Ragdoll Cat Personality – What Traits & Temperament Describe Your Cat?

Ragdolls are some of the most beloved cat breeds in the entire world due to their fascinating looks, but most importantly, due to their unique personality. They are considered to be the most docile cat breed out there. In fact, this has been taken to the level of a stereotype, and more and more people buy Ragdoll cats, convinced that they will get what The International Cat Association describes this breed to be.

Fiyero, blue point mitted with a blaze, loved by Cynthia
Fiyero, blue point mitted with a blaze, loved by Cynthia

However, every single cat is unique. While it is true that the Ragdoll cat breed displays an array of common characteristics, personality traits depend on a wide variety of factors. The result is strictly personalized to the individual. It may lead to more or less significant differences from the breed staple. Therefore, when purchasing a Ragdoll cat or any other cat breed, people must know that their information on the breed’s personality traits is meant only as a guideline.

Unlike physical characteristics, there can be no assurance that the cat they have gotten, even with the best pedigrees from the Ragdoll Fancier Cat Association or other institutions, will present the breed’s personality characteristics precisely as described. Mind you, some characteristics will be present to a certain extent, while others will only be scarcely there.

Zane, blue mitted with a blaze, loved by Anne, standing on a rug in living room
Zane, blue mitted with a blaze, loved by Anne

This article covers the main traits of the Ragdoll cat personality. First, we are going to relay the breed standard. Then, we will compare it to the personal experiences of actual Ragdoll cat owners who frequent this website’s social media accounts. Many of our Floppycats fans have been kind enough to tell us about the personality of their own Raggies, and we have summarized their testimonials to compare them to the standard characteristics.

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Ragdoll Cat Breed – Main Personality Traits

Developed by Ann Baker in the ’60s, the Ragdoll has become one of the most appreciated cat breeds in the world because it has all the characteristics that people want in a cat. In the following section of this article, you can find the main personality traits of this fantastic breed:

cream point ragdoll Cashew sitting with blue eyes wide
Cashew, a Cream Point Ragdoll, loved by NBurton

The Ragdoll Effect

Ragdoll cats will be completely relaxed when they are picked up. They will lie limp, like dolls, part of how this breed has gotten its name. This is the staple behavior for the Ragdoll cat breed and is the specific trait that everybody expects to notice when getting a Ragdoll cat. As mentioned above, whether or not this will be present depends entirely on the individual.

Ragdolls Love Humans

The most striking characteristic of Ragdoll cats is their affinity towards humans. They are very fond of their masters but also highly interested in socializing with others. This may mean house guests, but it also includes other strangers. In fact, their curiosity towards people is so intense that many cases were reported where Ragdoll cats that were outside were stolen because they did not protest being taken away by somebody other than their masters.

Shadow - Ragdoll of the Week Shadow January 2015
Shadow, a seal mitted Ragdoll cat with a blaze, loved by Helen

Ragdolls Are Personal Bodyguards

It’s more than their blue eyes that makes the Ragdoll one of the most popular cat breeds in the entire world. These cats will build a solid bond with their masters; one way they will show it is proximity. This means they follow their masters wherever they go around the house, including the bathroom. However, they are never pushy, unlike other affectionate cat breeds such as the Siamese, Scottish Fold, and Birman.

Ragdolls are known to be excellent companions. They will spend hours on end next to their masters but rarely bother them with anything.

Ragdolls Are Puppy-Dog Cats

The personality of Ragdoll cats has often been compared to that of dogs, and for good reason. One of the dog-like behavior traits that lots of Raggies display is their playfulness. The similarity becomes quite apparent when Ragdolls play fetch, which many enjoy. Moreover, Ragdolls have been observed to be easily socialized with dogs, which is quite a rare trait among cats.

Raggies Are Incredibly Relaxed and Brilliantly Floppy

Another famous trait displayed by this breed is a very even disposition. While other domestic longhairs may be more adventurous and have a more tumultuous personality, Ragdolls are usually laid back and relaxed. This also contributes to the story of their name because many Ragdoll owners feel that they have these living dolls around the house. It also makes Ragdoll kittens some of the most adorable juniors out there.

Necoichi Cat Cozy Scratcher Bed Bowl Unboxing Arrival Video for Product Review
Charlie, a seal mitted Ragdoll cat with a blaze, loved by Jenny

Ragdolls Are Not Big Climbers

While most domesticated cats love to climb on furniture, shelves, trees, and anything around, Ragdoll cats usually choose to stay at ground level. On particularly adventurous days, they will get to sofa level because this is about as far as their interest in heights goes. This also adds to their docile personas, which has made them so popular because, with Raggies, there are no sudden movements, jumps, or falls.

