Ragdoll Cat Grooming Recommendations Needed

Post Published on April 11, 2012 | Last Updated on July 8, 2021 by Jenny

Ragdoll Cat Grooming Recommendations Needed

Julie, loved by Mooshu, wrote me recently asking me for Ragdoll cat grooming tips.  I have to be honest that I just clean all the time, or seems like it, since Charlie and Trigg hate being brushed. I also tend to take off a lot of fur when they are running around outside. My ex-boyfriend taught me that if you get your hands slightly wet and then rub them along your kitty, the fur just comes off and actually sort of cleans them at the same time.

Here’s what Julie wrote, “what on god’s green freakin earth do you recommend I do about shedding?? I have tried every kind of brush…slicker, metal, metal comb, this rubbery thing that picks up loose fur…I brush the fool every day & get fist fulls of lovely fur!! I am suffocating in mooshu fur!! Any ideas? I don’t know if I have asked you before…but what do you think of that furminator brush? Does it ruin the texture of their coat? Will it help with shedding? I mean I can glide my hand over his body & pull out shit loads of loose fur…and he still has like 50 layers…he is all fur…like 15 pounds of FUR!! HELP!!”

My experience with Ragdolls is that it really depends on their coat. Charlie sheds like a crazy man, Trigg not so much.

I honestly do think Charlie would appreciate a Lion’s Cut like Teddy gets in the summers.

What works for you?

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42 thoughts on “Ragdoll Cat Grooming Recommendations Needed

  1. Rebecca Clee says:

    Fascinating discussion.
    I have a 9 month old ragdoll/Himalayan cross . We rarely see hair around as she is a very low shedder. I comb her with a little pocket comb which she enjoys but the amount of hair I get is no more than I’d get off my own short cut hair. She has no undercoat and is small for a ragdoll, only 7 lbs., as she was the runt and has had some health issues. Soon after we got her we started bathing her every week or two, then she sits by the fireplace to dry , quite cute actually. Not sure what will happen when spring comes, maybe she will shed then. I was shocked to actually find a small mat under her chin the other day so I just teased it apart and that was it. That was her first and only mat.
    When the humidity is low , her coat lies flat, but when it is high she’s like a little puff ball. Now my question seem silly. I love her fluffy bunny hair but how can I keep it that way

  2. Geo says:

    I have the same situation Stacy, with one of my big fluffy Raggie boys. Last year, he got so matted that I took him to the vet’s office where a vet tech groomed him with clippers. He looked quite uneven as she is not a pro groomer, but it got the knots and mats out without hurting his skin. About 6 months later, he is back to being knotted up again. My bf and I try to brush him as much as he’ll allow and cut out some of the worst knots with a scissor– very carefully and not too close to the skin. He really should be professionally groomed but I prefer not to take him out of the house unless it’s to see the vet. He still is a gorgeous cat but looks disheveled and unkempt. He has controlled us amazingly well with his extreme protestations at grooming time!

  3. Stacy says:

    Help!!!!! I’m trying to read through most if these but still not sure what would be best. Our Ragdoll is about 18 months old. He’s huge and fluffy! His hair is very thick. He has just started getting terrible mats on his back and his hind legs. He hates being brushed. He’s the sweetest baby but you get that brush out and he cries and bites! I’m not sure what to do or what is best to use for his hair. Please give me some tips. He was such a beautiful cat and I have had to cut out some of his hair.

  4. clair says:

    Hi everyone,
    I have two blue ragdoll sisters, Charlie and Lola. They are 20 months old and have completely different fur. Charlie is a big fluffy ball of soft fur, with a huge lion like maine; Lola’s coat is still fluffy but so much shorter, but sheds all the time.
    Charlie hates being groomed and the only brushes I can get near her are my hairbrushes! Lola on the other hand wriggles around like she’s in heaven but still looks like a fluffy mess.
    I’ve given up trying to groom them daily, its quicker to clean the house and use the grooming as a bonding session when they come to me.
    They are very good at grooming each other (and me and our rabbit) so their coats are still soft, silky and gorgeous its just my house that looks like a fur bomb has gone off!!
    The odd occasion I have had to trim Charlie is when she sticks her chin/neck hair in her water fountain and it knots but she let’s me trim with scissors (begrudgingly).
    I love my raggys and have come to accept that I will forever be hoovering tufts of white fluff whilst they are around.

