Can Ragdoll Cats Be Left Alone? 7 Ways To Keep Them Happy At Home

It’s always a sad moment closing the door behind you and leaving your ragdoll cat home alone when you depart for work in the morning.

As much as we’d all love to spend our entire day at home with our cuddly companions, unfortunately for most people, that’s not reality.

But how do ragdoll cats cope with being left alone, compared to other breeds?

Ragdoll cats are perfectly happy being left alone at home for up to 24 hours, so long as you have put all the necessary preparations in place. Ragdolls are very independent cats who like spending time to themselves, so they have no problem being left alone.

Generally, we wouldn’t leave our ragdoll, Poppie, at home on her own for longer than one night – and when we do this, we ensure she has the proper food, water and comfort she needs to stay healthy in our absence.

In this article, I’m going to answer some of the most common questions about leaving your ragdoll cat at home alone, along with provide a checklist you should follow when leaving your ragdoll alone for an extended period of time.

Can ragdoll cats be left alone at home?

Yes, ragdoll cats can be left alone at home overnight, or a full day, with no issues, provided they have enough food and water; their litter trays are cleaned before your departure; you leave toys for them to play with; the home is well-lit; and they have a comfortable place to sleep.

Ragdolls are very independent cats who, naturally, enjoy spending time on their own more so than other indoor breeds.

When left alone, they’ll often spend their day sleeping, climbing onto furniture, using their scratching post, or playing with toys.

However, because they are indoor cats – and don’t have the survival instincts required to be able to roam around outside unsupervised – there is a limit on how long you can leave them alone for, which I’ll elaborate more on below.

How long can ragdoll cats be left alone for?

Ragdoll cats can be left alone for anywhere between 8-24 hours. Any longer and it’s likely your ragdoll will have eaten all the food you provided, and filled their litter trays with waste. If you plan to spend longer than one night away from home, you need to arrange someone to come and check on your ragdoll daily in your absence.

If you’re going on holidays and know you’ll be spending more than a single night away from your ragdoll, it’s best to either drop them to a family member’s house for them to look after, or pay for them to stay at a professional cattery.

While you could leave your ragdoll alone at home for up to a week – so long as you have someone dropping by each day to change their litter trays, and top up their food and water – it’s likely your cat will start to get lonely in the absence of human interaction with their owners.

If you own two ragdolls, they’ll keep each other company for longer, however, personally, I still wouldn’t recommend leaving them home on their own for longer than one night.

Are ragdoll cats happy being alone?

Ragdoll cats are happy being alone for up to 24 hours, but any longer and they will begin to get lonely and miss the company of their owners. Ragdolls will be happier if they have another cat to keep them company, but even then, they will begin to long for some human interaction.

When we’ve left our ragdoll, Poppie, alone overnight in the past, she’ll always wait in the windowsill when we finally arrive home and greet us with a big meow when we walk in the front door – before promptly giving us the cold shoulder for daring to leave her on her own for a day.

Ragdolls are extremely intelligent; they recognise you as their owner and the relationships you’ve formed with them (Poppie can even distinguish between mine and my wife’s car when we pull into the driveway – she gets more excited when my wife arrives home as they have been together since she was a kitten).

Because of this intelligence, ragdolls are beautiful, sensitive cats who will certainly know when you’ve been absent for a long time, and will begin to miss you should you be gone for more than a day.

So while ragdoll cats are happy being alone for 24 hours, any longer than that and it’s advisable to relocate them to a place (either a cattery or a friend/family member’s house) where they can receive human interaction to avoid loneliness.

Ragdolls can be perfectly happy at home alone, provided you have prepared for it.

7 ways to keep your ragdoll cat happy when home alone

When leaving your house – whether it be for your standard work day, or for an overnight getaway – there are a few things you must do before walking out the door to ensure your ragdoll cat remains happy and healthy while home alone in your absence.

I’ve listed seven simple steps that you should check off before leaving your ragdoll at home.

1. Make sure they have food and water

This is the most important thing to remember before leaving your ragdoll cat at home alone.

