Skylar – Ragdoll of the Week
When we brought home our beloved kitten, Skylar, in April 2022 he had to adjust to some big changes in his life, as all kittens going to new homes do. One of the biggest that concerned us was leaving his mama and three littermates, along with all the scents of the other kitties his breeder lovingly cared for, in her home. In his new home with us, Skylar would be an only cat. However, he’d be sharing his new home with a few other furry friends – a 13-year-old pug named Mab and a 10-year-old chinchilla named Chinch.
Skylar, a Ragdoll cat, and His Unlikely Buddies
Skylar had never met any other furry critters besides cats, so along with being a bit anxious about how he’d do with acclimating to his new home and family, we wondered how he’d react to a dog and chinchilla. Predictably, his first sighting of Mab was a bit scary for him, and he reared back into my arms and did a little kitten hiss at her. It was actually pretty cute! Being half deaf and blind, she didn’t even notice him right away. Over the next few weeks, his bold and curious traits won out, and he cautiously approached her. Before long, he was snuggling next to her in her dog bed and on her favorite recliner. She wasn’t too sure about this at first, but he was very insistent that he wanted another furry body to nap next with. It became a common sight to see them in the same bed together. It melted our hearts to see how he persistently sought out her company until she finally accepted him as her snuggle buddy.
Our bigger concern was what would happen between Skylar and Chinch. Chinch has been with us since she was four months old. She’s very bold and super social and craves attention from her human family as soon as the sun starts to go down, being a nocturnal creature. She loves attention so much, and we love giving it to her so much that she lives in the family room in the main part of the house. We cannot believe how much we adore this sweet rodent! She has a five-foot-tall cage with four levels. When she’s awake and looking for dinner and company, she noisily runs up and down the levels and to the places closest to us. She tries to attract our attention and begs us to come over and give her rubs and scratches – and dinner! Chinchillas are roughly the size of a large guinea pig and look kind of like a short-eared rabbit, so she’s hard to miss when she’s dashing around and running on her wheel. Skylar was instantly attracted to her.
Natural roles of cat and chinchilla are predator and prey. Chinch has plenty of levels and space in her cage to get away from Skylar, but as a kitten, we knew he’d be able to fit a leg in between the bars. Exploring the main floor during a break from his safe room on his second day with us, he noticed her. She had woken up to see what this new furry creature was about. We watched carefully as he crept closer to investigate this giant rabbit-like thing. She was about a third of the size of 12-week-old Skylar, and she was curious about him as well. She peered at him from the safety of her wheel at first, but by the end of the day, she was going up to the bars of her cage to see what this new critter was all about.
Chinch was as interested in Skylar as he was in her. Pretty soon, they were going nose-to-nose through the bars. She could back off and climb up higher to get away from him if needed, but we worried he could get a swipe at her through the bars. He stayed in his safe room when we weren’t home and during the night and we kept a close eye on them when he was out in the house.
Chinch didn’t seem particularly worried about him. She’d go about her business on all the levels, and he was hanging around her cage more and more when she was awake. Her cage was nestled against the corner of the stairway leading to the second floor. Skylar was becoming obsessed with her. He soon learned that he could get better views and access to a higher cage level by climbing the staircase. He also started eyeballing the top of her cage, looking for angles to make a leap. Time to move the cage further out from the staircase to give her more space from him! He continued to watch her from the floor and vantage points on the staircase but could not reach the cage from the staircase.
Chinch, meanwhile, was becoming very interested in Skylar. She loves attention and didn’t seem fazed that she was getting it from something that might want to play predator and prey with her. She’d go nose to nose with him often, and if she had enough of him she’d rush the bars of the cage near him and “chuff” at him. He’d back off a bit, and she thought it was pretty fun to put him in his place.
Once in a while, he’d stick a paw through the bars of the cage to try to touch her. He’s pretty big-boned and, luckily, could not reach in very far, and now at 15 months, he can’t get much more than his paw in. But he’ll try to reach her, and if she lets him, gently touch her side with just the pads of his paw.
These days it’s common to see them visiting with each other in the evenings. We still have the cage moved out from the staircase, but now he is big enough to stretch over from the stairs to visit with her on a higher level. Chinch runs over to him when he goes up to her cage, and he visits her from the staircase to say hello. They often go nose to nose, and he might gently reach in and touch her soft, furry side. He shows no interest in her as prey, and she does not have any concerns about him being a predator. While I’d never allow her to be around him outside of the cage, they love their friendship through the bars. We love it too!
Skylar has melted our hearts by making friends with our critters, who are not traditional kitty buddies. Most of all, he loves his people, and we love all of them back.
More Pawsome Articles from Floppycats:
18 Differences in Ragdoll Cats Vs Maine Coon Cats
What is Splooting? And Why Do Cats Do It.
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,