Do Ragdoll Cats Shed?

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Do Ragdoll Cats Shed?

Caymus with ShedMonster
Caymus with ShedMonster

Originally published on Apr 11, 2015

This 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:

  1. Where they live – the climate, temperature, humidity
  2. What they eat
  3. Their genes
  4. How often they are brushed
  5. What sort of health they are in

Brushing Routines

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.

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

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.


Comments (49)

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  1. Absolutely they shed! I have raised them for over twenty
    years. However the are not profuse shredders like many
    short haired cats. I think only twice a year you really notice the hair and with frequent grooming it is easy to keep this in check. Plus they love combing! Using a baby wipe on their hair ( if you do not like to give baths)
    also helps to remove extra hair.

  2. Ted sheds all the time and if it gets warm it comes out in lumps! Although he is mostly not white, nearly all his hair is white, its everywhere, all over the carpet and anywhere he’s been – you can see if he’s sneaked a nap on the bed – he also killed my daughter’s laptop, when it was repaired they said they had never had one full of cat hair before!

  3. That not shedding is a total myth. I can deal with grooming a couple times a week, vacuuming a few times a week (should be daily but I am lazy). It’s the sterilized fur balls on my clothes that drive me crazy. I have a front load washer (never again) and it does NOT remove fur, just balls it up and leaves it on or even matted into my laundry.

    For grooming though we have found the zoom groomer and the greyhound comb to help a lot. Make sure you start them young.

  4. My Charlie does shed. But, she sheds less than my Persian and *far* less than my Russian. I use a roly comb (I don’t know the technical name for it) on the floofs and a Furminator on the giant short-hair boy.

      1. I have a Russian Blue and a Ragdoll and my RB’s fur is nothing compared to my RD. Plus the color made it blend in when it landed on things whereas the bright white strands of my RD were like a game of follow the breadcrumbs ^^’

  5. Annabella sheds quite a bit if I don’t brush her at least twice a week. Luckily, she loves being brushed, she rolls and twists and purrs, and rubs her chin on the brush. I use the cheap-o kind I found at WalMart, and it works well. She would be happy if I brushed her every day, but since I (purposely) have light-color furniture, it isn’t completely necessary!

  6. yes they do shed my 2 do and fur everywhere and we do brush but i can not get the fur out of the sheets as they sleep on the bed. Anyone have any tips on how to get rid of the fur and the little fur ball???? But i must say i love my Shadow and Rosie very much.

  7. Oh you bet they shed! Max doesn’t shed quite as much as his sister Mocha, she sheds so much that I can get a softball sized lump of fur off of her multiple times the same week. I use a Furminator on her, as well as a Zoom Groom, a slicker brush and a comb while she purrs her wee brains out. We vacuum the cat hair, although not as much as I should, and use sticky rollers on freshly washed clothing. The cats are banned from the closets and frankly I don’t mind the fluff too much. It is just a part of having cats.

  8. Yes they shed! If a breeder is telling you they don’t shed then they are misleading you. The truth is that ragdolls shed much less than most long haired cats. I deal with the shedding with my amazing dyson animal vacuum, a lint roller hung up on the hat rack by the front door, a lint roller in my car… keeping my closet doors closed, and not allowing them on furniture i don’t want their hair on. 🙂

    also, brushing them at least twice weekly. and nutritional support goes the farthest way with coat health. if your rag isn’t taking in adequate nutrition then the shedding will become very problematic

  9. Good lord, YES, they shed, LOL! I read about their supposed “low-shedding” prior to getting my boy, too (although fortunately, I pretty much figured it sounded too good to be true, so I wasn’t overly upset when that proved otherwise.) I have one–ONE–Ragdoll, but my house is covered in everything from little wafting bits of fluff to outright tufts, at any given moment. (I wet my palms daily and use them to pick up the fur on our bed cover and on his scratching towers, as those places/surfaces seem particularly prone to attracting fur; elsewhere, I’m constantly bending over and picking up bits of fur.) Yet, there’s never any shortage of fur in the brushes when we have a grooming session, either. Truly, a Ragdoll’s fur–and his/her ability to keep making it!–is nothing short of amazing. 😉

  10. So far, my little 10 month old Grace doesn’t shed much but she is a sepia and her fur is a lot different from my other kitties because it feels really silky and there is not much undercoat at all, maybe none. That said, just picked up my new Baby Seal Lynx Ragdoll and she was shedding all over us, but think that it was due to 1) she had just been bathed, and 2) she was so nervous riding in the car and meeting us for the first time. Since she has been here, haven’t noticed much but that probably will change. I don’t mind though, I love to roll up cat hair balls! Just call me a crazy cat lady!