Cats – like humans – can’t function without food or water, so ensuring your ragdoll has plenty of both is essential before leaving them on their own for an extended period.

I’d recommend filling up one bowl with dry food (such as biscuits), another with wet food, and a third with water.

This should keep them fed and hydrated sufficiently for 24 hours.

2. Ensure their litter trays are clean

This is the second most important non-negotiable thing to do before leaving your ragdoll at home alone.

If you only have one litter tray, I would suggest going out and buying at least two more so that you have three in total – because there’s a good chance your ragdoll will fill them all up in your absence.

Before you depart, ensure all trays are filled with fresh litter and have been placed in an easily-accessible location for your cat (I would recommend the laundry, as the tiled floor is easy to clean should your ragdoll decide to poo or wee on the ground instead of their tray).

3. Leave them plenty of toys to play with

This is another simple, easy step to keep your ragdoll happy when you’re going.

Make sure you leave some toys lying around in a place where your cat can access them.

I’d also suggest leaving plenty out, as there’s a good chance a few might go missing under the fridge or other unreachable spots by accident when your ragdoll plays with them.

It might also be a good idea to move their scratching post (if you have one) out into the living area, so that it’s easily accessible, as this may prevent your ragdoll from scratching furniture out of boredom, too.

4. Provide them a comfortable place to sleep

Usually your ragdoll will already have a designated place that they like to sleep, but it wouldn’t hurt leaving an extra blanket out on your bed or couch for them to lay on (especially in the winter months, when the house is coldest).

That way you know your cat will have some guaranteed comfort and warmth while you’re away.

5. Keep your house well-lit by opening curtains

This is an important step that many people overlook when leaving their cat at home.

Ragdolls absolutely love being able to peer out of windows and watch the world outside go by, so it’s key to make sure that your curtains are left open enough to allow them to do this.

Obviously, you don’t need to keep them wide-open if you’re conscious about home security, but just enough that your cat can peek through the gap.

Allowing enough natural light into the home will prevent your ragdoll feeling suffocated by darkness, and keep them happier.

6. Have another cat keep them company

A great way to keep your ragdoll happier when left alone is to add another one into your family (should your budget and circumstances allow it).

While ragdolls are perfectly happy regardless of whether they’re in pairs, giving your ragdoll a companion to keep them company when they’re home alone is one way to stave off loneliness.

7. If you have a dog, keep them outside

This should go without saying, but if you own a dog, make sure they are kept outside and separated from your ragdoll if you decide to leave them alone during the day, or overnight.

While ragdolls can get along with dogs if they are raised together from birth, there’s still no guarantee as to how they will interact together when you’re not at home to supervise them.

To avoid any ugly clashes, potential injuries, or stress, it’s best to keep your ragdoll indoors and your dog outdoors if you decide to leave them home alone.

Do ragdoll cats suffer separation anxiety?

Ragdoll cats will begin to suffer separation anxiety if you leave them alone for long periods of time (days or weeks) without seeing their owners, especially if you have developed close relationships from when they were young. Ragdolls are super intelligent and sensitive, and love human interaction.

Whenever we leave our ragdoll, Poppie, for longer than a day, it’s clear when we return home that she’s missed us (and she’ll often ignore us for a few hours as punishment for leaving her alone for so long).

But, it won’t be long until she’s curling up next to us for a cuddle.

While ragdolls are happy enough being on their own for up to 24 hours, they will certainly begin to crave human attention the longer they go without seeing their owners.

Final message

In summary, ragdoll cats are perfectly capable of being left alone for up to 24 hours, provided you leave them with sufficient food and water, clean litter trays, toys to play with, and ensure the house is comfortable, safe and well-lit.

If you plan on spending more than one night away from home, you will need to have someone check in daily to top up their food and water, and clean their litter trays.

However, if you’re going to be away for more than a few days – for example, if you go on an extended holiday – it is best to relocate your ragdoll to a friend/family member’s house, or a professional cattery, to that they can get the human interaction and attention they need to remain happy, and not lonely.