Last Updated on November 6, 2021 by Jenny
Ragdoll cats are known worldwide for three things – their amazingly friendly personalities, their lavishly good looks, and their remarkably large size. In fact, Ragdolls are among the largest cat breeds out there.
But how big is a large cat? Which cat breeds are larger and smaller than Raggies? This article is all about the size of Ragdoll cats and comparing them to some of the best-known cat breeds.
Ragdoll Cat Size Explained
Ragdoll cats are some of the largest domesticated cats in the entire world. According to the breed characteristics from the RFCI (Ragdoll Fanciers Club International), adult Ragdoll males weigh between 12 and 21 pounds.
Please note that this is the range of variation for Ragdoll cats of normal weight and standard size. Ragdolls are not only large in size, but they also have sturdy bodies and strong skeletal systems. They are muscular cats, especially if exercised properly, which also adds to their overall weight. The Ragdoll coat, however, is extremely light.
How Long Does It Take For A Ragdoll Cat To Grow To Full Size?
It takes approximately 4 years for a Ragdoll cat to grow to its full size. Compared to common cats and even most other cat breeds, that is a longer development period. The gentle giant needs time to grow to its full potential.
However, at the age of one year and a half, it grows to most of its final size. From that point on, it continues to grow little by little.
Average cat size and weight
The most common breed in the entire world is the Domestic Shorthair or the average domestic cat. While this is not an official breed, it includes all the mix-breeds with a short coat. The males typically weigh between 11 and 15 pounds, while the females weigh 6 to 12 pounds.
The average male Domestic Shorthair cat has a height of 8”-10″ (20-25 cm) and a body length of 13.7”-17.7” (35-45 cm). Females are always shorter, with an average height of 6.7”-8.2″ (17-21 cm) and an average body length of 11.8”-13.7” (30-55 cm).
Size and weight differ significantly between cat breeds. It is important to know the average size and weight for the specific breed to get an idea of how much the cat will grow, but also to appreciate if the cat has a healthy weight.
When it comes to mixed-breeds, though, this type of information is not available. The best way to find out if the cat is underweight or overweight is to take it to the vet. The doctor will examine the cat using the Body Condition System (BCS) and determine if the cat has a healthy weight. Then, the vet will prescribe a diet that will take or keep the cat at its healthy weight.
Average Weight of a Ragdoll
The average height of a male Ragdoll cat is 9.5″-11″ (24-28 cm) and its average body length is 18.5”-21” (47-53 cm). Female Ragdoll cats have an average height of 9″-10″ (23-25 cm) and an average body length of 17”-19.5” (43-49 cm).
Ragdoll males grow up to be between 12 and 21 pounds and adult Ragdoll females reach 8 to 15 pounds. This makes Ragdolls one of the largest cat breeds out there.
They are larger than Siamese and Persian cats, but usually smaller than Norwegian Forest Cats.
Are Ragdolls Trainable?
Yes, Ragdoll cats are some of the best cats to train. Keep in mind that teaching cats to do tricks is no easy task. You need a lot of patience and perseverance to get them to do what you want, but with the right attitude and technique, you can get impressive results. The key elements are to always make training fun and to have a tasty reward for your kitty.
Ragdoll cats are very playful and training them is very efficient if they have fun in the process. They are also very intelligent cats, so they will learn quickly, as long as you keep them interested and use positive reinforcement. Most Raggies love to fetch and even play hide and seek, but there is plenty more you can teach your cat to do.
Newborn Ragdolls: Changes in the First 4 Weeks
During their first few weeks, Ragdoll kittens are under the care of the breeder, and, most importantly, their mother. The cat feeds the kittens and washes them. The breeder will make sure that all the kittens in the litter get to eat and that they urinate and defecate properly.
Ragdoll cats come in a variety of colors – ranging from seal point to chocolate and lilac – and patterns – bi-color, van, lynx, colorpoint, mitted. But when they are born, all Ragdoll kittens are born with white fur from head to belly. Ragdolls have a genetic mutation that affects pigment production and makes it dependent on body temperature. As kittens get older, colored portions start to appear on their bodies, but it will take a long time before the final pattern has finished developing. This usually happens when they are adults.
Since grooming is such an important aspect of caring for Ragdoll cats, it must be started from the very first weeks of life. Kittens must get accustomed to combs and brushes, and the breeder must take time to brush them regularly to prevent knots, mats, and tangles from developing.