  5. Kari says:

    I LOVE my two boys, I rescued them both as adults, and BOTH hate being brushed 🙁 So I have done the lion cuts… and they didn’t seem to mind it, and I loved not walking around with a lint roller 24/7 . I only do it in summer tho, when its hot in Texas 🙂

    • Deanne says:

      Thanks for your msg. I’m about to get a beautiful Ragdoll who is 12 years old. The owners dont brush him, and I saw some matted hair, so I was going to get the lion’s cut. Hope he won’t mind, he’s never had a haircut in his life. How old were yours when you rescued them? Is there still a lot of hair around even with the lion’s cut?

  6. Beth says:

    Just read Michelle’s post about her Ragdoll who loves being vacuumed… IF ONLY!!! Mine either run and hide or sit and glare at me before they give up and disappear. Maybe they would tolerate a SILENT vacuum but, as far as I know, there isn’t such a thing 🙂

  7. Michelle says:

    I have a 10 month old blue point rag doll who is very fluffy and leaves fur everywhere!!!!
    I have discovered while vacuuming the furniture he also loves to be vacuumed!! He will lay in the couch while I vacuum one side and then roll over so he can have the other side done. I use a small attachment so it won’t suck him up!!
    I now can’t turn the vacuum on without him meowing for his turn!!

    • Dee Scherzer says:

      Hi Michelle – glad to know I’m not the only one with tons of hair around the house from 1 blue point ragdoll kitty. Ours is now 10 months old. I will try the vacuum on him…he’s not afraid of our vacuums. Thanks!

  8. Betty says:

    Julie – You make grooming sound like fun! 🙂 I am going to try the wet hands on Andy – but I may end up with a handful of mud instead of fur! He’s soft & fluffy like a bunny too and he never mats – so except for the season coat blow, he doesn’t seem to really need to be brushed. I am sorry that he feels like that since my other two enjoy it and we use it as time together. I do still comb him gently & stop before the purring ends in the hope that he will come to take pleasure in it. One of my guys will let me use the cat shedder on him till he has bald spots and beg for more when I stop. But I would never use the shedder on Andy. I think it would damage his lovely (and now dusty) coat. I had to give up light colors because of my two old guys fur and now I have had to give up dark for Andy. So really, I have just lowered my standards and enjoy my guys. The disposable rollers are required and I keep one in the car to catch the hairs I miss in the house. This is a great thread – thanks for starting it! Glad the poopy butt is history! 🙂

    • Julie says:

      Hi Betty!
      I don’t know about “fun”…but it does make me laugh to watch him try & run away or flop from side to side trying to trick me. And…oh yeah…all my standards & OCDness have been totally shot! It’s so worth it though! Your babies sound just delightful and I am so glad that grooming is bonding time for you as well. That’s how I look at it too! And I ALWAYS stop before he gets annoyed…keeps him comin’ back for more!

  9. Charlotte says:

    Julie, I have bothone, does not have an undercoat and my female does. I think the refer to ragdolls with an undercoat as a mink coat. They are harder to groom and will mat, I know from experience. I adopted my female when she was 2 years old. I was told she loved to be brushed, boy is that not true. It takes me and my husband to groom her, we’ve actually had to cut some of the matts. Good luck with your kitties.

    • Julie says:

      Hi Charlotte!
      Interesting…I honestly don’t know what kind of coat Mooshu is…he doesn’t mat…well…he did once in a small spot under his front armpit…but I just combed it out & he has never had that issue again. He’s soft as a bunny & has these super fine whispy hairs that when I run my hand over his body…i get a handful of hair…and he is SUPER fluffy!…I think he does have an undercoat…he MUST! 🙂 And I wouldn’t say he “loves” when i brush him…but he tolerates it…mostly just rolls around & tries to crawl away…but i am faster than him…and I usually win! hahaha!

  10. Teresa says:

    Well, it sounds like your Mooshu has a very beautiful coat. Don’t know if you have tried this or not, but when I switched my kitties’ diets over from eating dry food to exclusively canned food, their fur changed dramatically in texture and they all look like they have more shine and vibrance to their fur. My little Gracie, who is only 5 months old, came to me eating Royal Canin kitten #36 dry food. It has been a challenge getting her switched and did it very slowly, but her fur has really blossomed into a beautiful sheen. None of them are shedding terribly like they used to before changing their diets.
    Another thing you might try, depending on the temprament of your kitty, is to vaccuum him if he is not afraid of it. One persian I had loved to be vaccuumed and would follow it around until I stopped and gave her personal attention. Just be very careful not to suck his tail up because it might injure him or scare him to death!
    Lastly, the more you brush him (like every day), the better it will be to keep up with it getting on all your furniture and clothes. Jenny’s method about wetting your hands really works and have done this for taking kitty fur off my clothes – works better than any lint brush ever could!
    Good luck and give him a big kiss. Read his Ragdoll of the week story and he is so beautiful and can see why you love him so.

