Ragdoll Cats and Kittens
Ragdolls are large, floppy, people loving, blue eyed and pointed cats, with a pleasant domestic head type with wide spaced ears and non extreme semi wedge shaped muzzle. The Ragdoll namesake was given by the
original breeder, Ms. Ann Baker as it was so named for its captivating tendency to go limp like a child's toy when held in human arms. Ragdolls are extremely huggable. Adult Ragdoll sizes fall in the estimated range of between 8 to 15 pounds for females and 12 to 20 pounds for males. The Ragdoll is a large cat breed that will reach full maturity between age three and four years.
Unfortunately myths still persist in some circles and cat owners have been mislead into believing that Ragdolls do not feel pain, do not cause allergies to those allergic to cats, cannot defend themselves and do not possess normal cat instincts such as hunting. All of the above are untrue. Ragdolls should be treated with the same care and respect bestowed upon all other breeds. The Ragdoll is a gentle, good natured and loving cat that possesses a unique and quiet charm, which will quickly win over the heart of anyone who comes in contact with them.
The first days with your new Ragdoll Kitten
You should receive your Ragdoll kitten in good health, immunized age appropriately, wormed and ready for a new life with you. The first few days may be a somewhat difficult transition. Your kitten has been raised in one home with its parents, littermates, your breeder and their family. It will take time to for your kitten adjust to a to this new home and family, they need your patience, gentleness and understanding at this time.
You need to confine and isolate your new kitten from other cats and kittens for a minimum of five days and nights. A small room with a bed, litter box, dry food and fresh water, and toys/blankets would be ideal. This
will help prevent the spread of germs, bacteria and disease and make the transition less stressful for your kitten.
Kittens may display physical signs of stress during this adjustment period which can include, but is not limited to, sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, lack of appetite, shaking, diarrhea and/or constipation. These symptoms of stress will pass after a few days if they even occur at all.
The Kitten's Diet & Cooking for your Ragdoll
Your Ragdoll kitten has been fed a balanced diet. It is recommended that you do not change your kittens diet early on to avoid the risk of stomach upset. If you wish to change their primary food, this can be done later on in gradual increments.
It is acceptable to provide your kitten with a variety of foods. These include good quality Kitten dry food. We feed our Cats/Kittens Life's Abundance All Life Stages formula cat food. Fresh cooked human quality meats like boneless fish and chicken are a great addition to their diet. Cook natural rice, sprinklings of grated cheese and chopped boiled egg are welcome treats as well.
Raw chicken wings are good to keep teeth and gums healthy. Watch your kitten while young with possible splintering of bones. Tuna is a nice treat. Soft natural packaged cat treats and greenies are good as
well, just check your ingredients on the package before selecting. An all meat diet is not recommended because it is lacking in various vitamins and minerals, which are vital to your cat’s continued good health. Some kittens have their own preferences; try different wholesome and natural foods to discover what
your kitten enjoys most.
Your kitten requires at least three meals a day till around five months old and then two meals a day. Some cats are happy to have one meal a day when adult. You may free-feed, leave food available to them at all times so they can eat at their preference.
Your Kitten & The Litter Box
Your kitten has been litter trained using a litter box with kitty litter. The best filling for the litter box is one of the many brands of cat litters available, or paper pellets. Please don’t use sand, dirt or sawdust. It is not absorbent and quickly becomes wet and smelly. Sawdust ends up all over the house as it sticks to the cat’s paws. We use Dr. Elsey's ultra Precious cat litter. It is important to place the litter box where your kitten can find and easily access it. Try not to move it
frequently, if at all.
The litter box should be cleaned on a daily basis. It should be emptied frequently and cleaned with a disinfectant, which is safe for cats. Disinfectants containing phenols and cresols can be lethal to cats. They can absorb this substance through their paw pads. Please also be aware of the products you use in your bathrooms, kitchens etc.
It is suggested to use chlorine based products or normal household bleach watered down. Please remember your kitten is in a new environment and any adjustments need time, patience and understanding that occasional ‘slip ups’ and accidents might occur.
Grooming Your Kitten
The Ragdoll coat is medium and long. It has a dense, soft and silky texture. This coat does not typically form mats and is easy to groom. A weekly combing and brushing for maintenance of your kitten’s coat is a good
routine. If you want to groom more regularly your cat will love the attention. It can be a good bonding time and enjoyable experience for them and you.
The occasional bath is good but can be challenging idea, talk to your vet or find a local groomer for tips on bathing them. There are many books available on grooming techniques as well. If regular bathing is something you wish to maintain, it is best to start with baths as young as possible to get your kitten used to being bathed which will make the process smoother in the future. Please use age and breed appropriate products for grooming and bathing.
