If you’re considering getting a cat for the first time, Ragdolls are the perfect choice – trust me.
As someone who was always a ‘dog person’ growing up, it wasn’t until my wife and I bought our first Ragdoll kitten – named Poppie – that I truly jumped onto the cat bandwagon.
The main things that won me over were Poppie’s affectionate nature, playfulness, and independence (not to mention her cuteness).
In this blog post, I’ll explore in greater detail the characteristics of Ragdoll cats and list the pros and cons of getting them as a first-time owner to help you make your final buying decision.
Are Ragdoll cats good for first time owners?
Yes, Ragdolls are a fantastic choice if you’ve never owned a cat before. Ragdolls are great for first-time owners due to their gentle and docile temperament. They aren’t aggressive or easily provoked, which makes them safe and easy to handle, especially for children.
Ragdolls are also highly sociable cats that get along well with other cats – and even dogs – making them suitable for individuals, couples or families with multiple pets.
Even better is they are extremely adaptable to different living environments – from large houses, to smaller apartments – mainly because of their low-energy nature and tendency to relax or sleep during the day.
Adding to this is the fact Ragdolls aren’t very territorial, meaning they can easily adapt to sharing their space with other animals (although, ideally this is done when both pets are in their early years, so they can mature together).
While owning any cat comes with financial responsibility, Ragdolls have minimal grooming requirements compared to other long-haired breeds – brushing them weekly should keep their fur free of tangles.
Similarly, you shouldn’t need to vacuum more than once per week to keep on top of the hair that they shed.
Having owned a Ragdoll for more than five years now, I can confidently say they make excellent pets for first-time owners.
What to know before owning a Ragdoll cat for the first time
Before buying or adopting a Ragdoll cat for the first time, it’s important to consider a few things about their personalities and the responsibilities you’ll need to take care of on a day-to-day basis.
Only when you’re confident can you meet the below expectations should you consider adding a Ragdoll to your family.
Ragdoll cats are social cats that require attention and companionship from their owners.
They thrive on affection and playtime, and need daily interaction to keep them happiest and healthiest.
You should be prepared to spend time with your Ragdoll, whether it’s playing with them or just spending time in the same room, snuggling up watching a movie together.
Owning any pet comes with financial responsibility, and Ragdoll cats are no exception.
In addition to the somewhat significant cost of purchasing or adopting a Ragdoll – due to most being purebred and highly sought after – you’ll need to budget for regular veterinary check-ups, food, litter, toys, and other supplies.
Be sure to have a financial plan in place before considering bringing a Ragdoll into your life.
Ragdolls are bigger than most other cats (besides the Maine Coon) and require space to move around and play.
While they can adapt to different living environments, they do need room to stretch their legs and not feel too enclosed.
If you live in a small apartment, you may want to consider giving your Ragdoll plenty of toys and scratching posts to keep them active and engaged (and stop them becoming overweight).
Additionally, your Ragdoll needs a comfortable and safe space to sleep, such as a cozy bed or a designated area in your home.
Overall, Ragdoll cats can make wonderful pets for first-time owners, but it’s important to be aware of the time commitment, financial responsibility, and space requirements before getting one.
Pros of owning a Ragdoll cat as a first-time owner
Ragdoll cats make excellent pets for first-time owners due to their affectionate nature and laid-back personality (sometimes literally).
Here are some of the main pros of owning one.
Affectionate and easy-going nature
Ragdoll cats are known for their docile and gentle nature, making them a great choice for families with children.
They love spending time with their owners and are always up for a cuddle.
Ragdolls aren’t aggressive or easily provoked – and will avoid confrontation at all costs – which makes them a safe choice for kids to interact with.
Adaptability to different environments
Ragdoll cats are highly adaptable and can thrive in different living environments.
Whether you live in a small apartment or a large house, Ragdolls will happily adjust to their surroundings and make themselves at home provided they’re kept comfortable and occupied with toys or cat trees to climb.
If you have a backyard, consider letting your Ragdoll roam outside from time-to-time (just make sure it’s enclosed and always supervise them).
The last thing you want is your cat climbing the fence and escaping.
Minimal grooming requirements
Ragdoll cats have a soft and silky coat that is relatively low-maintenance compared to some other long-haired breeds.
While they do require proper grooming every now and then to keep their coat healthy and prevent it becoming matted, a weekly brushing is usually enough to keep their coat looking its best.
Their nails shouldn’t need to be clipped more than monthly.
Ragdolls are super social cats that enjoy the company of humans and other animals (once they’ve gotten to know them).
They can tend to be shy when meeting new people, but it doesn’t take long for them to come out of their shells and start to follow you around.
Ragdolls are known for their laid-back and easy-going nature, which is why they’re such great, low-maintenance but fun cats to have in your home.
Cons of owning a Ragdoll cat as a first-time owner
Despite the many benefits to owning a Ragdoll cat, there are also some potential drawbacks to consider as well.
Here are some of the main cons of owning one as a first-time owner.
Potential health issues
Ragdoll cats can be prone to certain health issues, such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and bladder stones.
HCM is a genetic heart disease that can cause thickening of the heart walls and lead to heart failure, while bladder stones can cause discomfort and urinary tract infections.
While these ailments are uncommon, regular veterinary check-ups are essential to catch any potential health issues early and treat them effectively.
Dependence on human interaction
Ragdoll cats do depend on their owners for companionship.
Ragdolls aren’t the type of cat you can leave alone for long periods, as they can become bored and anxious without human interaction (this is less the case if you buy them in pairs).
They thrive on affection and playtime, and ideally require daily interaction.
High price tag
Ragdoll cats are in high demand and can be expensive to purchase from reputable breeders.
The cost can vary depending on the breeder, location, and quality of the cat, ranging from $800-2500 USD.
And that’s without factoring in the ongoing costs of regular veterinary check-ups, food, and supplies.
Adoption from a rescue or shelter can be a more affordable option, but it’s not often you’ll find Ragdolls at shelters given their purebred pedigree.
In summary, Ragdoll cats make excellent pets for first-time owners due to their docile, fun and laid-back personality.
However, you should consider the time commitment, financial responsibility, and space needs before buying one.
If you can meet all these requirements and provide your Ragdoll cat with plenty of love and care, they will make for the perfect first-time pet – and it won’t be long until you’ll form a super close bond with one another, just like I have with mine.