  11. Of course they shed!! But, they do shed less than other cats. We had 2 DSH before our Ragdolls. Their shedding was awful!! I think the lack of an undercoat helps with the shedding volume. I have also noticed that Minou and Gary ( seal point minks) shed less than Samson (regular lilac point). Samson’s hair also sticks to our clothes more often than not.

  12. My two are still kittens, and I haven’t noticed shedding yet. The breeder told me that they do shed, but she has found that the “mink” Ragdolls shed very little. She breeds both, and says there is a huge difference in clean up between the room with the traditionals versus the minks. I also have a 75 lb German Shepherd Dog, tho….so I am accustomed to hair, hair and more hair! They are all SO WORTH IT!! 🙂

  13. We have two adorable 1-year old ragdoll cats–1 male, 1 female (brother and sister). They shed ALL the time, regardless if my husband brushes them or not. I read different things on ragdolls before we bought them that said they didn’t shed. Well that’s a bunch of nonsense, because they shed all over our rugs and chairs–BUT we love them to death and wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world!

  14. My Notty is only half rag doll (her purebred Momma got outside and a stray cat got to her. But she has about 90% of the rag doll traits). Notty doesn’t shed AT ALL. We have a short haired cat who sheds constantly but Notty might have a stray hair once a week.

  15. When I’ve had kitties before, the best tool EVER for getting the hair out of them was the zoom groom. I already bought one for our new kitten we’re picking up this month.
    I think it’s got just the right grippy-ness to it to grab the hair, and it massages as you use it. Cats love to rub their faces on the rubber spikes, and it doesn’t seem to cause the friction you’d think it might when brushing.
    It’s a brilliant tool, and has always worked much better (in my experience) than furminator-style brushes.
    But as an important side note, I’ve only had shorthaired cats in the past.

  16. Hi,
    I have a medium length hair Ragdoll male, a Sealpoint, with mitted paws, we’re on FB, he does shed, my sister and I got into a disgustion about Ragdolls sheding. I told her they do shed. How they got their name was from being a relaxed cat when held. Being sociable. My Ragdoll is a beautiful cat going on 6 yrs., I love him, I also have a blk calico, she is very sociable and a relaxed cat.
    Thanks for answring my question and for the info.

  17. I have a 2 year old Ragdoll who now is definitely shedding a lot. my Problem is that she constantly grooms and is getting many knots which are hard to remove because when I brush her she starts grooming herself right away. I give her very good canned food which she loves (Fussy Cat) and also some dry (Fromm Surf and Turf). she never had problems with knots and I use a generic furnimator comb as well as other that have been recommended .Any other suggestions? I had always brushed her at least once a week but now find that I need to do it daily because of the excessive shedding and knots. Thanks to any help or suggestions.

    1. It must really depend on the cat…
      Ours doesn’t get mats, except sometimes in his mane when he gets food in it (he can’t groom it properly because the hair is too long – no matter how far he tilts his head back the hair is still on his tongue).

      We feed wellness brand wet food (if that matters), and we almost never groom him. We have a furminator brand brush for long hair, but I only use it to pretty him up sometimes when company is coming over. For the most part he takes care of grooming himself, and he never has any knots. He has gotten a “hot spot” under his chin in the past, where he’s scratched too much, so I trimmed the spot and it healed on its own.

      I should note that about 6 months ago, we got a groomer to give him a teddy bear cut (short hair all over, left the tail long and didn’t touch the face). It was adorable. It made him look like a kitten again (he’s only about 2, but he’s looked grown up since his mane came in around 8 months)

      As for shedding, yes, he sheds. We vacuum every 2 weeks, and we lint roll our clothes before leaving the house. But it’s nothing like having short-haired cats… I’m used to way worse shedding than this.

