Ragdoll cats make wonderful pets – they’re friendly, attractive, affectionate and loyal.
As I’ve written in another article, there are more than a dozen reasons why you should consider getting one.
But for balance, many would-be owners – like yourself – often like to know the potential downsides of owning a Ragdoll as well, so that they can make the most informed decision possible when purchasing their new cuddly companion.
In this article, I’ll explain the ‘bad’ things associated with owning a Ragdoll cat, along with some solutions to overcome them (I say bad in quotations, because most of these things are very minor).
Hopefully, by the time you finish reading, you’ll still be convinced that Ragdolls are the right cat for you.
The key cons of owning a Ragdoll cat
1. They shed lots
Ragdoll cats have long hair, which means they tend to shed plenty.
This can be frustrating for owners as you have to constantly clean up cat hair from your furniture, clothes and carpets through routine vacuuming.
Regular brushing and grooming can help reduce shedding, as it removes loose hair and prevents mats from forming in your cat’s coat.
2. They can suffer health issues
As with any animal, Ragdoll cats are prone to certain health issues.
Some of the most common ailments include heart disease, urinary tract problems and kidney disease – however, they’re still a rare occurrence.
In most instances, regular visits to the vet and a healthy diet can help prevent and manage these conditions, provided they’re not genetic.
3. They can be high maintenance
While I wouldn’t necessarily call Ragdoll cats ‘high maintenance’, they do tend to require more care and attention than some other breeds (particularly outdoor breeds).
Grooming is a must to keep their long hair healthy and free from tangles; you’ll likely need to buy higher quality food as Ragdolls can be fussy; and you’ll need to empty their litter trays daily.
Some Ragdoll cats can be demanding in terms of attention and affection, and they may become unhappy if they’re left alone for long periods.
4. They’re expensive to buy
Ragdoll cats are a relatively expensive breed and can cost anywhere between $800-$2500, which may be prohibitive for people with smaller budgets.
The reason for this is most Ragdolls are purebred, which will fetch a higher price than other mixed cat breeds.
Additionally, they require high-quality food, regular vet visits, and other expenses, which can add up over time.
5. They need to be trained
Ragdoll cats, like any other domesticated indoor cat breed, need to be trained.
Without proper training from an early age, they’ll likely get into the habit of scratching furniture, chewing on cords, going to the toilet outside their litter box, or misbehaving in other ways.
Training can be time-consuming and frustrating, but it’s necessary to prevent destructive behavior from developing.
6. They can be clingy
Some Ragdolls can be overly clingy and reliant on their owners, however this is largely dependent on the individual personalities of each cat (for example, our Ragdoll isn’t clingy at all).
Clinginess can be frustrating for owners who value personal space and don’t want to spend every waking hour with their cat alongside them.
If this sounds like you, then it’s important to set boundaries and encourage independence in your Ragdoll from a young age to prevent them from becoming overly attached.
7. They can’t be left alone for long
While you’re fine leaving your Ragdoll on its own for up to 48 hours – provided they have food, water and enough clean litter trays – any longer and you’ll need to leave them in the care of a friend, family member or professional cat carer.
Ragdolls don’t mind being alone for short periods, but if you’re planning on an extended holiday away from home, you’ll need a place for your cat to stay (as they hate travelling).
Unlike other outdoor breeds – which can often survive outside easily on their own – Ragdolls are completely domesticated house cats and rely on human interaction and assistance when it comes to being fed and having their water changed.
8. They need high-quality food
Ragdolls – being a purebred breed – require top-quality food and can be extremely picky about the type of meats they like to eat (for instance, our Ragdoll, Poppie, will only eat seafood in a gravy mix).
It’s likely you’ll need to test out a few different protein sources, but also brands, before landing on one that your cat likes to eat.
Unsurprisingly, higher quality food comes at a slightly higher price tag – while it’s nothing over the top, if you’re on a super-tight budget, you may need to factor it in.
9. They can be picky with litter
Some Ragdolls may have difficulty using the litter box (especially if it has tall sides) or be picky about the type of litter they prefer.
You may need to try 2 or 3 different brands before you find one that your cat actually likes – and you just need to cross your fingers that the one they settle on is budget-friendly.
While it shouldn’t be a deal-breaker when buying a Ragdoll, it’s something to be aware of.
10. They can trigger allergies
Ragdolls, like all cats, can cause allergies in some people, which can be a deal-breaker if you’re someone who is prone to such irritations.
While Ragdolls aren’t hypoallergenic, thankfully they are considered to be one of the least allergenic long-haired breeds, meaning your symptoms will hopefully be minor.