Cool Retro Modern Cat House Mid Century TV Looking Cat Bed from PurrFur Floppycats Trigg
Trigg, a blue lynx-mitted Ragdoll cat, loved by Jenny.

Ideal Owners for Ragdoll Cats

Based on their personality, Ragdoll cats are a fantastic match for people who want a relaxed cat and a close companion. Their extremely docile personality and impressive patience make them an excellent fit for families with children. Ragdolls will not protest when interacting with the little ones, which any cat owner knows can be rather complicated. Children are often too eager when playing with cats, and some cats do not tolerate such behavior, which could prove dangerous. But with Ragdolls, this is different.

Tips and Tricks for Grooming Ragdoll Cats

This cat breed is ideal for busy households because they have independent personalities and do not require constant attention or a long play schedule. They enjoy lounging on the couch or a cat bed, which is the perfect way to spend the day while the family is away.

Ragdolls are also a fantastic choice for families with dogs. It is the best breed to have if you want to maintain a good relationship between a cat and dog within the same household. This fantastic trait sets this breed apart from other crowd-favorites such as British Shorthairs, American Shorthairs, or the Manx calico cats.

The Ragdoll Myth

What we have described in the section above represents the outline of the Ragdoll cat personality. This information has been corroborated by Ragdoll cat owners, thus generating a frenzy among cat fanciers. This breed’s seductive good looks, the heartwarming story around its docile behavior, and the critical comparison to a ragdoll made it a legend.

While this has brought many advantages for the development of Ragdolls, it has also led to some unfortunate situations. Countless families have purchased the classic bicolor Ragdoll, expecting an actual living doll in the house. But Ragdolls are not toys, and more than having a litter box, cat food, and a water bowl is undoubtedly needed to ensure proper pet care for this breed.

Floppycats Vet Interviews book

When they found out that docile had a limit and cats come with a wide range of needs, many of these families fascinated with the Ragdoll stereotype decided to rehouse their cats or abandon them. Resorting to such methods is extremely unfortunate, so people have to know that there is so much more to Ragdolls than the myth created around this breed.

Most individuals will display our listed characteristics, but these will be present in specific proportions. While some Ragdolls are floppy and docile, they are rather vocal or not particularly affectionate. Others are affectionate, but they keep their meowing to a minimum or endless combinations of the possible traits.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAfTG3ooNwc[/embedyt]

When getting a Ragdoll cat, even from a reputable breeder, there is no guarantee that the cat will live up to the myth. Furthermore, we strongly advise people looking to get cats to do extensive research before making this step. Aside from having long silky fur, blue eyes, and a wonderful personality, Ragdolls are a significant long-term responsibility, and only those who are ready for it should make the step.

The Development of the Cat’s Personality

As we have mentioned above, a cat’s personality, regardless of its breed and the described standards, depends entirely on the individual. Similar to the development of children, the experiences cats have during the first months of life have an enormous impact on the character traits they will develop as adults. Some of the factors that significantly impact cat psychology are as follows:

  • The kitten’s state of health
  • The relationship between the kitten and its mother
  • The relationship between the kitten and its siblings
  • The relationship between the kitten and its master(s)
  • The environment that the kitten grows up in

The last two of the five factors mentioned above will influence the cat’s personality the most. With Ragdolls, the relationship with the master(s) is even more critical than it is for other breeds due to their attachment to humans. How the masters welcome the kitten, the amount of time they spend with it if they talk to it and engage in a meaningful connection, and most of all, the amount of affection they show will build the character of the adult cat.

However, it does depend entirely on the masters to offer the kitten a good start. Certain traumatic events can influence the kitten’s progress, such as when it is separated from its mother and siblings or any diseases it may suffer from in this period. Then, how the cat reacts to these events, changes, and processes will shape its personality as an adult. This is where individuality comes in and makes the individual unique.

Ragdoll Cat Personality – Our Readers’ Stories

Up to this point, we have pointed out how the personality patterns of the Ragdoll breed make these cats some of the most popular in the world. The traits described in the breed characteristics should be interpreted as an outline of what the individual will be like. As such, when getting a Ragdoll cat, there are certain personality traits that you can expect it to have, but these are not guaranteed to be present.

