health. Our Boo always remains a “cat” and even at his worst never stopped doing cat things. I decided after 6 months of vet care with every imaginable test done to just except that he will always have this issue as long as he is still with us.
    So Boo still needs to be watched every day to make sure he eats. This I found is the most important issue I faced with his blood problem, He must eat each and every day …..period! He can not be left for more then a day unwatched because that line is so small that even one oz. of weight loss can bring him to his knees. It has been 4 years and he is still with us. They have not ever found the cause of his blood issues in 6 months of trying too. So he is taken every two months for check up and we just watch his every move.
    It is difficult but you except it, somehow it becomes part of your life until they are with us no more.

  70. Sheryl Hunter says:

    Our beautiful ragdoll kitten Bella is only 15 months old and has been diagnosed with severe anaemia. She has been on steriods for a week now with no improvement and rapid weightloss. She’s so tiny and boney and doesn’t even have the energy to jump from the couch/bed to the floor. The vet told me today that if she doesn’t improve by Friday (4 days) she will need a blood transfusion. This sounds frightening and expensive and may not even work. We are really frightened we might lose her. We love her to bits 🙁

    • Lynn says:

      Sheryl- how scary for you! I had a senior citizen calico with renal failure for several years and part of that included severe anaemia. A treatment that worked for her anaemia was injections of Epogen. I was able to give those at home a couple times a week. Has your doctor mentioned that drug?
      Hoping for the best for you and baby Bella!

        • Lynn says:

          Sorry- just knew it gave Chloe another couple of years after having severe anemia. Was a miracle drug for her. Didn’t mean any harm- just thought it was worth asking the vet about. : (
          I will now retire my advice license…

          • Betty says:

            Lynn –

            Don’t not contribute! I am sure Michelle did not mean for that to happen. Everyone has something to offer. You offered your experience and that can inform Sheryl – as well as what Michelle knows. Combining what you both said results in a fuller picture and certainly one worth exploring. It is always best to go in knowing as much as possible.

            I know that if I were looking for information, I would appreciate what both of you had to say.

    • Michelle S says:

      Sheryl — I’m so very sorry!!! You don’t mention what, if any, blood work has been done for bella, or for that matter, other diagnostics. You also don’t say whether or not she is eating, using the litter box, etc. That said, there’s really not a lot to go on as anemia can have many causes. Has she had a FULL blood panel? Tested for FeLV (feline leukemia)? Tested for FIV? Tested for Hemobartonella? Full body x-rays? Fecal exam? Does she go outdoors? Could she have ingested anything in the house OR outdoors? What is she eating? There are just soooo many possibilities.

      In my opinion, she should be hospitalized and under the care of a specialist (CAT specialist). I would also ask for a blood transfusion sooner, rather than later, as this is stressing her body. Even with a transfusion, the cause must be identified, or the anemia will just return. Lixotinic is an excellent vitamin (liquid) supplement with iron. Please google it as it is very different from many other preparations.

      Whatever you do, DO NOT ALLOW A VET TO GIVE HER FLUIDS as it further dilutes her blood volume and will quickly kill her! You would not believe how many Vets STILL give fluids to anemic cats!!! If she’s dehydrated, gradual oral re-hydration is always best (with an electrolyte solution). Syringe feeding is a MUST if she is not taking in enough nutrients.

      I think that you need a 2nd opinion from a specialist, but I don’t know for certain because she did not say what all has been done for her. I wouldn’t wait a minute if I were you, but you can ask questions to Dr. Neely on Ask The Cat Doctor. She is amazing, and is very thorough in her replies. You will have to give her more info than you’ve given here, though. http://www.facebook.com/askthecatdoctor1

    • Roman Gaufman says:

      Thank you for the kind words, it is very tough, especially considering he was only 4 🙁 – the vet took a picture of the tumour, it was baseball sized, bigger than her fist! She said there was no visible normal pancreas tissue and it metastasised to the liver so nothing they could do, she was shocked he was able to eat at all (he had a healthy appetite as always!). Very sudden and shocking. The vet suspects genetics and possible inbreeding. Guess not all Ragdolls are created equal 🙁 – her advise is to research the breeder and check the family tree before getting a pedigree cat like a ragdoll. We have a certificate and a full family tree so will research and contact the breeders.

      Sorry to hear about the sad stories of other commenters but glad many live a long and healthy live!

      • Gayle says:

        So sorry about Zeus it is so difficult to go through something like that. You should contact breeder you got from too. There is a wonderful site where when you are ready to adopt again. Purbred cat rescue in Wisconsin . They have beautiful cats, Siamese, ragdolls etc. I wish you the best.