Since the kittens spend all day playing and exploring, they will also need more food than before. Depending on the number of kittens in the litter, the mother may or may not be able to sustain feeding all of them. Sometimes, breeders must supplement this. This is usually when they introduce solid food into their diet – wet and dry food especially made for kittens, which includes the full set of nutrients required for a complete nutrition at this age.
Growing Into Adults: 6–12 Months
The first year of a cat’s life is the most important because how you train it then will determine its lifelong behavior. The 6-12 months period is particularly challenging for cat owners because this is when the cat reaches sexual maturity. A huge factor that determines what happens during these six months is when the cat is spayed or neutered.
Some pet owners get their Ragdoll cats from breeders and have a contract that stipulates that they are obligated to neuter them. In other cases, the breeder alters the cats before they get to their owners. This issue of the right age to neuter/spay cats is still heavily debated.
For Ragdoll cats that are altered after the age of 6 months, the biggest moment in the 6-12 months time frame is the operation. It is a standard procedure, but it is still surgery, and taking care of the cat is definitely something that the owners will remember.
Since the procedure is much simpler for males, they recover quite quickly. In only a few days, they will be back to normal. As for female cats, the spaying procedure is more complex and they need to be taken care of a while longer than males, but they bounce back quickly after as well.
Before they are altered, Ragdoll cats may display teenage behavior. For males, this can be particularly annoying because they mark their territory and the smell is extremely intense. Females may display in-heat behavior – they are extra loving and they suddenly get far more vocal than before.
After they are spayed or neutered, this behavior will stop. For males, however, in some cases, the marking continues for some time after they are neutered, which can be unpleasant to deal with.
The most important aspect to keep in mind after altering a cat (male or female) is that following the procedure, the cat needs a new diet to prevent weight gain. This is particularly important for female cats that can gain a lot of weight if their diet is not changed to one for spayed cats. The veterinarian will insist on this and prescribe the ideal diet for the cat, but cat owners must keep in mind that the change in diet must be made from day 1 following the surgery.
As for Ragdoll cats that are altered earlier than 6 months, there is still some hormonal development that happens between 6 and 12 months, which can result in mood swings and changes in behavior, much like it happens with teenagers, so owners should have patience.
Kittenhood: 3–6 Months
This is usually regarded as the most beautiful time in a cat’s life with its owners because 3 months is the average age when breeders give the Ragdoll kittens to their new families. If adult Ragdolls are majestic, Ragdoll kittens are absolutely adorable, which is amazing to live with, but new owners should remember that training is extremely important at this age.
Most new pet parents find it difficult to set boundaries with Raggie kittens, precisely because they are so tiny and precious. Discipline goes both ways in this regard, as cat owners must learn to resist the big beautiful blue eyes of their new kitten and its playful behavior when it’s time to teach them a lesson.
Not being allowed in bed with the owners is a particularly difficult lesson for everybody involved. Kittens will try to scratch the door and meow to demand access, and owners must be strong and resist their plea so that they’re able to get a good night’s sleep for the years to come.
Grooming is another lesson that Ragdoll kittens must learn as early as possible. Owners should begin grooming their kittens very early on and they should have patience to get them used to being brushed and combed on a regular basis.
Find out more about caring for Ragdoll kittens in my book.
Ragdolls are very active cats and kittens between 3 and 6 months absolutely love to play. It is important that the new family has time to spend with the kitten and play with them as much as possible to grow their relationship. They need toys
However, it is crucial that they set boundaries. Playing in the early hours of the morning, for example, should be discouraged if the owners expect to sleep through the night with their Ragdoll cats in the house.
Rapid Growth: Weeks 5–12
At this age, the Ragdoll cats can see and they can walk quite well. They are extremely playful and enjoy wrestling with their brothers and sisters. There’s a lot of fun in the litter at that age.
Ragdoll Kitten Development
Since Ragdoll adults can reach such impressive proportions, the development of the kittens is quite remarkable because the growth sprees are enormous. Only by the age of 1 month, they can reach between 0.8 and 1.7 lbs and it doesn’t stop there. In fact, it keeps getting more and more dramatic.
By the age of 2 months, Ragdoll kittens are expected to reach between 1.8 and 3.0 lbs. In just one month, they can double their body weight. Then, by 3 months, they should reach between 3.1 and 4.0 lbs and by the age of 4 months, 4.1 to 5.0. Progressively, by the age of 5 months, they should reach 5.1 to 6.0 lbs.