      I’ve come to the conclusion, after some research and then some personal experience, that it’s better to avoid dry food altogether. I do feed some treats (freeze dried meats), but not often. Our current kitty gets all the wet food he wants (at least three times each day), and he’s quite trim and healthy. I suspect it’s because he’s getting enough water, and most cats eating dry food don’t (because cats don’t drink water all that much).

      Anyway, just my two cents. Well, maybe more like 5 cents.


  18. OMG Do Ragdolls shed, I have two that are 18 months, Full brother and sister. Tinker the boy is a seal mitted and his fur is not near as long as his sister Jazzy, shes a bi-color. He sheds but nothing like Jazzy. She is like a ball of cotton, Not only does she shed enough everyday That I could make another Ragdoll out of her fur but she also mats sooooo bad, I find tuffs of fur every where. I actually shaved most of her belly to keep the mats down. As soon as the weather gets warmer I am going to give her a lion cut. I brush her everyday and I don’t know where all the fur comes from, It must grow over night.

  19. Those who want non-shedding pets can get hairless cats or poodles. All our kitties shed to some extent… oddly enough, short-haired cats often seem to shed more than the furry folks (Ragdolls, Persians, Angoras, Maine Coons, etc.). Do we care? Absolutely not! Extra cleanup is nothing compared to the endless love we get from our fur babies! 🙂

  20. Do Ragdolls shed? Can I get a big “Hell, yeah!” lol 🙂

    Excuse me while I pull a floating fluffy out of my mouth while I’m typing this comment… *smirk*

    Our Miss Pink Sugarbelle doesn’t just shed she MOLTS! But we accept this fact and pick up fluffies off the carpet and off ourselves frequently. When I vacuum (which I do a lot!) I’m always amazed at what I empty out of the vac canister in the form of fluffles from Our Baby Girl. Whoa.

    And, when I brush her I wish I could have a disposabale hazmat suit to wear so I don’t have to clean up all the errant fluffs from me when I’m done. 🙂

    Yes, I’m pretty sure Ragdolls shed. *evil grin*

    Big hugs!

    Patti & Miss Pink SugarShedsALot 🙂 <3

    P.S. Just lurve that video as it could be our floor at times, too, and the incredible amount of fluff resulting from our shed monster grooming sessions is exactly the same, too! 🙂 <3

  21. I have a female blue mitted named Lottie. She is 1 yr old. Yes she sheds. Not nearly as bad as I was expecting. She mostly leaves little fur balls everywhere. She grooms herself and I brush her weekly and usually get a comb full of fur. If I don’t have time to comb, I wet my hands and pet all over her to get rid of excess fur. I feed her Wellness core grain free indoor dry, not that it matters.

  22. My two both shed, but my silky haired Cream Male sheds worse than my bunny furred Seal Bi color female. I vacuum every other day to get rid of the tumbleweeds that roll through my apartment and using the Shed Ninja brushing tool is very helpful in eliminating the extra hair that comes off them. If I brush them every day for 15 minutes, or every other day, it’s much better, but sometimes, I don’t have time and then it gets crazy again. I don’t care, I love them!!

  23. Our boy is a year and a half, and is a prolific shedder. It doesnt seem to matter how much I brush/comb him. So much hair! We love him, so we don’t mind. But for people who are discerning what kind of cat to get….if heavy shedding is a problem for you….. you might not be happy with a ragdoll.

  24. Yes, I agree with everyone here! Ragdolls shed ALOT! What really helps, get the Oster Undercoat rake! What a marvelous tool! You will be amazed at how much of the undercoat is can take out! It is stainless steel and never pulls or cuts your cat. When we first got our ragdoll, Milo, we were combing the outside but never combed his belly area. OMG! He had knots under there so bad. I had to take safety scissors and just cut the tip ever so little and use my fingertips to pull them apart first before trying to work on them. And like everyone here, I could comb him every day and vacuum the house for it to be the same way the next day. Am I sorry I got a ragdoll?? Absolutely not! They are so funny!

  25. I had read that Ragdolls do not shed as much as other cats. Based on Diva and the hair she leaves everywhere, if that is true, then I pity other cat owners.