To see how similar or different Ragdoll cats can be to the breed standard, I asked our readers to tell us about their cats’ personalities. Many of them answered us and told us about their Ragdoll cats. Here are some of the ideas we gathered:

  • Almost all the Raggies we were told about are close to their masters. They follow them around the house, and they maintain their proximity, but they are not insistent.
  • Very few enjoy sitting on their master’s lap or being petted on their bellies. There were also quite a few cuddlers.
  • Many Raggies are cuddly with their masters at night but are pretty independent by day.
  • Quite a few prefer to sleep with their masters, next to their heads, between their legs, or just close to them.
  • A lot of the Raggies are independent, playful, and quite active. They can entertain themselves by playing around the house.
  • Most are not very vocal and meow only to ask for food or demand attention.

A vital aspect we’ve noticed about the Ragdoll cats in our readers’ comments is the impressive diversity between individuals of the same breed. Each of these cats had its very own pattern in terms of personality. But the most important thing we’ve noticed is the great affection with which our readers described their cats.

Each and every comment was filled with immense warmth. This shows that no matter how active, talkative, floppy, or clingy your Ragdoll cat may be, you will inevitably fall in love with it!

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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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21 Comments

  1. We had a ragdoll mix. He no longer looked like a ragdoll, but his genetics had a surprisingly large portion of ragdoll. When I saw that, it explained his personality to a T. Sweet & loving, docile, would let us do anything. Floppy as floppy can be. He would just hang….he was happy to be a scarf. His fur was short, but the softest, silkiest fur I had ever felt. He wasn’t very talkative, but had the sweetest meow if he needed food. He loves to lay on our laps in a Superman pose, but if he wasn’t there, he was laying in his cardboard box on the floor. He would sleep on my chest until the middle of the night, then move to my legs. He was sooooo gentle and the kindest cat we ever had. We used to call him a dog-cat bc he would follow us like a dog. Unfortunately, he had heart disease (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy), which of course runs in ragdolls, and crossed the rainbow bridge at just 9 despite meds & regular echos. He also had some kidney issues which requires surgery. He loved flopping across our desks and laps. We would also find him flopped in the funniest positions on boxes, they looked so uncomfortable, but clearly he was happy like that!

  2. Anonymous says:

    We have been raising Registred Ragdolls for 20 years and can honestly say YES they carry traits much like human children carry traits from their parents.That being said each are also a little different from each other, like human kids.Life would be very boring after all if they were all cookie cutter.When they are not exactly like what is written about them I just chalk it up to they can not read 😉
    Jenny is right each needs to be excepted just as they are and not be forced like dogs.The relationship will be good if this happens.
    PS~ Sally maybe U can find something your fella does not like the smell of and wear around your ankles for a bit and see if that helps? They say they do not care for citrus?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hello Jenny
    Thanks for sharing. Great points and make me understand the ragdoll breed better. I have a 1 year 7 months old female ragdoll with her very own personality. I call her my Alpha. She is very chatty, she likes belly rubs and she likes to be very close to me. However, she does not like to be held but will lay close to me. I can cuddle her on her own terms and she cries to bite my hands, my feet etc… Despite these I love her dearly.

    1. Glad you love her and honor her for who she is….so many people don’t do that and wish their cat was something else…when they finally let go and honor them for who they are, the relationship improves.

  4. Sally Shafer says:

    Hey Jenny! I have a beautiful male Ragdoll, Aengus. He is 1 1/2 yrs old and very much full of P & V. He was neutered at 6 mos. That’s when my problems started. Don’t get me wrong. I love Aengus so very much, but I need some suggestions. He tends to be very aggressive (grabbing my leg and sinking his teeth into me) for no reason! I do not provoke this and never have. There have never been any hand playing games or anything like that to make him think it was just play. Also, in the middle of the night, or in the AM, he will start clawing at the bed sheets. They are the stretchable tee-shirt fabric. It’s as if he is determined to get me out of bed. I end up closing in his bedroom so I can sleep! I love having in bed with me, but he has different ideas. I’ve tried sterness and even a spray bottle, both are just temporary stops to his behavior. What can I do?

