What Is the Average Lifespan of a Ragdoll Cat?

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:

Seal Mitted Ragdoll Cat Charlie with a Blaze on Post Outside IMG_0544

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.

Blue Lynx Mitted Ragdoll Cat Trigg Bliss Happy IMG_0517

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.

Seal Mitted with a blaze Ragdoll Cat Charlie IMG_9549

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:

Seal mitted Ragdoll cat Caymus IMG_1438

    • 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.Seal mitted Ragdoll cat Caymus cleaning bathing tongue out IMG_5931
      • 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.Seal Mitted Ragdoll Cat Caymus August 2019 IMG_5909
        • 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.

Seal mitted Ragdoll cat Caymus and Murphy IMG_5002

  • 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.
Rags Cover Photo Facebook
My Rags, lived to 19.5 years old

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!

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28 thoughts on “What Is the Average Lifespan of a Ragdoll Cat?

  1. Sarah says:

    The word retard means “behind”, the person used this word in the true sense of the meaning of the word and in no way was in linked to mean a handicapped or disabled person.

  2. Nancy says:

    My blue point is 17 and for the last has developed an upper respiratory problem. He will not take baby Benadryl no matter how I disguise it. He is very fussy about his water has well. He wants it fresh from the tap with ice cubes in it and me holding the glass. He is a cuddle ler and lap sitter. I have a second blue little lady who is quite shy. She does not want to be held but sits next to me in my sewing basket or above my head on the recliner. We did have a beautiful flame point who developed a kidney problem and over three days of treatment we lost him. My husband and I cried like babies in the vet’s office. He was the most beautiful cat we have ever owned.

  3. Theresa L says:

    Gandalf The Grey passed in 2017 of renal disease, he was 16YO. I love all my raggies deeply and each is so very special in their own unique way. Grey loved to snuggle up in the crook of my neck to sleep or spoon with me under the blanket for naps. I know his spirit is with me. I think my current raggies can sense him as well. Sam & Dean are almost 3 YO now. Oh how I do wish they could all live forever. They are certainly forever in my memory and my heart ❤️

  4. Sandra Shula says:

    Victoria, you are so blessed. I lost my ragdoll this past May from kidney failure. I have so many wonderful memories that I will hold in my heart. I wish you many happy days.. Sandy S

  5. Victoria Williams says:

    My ragdoll turned 19 last month. She is a very special cat who I am blessed to still have. She collapsed with kidney failure Christmas eve 2011 at the age of 10 and I never for a moment thought I would still have her for her 19th birthday! She has been on a renal diet these past 9 yrs and her bloods are slowly rising as her weight is decreasing but I think she is a beacon of hope for any cat owner going through renal failure, once managed your cat may go on to live a full life ❤️

    • Jenn Davis says:

      I’m very happy to hear about your Ragdoll’s experience with renal failure. Not that she has had to experience this of course, but that you have been able to manage this for 9 years. I adopted a 13 year old ragdoll in March (right when Covid started) and after two dental surgeries, he has almost no teeth. After five months we were still having issues with literbox and him losing weight and we finally got to a proper diagnosis of renal failure and a current infection. He had blood work done in March that didn’t show this, but bloodwork in August was totally different. He’s doing much better after a month on kidney diet and starting to gain weight again. He’s such a sweet old man who has had a hard life and I hope he can just be healthy and happy in our home.

    • Karen says:

      My ragdoll is 15 1/2 years old. She was diagnosed with renal disease a few years back. 2 years ago her vet basically said bring her back when its time to put her down. She had given up on her. I changed vets, and she is now doing so much better. May I ask what you feed yours? Mine is VERY picky! She likes the Royal Canin Renal dry food but won’t touch the wet food. She doesn’t like just about any wet food. I give her Weruva Paw Lickin Chicken with some Whole Life freeze dried chicken breasts broken up on top. Some days she eats more than others. She bounces between 7 and 7.6 pounds.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Hello Ladies! I’m in the process of getting a 6 year old Ragdoll Rescue. I lost my kitty 4 years ago and now my heart is ready to “Smother him/her with Kisses Kisses Kisses!” The cat needs a new home due to a “new baby”, and since her brother passes, she took 2 Ragdolls, the owner couldn’t give any time to her cat, plus, the extra “noise” in the house stressed the cat out. Feeling bad for not being able to give her cat the attention she absolutely needed to heal, she wanted to Re-home her. Both of us are waiting for this 15 day quarantine time to pass. Then I can rescue my new kitty! I’m so excited about getting her, plus I’ve started watching your videos to help me on what to expect with a Ragdoll. I’m a retired Owner Operator who had a kitty for a co-pilot! LOL, she was the best! I had her for 18 years. Caring for my Mom now, she’s 90, we both miss our kitty. We are looking forward to our new “furry friend” soon! Is there any advice you can give me to make her feel safe, comfortable & loved? Warm and cared for like her previous mom did, please let me know. Thanks!
    You Ladies have AWSOME VIDEOS !!! AWSOME CATS!
    Thanks! Teresa =^o^=

