Ragdoll cat ideal weight and nutrition
A Female Ragdoll cat weighs 8 - 12 pounds (3.5 - 4.5 kg) and a male one 12 - 18 lbs (5.5 - 8 kg). For the suggested daily intake of dry food, consult the table below:
|Table 1.1 - Ragdoll cat daily food intake|
A balanced and rich in vitamins, minerals, protein and fiber nutrition will help prevent most Ragdoll cat health problems. You may want to try meals specially designed for Maine Coon cats with adapted levels of magnesium, sodium, potassium, arginine, EPA and DHA, taurine, L-carnitine, and antioxidants (vitamins E and C and green tea and grape polyphenols) that support and maintain their cardiac (heart) function. Moreover, they reinforce the barrier role of the skin and reveal the natural beauty and color of their coat. They also encourage a good oral-dental hygiene and support the joints of their heavy skeleton.
Ragdoll kittens care
When you introduce ragdoll kittens to your home let them find their own way out of the basket and allow them to explore one room at a time. Make sure that all doors and windows are shut, to prevent the kittens from escaping.
Kittens are very often frightened by children or other pets that are new to them. Children should therefore be recommended to be quiet and wait for the kitten to adopt to the new environment, while other animals should be introduced later, gradually and one at a time. Remember that adult cats might attack to the baby cat, since they confront it as a competitor and therefore as an enemy.
Talk to your kitten and encourage it to play with a cat toy but do not overwhelm it with extreme attention.
Kittens need warmth because they miss their mother and litter mates. If there is not some form of heating in the room at all times, you had better buy a heated bed from a pet shop.
During the first month of their life, kittens should be breastfeeding. This is why you shouldn't separate them from their mother before they are one month old.
At the age of one month they can start eating kitten food. In the market you will find a wide range of kitten meals, however we recommend dry kitten food. This comes in small kibbles that encourage ragdoll kittens to crunch and help them develop stronger gum and teeth.
For the suggested daily intake of ragdoll kitten dry food, consult the table below:
|Table 1.2 - Ragdoll kittens daily food intake|
Ragdoll cat grooming
The Ragdoll cat needs a thorough grooming at least twice weekly and ideally on a daily basis in order to maintain their coat in top condition. Regular grooming will improve the blood circulation and help avoid many unpleasant and long-lasting infections and allergies. Special attention needs to be paid to the underarms and under the tail and tummy, areas where the fur may rub and knots occur more commonly, however note that the Ragdoll cat coat usually does not mat. Use a comb with metal bristles and an elastic grip and work through her fur from head to tail to remove dead and loose hair. Be extra-gentle near her chest and belly to avoid injuring your Ragdoll.
Tapeworms are parasites that live in the small intestine of cats. They will cause severe diarrhea, poor or extreme appetite, avitaminosis, lethargy, coughing and abdominal distention to your cat.
To find out more, check our tapeworm treatment guide.
Hair ball treatment
When a cat grooms itself by licking its own fur, it will swallow some of its own hair. Most of the hair passes all the way through the digestive tract with no problems. But if some hair stays in the stomach, it can form a hair ball.
To find out more, check our hair ball treatment guide.
Even clean cats can pick up fleas, especially during the summer months. They get fleas through the contact with infested pets or through the contact with fleas in the environment (e.g. from an infected bedding).
To find out more, check our flea treatment guide.
Ragdoll cat care
You should clean their ears once a week to prevent infections. Consult your vet on choosing the proper ear cleaning solution for your Ragdoll cat and use it to remove the excess of wax, debris and dead tissues.
Their teeth should be checked periodically and brush with a special wipe to prevent teeth and gum diseases. In the market there are also a lot of cat toys, specially designed to remove food wastes and prevent teeth irritation.
A litter tray must be available at all times and kept in the same place. Solid matter and wet lumps should be removed from the tray frequently and the litter renewed when necessary. The tray should be washed and disinfected frequently. Rinse thoroughly after disinfecting and allow drying before use. Ragdolls are very fussy and will not use a dirty tray.
Never give cats any drugs that have not been prescribed for them; many human drugs are poisonous to cats. Seek veterinary advice immediately if you suspect any form of poisoning.
Make sure that toys or parts of them cannot be swallowed. Plastic bags and rubber bands can be extremely dangerous, since they do not show up on an X-ray.
Ragdoll cat health and lifespan
Ragdolls are generally healthy cats and live to be 12 years old or even more. Their most severe threat is feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a disease that affects young to middle aged cats. It is is usually discovered during a routine annual health checkup, as the vet will hear a faster heart rate and perhaps congestion sounds in the lungs. The pulse also feels weak.
If left undiagnosed, the most common indication of HCM is pain, associated with blood clot formation in the aorta. HCM is treated with diuretics, such as furosemide, diltiazem, and nitroglycerine ointment. ACE inhibitors, can be beneficial, while some Ragdolls respond to essential fatty acid (EFA) supplements and the antioxidants selenium and vitamin E.
Hip dysplasia can also affect a Ragdoll cat. Symptoms include swaying or waddling walk, and/or knock-kneed. Due to his difficulty in moving, your cat may appear to be lazy.
The condition begins as Ragdolls are growing, caused when the hip joint develops improperly and results in a loose fitting and malformed ball-and-socket joint. Hip Dysplasia is aggravated by excessive use of the joint and it eventually develops into arthritis.
An X-ray is required to make a definite diagnosis.
Although the case is not curable, you can take measures at home to make Ragdolls more comfortable. Keep the environment warm and dry, don't let your cat jump or exercise heavily, neither become overweight. In severe cases, you may consider joint surgery.
