Originally published on Apr 11, 2015
The “Do Ragdoll Cats Shed?” topic comes up pretty frequently through emails and on our Facebook page. And I have been watching Charlie shed like a maniac recently, so I decided to republish this post.
There is a myth out there that Ragdoll cats don’t shed. I have never experienced a non-shedding Ragdoll cat! They are long-haired cats, so of course they are going to shed and there is going to be a lot of hair because they are long haired!
Curious readers sometimes ask me, “How much do Ragdoll cats shed?” It’s a subjective question and there’s no way to quantify the amount Ragdoll cats shed. The amount they shed depends on:
- Where they live – the climate, temperature, humidity
- What they eat
- Their genes
- How often they are brushed
- What sort of health they are in
Sometimes brushing a cat regularly is enough to prevent cat mats from forming and comb out any mild ones. It’s good to establish brushing habits as early as possible in a kitty’s life before it gets harder for them to become accustomed to it.
Many owners recommend using a reward system to slowly acclimate a cat to brushing. Start by simply showing the cat the brush, letting him or her nuzzle it, and then rubbing the brush near the scent glands on the cheeks – giving treats for accepting movements from the cat.
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Then progress to alternating between a few brush strokes and a treat during brushing sessions until your kitty becomes more comfortable.
Some cats are particularly opposed to grooming under the legs, but there are some tricks and strategies that might allow you to reach the knots in that area.
Try a change in position – for example, having the cat sit or stand on your legs while you carefully try to reach these areas, paying attention to their reactions and respecting when they want to stop.
Some owners also recommend finding a “sweet spot,” perhaps on the cat’s chest between their front legs and starting with pleasant brushing there before moving slowly to more problematic areas.
We have a download-able ebook, Grooming the Fluff, that will help you learn about the best methods and tools to use to keep that cat hair at bay.
You might also be interested in reading our post about Best Vacuums for Ragdoll Cat Hair According to Ragdoll Cat Owners
Here’s a YouTube video of me brushing Caymus, a seal mitted Ragdoll cat, with the Shedmonster and the amount of hair that comes off of him.
You can buy the ShedMonster
I also love the Lilly Brush BFF for getting Ragdoll cat hair off of furniture and other fabrics.
You can buy the Lilly Brush BFF
Do Ragdolls shed more than other cat breeds?
How do you quantify how much a cat sheds? Ragdolls shed a similar amount to any other mid- to long-haired cat, such as American Bobtails, or breeds such as Siberians which have a triple coat.
Again though, you can help to minimize shedding by looking at your cat’s diet, keeping them healthy and brushing regularly, but it’ll also depend on their genes and the climate where you live.
You should be able to effectively manage your cat’s shedding if you follow those steps and those in our ebook for grooming your ragdoll.
Which cats shed the least?
Unsurprisingly, Sphynx cats shed the least amount of hair. They aren’t actually bald, despite their look and reputation, but their coat is extremely fine and thin. Because of that, it doesn’t tend to tangle and clump, and the cats shed a much lower amount.
There are plenty of short-hair cat breeds that don’t shed much, but that doesn’t always mean they’re easier to care for. Each breed has its own requirements and needs. Plus, even breeds like ragdolls that can shed more are easy enough to maintain if you’re a good owner who puts the time in to properly groom and care for your cat.
How do I stop my ragdoll from shedding?
You can’t stop your ragdoll from shedding completely. What you can do is work to reduce the amount they shed, so that you aren’t constantly having to clean your clothes and furniture of cat hair.
Obviously, regular grooming with a brush is vital. It helps to collect any fur that’s ready to be shed, making it easy to clean. Follow all my steps above and in the ebook to groom your cat in the best way and prevent that loose hair from finding its way onto your furnishings.
Some people would advise you to bathe your cat to help reduce shedding. This shouldn’t be necessary, and I wouldn’t recommend bathing your cat unless you have to – such as if they’ve suffered diarrhea. Otherwise, grooming with a brush should be sufficient.
You should check your cat’s diet. Make sure they’re having a healthy, balanced diet that includes plenty of nutrients, and that your cat is properly hydrated too. Fatty acids and water help to maintain the health of a cat’s fur, stopping unnecessary shedding.
