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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52 Comments

  1. Patricia Bain Holland says:

    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.

  2. My black kitty is part ragdoll and she really doesn’t shed despite her longer hair. Maybe that’s where the rumor stems from? The right hybridization must prevent shedding.

  3. 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.

      -Fai

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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!! 🙂

  9. 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.

  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. 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. 😉

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. katrina oconnor says:

    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.

  15. Of course they do; I have never heard this myth – how strange.

  16. 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!

  17. Coinneach Fitzpatrick says:

    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. When you say Russian, do you mean Russian Blue? I was thinking of getting one, but I don’t want a cat that sheds a lot….

      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 ^^’

  18. 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.

  19. 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!

  20. 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.

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