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Teresa,

      Yes, be sure to read about bringing a rehomed cat into your home. Sounds like the cat has already been through a fair amount. When she comes to your home, there will need to be a “safe room” – usually a bedroom with a bathroom attached. You can put her litterbox and food in the bathroom (but not next to each other) and put her in the bedroom with her carrier, bed, scratchers, etc. that came from her previous house. If the old owner can part with an old t-shirt, that would be good. She would need to wear the t-shirt to bed (and not wash it). The t-shirt will smell like her old owner and her old house, and that smell will provide comfort to her as she learns the smells and sounds of her new home. Usually cats in transition spend 2 weeks in a safe room. If you don’t have any other pets, and she shows signs of coming out to explore, then it can happen sooner. The biggest thing is to let her dictate all of that – don’t rush her and let her take her time. It’s a big change for her.

      Please let me know if you have other specific questions.

    • SUNSHINE says:

      I have a beautiful rag doll! What I have been taught by her is this”””””” She sleeps wherever she wants, does not need a special bed. SHE owns the house, and will happily train you. she follows you around the house, but does not want to be cuddled. Petting and belly rubs are great. She will probably be very healing for your mom. Keep the kitty box clean, or she will pee on your sofa!!

      • Tired says:

        Much of this resonates, I would confirm many of these traits and also add:
        -my ragdoll does not flop, you pick her up, she wriggles
        -she is decidedly the boss, every day is a battle of wills
        -she poops on the floor regularly, right next to her box, always pees in the box
        -does not like cuddling but will force you to pet her when you least want to
        -likes to wake everyone up at 5am, and then having done so, promptly take a nap
        -gets very jealous of phones and computers
        -extremely smart but likes to hide it
        -in 8 years has had zero health issues, will apparently live to 100
        -monitors everything I do in a creepy way, gets upset if I don’t respond to an appliance beeping that a task is done
        -uses her tail as a weapon
        -extremely interested in human food, never wants to eat it but gets very upset if she is not offered some
        -every day she is living it up, but is more trouble than she is worth

  7. S Shula says:

    My ragdoll Misty is 18 years old. I lost my husband 7 years ago and Misty has been by my side every day,giving me so much love. On a special diet,she is doing great! I feel so blessed to have my ragdoll . Sandy S

  8. Patti Johnson says:

    Super FABULOUS & PAWESOME post, Jenny honey! Really great information shared (as usual)! TYSVM!! 🙂 <3

    Big hugs & lots of love & purrs!

    Patti & Miss Pink Sugarbelle 🙂 <3 <3 <3

  9. Jean L Coady says:

    My Ragdoll, Grace, is 16.5 years old. She was diagnosed with mammary cancer 4 yrs ago at age 12. She has had all her mammary glands removed plus under gone 3 trials of chemo. Carboplatin is what saved her. Yesterday she had ultrasound, blood work and chest X-rays and all were clear!! I have the Colorado Flint Animal Cancer Center at Colorado State Un to thank!! She is their longest surviving cat with mammary cancer!!!

    • Jenny says:

      How cool is that! If you’d be game – I would love to feature her story on the site – if nothing more, might help another owner that has a cat with mammary cancer.

  10. Gale says:

    Ragdolls are supposed to mature slowly with the colours coming in when they are 4. My retard didn’t come into her full colours until she was 8. She’s going to live forever.

      • Anonymous says:

        The meaning of retard is being “behind”, the person used it in its proper sense and it had no meaning or relationship to someone who is handicapped, disabled or challenged in anyway.

    • Briael says:

      Funnily enough, one of my seals literally just completed her coat this summer and she’ll be 8 at Christmas. I think environmental factors may also be to play, plus whether they are wet fed. I’ve noticed that the cats that prefer wet food have lighter coats (points are the same), so perhaps wet fed cats develop colours more slowly?

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