    But, to me, a Ragdoll is the only cat for me.

  26. Absolutely they shed!! I have two Ragdoll furpersons, and the quality, consistency, and length of their fur is quite different. My beautiful seal mitted girl has downy soft l-o-n-g and profuse coat that is gossamer fine and very dense. Sometimes she sheds in clumps, and I brush her at least once every second and third day to keep her hair silky, untangled, and the loose hair under control. My flame point boy’s hair is a bit shorter, not as fine, and more ‘rabbit-fur’ like. He absolutely hates being brushed or groomed, so it’s a battle to keep him groomed. He tends to lose a lot of hair when he’s stressed or upset, whereas her shedding does not fluctuate as much. He has a habit of not only grooming himself, but also grooming his sister, so he has a tendency to get more fur balls than she does. We live in California, so their shedding is not seasonal (unfortunately) and all-year long, which makes for constant vacuuming, brushing, and sticky-rolling clothes and furniture.

    If anyone thinks that Ragdolls do not shed, this is a false expectation, and they should not get one if they are not prepared to comb, brush, and groom them as any long-haired cat. Their exceptionally beautiful, soft, luxurious fur needs systematic care and careful maintenance not only to keep it smooth, but also for the health of the furperson so that they do not get mats and furballs. It’s a very small price to pay for the joy of their company and character!

  27. My Ragdoll Widget sheds quite a bit. Wonder why there are so many myths associated with this breed. For example some people think that they don’t feel pain. All cats shed some, and they DO feel pain. Fortunately we have not had much problem with coughing up hairballs. Maybe because I brush him every day, but he won’t tolerate his tummy being brushed, so who knows what’s going on there!

  28. I have a mitted seal point ragdoll that is six and a half years old and hardly sheds at all. I remember when I picked her up from the breeder I was asking the breeder about what type of brush I need and she said my cats don’t shed. I have course thought she was lying. I didn’t notice that it was true until my Maine coon died last year. I have to brush that Maine Coon for 25 minutes everyday just to keep things under control. But there was still fur all over the place on all of our furniture on all of our clothing just a layer of fur that we lived with for 20 years. (he made it to 20…i miss that furball everyday so much it hurts).
    Then the Maine coon passed away and suddenly over the next few weeks our house became and cleaner and cleaner. It’s been six months since my Maine coon has passed away and our house has virtually no cat fur anywhere. I can’t believe it. When my Maine coon was alive we had to put covers on our couches t-shirts on the areas of the bed where the cat slept and he would coat it with fur instantly. Now our couches and beds are practically fur free. With my Maine coon I could fill up a brush with fur three or four times per combing session. With my Ragdoll I have been combing her for the past six months and the brush hasn’t filled up once yet. I know it sounds crazy and most of you think I’m lying. I have been researching breeders and thinking about getting another Maine Coon but I realize how nice it is to live in a house that doesn’t have a layer of cat fur on everything. And I’m having second thoughts about getting another Maine Coon and thinking about going back to the breeder where I got my ragdoll. Reading all of the posts here I realize the most ragdolls do shed I don’t know what’s wrong with my cat, I hope she doesn’t just explode in a puff of fur one day.

      1. Please know there’s no guarantee on getting a cat that is “low shedding” – even a full sibling could shed more – also depends on what they eat, how much your groom them, where you live, how old they are, what the seasonal weather is like, etc.

  29. I live in a hot climate and my house is catastrophically covered in cat hair. I have one ragdoll. She is a prolific shedder! I have to vacuum every. single. day. I have to de-fluff my bed, my sofas, and her hair accumulates under the beds and in the corners. I have to brush her every day. I get her tummy clipped three times a year. Ragdolls shed enormously! Especially if you live in Queensland, Australia.

  30. I have a ragdoll/ Siamese cross. She sheds profusely and has rabbit soft hair. She is on a raw diet and I comb her every day. She still sheds and sheds and sheds. Hair everywhere!!

  31. My Ragdoll does a tremendous amount of shedding. His fur is very fine so travels great distances. He need not visit a room to leave his calling card! He lives only indoors but great wisps of his creamy white fur can usually be found on the welcome mat outside.

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