Ragdoll cats are renowned for their thick, fluffy, luxurious fur coats – possibly even more so than their big blue eyes – so, naturally, would-be owners are often curious as to how much hair they shed.
While some people want to know whether ragdolls are good lap cats, or why ragdolls like playing with water, one of the most common questions people want answered about ragdoll cats is: do they shed?
Yes, ragdoll cats shed hair. Ragdolls are a long-haired cat breed so, naturally, they do shed – however, not excessively. Their thick, bushy coats means any fallen hair usually clumps together and is easily removed. Ragdolls will usually shed more in warmer weather to keep cool.
When you look at a ragdoll cat – with their big bushy covering – it’s easy to assume that they will shed a lot of hair, but that hasn’t been my experience.
While short-haired cat breeds leave individual strands of hair all over the place, ragdoll hair usually falls in clumps – meaning it’s easy to sweep up, or extract from clothing or furniture.
In this article, I’ll explain everything there is to know about ragdoll cats shedding their hair, and offer some tips on how to reduce the impact this has on your home living environment.
How much hair do ragdoll cats shed?
Ragdoll cats, being a long-haired breed, certainly shed hair, but not enough that it’s unmanageable. If you own a ragdoll cat, it’s likely you’ll only need to vacuum your living area once a week to keep your home tidy, along with removing the occasional pieces of fallen fur from furniture.
Honestly, when we brought Poppie home, I initially thought it was going to be a nightmare trying to keep the house tidy once she grew into adulthood.
However, surprisingly, this hasn’t been the case. Yes, she does shed hair, but not enough that we spend hours each day cleaning up after her.
Our usual routine will involve vacuuming the house once or twice a week maximum, and running a de-fluffing tool over the couch and bed covers to remove any excessive hair.
So, if you’re thinking about buying a ragdoll cat, but are worried about how much hair they might shed – don’t stress. You have nothing to be concerned about.
Why do ragdoll cats shed so much?
Ragdoll cats shed hair for three main reasons: to keep cool in warmer climates/temperatures; when they are stressed or ill; or due to genetics. Usually, ragdolls will shed hair the most when the seasons change from cold to hot weather, and they start to naturally drop their winter coat.
Of course, there may be other contributing factors for ragdolls losing their fur, but these are certainly the most common.
Below, I’ll elaborate a bit more on each reason, and when excessive shedding of fur may be a reason for concern.
This is the most common reason ragdolls cats will shed hair. During the winter months, ragdolls will grow a thicker coat to keep them warm, before shedding the excessive fur as the weather gets warmer in order to regulate their body temperature and cool down.
Just a humans can suffer hair loss as a result of excess stress or illness, so can ragdolls. It’s important you keep an eye on any excessive shedding of hair from your ragdoll cat, as it may be a sign that they are unwell and need veterinary attention. If your ragdoll starts dropping fur in big, thick clumps (more than usual) then it may be time to book an appointment with your vet to get them checked out.
Another simple reason ragdoll cats shed hair – either more or less than other cat breeds, depending on which ones you compare them to – is their genetics. As a long-haired breeds, ragdolls will leave a reasonable amount of fur around the place; however, their white-coloured hair also accentuates this compared to darker-haired breeds (and may give the illusion ragdolls shed more, which isn’t always the case).
Do ragdoll cats ever stop shedding?
No, you’ll never stop a ragdoll cat from shedding hair as doing so is a vital way for them to regulate their body temperature. If ragdolls never dropped hair during the hotter months, they would overheat and soon become unwell. Ragdolls need to shed hair to maintain their health.
Just like virtually all other cats, ragdolls shed hair: it’s unavoidable (unless, of course, you shave them – which, as I’ve explained in another article, you should never do).
But while you might not be able to stop your ragdoll from dropping fur completely, there are ways to minimise the impact their shedding has on your home’s living areas.
How to reduce your ragdoll cat’s shedding
There are some key ways you can keep your house tidier and fur-free when owning a ragdoll cat, ranging from regular grooming (a virtually cost-free option) to installing an outdoor cat enclosure to allow them spend more time outdoors (slightly more expensive option).
I’ve gone through each tip in more detail below.
Regularly groom your ragdoll
Ragdolls require regular grooming if you want to keep their shedding under control, and avoid them looking like a woolly mammoth.
If you’re considering getting a ragdoll, it will pay to invest in a good-quality brush or two (personally, we use a broader-tooth comb to remove the bulk, before running a finer-tooth comb over Poppie’s coat to get rid of the finer hair particles).
While you won’t have to brush your ragdoll every day, it certainly pays to give them a good brush once every week or two, as doing so will not only keeping their coat looking great, it will reduce the amount of hair they shed inside your home.
Give them biscuits for a shinier coat
The healthier and stronger your ragdoll’s hair is, the less likely it is to shed excessively.
We love feeding our ragdoll special biscuits that make her coat look glossy and vibrant, and have definitely noticed a difference in the amount of hair she drops daily as a result.
Not only that, she absolutely loves them! We’re sure your cat will too.
Use a fur removal brush on fabrics
Regardless of how often your groom your ragdoll, the chances are, at some point, they’ll leave hair lingering on your bed, couch, rug or clothing – virtually any item in your house that is covered in fabric.
The best way to remove this fur is using a specially-made brush that is designed to extract hair from furniture, bedding or clothing in only a few swipes.
They’re usually inexpensive, but will help hugely in keeping your house hair-free.
Place a towel where your ragdoll sleeps
Ragdoll cats are creatures of habit and will usually sleep in the same spot every night – at our house, Poppie likes to curl up on the end of the bed in the guest room.
To avoid having to vacuum the spot every week, you can place a towel where your ragdoll sleeps – that way, at the end of the week or fortnight, all you have to do is clean it.
It’s a simple, easy away to keep on top of any excess hair where your ragdoll sleeps.
This tip is obviously straight forward – the more you vacuum your home each week, the less likely you are to notice ragdoll cat hair lingering around your living areas.
Personally, we like to vacuum the main rooms in our house (such as the lounge room and bedrooms) once or twice a week and find this is more than enough to keep on top of Poppie’s shedding.
It also pays to invest in a good-quality vacuum cleaner that has great suction, as ragdoll hair can tend to be a little clingy and requires some extra ‘oomph’ to remove it from carpets and couches.
Keep your home at a cool temperature
As I mentioned earlier, one of the key reasons ragdoll cats shed hair is due to hot weather – the warmer it gets, the more hair they are likely to shed.
Keeping your house at a nice, cool temperature – especially during the warmer months – may help reduce excessive shedding from your ragdoll as it won’t need to regulate its body temperate by dropping as much fur.
Build an outdoor cat enclosure
If your budget allows, building an outdoor cat enclosure is a fantastic way to shift your ragdoll’s shedding from indoors, to outdoors.
While it’s certainly not a great idea letting your ragdoll spend all day roaming your backyard unsupervised, a specially-made cat enclosure is perfect for giving your ragdoll some freedom (with the added bonus being they’ll drop their fur outside, rather than inside).
There are a few lightweight, portable cat enclosures online for those who may be lacking space – however for owners with bigger yards, it may be worth trying to build one yourself (or have a professional come and install one).
Check out this video from Kitten Lady to get some great DIY pointers on creating your own ‘Catio’.
In summary, yes, ragdoll cats shed hair. As a long-haired breed, ragdolls are potentially prone to more shedding than some other cats, however it’s certainly not an excessive amount.
Regular grooming, coupled with vacuuming your home once a week, will make shedding a non-issue and shouldn’t deter you from buying a ragdoll cat (if that’s what you’re thinking of doing).