Then, at the age of 6 months, when they enter adulthood, both males and females should have more than 6.0 lbs. As mentioned above, there is a significant size difference between males and females. Adult male Ragdolls will grow up to be much larger than the females. **Please note – averages are exactly that – averages…there are cats that fall below and above the averages too.
Factors that Could Influence Size and Weight
The size variation of Ragdoll cats that we have described above is only valid for healthy cats which receive a proper diet in the correct amount. Please note that overweight cats and those suffering from various illnesses may stray from these size ranges. In fact, here are only some of the factors that can influence the size and weight of a Ragdoll cat:
Colostrum is the first type of milk produced by the mammary glands, immediately after the kittens are delivered. This milk is very rich in nutrients, but it also has a massive impact on the immunological system of the kittens.
Colostrum delivers antibodies from the mother to the kittens, which is why it is crucial that they get an adequate amount after birth. If the litter is too large or if the kittens are taken away from their mother too early, they may not get enough colostrum.
If this is not compensated artificially, then the kittens’ development process could be affected. They can either get infectious diseases or they can develop nutrient deficiencies, which will lead to improper development.
Correct Nutrient Intake
Ragdolls have a dramatic growth spree, which needs to be supported by the correct intake of nutrients. This means that they have to eat the right food in the right quantities to have the basis for their development.
A veterinarian can recommend the best diet plans for the Ragdoll kitten, including approved and forbidden food and professional diet options. Moreover, the vet will monitor the cat and set the correct food amount for the daily diet according to the kitten’s weight. Aside from a correct diet, Ragdoll cats can benefit from special nutrient supplements to sustain their growth spree.
For instance, they need support for their bones and joints (Calcium, Magnesium, and minerals for the bones and glucosamine and chondroitin for the joints). Since they grow so much in such a short amount of time, the nutrients they can absorb from food are usually not enough.
A veterinarian will determine the best possible supplement options for the kitten.
Ragdoll kittens need a lot of exercise and it is very important for their development that they actually get it. Taking the time to play with them can truly make a difference because when kittens are active, their growth is also stimulated. So, play fetch with your Raggie every day to keep it healthy. They also require enough space to run and to play, which is something to consider before getting a large cat.
When kittens get sick, their bodies have to channel a lot of resources to fight disease. Moreover, the symptoms of a lot of common diseases that kittens can get include weight loss. Even if the disease is treated and the kitten recovers, some illnesses can have long-term consequences on their development.
The King-Sized Cat Expectation
People know Ragdolls to be among the largest cat breeds in the world, which also makes Raggies very popular among those who want to have a very large cat as a pet.
While this has driven many people to buy their own Ragdoll, it has also built up a myth surrounding their size. When people get a Ragdoll cat with a pedigree from the CFA (Cat Fanciers Association), they expect to get a cat of significant proportions because they’ve seen countless pictures and videos of these gentle giants.
While in most cases, Raggies do live up to these sizable expectations, there is a chance that they will be somewhat smaller than predicted. Regrettably, this is enough for some people to give their cats away or even abandon them because they are not the appropriate size. This also happens when some Ragdoll owners notice that their cats don’t have the standard Ragdoll cat personality they envisioned for their pet.
To avoid unfortunate situations like these, people should keep in mind that breed profiles are not commitments and that they are subjected to natural variations. Every individual is unique and even with the strongest of gene pools, it may exhibit only some of the breed characteristics and only to a certain amount.
Not even the best Ragdoll cat breeders can determine the exact outcome of the litter. Even with DNA testing, they can make certain predictions about the adults, but there are no absolute certainties when it comes to cats because nature has the last word every single time.
Size Matters – Here’s Why
As we have established above, Ragdoll cats are definitely some of the largest cats in the world. While this is certainly something you can be proud of, it also means that there is more of them to love, literally.
When you decide to get a large cat, there are a few things you need to be aware of: Hold Them Correctly – To offer proper support when you pick up your Ragdoll cat, you have to use both hands and make sure you sustain them proportionally.
You can take a look at my video on how to pick up Ragdoll cats to find out about the best ways to do this.
Get Them Proper-Sized Accessories – From cat beds to scratching posts and litter boxes, make sure you double-check the size before you buy accessories for your cat because these could actually be unfitting of the gentle giants. You should know that even the ones listed as Large or Extra-Large may not be enough. Our Floppycats Shop has a listing of products that are Ragdoll cat size appropriate.
