Do Ragdoll Cats Shed?

Caymus with ShedMonster
Caymus with ShedMonster

The “Do Ragdoll Cats Shed?” topic frequently comes up through emails and our Facebook page.  And I have been watching Charlie shed like a maniac recently, so I am republishing 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 the following:

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

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Brushing Routines

Sometimes regularly brushing a cat 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 more challenging 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 them 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. However, some tricks and strategies 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 before moving slowly to more problematic areas.

Our downloadable ebook, Grooming the Fluff, will help you learn about the best methods and tools to keep that cat’s hair at bay.

downloadable ebook- GroomingTheFluff2D_v2

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 furniture and other fabrics.

Do Ragdolls shed more than other cat breeds?

How do you quantify how much a cat sheds? Ragdolls shed a similar amount to mid- to long-haired cats, such as American Bobtails, or breeds like Siberians, which have a triple coat.

Again, you can help minimize shedding by looking at your cat’s diet, keeping them healthy, and brushing regularly. Still, it’ll also depend on their genes and your climate. 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 sound 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. But, you can work to reduce the amount they shed so that you don’t constantly have to clean your clothes and furniture of cat hair.

Obviously, regular grooming with a brush is vital. It helps collect any fur ready to be shed, making it easy to clean. Follow all my steps above and in the ebook to groom your cat best and prevent that loose hair from getting onto your furnishings.

Some people would advise you to bathe your cat to help reduce shedding. However, this shouldn’t be necessary. 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. Ensure it has a healthy, balanced diet that includes plenty of nutrients and that your cat is hydrated. Fatty acids and water help to maintain the health of a cat’s fur, stopping unnecessary shedding.

Consider speaking to your vet if your cat suddenly starts shedding more than it usually would. Also, if your ragdoll suffers from health problems, it could cause hair to fall out more rapidly. Any unusual symptoms are always worth checking before they develop into more severe 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. However, because ragdolls don’t have an undercoat, they don’t tend to produce much dander. So properly grooming your cat 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 is if you were tested with an allergist, and then ideally spend some time with another ragdoll cat before adopting one yourself.

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 ensuring they stay healthy and happy will all help 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 emailed me, introducing her product. I definitely recommend using the EquiGroomer outside – as fur can fly everywhere. However, I was probably most impressed by its ability to not piss off Charlie and Trigg – a challenging 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 negative 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 – buy it here

Trigg and Charlie hate being brushed. So, let’s get that out of the way first.  It doesn’t matter what the brush is; they don’t like it. With that said, I like the JW Pet GripSoft Soft Slicker Brush very much and think it is an excellent brush for many reasons – it has a rubber-sheathed handle so that it doesn’t slip in your hands.  It also has finger-fitting contours and comes with a 3-year guarantee that it will be replaced if it fails to perform as advertised.

4. JW Pet Cat Comb – 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 – it 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 – Buy it here

I did not know these two combs existed until a reader alerted me that rotating teeth might help my cats (who hate to be brushed and combed) tolerate brushing/combing. And after using this comb for several weeks, the rotating teeth do help – but my cats still hate being brushed and combed. So I will undoubtedly keep 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. My only warning is that I suggest you remove the hair outside or in your garage because it tends to get everywhere as you remove 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 an excellent comb for scratching an itch – think backscratcher!

Please share your shedding experience with your Ragdolls by leaving a comment below. Also, include what you do to help with the quantity of cat hair.

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

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  1. My Ziva has started a new trend…Furry lipstick

  2. My ragdoll did not shed as a kitten. By her first spring… Holy Cow!!
    Perhaps people are fooled by the kittens as their hair isn’t yet full length and density? That’s the only thing I can think to explain this no-shedding myth I also heard about.

    1. Yes, on HOLY COW! Sorry you found out about it that way =/

  3. 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.

    1. “He need not visit a room to leave his calling card!” – – what a creative way to say that.

  4. Anonymous says:

    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!!

  5. Sheona Beach says:

    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.

    1. Ha ha ha – thank you for sharing – yes, they shed!!

  6. 1gothickitten says:

    Yes, they shed terribly. Itsy Bitsy sheds enough in a day to make another entire cat. We always tell her that she is falling apart LOL.

  7. Super fabulous & pawesome re-post, Jenny! TYSVM!! 🙂 <3

    Big hugs & lots of love & purrs!

    Patti & Miss Pink Sugarbelle (who is runnning around and shedding right at this very moment…lol) 🙂 <3 <3 <3

    1. I know! It’s crazy that people would even say Ragdolls don’t shed!

  8. Yappity Yap says:

    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. katiekade says:

      Do you mind sharing the breeders information with me? My daughter wants a rag doll and would love one that is a low shedder.

      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.

    2. Sheona Beach says:

      I am confused. Are you sure she is a ragdoll? Ha ha! Amazing!

  9. chris chocallo says:

    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!

  10. 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!

  11. Can someone please explain to me which extremes of climate, temperature, and humidity inhibit more shedding versus less shedding-hot or cold/humid or not humid?

  12. 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.

    1. Sheona Beach says:

      I love ragdolls!

  13. Milos-mama says:

    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!

  14. strikersmom says:

    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.

  15. 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!!

  16. Sarah Watson says:

    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.

  17. Patti Johnson says:

    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

  18. Mine both shed, but never mat … thank heavens!

  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! 🙂

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