How Long Do Ragdoll Cats Live For? (Life Expectancy Explained)

If you’re going to spend the money to buy a ragdoll cat, it’s important to know how long you can expect it to live for.

Ragdolls definitely aren’t cheap compared to other breeds – especially if you buy them in pairs – so you want to make sure your investment in worthwhile, and that you can enjoy plenty of years together with your cuddly companion.

Ragdoll cats generally have a life expectancy of between 10-15 years, however some owners have reported their ragdolls living as old as 25 years. Ragdolls can, however, be prone to a common feline heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which can reduce their lifespan.

Thankfully, this condition – which causes a thickening of the muscles of the left ventricle in the heart, resulting in less blood to be pumped to the body – can be identified by DNA testing, allowing breeders to produce litters free of the disorder.

While this is something to be aware of when buying a ragdoll cat (Maine Coons are also susceptible to this condition), in the majority of cases, your ragdoll will live for at least 10 years and anywhere up to 25 years in rare instances.

What’s the average age of a ragdoll cat?

The average age of a ragdoll cat is around 12.5 years. At the lower end of the range, ragdolls are expected to live 9-10 years, while the higher end of the range has them living 14-15 years on average. Of course, your ragdoll’s lifespan will vary depending on health and genetics.

Just like humans, some ragdolls will be blessed with great genes and live long, healthy lives; however, sadly, others may suffer from unexpected health issues that can cut their lives short.

Before we bought our ragdoll, Poppie, my wife and I owned a Birman called Jaffa, which is a similar breed to the ragdoll.

Sadly, poor Jaffa suffered unexpected kidney failure as the result of an undiagnosed genetic condition and she died at only three-years-old, which was devastating.

It’s an example of no matter how much due diligence you do before purchasing a pet, sometimes unexpected health conditions can arise out of nowhere.

As the saying goes: ‘nothing in life is guaranteed’.

How long do male ragdoll cats live for?

Male ragdoll cats have a life expectancy of between 12-14 years, which is slightly less than female ragdolls. This is consistent across all cat breeds. Interestingly, studies have shown that neutered male cats live 62 percent longer than unneutered ones – which may be something to consider if buying a male ragdoll cat.

Unless you’re buying a male ragdoll for breeding purposes, it may be better to have them neutered – not only will it increase their life expectancy, according to the data, it’s likely it will make them more docile as they won’t be as frisky.

How long do female ragdoll cats live for?

Female ragdoll cats have a life expectancy of between 14-16 years, which is consistent with other breeds (where females usually live two years longer than males). Studies have shown that spayed female cats live 39 percent longer than spayed females – which may be worth considering if looking to extend your female ragdoll’s life expectancy.

Obviously, if you are purchasing a female ragdoll for breeding purposes, you won’t be able to get them spayed.

However, if you purely want a female ragdoll as a house pet, it could be an option (and your breeder may already be able to arrange this for you).

Why is it important to know a ragdoll cat’s life expectancy?

It’s important to know how long your ragdoll cat will live for so that you can be certain you’re making a worthwhile financial investment; so that you can plan your family arrangements; and just for overall peace of mind, knowing that you’re going to have many enjoyable years together with your new companion.

Let’s take a look a each of these reasons in a little more detail.

Financial investment

As I mentioned earlier, ragdoll cats aren’t cheap to buy – with the cheapest ones usually around $800USD, with show-quality ragdolls fetching as much as $2000USD.

If you’re spending this much money on a pet, you really want to make sure they’re going to be around for a while.

While you can’t plan for unexpected health issues, knowing that ragdolls have an average life expectancy of 12.5 years means you can buy with some certainty that your new cuddle buddy will be around for some time.

Family planning

Knowing how long your ragdoll is expected to live for is also important for family planning.

For example, if you’re a young couple, you may buy a ragdoll early in your relationship so that they will be a little older (or potentially even passed on) by the time you have children.

Similarly, you may purchase a ragdoll when your children are younger, so that they can all grow up together and develop a really close bond as they get older.

Knowing that your ragdoll will live for anywhere between 10-15 years gives you some surety in regards to family planning.

Overall peace of mind

The last benefit of knowing a ragdoll’s life expectancy is to give you some peace of mind, knowing that – outside any unforeseen health issues – your cat is going to live a long life.

Losing a pet is extremely distressing and upsetting, and knowing you’re going to get around 12.5 years, on average, with your ragdoll will put many buyers at ease.

It’s not a nice thing to think about, but it’s something to consider when deciding if the ragdoll breed is right for you.

What factors influence how long ragdoll cats live for?

Factors that influence how long ragdoll cats live for include whether they are male or female, are neutered or unneutered, or whether they are spayed or not spayed. Similarly, if your ragdoll has a pre-existing hypertrophic cardiomyopathy condition, that may also impact their lifespan.

As mentioned earlier, female ragdolls tend to live around two years longer than males on average.

Additionally, neutered male ragdolls will statistically live longer than unneutered males, while spayed female ragdolls will statistically live longer than those who are not spayed.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which affects the heart, is also more common in ragdolls than other cat breeds and can influence how long they live for.

Is age 17 old for a ragdoll cat?

Yes, 17 years is old for a ragdoll cat. On average, male ragdolls live for 12-14 years, while female ragdolls usually live for 14-16 years. By these numbers, 17 years is an above average lifespan for a ragdoll cat.

If your ragdoll lives to be 17-years-old, you can count yourself lucky as it means they’ve likely had a healthy, full life.

If you want as long as possible with your ragdoll, the statistics suggest that spayed females will have the longest lifespans.

Final message

Ragdoll cats have a long life expectancy should they stay fit, healthy and free of any underlying conditions.

While no-one can ever guarantee how long a cat will live for, if your ragdoll is well looked after, there’s no reason why they can’t live anywhere between 10-15 years, or longer.

That means many years of cuddles and companionship between you and your new, cuddly, fluffy companion.

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