Apartment Living: Can Ragdoll Cats Thrive In Small Spaces?

If you live in an apartment and are considering buying a ragdoll cat, you’re likely asking yourself: ‘do I have enough space available?’

It’s a very valid question. Some breeds of cats love the ability to roam around outside and stretch their legs, which would make them extremely unsuited to smaller residences.

But what about ragdolls? Can they be happily housed in apartments?

The answer is yes, they can. Ragdoll cats are perfectly suited to apartment living due to their low-energy, relaxed nature. As a renowned indoor breed, ragdolls spend much of their day resting and sleeping and don’t require the space other cats might to stretch their legs .

Provided ragdolls have fresh food, water, clean litter trays and some toys or accessories to keep them occupied during the day, they will be quite happy and healthy living in an apartment, either big or small.

Ragdolls are extremely intelligent cats, so your main priority should be to ensure they have enough stimulation to avoid boredom – as this can lead to them scratching your furniture or carpet to occupy themselves.

In this article, I’ll explain the things you need to knowing about raising a ragdoll in an apartment.

Challenges of owning a ragdoll cat in an apartment

The biggest challenges with owning a ragdoll cat in an apartment are ensuring they get enough exercise and stimulation during the day. This is especially the case if you own a very small residence. Without this, your ragdoll may be prone to gaining weight or suffering from extreme boredom.

A healthy cat is a happy cat and apartment living does present some hurdles that ragdoll owners with bigger homes or backyards may not encounter.

However, there are ways around these obstacles.

What ragdoll cats need when living in apartments

To thrive in apartment living, ragdoll cats need toys or accessories to occupy them during the day; regular cuddles and attention from their owners when together; weekly exercise such as walks; and enough light to illuminate their environment and allow them to see outside.

If you can provide them with these things, ragdolls can live quite contently in apartments.

Below, I’ve expanded on these must-dos in a little more detail to explain why they’re so important to your cat’s wellbeing.

Give them toys to play with

One of the biggest challenges with owning ragdoll cats in apartments is that they may be prone to boredom.

Ragdolls love attention and stimulation — without it, they might begin to wander around your place looking for things to do if they become bored with their environment.

This can lead to them scratching furniture or your carpet, which are two things you want to avoid.

If you’re planning on housing your ragdoll in an apartment, make sure they have plenty of toys and accessories to keep them occupied.

This includes soft toys, scratching posts or even cat trees for them to climb on – whatever keeps them occupied when they’re alone.

Take them on regular walks

Like all animals, ragdolls need exercise to stay healthy.

With large houses, they have plenty of room to run up and down and stretch their legs – however, apartments are often much smaller and may not allow your ragdoll to get as much daily movement as they would like.

If you live in an apartment, you might need to consider taking your ragdoll for a walk once a week.

Not all ragdolls will like this (as they can get scared when removed from their usual environment), however those who do may really benefit from the occasional stroll around the block to stretch their legs.

Just make sure you attach a leash to your cat before you do, to stop them running away.

Let in natural light where possible

If you’re leaving your ragdoll alone in a small, enclosed space during the day, an easy way to comfort them is letting natural light into your apartment wherever possible.

Put yourself in your cat’s shoes: would you like to be left in a dark room on your own for 10 hours every day? Of course not.

Before leaving for work each day, make sure you open up enough blinds to illuminate a few rooms in your apartment.

This will allow your ragdoll to perch themselves on the window sill and peer out into the world, which they love doing.

Give them lots of attention

Your ragdoll is going to crave attention after being alone in a small apartment all day, so make sure you give it to them when you arrive home.

It could be as simple as giving them a big cuddle when you walk through the door after finishing work, or playing a few games before dinner.

You may even like to let your ragdoll curl up alongside you on the couch or bed as you watch TV before falling asleep.

The main thing is ensuring your ragdoll has enough quality time with you when you’re together, as they can get quite lonely when alone in your apartment throughout the day.

How to maximise apartment space for your ragdoll cat

The easiest way to create more space for your ragdoll cat is to provide them with lots of vertical territory. Make use of shelves, bookcases or even walls to hang toys and other items from. Adding a climbing tree or scratching post will also give your ragdoll something to climb on, which helps them use up more energy and stretch their legs.

Making the best use of vertical, but also horizontal, space is a must if you wish to own a ragdoll cat in an apartment or small residence.

Investing in multi-tiered furniture pieces such as cat trees/stairs and window perches that provide easy access for your ragdoll are a must as they take up minimal floor space, yet allow them to climb (which they love).

In summary, the best ways to maximise your apartment space for your ragdoll includes:

  • Investing in multi-level cat trees to allow them to climb and play
  • Installing wall-mounted shelves for your ragdoll to sit and sleep on
  • Placing cat perches near windows to give your ragdoll a view and a place to sit
  • Utilising vertical space with floating shelves and wall-mounted scratching posts
  • Placing boxes and cubbies in unused corners to give your ragdoll a place to hide
  • Creating a ‘catio’ or balcony enclosure (if you have one) to give your ragdoll some outdoor space
  • Installing wall-mounted feeders and water fountains to save space
  • Using furniture that doubles as a cat bed, such as ottomans and window seats

If you can implement as many of these tips as possible, your ragdoll will be perfectly happy living in a small apartment space.

Final message

Ragdoll cats can be very happy living in apartments provided they have enough stimulation during the day – and get lots of love from their owners before and after work each day.

Because ragdolls are a very laid-back, low energy breed they can thrive in smaller spaces better than what some other cats can – so long as you create an interesting environment that includes toys, accessories and maximises the use of vertical space.

So, if you live in an apartment and wish to own a ragdoll, make sure you prepare your residence as described in this article to give your cat as much comfort as possible.