If your cat suddenly starts shedding a lot more than they normally would, consider speaking to your vet. If your ragdoll is suffering from health problems, then they could cause hair to fall out more rapidly. Any symptoms that are unusual are always worth getting checked before they develop into more serious issues.
Do ragdolls shed dander?
Dander – the flakes of dried skin found in animal fur – is one of the common substances that can trigger allergies. Because ragdolls don’t have an undercoat they don’t tend to produce much dander. Grooming your cat effectively won’t just remove shed fur but can also remove the dander before it’s deposited around the home.
Are ragdolls good for allergies?
Ragdolls aren’t hypoallergenic – so if you’re looking for a cat species that’s best for someone with a cat allergy, they may not be the perfect breed.
But because ragdolls don’t produce as much dander, they are well-suited to someone who is only allergic to cat dander. Unfortunately the only way you’d know this for sure is if you were tested with an allergist, and then ideally to spend some time with another ragdoll cat before adopting one yourself.
So in conclusion, if you’re asking do ragdolls shed, the answer is that they definitely shed hair, but there are ways you can manage it. Effective grooming, looking at your cat’s diet and making sure they stay healthy and happy will all help to keep fur shedding to a minimum.
Other popular brushes by cat lovers:
1. Equigroomer Cat Brush – Read our review or buy it here
I was introduced to the EquiGroomer when the inventor reached out to me via email, introducing her product. I definitely recommend using the EquiGroomer outside – as fur can fly everywhere. I was probably most impressed by its ability to not piss off Charlie and Trigg – a hard task for any cat grooming tool.
2. JW Grip Soft Cat Brush – Read our review or buy it here
We have had the JW Pet GripSoft Cat Brush for a very long time. I have used it on Charlie and Trigg and I have also used it on Caymus and Murphy. I cannot say anything bad about it. I like it just fine and it does the job it was made to do! This cat grooming brush is for daily brushing.
3. JW Pet Gift Soft Slicker Brush – Read our review or buy it here
Trigg and Charlie hate being brushed. Let’s just get that out of the way first. It doesn’t matter what the brush is, they just don’t like it. With that said, I like the JW Pet GripSoft Soft Slicker Brush very much and think it is a great brush for many reasons – it had a rubber sheathed handle so that it doesn’t slip in your hands. It also has finger fitting contours. It also comes with a 3-year guarantee that it will be replaced if it fails to perform as advertised.
4. JW Pet Cat Comb – Read our review or buy it here
The JW Grip Soft Cat Comb For Combing. Cat combs help to prevent matting and hairball formulation. Great for removing dingleberries from the behind area! Much like a comb vs. a brush for human hair – just gives the hair a different look. I also love the fact that I can stick this sucker into the dishwasher – so it’s easy to sanitize – if I use it on Charlie and Trigg and then on Caymus and Murphy (this was especially true this summer because I was worried that if Charlie and Trigg had flea eggs on them, that I would then transfer them to the other cats).
5. JW Pet Gripsoft Rotating Comfort Cat Comb – Read our review or buy it here
I did not know these two combs existed until a reader alerted me to the fact that rotating teeth might help my cats (who hate to be brushed and combed) tolerate brushing/combing. And after using this comb for a number of weeks, the rotating teeth absolutely do help – but my cats still hate being brushed and combed. I will definitely be keeping the medium JW Pet Company Rotating Comfort Comb – I like to keep it in my drawer in the kitchen and quickly grab it when I see the cats’ manes are a mess.
6. JW Pet Shedding Blade for Cats – Read our review or buy it here
The JW Pet Grip Soft Shedding Blade. The GripSoft rubber-sheathed handle makes it easy to hold in your hand and the little teeth along the shedding blade aren’t too sharp that you fear you will be cut. The only warning I have is that I suggest you remove the hair outside or in your garage because it tends to get everywhere as you are removing it – especially if your cats’ hair is as plush as Charlie’s.
7. Safari Cat Comb Review – Read our review or buy it here
The Safari Cat Comb is the first thing I grab to comb Charlie and Trigg’s manes. It’s also great for pesky knots and mats. As with any cat comb or brush, I used it to brush my hair to see how much it hurt or not. It has smooth, rounded teeth, so it didn’t hurt, other than when it pulled my hair! It would be a great comb for scratching an itch – think back scratcher!
Please share your shedding experience with your Ragdolls by leaving a comment below. Also, be sure to include what you do to help with the quantity of cat hair.