Last Updated on January 6, 2021 by Jenny
This is a common question among Ragdoll owners, but also among people looking to get their very own Raggie. It is very important that you know how long your cat will live, even if this is an approximation. So, how long does a Ragdoll cat live? The answer to that question is a bit more complex than it might seem initially. Here’s everything you need to know:
What is the average lifespan of a Ragdoll cat?
The average lifespan of a Ragdoll cat is between 15 and 25, as this study performed in Sweden suggests. This means that most Raggies live beyond the age of 15 and could live all the way up to 20. The important takeaway from the findings of the study are as follows:
- Most Ragdoll cats live past the critical age of 10.
- A significant number of Ragdoll cats live up to the age of 15.
- Ragdolls can live up to the age of 25 or even more.
Why is it important to know the lifespan of your cat?
Knowing how long your cat is expected to live is crucial information for pet owners, but also for people looking to become pet parents. Here are the main reasons why:
- You have to know that you can take care of your domestic cat for its entire life – Ask yourself if you can support your cat emotionally and financially now, but also in 10 or 15 years’ time.
- Knowing your cat’s lifespan can help you map out crucial moments in its development, such as its time as a kitten, its pasting into adulthood, but also when it reaches seniority. Kittens, adults, and geriatric cats require different care and different lifestyles.
- You should also know how long your cat is expected to live for emotional reasons. Losing your cat is going to be an excruciating experience, so you should be prepared by knowing when it might happen.
Factors that Influence the Lifespan of a Ragdoll Cat
The duration of your Raggie’s life cannot be predicted exactly because it depends on an enormous range of factors. While the vast majority of Ragdolls live to the ages of 15 to 25, the case of each cat is unique. Here are the top factors that might influence a cat’s lifespan:
- Diet – What a cat eats will have a heavy influence on how long it lives. While a proper diet gives the cat all the chances to live out as much as possible, an unhealthy diet based on scarce or improper food will actively reduce the cat’s life expectancy. It is crucial to provide a well-balanced diet for your cat based on high-quality food and natural treats.
- Emotional Engagement – Living in a loving home with caring owners will keep a cat relaxed and happy, which increases its life expectancy. On the other hand, a high-stress environment will bring about all the entire series of stress-generated illnesses, which will reduce it.
- Lifestyle – An active lifestyle with plenty of exercise will keep your cat around for a longer period of time because it will ensure that it is healthy. A sedentary lifestyle that lacks exercise, on the other hand, will predispose it to serious health issues and, ultimately, reduce its life expectancy.
- Indoor or Outdoor – This is a tricky situation. On one hand, an outdoor lifestyle is beneficial for a cat and has the potential to help it live longer while living indoors might reduce it due to health issues generated by the lack of oxygen and exercise. On the other hand, cats that live outdoors are exposed to a far larger variety of safety threats than those living indoors. So, an outdoors cat might be healthier (provided that it is taken care of outdoors), but it far likelier to die in an accident.
- State of Health – This is the most important factor because it dictates how long the cat’s body is viable. Suffering from a number of illnesses reduces life expectancy because the body gets exhausted and unable to cope with incoming factors. Ragdoll cats are prone to developing heart disease and this is something you can keep in mind to offer your cat the best possible care.
- Neutering – Spaying a cat has the chance to increase its life expectancy, especially in female cats because it greatly reduces the risk of developing cancer of the mammary glands, which is a huge threat in cats. On the other hand, the neutering procedure involves a health risk. Moreover, the age when a cat is neutered influences its development afterward. But when performed correctly, neutering has a beneficial effect.
- Vaccination – This is only a preventative measure, but it can make an enormous difference. First off, it prevents cats from getting high-risk viral diseases that are crippling or even lethal. But aside from that, it will help your cat fight off lower-risk infections as well. Talk to your vet about vaccination and make sure you respect the time guidelines for it!
- Flea and Parasitic Control – Fleas and macroparasites are a huge threat for your cat, even if it lives indoors. However, it is one that you can eliminate with parasitic control. Your vet can offer the best medication options for your cat. This can help prevent diseases that drastically reduce your cat’s life expectancy.
- Genetics – The genetic background of the cat will have a huge influence on its lifespan because it can include sensibilities to various substances or factors, as well as a wide range of genetic diseases. The cat’s parents and grandparents heavily influence its genetic background, so, if this is possible, knowing their medical history will give you an advantage.As you can see, Ragdolls have a very high life expectancy.
My Rags, for instance, lived to 19.5 years. You can read his story here. What about your Raggies? How old are they? Do you know of very old Ragdoll cats? Tell us your stories in the comments section below!