When considering whether or not to buy a ragdoll cat, one thing most people want to know is how vocal or talkative they are.
The last thing you want is a cat that meows loudly all day and night without stopping, which is why it’s an important thing to factor in when making your final purchase decision.
So then, how vocal are ragdoll cats really?
Ragdoll cats are quite vocal and talkative, without being annoying. A ragdoll’s meow will usually be quiet and playful, however can become a lot louder when they want something (usually food). But in general, while ragdolls are rather chatty cats, it isn’t typically a nuisance.
Our ragdoll, Poppie – who we’ve owned for many years since she was a kitten – is always making funny sounds when she’s playing around the house, but none of them are annoying or intrusive.
The only time she becomes loudly vocal – to a point where it’s annoying – is when she’s hungry and wants to be fed, or when she wants to be let outside into the backyard for a quick wander.
In this article, I’ll explain more about why ragdoll cats are vocal and talkative, along with some things you can try if your ragdoll simply won’t stop meowing.
Why are ragdoll cats so vocal and talkative?
Ragdoll cats are usually vocal and talkative for the following reasons: they are hungry; they want attention; they are in a playful mood; they are communicating with other pets; they are scared; or they are in pain. Ragdolls are happy-go-lucky cats and this is reflected in their chatty nature.
In most instances, your ragdoll will be talkative for perfectly normal reasons (e.g. they want to play, or want food), leaving you nothing to worry about.
However, if you notice your ragdoll being quiet all the time, or talking non-stop without pause, it may be a sign something is amiss health-wise and might warrant further investigation by a veterinarian.
Below, I’ve gone into more detail about the six key reasons why ragdolls are vocal and talkative.
Six top reasons why ragdoll cats are vocal
1. They are hungry
If your ragdoll is being loud and vocal, the number one reason why is likely because they’re hungry and want food.
At around 6pm every night, our ragdoll Poppie will start loudly meowing at me to indicate that it’s dinner time.
If your cat is being vocal in the evening and you haven’t fed them yet, then hunger is likely the cause of their chattiness.
2. They want attention
While ragdolls are very independent cats and like having their own space (which is why you’ll often see them climb up onto shelves and cupboards to escape the commotion below), they also love affection and attention from time to time.
If you’re watching TV and your ragdoll springs up onto your lap and starts meowing, it’s likely because they’re in the mood for a cuddle or scratch behind the ears.
Take these opportunities when they present themselves, because ragdolls will pick and choose when they want attention.
3. They are in a playful mood
If your ragdoll is showing off by rolling around on their back in front of you and meowing, it could suggest they’re in a playful mood and keen to play some games.
If you’ve got any soft toys around your house, take the chance to throw them across the floor – ragdolls, like dogs, enjoy chasing after things and will love playing fetch with you when they’re in the right mood.
If your cat is being very talkative and showing off at the same time, there’s a good chance they’re up for some fun.
4. They are communicating with other pets
Another obvious reason ragdoll cats are vocal and talkative – especially when they’re in pairs – is to communicate to each other.
Just as humans talk to each other, ragdolls will also communicate with each other via the different sounds they make when they meow.
Sometimes, our ragdoll Poppie will even respond to my wife and I when we talk to her, usually replying with a quiet, cute meow. If only we knew what she was saying!
5. They are scared
If your ragdoll’s vocal tone changes from upbeat and strong, to trembling and worried then it may indicate they are scared.
This could especially be the case if you bring a dog or another cat into your household without warning.
Ragdolls will attempt to defend themselves if they feel threatened, so it’s important to monitor their mood and tone of meowing to understand if they feel safe, or if they feel anxious and scared.
6. They are in pain
The final reason why ragdoll cats are vocal is when they are in pain – and usually the tone of their meowing will clearly indicate this.
Similarly, if your ragdoll is usually chatty but all of a sudden has become very silent over a few days, this could also be cause for concern.
Other signs your cat is suffering include being withdrawn; not wanting to be picked up or held; or being defensive when you try to scratch or rub them.
If your ragdoll is showing any of this behaviour, you should definitely take them to the vet for a check-up, rather than ignore it.
Why are ragdoll kittens so vocal?
Ragdoll kittens, like all newborns, are vocal for many reasons including because they are hungry; excited; scared; overstimulated; or trying to communicate. Kittens have so much learning to do after they are born, and learning to speak is part of that process.
Just like human babies, ragdoll kittens are usually very loud and talkative when they arrive into the world and will tend to spend many of their early months eating, talking, pooping and crying.
Your ragdoll kitten will likely make many different sounds during their infancy, and it’s important to try and distinguish what they want when doing so (e.g. if they are hungry, if they are cold, etc).
The best way to do this is by trial and error – if you feed your ragdoll kitten and it continues to cry, that suggests it wants something else, such as a cuddle, or even a toy to play with.
What do I do if my ragdoll cat won’t stop meowing?
If you have tried feeding your ragdoll cat, given it toys to play with, or given it a cuddle and it still continues to meow loudly, it may warrant further investigation by a veterinarian. Ragdolls are usually pretty relaxed by nature, and prolonged, stressful meowing may point to an underlying health condition being the cause.
Our ragdoll, Poppie, will meow on and off throughout the day but it’s never constant – there are always breaks between where there are periods of silence.
If your ragdoll cat is feeling unwell, it may be more withdrawn that usually – and defensive about being touched – which, in addition to prolonged meowing, could be tell-tale signs that they are in pain.
If you cat is showing these symptoms, it’s best to book them in for a health check-up just to be sure.
Otherwise, the best ways to stop your ragdoll from meowing are to feed it, give it plenty of attention and affection, or even let it out into the backyard for a quick roam (under supervision, and without other pets present, of course).
Why does my ragdoll cat ‘yowl’?
Ragdoll cats ‘yowl’ when they are intrigued by something, if they are overexcited, or if they’ve just done a poop. Yowling with often be followed by ‘zoomies’ – where your ragdoll will race up and down the house full of energy, continuing to make yowling noises intermittently.
Essentially, a yowl is a meow that sounds different to an ordinary meow – it’s almost as if your ragdoll is trying to yodel.
The first time Poppie yowled, I thought ‘what the heck is that sound?’. I’d never heard it before and found it funny and interesting.
She’s done it plenty of times since over the last five years, and mainly it happens when she focuses her attention on something that intrigues and excites her (such as bird through the window).
It also occurs after she’s gone to the toilet – I usually can hear her scratching at her kitty litter, before she starts yowling and then racing up and down the hallway full of energy.
If your cat begins to yowl, don’t stress – it’s perfectly normal behaviour.
In summary, yes, ragdoll cats are quite a vocal and talkative breed, but not usually to the point where it becomes a huge annoyance.
Your ragdoll will usually meow loudest when it’s hungry, with most other sounds being quiet and chatty, rather than overpowering.
This is a reflection of their friendly, docile personality, which is what makes ragdolls such great cats to own.