    • Julie says:

      Hi Teresa!
      I did in fact switch Mooshu to ONLY wet food after talking with Jenny about how much better it is for them…and it has been amazing! The switch was seamless…he never knew what hit him! AND…No more poopy butt!! Haha! But the shedding has not decreased at all! I heard that it could help…but no…not for us. 🙁

      OMG…When i read what you wrote about the vaccuum I almost peed myself..I pictured him getting sucked up in it! LOL! But that’s funny…but I think I will not try that! LOL!

      I did however do the wet hands trick & it worked well! I am glad to see many positive replies regarding the Furminator…I think i will try it and see how we feel about it. But still continue daily Zoom Grooming & combing!

      I will for sure give The Moosh kisses for you & thank you for your kind words…it’s so amazing having total strangers sense how much I adore my Moosh! He really is heavenly!

  11. Geo says:

    Two big furry, shedding boys here too. We like the Zoom Groom combined at times with the Furminator. I also use a small slicker brush particularly for when they have ‘cling ons’ on their backsides after using the litterbox. It can be hard to get them to sit still for a full brushing session though. One flops and enjoys it more than the other, who tries to get away most of the time. I too have hair everywhere! I often say that I could clean for 5 hrs straight and I then move the rug and a tuft of hair will blow up. I have lint brushes in every room (and the car). And I have a mug that says, ‘Cat Hair is a condiment,’ lol.

  12. Sharon says:

    I comb my ragdolls with a long hair cat comb and use the furminator brush every day. I don’t think it affects their coats negatively. And they love it. I also have a ‘Shed Pal’ that I use every day that vacuums their fur into a collection chamber. (I wish I knew how to spin their fur into yarn!)
    I have an air filter in the front of the house and one in the back of the house!
    I use a Bissell pet vacuum which helps keep the place cleaner. But…I still have lint rollers in every corner of the house and one hanging on the back of the front door for my sons to use as they walk out the door.
    I can’t wear black, navy or dk gray. But, like the t shirt reads ‘cat fur is a condiment in our house’.
    I love my Ragdolls, but do a lot to keep their fur from flying all over the house. Drives me crazy! People would think I don’t take care of my cats, or clean, dust or vacuum.
    I also bathe them about once a month with a combination of 2 shampoos then a conditioner. The key is rinsing well!!
    Then blow dry on warm (not hot, not cold) and towel dry at the same time.
    Of course, you could shave them, but there goes the Ragdoll look! (Can you imagine Farrah with a buzz cut and fluffy bangs!?)
    But, everyone is different.

    • Julie says:

      You crack me up! Are you for hire? Hahaha!
      I have OCD…so the cat hair around the house makes me think that people will think I don’t clean either…when in fact…I spend HOURS balling up cat fur from the furniture & carpet! It’s become my hobby! I am going to look into this “shed pal” Thanks for all the tips!

  13. Rebecca says:

    Zoom Groom is the only brush all four of my raggies will tolerant – I have a greyhound comb on order. I have a whole box load of brushes and combs from having an American Eskimo for 17 years. MRune has curly fur on his bloomers and belly. He ended up with a lion cut this winter as much as I tried to get his matts out he would just keep getting more and I was leaving them with the pet sitter for a month.

    The furmiator is not recommended for Ragdoll fur as it cuts the coat. Lion Cuts do the same. MRune is now a lot darker then he was.
    I will also say that when I was feeding raw the shedding was a lot less.

    • Julie says:

      Uh-O! I just ordered the Furminator as I found a great deal on it for half price! I am really confused now as I read so many great reviews & very few negative ones on Amazon…What does “cut the coat” mean? Like he will look frizzy? Like split ends? Now I just don’t know what to do! I would HATE to ruin his bunny-like fur!! 🙁

      • pamela devereux says:

        Hi Julie,
        It will only prevent the fur from clumping as Ragdolls have an undercoat.My kittens just don’t like how it feels so I do a few strokes with the Furminator everyday until they habituate to it.My kittens have very thick fur on their hindquarters,and w/o the Furminator it would form knots.I’ve noticed less shedding so it must be doing some good.

        • Julie says:

          Hi Pamela!
          THANK YOU!! Like I said…so confusing with all the different feedback floating around the internet…I just got done reading something saying that Rags DO NOT have undercoats…but i’ll be damned I think they MUST! Mooshu has like 10 coats! hahaha! I am looking forward to getting mine (ordered it yesterday) I will for sure keep you all updated & let you know if it is a hit or miss for us!

