So, you’ve got a young family and are considering bringing a Ragdoll cat into the mix – it makes sense then wanting to know how they’ll interact together.
My wife and I have owned our Ragdoll cat, Poppie, for more than five years and while we don’t have children of our own, we do have a niece and nephew under the age of six who visit from time to time.
From what I’ve seen of their interactions with Poppie so far, they’ve always been pleasant and without issue.
So then, are Ragdoll cats good with children?
In most cases, Ragdoll cats are excellent with children. Along with their docile and easy-going temperament, Ragdolls are also very tolerant, which makes them well-equipped to interact with kids.
Whenever you have children in your home, you should supervise any interaction with your Ragdoll to make sure they don’t play rough (as kids sometimes don’t understand how gentle they have to be when petting animals).
In this article, I’ll explain everything you need to know about Ragdoll cats and children.
Understanding Ragdoll cats and how this affects children
Ragdoll cats are known for their stunning blue eyes, semi-longhair coat with color points on the ears, face, paws, and tail, and their large, muscular bodies. But perhaps their most captivating characteristic is their affectionate and placid nature, making them a popular choice for families with children.
As a Ragdoll owner, I can certainly vouch for these characteristics.
My pet Raggie, Poppie, is an absolute sweetheart, incredibly docile and patient, which are important traits to mention in the context of her relationship with my niece and nephew.
She loves to lounge around the house and as opposed to some cats who value their solitude, Poppie is more social and thrives on human company (despite also liking her own space from time to time).
She can be super playful when she’s in the right mood, but she does enjoy more of a slow-paced play with a feather toy or her other favorite items.
However, what really sets Poppie and Ragdoll cats apart from other breeds is the ability to adapt, tolerate, and love – traits that make their interactions with kids really great.
Why Ragdoll cats are suited for children
I could talk for hours – and tell many personal stories – about why Ragdoll cats are suitable for families with children.
There have been innumerable times where we’ve had our niece and nephew over, or other friends and their kids, and Poppie has been perfectly happy allowing the kids to pet her (after some initial hesitation) or engage in a gentle play session.
But to summarize, I’ve listed seven key reasons why Ragdolls are great cats to own if you have children.
Ragdolls are known for their docile and placid temperament, which is very suitable for households with young children. They’re sometimes referred to as “puppy-cats” because they often follow their humans around, like a dog would, and enjoy being handled, which can be great for interactive kids.
Ragdolls are generally tolerant of being carried and cuddled, and they’re often more patient with the energetic and sometimes unpredictable handling from children than other breeds might be.
Sociable and affectionate
Ragdoll cats are very sociable and affectionate, meaning they will quickly become part of the family and form close bonds with everyone, including children.
They are adaptable and can easily fit into a variety of households and lifestyles, including those that include young children. Their laid-back nature helps them cope with the noise and commotion that can often be a part of a family home.
While they can be playful, Ragdolls are typically not hyperactive or overly demanding of attention, which can be a benefit in a busy household with children, where your focus is often elsewhere.
Ragdolls are smart cats, and can even be trained to perform tricks or play games, offering fun and educational opportunities for children to interact with their pet.
Remember, if you’re thinking of bringing a Ragdoll cat into your home, it’s crucial to teach your children how to appropriately handle and interact with them to ensure both the child’s and the cat’s safety and well-being.
Below, I’ll explain some simple ways you can do this.
How to safely let children interact with Ragdoll cats
Ragdoll cats and children can get along extremely well with children and lifelong bonds, provided the kids are taught from a young age how to appropriately play with their new fluffy friend.
The relationship between my Ragdoll and my young niece and nephew has been fun to watch – and it’s something you can replicate in your own home with the right teachings.
Below are some top tips for ensuring safe interactions between your children and Ragdoll cats.
Teach gentle petting
Show children the correct way to stroke the cat, always going in the direction of the fur, never against it. Gentle strokes along the cat’s back or under the chin are often welcome.
This helps the child learn respectful boundaries and keeps your Ragdoll comfortable, reducing the risk of defensive reactions.
Explain appropriate play
Encourage play with toys, not hands or feet, and ensure that playtime never gets too rough.
This protects the child from accidental scratches and teaches them that the cat is not a toy but a living being deserving of respect.
Respect the cat’s space
Teach your children not to disturb your Ragdoll when she’s eating, sleeping, or in her safe space.
This helps the child understand the concept of personal space and consent, which is crucial in building a harmonious relationship with the cat and can be applied to interactions with people as well.
Create a safe space
Provide a space where your Ragdoll can retreat if they feel stressed or want some alone time. This could be a cat tree, a particular room, or a cozy cat bed.
Having a safe space allows your cat to have control over their social interactions, which can greatly decrease stress and anxiety.
Keep the claws trimmed
Regularly trim your Ragdoll’s claws or have a vet or groomer do it.
This can reduce potential damage if your cat does accidentally scratch during play. However, remember that cats also use their claws for climbing and balance, so they should never be declawed.
By applying these tips, you can ensure a safer and happier environment for both your children and your Ragdoll cat, paving the way for a wonderful, lifelong friendship.
Considerations when getting a Ragdoll cat for your family
If you’re reading this article and have gotten this far, then it’s clear you’re likely considering whether a Ragdoll cat is right for your family.
Based on my experience, Ragdolls make fantastic family pets, especially in households with children.
Before bringing a Ragdoll – or any cat, for that matter – into your home, it’s essential to prepare your children how to engage with them to ensure a safe environment and good relationship.
- Teach your kids about gentle interactions and the importance of giving the cat its own space
- Set up a quiet, comfortable area for your new pet to retreat when they want some alone time
Also, remember that Ragdolls are sociable animals who thrive on human interaction, so they’re not a good choice if your family is rarely home.
Like all cats, they require regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet, and plenty of love and attention.
Ragdolls do have a long, plush coat that requires regular grooming to keep it free from mats and tangles. Make sure you’re prepared for this aspect of their care.
But with these considerations in mind, a Ragdoll cat can bring immense joy, comfort, and learning opportunities into a household with children. I can’t imagine our family without our beloved Poppie.
In conclusion, from my personal experience, Ragdoll cats can indeed be a wonderful addition to a family with children.
Their gentle, patient, and affectionate nature, coupled with their tolerance and sociability, make them quite suitable for households with little ones running around.
Supervision and education, for both the children and the cat, are essential to foster a harmonious relationship.
If you do this, I believe that the bond between a child and a pet can be an incredible experience, promoting empathy, responsibility, and companionship in a child’s life.
If you’re considering a Ragdoll cat for your family, I hope my experience has given you some valuable insights and encourages you to get one!