        • Roman Gaufman says:

          The breeder was a small family breeder and the husband had a stroke a couple of years ago so they no longer breed cats. Also, I am based in London, UK – any suggestions for my area? 🙂

  71. Roman Gaufman says:

    The vet just called to say my ragdoll Zeus has a seizable malignant and inoperable cancer of the pancreas that spread to the liver and they will put him down under anaesthesia. He is only 4 and showed no symptoms other than sudden stomach bloating 2 days ago 🙁

  72. Gayle says:

    My ragdoll is only 4 years old but I don’t think she will have a long life because she has been diagnosed with Tachycardia. We give her Atenolol and Cyprocimitine twice a day for her fast heart rate and to increase her apetite. She is such a wonderful baby and I love her dearly. I think Ragdolls are prone to heart problems. Does anybody have this problem with their Ragdoll?

    • Betty says:

      Sending good vibes your way. No heart conditions here. Just intestinal problems (crystals under control & constipation, a constant battle). Four years is prime of life. I hope your vet can help you manage her problems so the two of you can enjoy a long and loving relationship.

    • Mary says:

      My four Ragdoll brothers were born in 2004 and our vet discovered one had a heart murmur. Mai Tai lived to be 8 years old and passed away peacefully, and without warning, in his sleep. He had the most energy of all the boys and was running all over the house the night before I found him in the chair he shared with his brother every night. I’ve never had that happen before and I’ve had cats all my life. Before I got the Ragdolls, I had 2 Maine Coon sisters that lived to be 16 and 20 years of age.

  73. Annete says:

    Milo Kitty is about 15 years old. He is a grumpy old man at times but he is still an amazing Ragdoll Kitty. He really hasn’t had any health problems and lives indoors. I’d be very pleased if he lived another ten years.

  74. Sonia McKay says:

    Hi there……I have 6 Raggies…started off with one..our big loveable boy Tarik..I remember back then reading a lot about this breed and people’s comments of how addictive they are….6 Raggies later..I know exactly what they meant now… I have mum & dad and 4 from their 2 litters…..mum & dad are almost 4 years old and their children, 2…I love them all to bits and wouldn’t change them for the world albeit the hard work cleaning litter and hair all day :))

  75. Kenleigh says:

    I have had 2 pure bred Ragdolls and one mix. My first, Odie, was only 6 when he died very suddenly from previously undiagnosed HCM while I was away on a trip. He was my first feline love and I still miss him dearly. But right now I have my beautiful seal lynx bicolor, Dexter, who is 3, and a flame point mix named Loki who is 5. I hope they can both live into ripe old age like some of the others mentioned in these posts!

  76. Beth says:

    My first Ragdoll Gizmo was age 10. All evening he raced around the house; then at bedtime I found him on his pillow – he had died peacefully in his sleep. Our vet said it must’ve been a heart attack. I think my Moosie was 12, just can’t be sure as he was full grown when we adopted him. He got sick in September of 2010 (treated for pancreatitis and may have had something else our vet couldn’t diagnose), went slowly downhill, passed away in my arms at Christmastime. Gizmo and Moosie were the only Ragdolls we had… I hope for another someday.

    Our “chronic cat” Kidlet (a grey shorthair tabby) lived to age 19 1/2 in spite of constant health problems. She was the oldest kitty we’ve ever had.

    Now we have two boys (Sammy Mouse and Prince Charles are nearly 6), plus two old ladies. Holy Tara is 14 and acts like a kitten since her hyperthyroid issues are under control. We think Baby Mew – a rescue – is 12 – but she seems older than Holy Tara.

    I want all our kitties to live forever. It practically kills me when I lose one but the years of joy they bring is worth the awful heartbreak when they die. My husband says ten years is all I should expect even though they have the best of everything and excellent vet care. I don’t know if Ragdolls have different lifespans than other breeds.

    • Jackie Moore says:

      I have been owned by 9 ragdolls. My first, Poggy died when he was just 9 years old. Max died aged just 6 from stomach cancer. We also have Paddy who is 7, Connor and Bowen who are littermates aged 6, Faye and Cherry aged 5 and Flynn aged 4. We also have a Ragdoll/Birman cross who we fostered and then kept who I think is around 9. On the whole they are all healthy cats but do have delicate tummies – woobetide us if we change their diet lol. They are beautiful cuddlebugs and like the previous poster said one is not ever enough, nor 2,3,4 etc lol.