          • pamela devereux says:

            Your welcome,Julie.I’ve read both,but my kittens must have it or they are triple coated.I look forward to your updates.

  14. Lori says:

    I’ve seen a spray you can buy that’s supposed to help prevent shedding. And, although my cats don’t shed much because I brush them often, I still keep lint rollers handy for the strays that get on my black clothes.

  15. Betty says:

    After 25+ years of living with cats, I have found the answer to all my problems. Zyrtec and lowering my standards for cleanliness 🙂 That said, my two shorthairs love to be combed & brushed. It is the reward for good behavior. Andy (the raggie) hates to be brushed. He allows me to briefly use my comb (it smells like me, I guess) for a short time – it is the only comb/brush he will tolerate. And I am never allowed to run it through his tail or on his big belly! Luckily, his fur never mats. My only problem with him is that this Spring, he looks like a bum since he has been allowed to spend time with me in the garden and he rolls in the dirt constantly. His white is not so white… But its ok – I just lower my standards a little more and problem solved. That keeps everyone happy!

  16. Carrie Wehmeyer says:

    I have five Ragdolls, all with different coats. I comb each one every day with a greyhound comb (my favorite is the Chris Christensen, it has rounded tips on the teeth) Two of them like a follow up with a bristle brush, but it’s not necessary, just pleasurable for them. I notice certain foods make them shed more than others, taking into account seasonal shedding. I love the ZoomerGroomer thingie for washing my dog. It gets all the way through her thick double coat to her skin. I lost mine after ten years and couldn’t remember the name of it. I am so happy to have been reminded today. In spite of the daily grooming, we have hair all over our clothes!

  17. Jill says:

    I have 3 Ragdolls and I have a hard time with the fur too. Two of them get lion cuts at the groomers twice a year…what a difference! Yes, I KNOW a lot of you aren’t fans of this, but they actually get a very modified cut that leaves a lot more dignity and plenty of fur to snuggle in..lol
    The other ( and my other 3 kitties) all get groomed with a rake that has tines which get narrower at the bottom. This results in pulling out just the undercoat and yes, there is always a LOT of it….but, it makes a huge difference! It doesn’t ruin the look of the top coat, and it makes it more comfortable for them as well. I even found a double headed one ( with two rows of rake teeth, one smaller than the other) i the dog grooming section at Target…LOVE IT!

    Hope this helps…

    Meowm to Rohan, Tenju, and Dhani ( and Nairobi, Maya and Joxx)

  18. Beth says:

    Thank you for this discussion topic, Jenny – and thanks to all for contributing their experience!

    I’ve never had a cat who liked being brushed but the long-haired fur babies hate it most. Some are more pugilistic than others. Little Pretty, my Himalayan, had the sweetest nature but he was the toughest. Once I actually slid off the chair while de-matting him! We had a witness, wish I’d had a camera. 10# cat trumps 120# cat mom… what a home video that would’ve been!

  19. Karalee says:

    I have 3 Ragdolls, 2 mink seal points and a lilac point. The two types have very different fur. My lilac boy’s fur sticks on EVERYTHING. The best brush I have ever used that works on both types of fur is an Oster claw-type comb. The inside curve of the tines have a bit of an edge. That thing pulls out amazing amounts of fur. Once a month with that thing, and our fur problems are solved. I refuse to cut their hair. It’s too beautiful! I wish I could remember the name of the brush, but I’m looking at it right now, and it’s made by Oster, and it’s the best investment I ever made for my raggies.
    Two out of the three kick up a fuss at being groomed, but between my husband and I, and some freeze-dried chicken treats, we can usually get the jon done!

  20. Judy says:

    I have 3 cats. Joey – a 4 yr old medium hair, Lucy – 3 yr old short hair, and a sweet silly adorable Oliver – 5 month old Ragdoll. I use a comb and plastic pet brush on Joey, the furminator on Lucy, and a comb and plastic brush on Ollie. None of them truly like it, but they put up with it. I ran the furminator on my arms and can understand why they wouldn’t like it – so I only use it as much as Lucy will allow. When I am done brushing them, I too wet my hands and run the length of their bodies to get the loose hair off. I would NEVER consider a haircut for them . . . ever . . . period. My mother in law has one Ragdoll and is obsessed with the cat hair ‘problem’. I run the sweeper every other day and my line of thought is, if you don’t like the hair, don’t own a cat. There just is no way around it.

  21. Charlotte says:

    I have 2 ragdolls with entirely different coats. Murphy my seal bi-color has very silky fur and loves to be combed. I have used the furminator on him. He does not shred that much. But Tulah, my blue mitted has very thick fur that matts. She hates to be groomed and it actually takes 2 of us. She’s very big and strong. She is my third ragdoll and the only one that matts. Any suggestion are greatly appreciated.