Larger Cat, Bigger Costs – Another aspect that people do not take into consideration before getting a large-sized cat is that the cat care costs are somewhat higher. For instance, a Russian Blue or an American Shorthair will eat less than a Ragdoll cat because they are significantly smaller. While this may not seem like much, the costs of being a responsible cat owner are extremely important.
Ragdoll Cat Size FAQs
How big do Ragdoll cats get?
When they reach adulthood, male Ragdoll cats weigh 12-21 pounds and have an average body length of 18.5”-21” (47-53 cm). Female Ragdoll cats weigh 8-15 pounds and have an average body length of 17”-19.5” (43-49 cm).
Do Ragdoll Cats Stay Small?
No, they do not. Ragdoll cats are a large size cat breed and they develop quite quickly into their gentle giant appearance.
Are Ragdolls Great With Kids?
They absolutely are. Ragdolls are very affectionate towards humans and they are interested in spending time with them without demanding too much attention. They are also very calm and tolerant with human behavior, which makes them great with kids of all ages, but especially young children.
Ragdolls vs. the Word’s Largest Cats
Everybody knows that Ragdolls are among the largest domesticated cats in the world. But this begs the question – which cats are larger than the Ragdoll and just how much larger are they? Here are the Ragdoll’s main competitors in terms of size:
Savannah – With adult males reaching up to 25 lbs, the Savannah cat is closer to wild felines than to domestic cats. They look like household cheetahs and they make for very exotic pets. Savannahs are noticeably larger than Ragdolls.
Chausie – A less well-known large feline, the Chausie cat is on the tall side, and willowy – more like a basketball player or marathon runner. Adult males can weigh between 11-16 lbs, and females run 8-13 lbs.
Maine Coon – Very few cats are larger than the Maine Coon and the Ragdoll is not one of them. Weighing up to 20 lbs, Maine Coon adult males are certainly longer than Ragdoll males because this breed has an enormous tail which can get as long as 14 in. The holder of the world record for the longest domestic cat is a Main Coon named Mymains Stewart Gilligan. Stewie measured a whopping 48.5 inches.
Norwegian Forest Cat – Another well-known giant among cats, the Norwegian Forest cat is certainly something to see. Adult males typically weigh up to 17 lbs, but like Maine Coons, they have very long tails that add to their size.
Siberian – Also smaller than the Ragdoll, the adult Siberian cat male reaches 17 lbs.
Turkish Van – While the adult males only get to 16 lbs, Turkish Vans are among the world largest cat breeds.
Burmese – Adult Burmese females weigh between 8 and 12 lbs, while the males exceed 12 lbs. It’s no match for the Ragdoll, but the Burmese is still quite the large cat.
Egyptian Mau – Similar in size to the Burmese cat, the Egyptian Mau also reaches 12 lbs, placing it on the large cat list.
Ragdolls vs. the World’s Smallest Cats
Now that you’ve seen the Ragdoll’s main contenders in terms of size, it may be interesting to see just how much bigger this cat breed is compared to other breeds you may have heard about. Here are the world’s smallest cats!
Singapura – With adult males weighing between 4 and 8 lbs, the Singapura is the world’s smallest cat breed. Another defining characteristic for this breed is the fact that adults maintain the appearance of kittens for life, making these a treat for any cat lover out there.
Munchkin – Known world-wide for their adorably short legs, Munchkins weigh between 5 to 9 pounds at adulthood. These critters are also extremely active and a delight to be around.
Cornish Rex – This cat breed is known all around the world for its curly fur, but it is also remarkably petite. In spite of the fact Cornish Rex cats have long legs and long ears, adult males only get to weigh between 6 and 10 pounds.
Devon Rex – Closely related to the Cornish Rex, the Devon Rex is bound to make an impression with its large ears, long curled eyes, and short rex rabbit-like coat. However, in terms of size, it is very small. Adult males weigh between 5 and 10 pounds.
American Curl – This breed’s most popular characteristic is the uniquely curled ears. While American Curls have a very imposing posture, they only weigh between 5 to 10 pounds.
Scottish Fold – Everybody knows Scottish Folds for their short and folded ears, but these cats are also extremely small. Adult males weigh between 9 and 13 lbs. What they may lack in size, Scottish Folds compensate in playfulness.
As you can see, Ragdolls are among the largest cat breeds in the world by comparison.
However, keep in mind that size variation includes a lower limit as well. While Ragdoll males can get up to 20 lbs, they can also be as small as 12 lbs. Please note that this is actually within the breed profile.