      • Carol Van Gorp says:

        Hi – I have a female Birman who is almost 18 and two male Ragdolls. The boys are seven years and the other is six months. I try and impress upon them that Una, the Birman, is the Queen. All three look alike – seal point- and each have wonderful personalities. I think that you having a real cross would be fun!

  77. Karen says:

    Jenny, thanks so much for bringing up this particular topic and managing the entire website, which I LOVE and thanks to all the other contributors. This was helpful information to a question I had. My first little Ragdoll is just two now, but had been wondering this question, and certainly better get him a playmate to make his life more complete while I work all day since I intend and hope for him to have a long happy life.

    • Jenny | Floppycats.com says:

      Karen – I got so excited about the 24-year old – so I am grateful for this post too! Jenny

  78. Ling says:

    Not a Ragdoll, but my past cat lived to be 14 years old (although I did not have her that whole time as I adopted her from someone). My past supervisor’s cats were from the same litter, a brother and sister. The sister lived to be 22 years old, we thought the brother would join her but luckily he lived to be 24 years old.

  79. Geo says:

    Love hearing about the 24 y.o Ragdoll! (and the 20 y.o. too.) I was fully expecting a 23ish year life span, so not too happy to read this article. A good idea to be realistic maybe…Will provide the best care I can and I will wait — a long, loooong time– and see and hope for the best!

  80. Lucy's Mom says:

    My beautiful Dakin, who resembled Rags, died at 17 years from chronic kidney failure. My petite, but mighty, Lucy, turned 19 on April 12. She also has kidney issues, but remains active and is clearly the lady of the house. She takes her job as my guardian angel very seriously. She gets subq fluids once a week and she hates it. Having an older cat is a true blessing.

    • Jenny says:

      Sorry to hear about Dakin – RIP. You know you can feature him as Ragdoll of the Week, if you want. YAY about Lucy! Rags got sub Q fluids twice a day at the end and he hated it. But it helped him keep his quality of life until it was his time to go. I miss having my old man, he was such a wise soul. I hope Charlie and Trigg live that long and longer!

  81. Alexandra Purcellawada says:

    They are on Felo feline formula dry and can…..I mix a little science diet oral in the dry Felo for their teeth …..and Mac is doing great for a big guy who had to have heart surgery when he was just a kitten…in fact the reason why I first got a ragdoll was the breeder said he was going to die and told me “if I could save him I could have him I could keep him”…that was my first experience will the ragdoll breed ……but beware one ragdoll is never enough! I have lots and lots of pictures everywhere on the internet but I do not know how to download to this sight….I will try to figure that out.:)))

    • Jenny says:

      You cannot download to the site – But if you want to feature each cat as Ragdoll of the Week, then you will need to send the stories and photos to me via email at info [at] floppycats.com.

      Sounds like Mac has an awesome story!

  82. Alexandra Purcellawada says:

    Umm I have had 12 Ragdolls in the last 24 years……..two died at 4 years of age from urinary tract issues……but my oldest is Mac 24 years this October, Wolffie 20 years this October… my girl Rowan just turned 19 years May 7, Strykerman is 11 years March 7, Leoheart will be 10 in October, Bearpaw is 8 years on Halloween, Rainwhisker, Boo Bear, and Viola are 5 years old this May 24 …they have all been house cats and have had at least one year check- ups each each year….some have had more vet visits because of urinary tract issues but all in all they have been very healthy …today my only ones that has constant care is Rowan and Wolffie. Rowan has bad back hips and Wolffie has had dental work.

    • Jenny says:

      OMG!!! 24 years old!! AWESOME!! That makes me so happy to hear that! I want to see photos! I wish you would submit them as Ragdolls of the Week! I love the old guys! What do you feed them? Does Mac have anything wrong?

      • Bonnie says:

        I also have a ragdoll Mac man actually General Macarthur he’s 12 yrs. old and healthy. However not so lucky with our first regdoll Patton, had heart problems and passed away at 6 months old, heartbreaking, hence Brad came to us and broke our hearts last yr. kidney problrms passed away at 11 yrs. old! So it’s just Mommy Mac and Mike. But he seems very happy and healthy, thank God, I hoe he stays with us for a long time!

    • Linda Jetty says:

      Yesterday was my Ragdoll’s 16th birthday which is why I just looked this up. Her body mass is perfect, her teeth are like a one year old cat all good and white, Her light blue eyes are clear and bright. She has her own facebook page if anyone wants to check her out its
      Sarah Jetty
      I love her with all my heart and she sleeps in my arms every night & purrs me to sleep.