Parasite Control & Preventative Care
Flea, tick and worm control is of paramount importance for the good health of your kitten and adult cat. Routine flea control and intermittent de-wormings are very important and highly recommended. Some areas are worse for these problems. You need to discuss proper parasite control with your veterinarian.
It is vital your kitten is kept worm free, as apart from being uncomfortable for the kitten it also affects their health. Fleas must also be kept away. Flea infestations can be most uncomfortable for you as well as your cat. It is recommended that you use veterinary grade products for flea treatment and prevention, as these are the most effective. Most over the counter products are ineffective and can be dangerous to your cat. The price is higher but you do not want to skimp on these products, as they are vital for your cat’s health.
It is highly important to exercise preventative care with your cat. If you think there is any suspicion of a problem, call your vet and talk to them. Never hesitate to contact a professional if you think there is something wrong, it could mean the difference between a serious health issue or a simple correctable problem, or between life and death. Regular ear cleaning, teeth checking, nail clipping, looking your cat over for parasites, lumps, sores, cuts, hair loss, skin problems, will all help head off potential problems before they start or get worse. Always bring up any concerns about any of these issues with your vet.
Vaccination schedules vary greatly. Please check with your breeder and your veterinarian for the best immunization schedule for your kitten. Make sure to follow this schedule as closely as possible.
After all the kitten vaccinations have been completed, your cat will need to visit the vet annually. However if your kitten looks sick or you are ever concerned about him or her in any way- please seek veterinary advice immediately. Remember, your Ragdoll is totally dependent on you for all his needs, please be a responsible owner.
Your kitten has been given to you as a loving pet from your breeder. Your kitten is not to be used for breeding. You will be required to Spay or Neuter your kitten and provide proof to your breeder that the altering has been completed. It is the usual practice for the breeder to withhold registration papers for your kitten until proof of
altering by a licensed veterinarian has been sent to the breeder. Your breeder will have the terms outlined in the contract.
Why should you alter your pet?
Spaying or Neutering is good for your pet. It can help them live longer, healthier lives. It can eliminate or reduce the incidence of a number of health problems that can be difficult and expensive to treat. Spaying eliminates the possibility of uterine and ovarian cancer in females and reduces the risk of breast cancer if done before the female’s first heat cycle. Neutering eliminates testicular cancer and decreases the chance of prostate disease in males.
Spaying or Neutering is also good for you. It makes pets better and more affectionate companions. It makes them less likely to spray and mark their territory in your home. Spaying a female will eliminate the heat cycle, which can repeat every 2-3 weeks and last as long as 12 days. The females will call (cry) incessantly during this time, bleed, try to get outside, and attract unwanted males. Unaltered males and females can often exhibit nervous behavior, temperament problems and change in moods. Altering can also make them less likely to bite, try to get outdoors to roam, try to run away and get into fights. Spay or neuter surgery carries a one-time cost that is relatively small when one considers its benefits. It's a small price to pay for the health of your pet. When a kitten is sold on a Pet Agreement (Spay or Neuter Agreement) it is required that you have the kitten altered (spayed or neutered) by the time the kitten is six months of age.
The Indoor Only Cat
Your kitten should always be kept indoors. It is the safest place for your cat and protects the wildlife outside. There has been increased awareness of the damaging effect that cats can have on our environment and this
has become such a problem that currently draft legislation is in process in many countries.
Cats are natural hunters. Please do your part in protecting our wildlife and the well being of your cat. Internal parasites, disease and abscesses are just a few problems that your cat may pick up from digesting or fighting wildlife including. Other dangers in allowing your cat to roam outdoors: dog attacks, car accidents, cat fights, getting lost, exposure to diseases, and theft. The trauma to your cat is distressful and the resultant vet bills can be very costly. The best way to protect your companion is to keep your cat indoors at all times!
Education & Support
It is very important to educate yourself about Ragdolls if that is the breed you choose. The more you know about the health and needs of your cat, the better the life that you will help them live. Do your research, read books, reach out to other Ragdoll owners, go to Cat shows, look online, just never stop learning about your breed and how to best care for them.
Always reach out with concerns and look for support when you need it. Contact your breeder for advice, support and tips on raising your Ragdoll. Discuss all your questions and concerns with your veterinarian. Join Cat Clubs and Forums and find a support group for yourself and your cat. These things will be invaluable assets to you later on in helping both you and your Ragdoll live a happy life