I am neither a veterinarian nor a breeder. Any cat advice I give is my opinion based on my own personal experience. You should always seek the advice of a professional before acting on my published recommendations.
Please understand that there are some links contained in this guide that I may benefit from financially, because they are affiliate links. It will not cost you any money to click on them. This guide was originally published in 2010. Since then I have revised it several times – adding information, suggesting different products, replacing links for products that no longer exist, etc. Revisions are made based on my growing knowledge, reader recommendations, reader suggestions in reviews and more. There are many product recommendations in this guide.
After nine years of running a website dedicated to Ragdoll cats, I’ve learned a lot about brands and specific products while doing product reviews, and many readers just like you have helped boost my knowledge through your emails and our interactions on social media. You don’t need to buy anything that I’ve recommended, as everything included in this guide is a suggestion only. This guide is called a “guide” for a reason – it’s designed to guide you in whichever way is right for you, your piggy bank and your living situation.
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If a Ragdoll cat carries the white-spotting gene, then s/he may have a blaze. The picture below is of my boy Charlie as a kitten – he has an hourglass blaze on his nose. Follow this link for more photos of Ragdoll cats with blazes. Reserving your kitten Ragdolls (unless you are rescuing one) should be purchased from a registered, reputable breeder. When a breeder decides to breed happy, healthy pedigreed Ragdolls, it’s an expensive and timely undertaking. And that’s why they charge the way they do! Most breeders require a deposit for a kitten, and usually kittens aren’t reserved until that deposit is received — even if the kitten hasn’t been born yet. The deposit will reserve your kitten of choice until it is old enough to leave the cattery. Your kitten should come with a sales contract that includes written guarantees. Don’t settle for “word of mouth” guarantees. Kittens are released at approximately 10 to 16 weeks of age– depending on the breeder and the kitten (if s/he is ready to go). I am a firm believer that a kitten should not leave its mother before 12 weeks of age. There are crucial developments that take place between 8-12 weeks of age. For example, kittens learn not to use their claws on their littermates and they are therefore less likely to use them on you and your furniture! Kittens are usually sold as one of the following: pet quality (a beautiful, loving kitten which may not be perfectly marked) show quality (closest to the Ragdoll show standard) breeding quality (a Ragdoll kitten that is suitable for breeding)
Occasionally, breeders may have older kitten(s) available for a variety of reasons. People do change their minds about adopting a cat, or sometimes a litter has more kittens than reservations. Most breeders either have websites where you can see photos of the kitten or they will be happy to email photos of your kitten. Pictures of the kitten’s parents are also sometimes helpful, as they can indicate how your kitten might turn out; in relation to size, type and style. Do remember that the color and/or pattern of the parents might not be the color and/or pattern that your kitten eventually develops. Ragdoll life spans Ragdolls don’t reach full maturity until at least three years of age. Neutered males weigh about 15-20 pounds and are about three feet long. Spayed females weigh about 5 pounds less and are slightly shorter in length. Their fur is rabbit-like and medium-long.
All Ragdolls have beautiful blue eyes. The most important thing to remember is that getting a Ragdoll cat is a long-term commitment. The average lifespan of a purebred Ragdoll cat is between 9-15 years, but many live longer than this. My Rags died at 19 ½ years old! So, this isn’t a decision to be made lightly. You need to make sure you have thought carefully and that you are prepared to care for your Ragdolls cat over the next 15-20 years of your life. If you think your lifestyle might not allow this, there are many other companion animals you can consider instead. You can learn more about buying a Ragdoll cat on Floppycats.
Before your Ragdoll kitten comes home, you’ll want to make sure that your house is ready for its newest member. Start by setting up a room just for your kitten. This is where you’ll bring your kitten when you come home for the first time. Make sure it is a peaceful, quiet place for your new baby. A spare bedroom connected to a bathroom is a good idea, as you can put the food and litterbox into the ensuite (but never put them next to each other! Would you want to eat next to your toilet? Nope! And neither does your kitten.). Your kitty needs their own dedicated room so that they can gradually adjust to the surprise of living with you. It will be a big shock to have moved from their babyhood home to yours! The less stressful the introduction, the better the chances are for long-term happiness. A separate room means your kitten can get used to the sounds and smells of your home on their own terms. It will help him/her become comfortable enough so that they start to play, eat, go the bathroom and more.
Anticipate your kitty being in this room for around 1-2 weeks. The full length of time will depend not only on the individual kitty, but also on whether you already have resident kitties, dogs or other pets; as well as whether you have children (and how old they are), and how much time you spend at home. So, what should you have in this room? At a minimum, this room needs to have: Food Water Litter box with litter Toys Scratchers Grooming essentials Carrier You also need to kitten-proof your home. This is just what it sounds like – baby-proofing, but for kittens. Your kitten is a baby too, and they are curious and mischievous. You’ll want to make sure you tie up or put away the following: Cords on blinds Electrical cords Poisonous plants – all lilies, amaryllis, English ivy, philodendrons, poinsettias Anti-freeze Cleaning supplies Rat killer/bait and other poisons Aspirin Tylenol Strings Needles Sewing supplies Christmas decorations – such as icicles and breakable baubles (and hooks) Yarn Coins
Take a good look at your home from your kitten’s perspective. Believe me, it’s a good idea to get down on the ground and look at things from a kitten’s point of view. Think of it as toddler-proofing. Look for small spaces that a kitten may hide or get stuck in. Move breakables to a safe place, check for loose cables and electric wires. If you have pull blinds on the windows, tie them up (I just made them high enough so that the kitties couldn’t reach them) or you can get child-proof tubes at one of a home improvement store to put around them. If your kitten is a “wire or cord” chewer you can protect your electric cords and computer cables – and your kitten- with the same plastic tube covers. Wall socket plug covers are cheap, easy to install, and will keep paws safe. Keep string, yarn, thread or ribbons in a container or a drawer that your kitty cannot access. Be sure to close all drawers and cabinets completely – kittens may jump into ajar drawers and get stuck behind them, or find dangerous items inside cabinets. And remember – you don’t have to live like this forever! This is just something for the kitten stage.