It’s important to spend time with Ragdolls, possibly at a breeder’s facility or maybe with a friend or family member who owns one, to see if you have any allergic reactions before committing to buying.
11. They can be vocal
While Ragdoll cats aren’t crazy vocal, they can be quite chatty from time-to-time and certainly will meow when they want something (usually food or attention).
While this can be endearing to some owners, it can be annoying or disruptive to others.
Personally, having owned a Ragdoll for a long time, I’ve never found them to be overly vocal but it’s certainly something to consider – especially if you live in an apartment.
12. They’re prone to obesity
Obesity isn’t an ailment reserved only for Ragdolls and can affect any cat that is overfed.
That being said, Ragdolls are slightly more prone to this condition than other breeds, due to the fact they spend most of their time indoors and don’t tend to get outside to burn off excess energy.
If you monitor your cat’s weight and diet and provide plenty of opportunities for exercise and play, obesity shouldn’t really be a problem (but it’s still worth making note of).
13. They’re bad at defending themselves
Ragdolls aren’t natural predators and can’t defend themselves in a fight as well as some other cats might.
By nature, Ragdolls are placid and affectionate animals and because they’ve been domesticated for so long, they’ve lost many of the feline survival instincts that other rougher, tougher, outdoor breeds still possess.
While Ragdolls will defend themselves as best they can if threatened, they won’t always come out on top, leaving them vulnerable.
14. They’re not very good mousers
If you want a cat that can effectively hunt mice, then Ragdolls may not be the most suitable breed for you.
Ragdolls are indoor domesticated cats known for their gentle and relaxed nature and due to their temperament, they lack the innate drive and ferocity that some other outdoor cat breeds possess.
While Ragdolls have the physical abilities to hunt mice successfully, their laid-back and easy-going personalities often means they just can’t be bothered doing it.
15. They love climbing
Ragdoll cats love to climb, which may be a red flag for owners who have breakables situated around their house.
They’ll often perch themselves high up on shelves, counters or bed heads – and they can stay in this position for hours to escape the hustle and bustle going on at ground level.
However, being a larger-sized cat, Ragdolls can be a little clumsy while climbing, meaning they are a risk of smashing a few vases or picture frames while doing so, which can be frustrating and costly.
16. They bond to one person
Ragdoll cats are super loyal and will form close attachments or bonds with their primary owner or carer.
This is usually the person who’s raised the cat from a kitten to adulthood, and provided them food, care and affection on the most regular basis.
While this can be great, it can also be a bad thing if you share your home with another person as your Ragdoll may play favourites and pour most of their attention into the owner they bond most with.
17. They’re bigger than most breeds
Because of this, Ragdolls take up more space, but also require more space to be comfortable.
While their size doesn’t stop them from being great lap cats, some people may prefer a much smaller cat due to convenience or available living area.
Is having a Ragdoll cat a good idea?
Yes, owning a Ragdoll cat can be a great idea for those looking for a friendly and affectionate pet. Ragdolls are known for their gentle temperament and love to be around people, making them great companions for families or individuals who want a furry friend to cuddle with.
Ragdolls do require weekly brushing – and you’ll need to vacuum fur that has shed onto your couch and carpet – due to them being a long-haired breed, however this isn’t a big nuisance.
They’re also known for their quiet nature, making them ideal for apartment or condo living.
Potential owners should consider their lifestyle and living situation to ensure they can provide a suitable environment for their new Ragdoll.
Overall, owning a Ragdoll cat can be a rewarding experience if you’re willing to invest the time and effort to care for them properly.
Are Ragdoll cats high maintenance?
Owning a Ragdoll cat does require some maintenance, but it’s not overly demanding. The primary tasks are regular grooming and brushing to keep their coat in good condition. Ragdolls are also known to shed hair, so you may need to vacuum your floors every few days to keep your home clean.
Another important aspect of caring for a Ragdoll is providing them with plenty of affection.
They thrive on attention and love to cuddle, so make sure you’re spending enough time with them each day to keep them happy and content.
Overall, while owning a Ragdoll cat does require some level of maintenance, the rewards of having such an affectionate and gentle companion more than make up for it.
While owning a Ragdoll cat may come with some perceived negatives, most of the ‘bad things’ I’ve listed about are very minor and shouldn’t stop you adding a Ragdoll to your family.
We’ve owned one for more than 5 years and she’s the light of our lives – yes, she occasionally scratches the carpet or goes to the toilet on the floor instead of her litter tray, but that’s what you get with animals.
The positives far outweigh the negatives when it comes to living with a Ragdoll cat, so if you’re weighing up whether or not to get one, I highly recommend doing it!