    1. Hi Sally, Can you please email me? When you do, please include:

      1. Vaccinations he has received
      2. Food he is on
      3. If you have any plug-in air fresheners like AirWick or Glade in the house

      Thank you,
      Jenny
      info@floppycats.com

  5. We have 2 ragdolls. Both have the Raggy flop down to a science! Figaro (1) has provided purr and love therapy to countless nurses during Covid giving them love and cuddles after traumatic work shifts. Sgt. Tibbs(5) is less cuddly but VERY vocal particularly after the housekeeper has been in (he hates vacuums) he insists on telling me about it and if I turn my back to him he will stand on his back legs and Pat me on the rear to get my attention again! He loves to tattle. I can’t imagine life without my dear baby boys.

  6. I have had 4 Ragdolls. All are, so sad, gone. Happy, Tiny, Dexter and Lucybell (who passed at 21 1/2 years old. They were my heart and soul. I am awaiting 3 new babies to be old enough to come to their new home. I am getting them from NY Ragdolls. Their names are Arabella (a lynx mink), Simon (a blue bi-color & Finneas (a blue lynx). I cannot wait. The Ragdoll breed is so wonderful and yes they definitely have unique personalities. The one thing they are have in common is they love their people!!!!!!!!!

  7. My guy epitomizes the old joke “my name is NONO Stop that… ” but he can be as sweet as pie- when he wants to be – when he wants to , to cuddle & nap on my lap, will dance with me for a little bit (I of course love this!) when he wants to. He is a myriad of many qualities, but most important there’s the love !

  8. Bonnie MacKenzie says:

    I have two brothers a blue mitted with a blaze and a seal point. They are six years old. Follow me around and both HATE to be held.
    They both cuddle at night for a few minutes and love belly rubs. Also love the highest bed on the cat tree. Very sweet cats. Litter box has to be spotless or the will poo outside the box. When they wake up in the afternoon the run to my office meowing looking for me. One opens the bi fold door to the laundry room. He will not let it be shut. Smart cats and very loving.

  9. My ragdoll is a hoot. She was living in our yard and would not get close but meowed for food. I came to find out she was dumped by a neighbor into the street. She close to the house, under our deck, finally on a side porch were I put a house for her to escape the elements, but would not let anyone close, even during the cold winter months. So the traits you describe were not visible. Since that time, we managed to get her into the house and I’m happy to say that, not only has she acclimated but blossomed under the love and care we give her, she is very close to me, loves to have her belly scratched, and stretches out in my lap to be groomed. And, yes, she has the typical trait of going limp when picked up. We’re very glad she finally decided to trust us as she has brightened our lives immensely.

    1. I am glad she found you and you found her! Glad she came around (and inside!)

  10. Janet Franklin says:

    Why does my husband Rag doll cat has suddenly decide she prefer our neighbour house to sleep an we have ask our neighbour to send her home looking for help

    1. Anonymous says:

      Its never a good idea to let Ragdolls wonder outside for many many reasons.If she was kept in she would not have the neighbours house to choose?I mean f we cold all live in 2 homes wouldn’t we? Sounds like a lot of fun 😉

  11. Laura Byrne says:

    Their fur? Do they shed or they require grooming like a dog?

    1. Yes! They shed! Puffs of white fluff.

  12. Wonderfully fabulous & brilliant & super pawesome post & pics, Jenny!!! How very true all this information provided truly is!! And, something we’ve noticed (and heard about from other Ragdoll owners we’ve met online) is that the older our girl, Miss PSB, gets the more affectionate and quirky and vocal and adorable she has become. The very interesting thing about Miss PSB when compared to the breed standard is that to this very day (6 years after her birth) she has never flopped for us when picked up and she is middle-ground when it comes to strangers who “invade” her home. She is curious but not so much that she is all over them. She is super cautious about approaching new people in our apartment that she doesn’t know. But, besides those two differentiations, she is exactly as described by the breed standard. LURVE HER SOOOOO VERY MUCH!!! She does something absolutely delightful, charming, endearing, adorable and awesome each and every single new day and our lurve for her deepens with every passing day, too! 🙂 <3

    Big hugs & lots of love!!

    Patti & Miss Pink Sugarbelle 🙂 <3

    1. Thanks for sharing, Patti – my hope is that this article helps people understand that no two Ragdolls are alike.

      1. Truly my pleasure, Jenny honey!! I’m sure your awesome article will be very helpful in understanding that concept that no two Ragdolls are alike. I find Miss PSB’s evolving purrsonality fascinating! She’s constantly surprising us with one quirky act or another…lol! She truly makes our lives more joyful! 🙂 <3

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