Ragdoll cats are super-friendly felines that show plenty of love and affection to their owners – it’s one of their trademark traits.
But do ragdolls develop tighter bonds with one person versus another? Or do they share their love equally?
The answer is yes, ragdoll cats will form close attachments or bonds with their primary owner or carer. This is usually the person who has raised the cat from a kitten to adulthood, and provided them food, care and affection on the most regular basis.
This has certainly been my experience.
At the time my now wife bought our ragdoll, Poppie, we were living in separate houses, so she spent the majority of the time raising her in her early years.
They developed an extremely close bond due to the amount of time they spent together.
Even now that we’re living under the same roof, after buying our own house, it’s clear Poppie and my wife still have a far closer bond than what I do with the cat (despite me now sharing the litter tray and feeding duties!).
So, will ragdoll cats bond more with one person over another? The answer is absolutely yes, especially if that person is primarily responsible for raising the cat from an early age.
That’s not to say ragdolls won’t show love and affection to everyone they share a home with – they most certainly do – it just means they may develop closer attachments to certain members of your family.
How to tell if your ragdoll cat is playing favourites
There are some tell-tale signs your ragdoll cat is playing favourites and bonding with one person over another.
They may show their preference by following a particular family member around, seeking out their attention more often, and being particularly cuddly with them.
Below, I’ve outlined nine behaviour traits ragdolls will often exhibit if they are favouring one person over another:
1. They closely follow them around
Ragdoll cats are known for their attachment to and loyalty towards their owners, so following a particular person around the house is not uncommon.
That said, ragdolls may follow their favourite person from room to room – including into the bathroom – seeking out their attention and even lying down with them.
This behaviour may be even more noticeable when the ragdoll’s favourite person is not in the room and they make extra effort to seek them out.
2. They crave more attention
Ragdolls may preference their favourite owner by seeking out their attention more often than others around them.
This could take the form of jumping up onto their lap, rubbing against legs, or meowing and purring loudly.
Ragdolls also love rolling around on their back to try and attract belly or chin scratches, so don’t be surprised if they try these tactics too.
3. They are extra cuddly
Ragdolls may choose to nap on the lap of their most-loved person, or cuddle up close to them while they lay on the couch, are in bed watching movies, or are sleeping.
This behaviour can be a sign they have formed a strong bond with that person.
Other giveaways could include them gently pawing at their favourite person’s face or doing some affectionate nose touches.
4. They are more vocal and talkative
You may notice your ragdoll being more vocal and talkative around the people they love the most.
Despite usually being laid back, ragdolls can be rather animated when they’re in the company of their favourite person, which includes them meowing or loudly purring and even wagging their tails with excitement.
5. They give extra head-bumps
One of the trademark ways ragdolls show their love is by gently head-bumping you with their forehead.
This usually happens when you least expect it – it could be while you’re sitting on the couch, or washing the dishes in the kitchen (our cat has been known to climb onto the bench to do this).
If you notice your cat regularly giving your house mate or fellow family member more head-bumps than you, then chances are they’ve bonded with them and are playing favourites.
6. They are more playful and up for games
Ragdolls can be selective when it comes to their interest in playing games.
Often, they’ll only participate in fun activities – such as fetching toys, chasing a laser pointer across the floor, or even playing hide and seek – if it’s with their favourite person.
Unless your ragdoll has bonded with you, unfortunately you might have a tough time getting them to play games with you.
7. They sit extra close at dinner time
The last thing you want when eating dinner is having your cat come and plonk themselves on your lap – however, this is exactly what ragdolls sometimes do to their favourite people.
They may choose to sit close to only one person during mealtime and family gatherings, rather than all people present.
So if you’re chowing down on your main course and all of a sudden your ragdoll begins to rub up against you or crave your attention, it’s a sign they love you (possibly more than others).
While these behaviours can suggest your ragdoll has a soft spot for one particular person in the household, it’s important to remember that ragdolls are highly social cats and love the attention of their entire family.
So, if your ragdoll is favouring someone else, don’t fear – they will still bond with you and give you plenty of affection.
In summary, yes, ragdolls do bond with one person – however, they are also capable of forming relationships with multiple people in their home.
Providing your ragdoll with the love, care and attention they need will help ensure that they form strong ties with all members of your family (even if they do have a favourite!).