  22. pamela devereux says:

    My seal point kittens are 7 months old and I started grooming them with a soft brush as soon as we brought them home.They like that but aren’t comfortable yet with the Furminator.I’m hoping they habituate to it over time.I’ll introduce them to a wet bath when the weather warms up,but for the moment I use kitty bath clothes.They seem to tolerate most of their grooming sessions with purring so it can’t be all that bad.By the by,I absolutely adore them.

  23. Julie says:

    The Zoom Groom!! That’s the “rubbery thing that picks up loose fur” that i was referring to in my email to Jenny! Hahaha! He loves it…and it works…but I was more wondering if there was anything i could do to help “eliminate” some of the shedding? I don’t bathe him…cuz I think he will try & eat me if I do…or I may end up with a big matted mess! And NO WAY would I ever consider a lions cut…just no (sorry Jenny) lol! However…I do brush him everyday…with all five different utensils (yes…he usually lets me but mostly he likes to roll around & thinks it’s a game). The fur is not just were he sleeps…it’s in the air, on my cabinets, in my teeth, on the TV…it is EVERYWHERE…even after a good brushing…he just sheds all the time! Thank you guys for you suggestions & sharing your fur tales!

    • Debbie says:

      Julie .. .what you describe is what we have going on .. .all the time .. .everywhere! We rehomed this big boy from the place where we clean. Now we don’t have the hair to clean there, but do here at home. haha! He came to us badly matted. I slowly got his mats off and try to brush him some each day, but can feel little mats starting again. Just have to constantly work on him .. .and he wasn’t brushed when little, so not happy about it. Reading here , I’m encouraged to try the zoom groom too, to see if I could keep him from matting better! Thanks!

  24. Suzanne says:

    I use a very fine comb and use it everyday all over both of my cats. I save the hair (I don’t know why) in gallon ziplock bags. I just filled one for Violet for the year and it’s overstuffed, a pair of eyes and I could make a good sized kitty!!!! Both of my Rags are indoor only, and neither has ever had a bath. They smell great and are pristinely clean 🙂 I often consider a bath, then I look at them and think, there’s nothing to clean, and their fur is beautiful. Personally, I don’t understand shaving a cat (unless it’s found neglected and matted), it’s unnatural, and most likely humiliating. There is no way any cat could enjoy that♥ Even if you faithfully brush or comb them, they are still going to leave hair where they sleep or rest, just part of loving a cat!

    • Mary Beth Riordan says:

      I know what you mean about shedding. You can prevent fur balls. You can prevent dreadlocks. But, no matter how hard you try, fur will still fly.

      Apparently, outdoor cats shed seasonally. For indoor cats, it is eternal springtime. Oh, joy.

      Wet hands, furminators, gloves and scratching kitty’s back–they all work, up to a point. Grooming in an empty bathtub help contain fur. And, btw, slightly wet hands work much better than a lint roller for getting fur off of clothing.

      Oh, yeah; the reason for my post:

      For all of you crazy cat owners (like me) who save their cats fur in ziplock bags: Crafting with Cat Hair: Cute Handicrafts to Make with Your Cat

      I just ordered my copy. Even if I never do any of the projects, at least I can say I’m saving my cats fur for “crafting purposes”.

  25. Lori says:

    My Ragdoll kitten is 9 months old. She has long, thin fur. I have a Furminator slicker brush that I use on her every morning. She moves around a lot while I brush her, but she actually likes it. I think it feels like a momma cat’s tongue grooming her, as it pulls a bit. I have another cat that’s full grown – and not a Ragdoll. I had heard rave reviews about the Zoom Groom brush. When I got it and looked at it, I really wondered if I’d thrown away the $8 it cost. When I began using it on my cat, I couldn’t believe the amount of fur it removes! I brush her once a week and get a jar full of fur off each time. The cat goes nuts with pleasure when I use it on her. I think she feels like she’s getting a massage. Make sure and reward your cat with treats after you brush him/her.

  26. Michelle says:

    Hmmm, a lot of brushing but then I have the same trouble with my Milly as Julie does. So just put up with it, any advice would be grateful though. Please don’t give Charlie a Loins cut, you’d have nothing to snuggle into with your face and they’re meant to be fluffy even with all the shedding. 🙂

  27. Diane says:

    Arabella always hated being groomed until I got a Zoom Groom. She loves it and comes running if I pick it up. I tried a lot of different brushes and she didn’t like any of them, but she loves the massage feeling of the Zoom Groom and it does pick up a lot of her fur.

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