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Is a Ragdoll the right breed of cat for you?

 

Ragdolls crave company either from their human family or other pets. When considering homing a Ragdoll, if the house is empty for several hours a day and you have no other pets, it is worth remembering that a single cat may not be a happy cat. Two cats are better than one, particularly if they come from a home where they are used to company.

 

Ragdolls should be kept indoors at all times. They are too trusting and lack the outdoor survival skills that other cats have, so are likely to come to grief if left to roam. Being allowed outside also puts them at risk of contracting incurable, fatal diseases, such as FIV (similar to HIV in humans) and FELV (feline leukaemia) As such it is important to take into consideration the security of windows and doors, especially during the summer.

 

Indoor cats require exercise and need climbers and toys to play with. They must be provided with litter trays, which should be changed regularly and cleaned using a safe, non-phenol disinfectant. A general rule is to avoid any disinfectants which go cloudy in water, they are poisonous to cats!

 

Kittens need neutering at approximately six months old. Consult your vet for advice. Your cat will require a yearly booster, even if it is kept indoors, especially if you wish to have your cat stay at a boarding cattery while on holiday. Regular worming, flea treatment and veterinary checks are necessary. The cost of veterinary fees should be taken into consideration when homing any cat.

 

Ragdolls should be fed a healthy, high quality diet, not value label foods.

 

Although Ragdoll's coats tend not to matt like other breeds, e.g. Persians, they can develop tangles and knots and do require regular grooming.

 

Ragdolls do moult and will shed fur onto your furniture and carpets all the time, so be prepared for more housework!

 

Ragdolls are generally placid, friendly cats, but they are not necessarily 'lap' cats and as every Ragdoll has its own individual temperament, you will never be guaranteed a cuddly, lap cat.

 

Although a lot is written about Ragdolls being floppy when held, this is a myth. While many are happy to lay on their backs in your arms, others feel insecure and will not relax.

 

Ragdolls can be very vocal and as a breed can be quite demanding of your time.

 

Most Ragdolls will happily fit in with the other animals within your home and are great with children. However they need to be introduced gradually into their new home. Children should be taught to respect animals and handle them correctly.

 

Ragdolls are said to be the largest of all domesticated cats. The males can reach 20lbs (9kg) and females can reach 12lbs (5.5kg), so before homing a kitten consider the size they may become!

Ragdolls make wonderful pets, but they need personal and financial commitment from their owners. A Ragdoll cat may live to 12 years or beyond and over that time the annual cost of feeding and caring for them will far outweigh the initial cost of buying a kitten. Please consider carefully whether a Ragdoll is right for you and your circumstances, before homing a kitten.