Nonsurgical options include giving your cat painkillers whenever his pain becomes severe, acupuncture and gold bead implantation. The combined use of nutritional anti-oxidant supplements and glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate are very helpful in treating the condition and reducing joint pain.
Ragdoll cat history
Back in the 1960's in the state of California, Ms. Pennels had a white longhair cat named Josephine. Josephine, a semi-feral cat of Persian/ Angora type, once got hit by a car. Thanks to the UCLA hospital's vets, the poor creature not only survived but completely recovered.
However, when Josephine returned home she had lost her feral attitude. Instead she was calm, peaceful and rather sociable and so were the kittens of all of her following litters.
Mrs. Ann Baker, a neighbor and breeder noticed Josephine's "mutation" and decided to reproduce her. Baker actually believed that Josephine was subject to a secret government genetic experiment during treatment at the hospital and claimed that it made Josephine docile, relaxed when picked up, and immune to pain.It was her who named her Ragdoll due to this tendency to go limp and relaxed when picked up.
The Ragdoll cat was selectively bred over many years for desirable traits, such as large size, as well as the striking pointed coloration.
Mrs. Baker, in an unusual move, spurned traditional cat breeding associations to set up her own registry, the International Ragdoll Cat Association (IRCA). She even registered the name Ragdoll cats and enforced stringent standards on anyone who wanted to breed or sell cats under that name. The Ragdoll cats were also not allowed to be registered in other breed associations.
In 1975, a group led by Denny Dayton broke rank with IRCA with the aim of gaining mainstream recognition for the Ragdoll cat. This group eventually developed the Ragdollcat breed standards currently accepted by major cat registries.
In 1994, a second group decided to leave the IRCA and form their own group due to increasingly strict breeding restrictions. This group later established the Ragamuffin breed. Because Baker owned the rights to the name "Ragdoll", no offshoot groups could call their cats Ragdolls until the trademark on "Ragdoll" was not renewed in 2005.
Today there are over 500 breeders worldwide and the Ragdoll cat breed stands on solid ground, despite its controversial early years and development.
Ragdoll cat personality
The Ragdoll cat is very loving and devoted. It is loyal and affectionate and prefers spending their time with their human family. Ragdoll cats are so laid-back that they are considered about the most non-aggressive breed, so much so that they will even refuse to fight when attacked. For this reason, it is advisable to keep them indoors.
Ragdoll cats are known for allowing you to hold them like a baby and going completely limp in your arms like a rag doll. They are known for their intelligence and can be trained to fetch or act tricks. They respond at the hearing of their name and love to greet strangers at the door.
Families with Ragdolls will tell you that they are perfect companions. They are known to be so gentle that they will play without using their claws, which makes them ideal for children. They are also very well mannered cats and very easy to handle. Docile but in the meantime playful, Ragdolls can adopt to all kinds of families and become a loving member.
Ragdoll cat breed standards
According to the Cat Fancier's Association, the Ragdoll cat is medium to large, moderately longhaired and blue-eyed. The point markings may be covered by a range of white overlay patterns. Ragdoll cats are slow maturing, reaching full coat and color when they are three years old.
Their head is proportionately large with a broad, modified wedge that is equilateral in shape, where all sides are of equal length as measured from the outside of the base of the ear to the end of the gently rounded muzzle. It forms a flat plane between ears, while the cheeks are in line with the wedge. When the whiskers and fur are smoothed back, the underlying bone structure is apparent.
Their eyes are large and oval. They are set wide apart and moderately slanted, complementing wedge. Their color can be nothing but clear blue.
Their ears are medium-sized, set wide apart and moderately flared, continuing the line of wedge. They are wide at base with rounded tips and tilted forward.
Their profile is slightly curving; ending in a straight, medium-length nose.
Their chin is well-developed, strong and in line with the nose and the upper lip.
Their body is large, long, broad and solid, with a heavy boning. It should be firm and muscular, not fat. It has a rectangular shape, with a heavy and strong neck, a full chest and equal width across shoulders and hindquarters.
Their legs are heavily boned and moderately long. The hind legs are longer than the front ones. The fur is shorter on the front legs and longer on the hind, with full, feathery britches.
The paws are proportionately large, round and feather-tufted.
The typical Ragdoll cat tail is long, with full plume.
The coat is moderately long, characterized by abundant guard hairs and minimal woolly undercoat. It flows with the body and appears short on face, longer on the ruff, shorter on the shoulder blades and lengthening toward the tail.
The recognized Ragdoll cat coat patterns are the following:
The colorpoint: The points include the mask on the face, the ears, the legs and the tail. The colour of these points is of a darker shade than the body colour and a clear contrast is seen between the point colour and that of the body.
The van: Color on the crown of the head and the tail only.
The bicolor: White fur combined with another color.
The mitted: Same as pointed, but with white paws and abdomen.
Finally, the officially accepted point colors are seal, blue, chocolate, lilac, red and cream. Consequently, there are 19 officially accepted pointed patterns:
· Seal point
· Chocolate point
· Lilac point
· Red point
· Cream point
· Seal lynx point
· Chocolate lynx point
· Blue lynx point
· Lilac lynx point
· Red lynx point
· Cream lynx point
· Seal-tortie point
· Chocolate-tortie point
· Blue-cream point
· Lilac-cream point
· Seal-tortie lynx point
· Chocolate-tortie lynx point
· Blue-cream lynx point
· Lilac-cream lynx point