    • Gale says:

      My Ragdoll Diva had a bad urinary tract infection that got finally cleared after 30 days on antibiotics.
      The vet found struvite crystals and wanted to put her on a food to help stop this; I looked at the ingredients and refused to feed it.
      I did some research. Adding any form of cranberry, which works for people, will cause calcium oxylate stones in dogs and cats. BUT, adding protein will prevent struvite crystals, and I did this by giving her a cooked chicken heart 3 times a week.

      • Betty says:

        Hi Gale –
        Brilliant! Thanks for sharing your research. It just affirms to me that I made a right decision. My Andy had crystals and the vet insisted that the only way to avoid future urinary issues was to feed that awful prescription diet. I reacted the same way you did when I read the ingredients – but for different reasons. It looked like I would be feeding him chemicals and by-products at premium prices. I chose a high quality wet food, added half a can of water to each can, cut out all dry food and for 3 months gave him a daily squirt of 10 cc’s of water with a couple of drops of cider vinegar in it. He no longer needs the vinegar squirt as his urine is always clean (he lets me catch it in a dixie cup :D). He happily eats Fancy Feast and a couple of other foods. He also gets 100% freeze dried chicken treats, which he loves. He does still miss the dry food, but like others, he was an addict. I am so grateful that Floppy Cats is here for us all to share information and support. And again, thank you for sharing such important information.

        • Jenny | Floppycats.com says:

          Betty, I was so pleased to see this comment and hear about the changes in Andy! HECK YEAH! I am on a “just say no to dry food” campaign! AMAZING about the dixie cup! I am trying to review products right now – and if I could get Charlie and Trigg to do that, I could review them a lot faster! Any tricks to the trade would be welcomed. Here are the home tests we are in the process of trying to test – urine collection is my problem http://youtu.be/ef44IqzF_bU

        • Gale says:

          I studied animal nutrition after my first dog developed heart disease in 1994. Food is much better now, and quality food has changed since the 2007 contamination due to gluten in the food. Good food now no longer uses gluten, and most don’t use corn either because, though it is a cheap filler, it has little nutritive value and is not easily digested, causing problems with some animals and bigger poops.

          I fed Natural Balance LID salmon food until Delmonte bought them, and after some research, I have transitioned all my animals to Taste of the Wild salmon food and they are all doing GREAT and Diva had no difference in her poop except they seem to be more firm than before. Like Natural Balance’s food, I can use it as a training treat.

      • Peg says:

        I am so confused. I spoke to a woman/nutritionist who owns a holistic pet food store. My cat had struvite crystals in his urine and she said once that was cleaned up to put him on this supplement with berries in it to keep his urine balanced. Now there is research that cranberries aren’t good for cats? I better go read the ingredience in the food my vet gave us. “Ricky” is on ” UTI Free” now(potty habits are normal now, but not positive THIS stuff is the reason)and seems to be on track. I am giving him very clean wet AND the urinary tract food the vet gave us…very confusing. I don’t mind giving my kitty wet food, but not thrilled about him crying in the kitchen thinking I’m going to feed HIM every time I’m in there…. HELP!

      • anne says:

        NO! Why would you not listen to your vet? They only have a degree that took years to obtain. There are biochemical reasons for the diet he/she prescribed. While the food isn’t a first choice, it is acting to eliminate the very issue you have been dealing with. Are you a biochemist? If not, and you don’t understand the complexity of animal physiology, WHICH CAN’T BE COMPARED TO HUMAN BIOCHEMISTRY, then do as your doctor said and give your cat the care of a professional that went to school for years and years and years so that they could give you the advice you are ignoring.

    • Kelly Grier says:

      My chocolate point ragdoll Taj was my first raggie. I got him when he was 8 weeks old. What a lover. He passed away just over a year ago at 10 years old after a long battle with cancer.
      Now, I have Maya. I got her at 8 weeks old. She is a gorgeous Apricot point raggie. She is now a year old and full of mischief.
      I have always had Siamese cats, both seal point and blue point. Maya’s playmate is a 2 year old Lynx point Siamese named Tonchi (I am retired and live in Mexico…Tonchi is a Nahuatl Indian name…it means “Kitty”).
      My Siamese and my Ragdolls are always indoor cats…however here in Mexico I have a fully screened in terrace (patio) and garden. They love to play in the grass and I’m very careful about potted and planted plants and flowers…none poisonous to animals.

      • Carol Van Gorp says:

        Hi – I have two Ragdolls, both from Wild Rose Farm Ragdolls in southern Missouri. We now live in Ajijic on Lake Chapala. I would like to be pen pals. So many friends criticize me for not adopting a stray. I love my Ragdolls and am not about to change!


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