About Ragdolls
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The UKRCC website is intended to provide general breed information and basic care guidance only.

If you have a concern regarding the health or welfare of your cat, please always consult a vet.


When you collect your new kitten the breeder should provide you with a diet sheet, detailing the foods that your Ragdoll has been weaned on.  It is advisable to continue to feed this diet for the first two weeks, at the very least, as changes made too quickly, combined with the stress associated with joining a new family, can result in a kitten with an upset tummy.  A kitten with diarrhoea can become dehydrated and deteriorate very quickly, so if your Ragdoll has loose stools for more than 24 hours you should always consult your vet.  

If you decide you want to change your Ragdoll’s diet, then do this gradually, by mixing a little of your chosen food with your kitten’s usual food.  If there is no adverse reaction, then gradually increase the amount of new food that is mixed with your kitten’s usual diet, until the switch is complete.

Kittens have very small stomachs, so need feeding little and often.  When your Ragdoll joins your family at about 13 weeks old, they will need to be fed at least four times daily.  This can be reduced to three meals a day once your kitten is about 18 weeks old and by the time they are six months old, most kittens will only need two meals a day.  It is important to feed an excellent quality ‘kitten’ food, until your Ragdoll is a year old, as these are specially formulated to meet the nutritional needs of  a growing kitten.  Once your Ragdoll reaches a year old, you can change to an ‘adult’ diet.

Fresh drinking water should be available at all times.

Do not feed your kitten cow’s milk, as it is likely to cause diarrhoea.

Feeding a varied, well balanced diet will help keep your Ragdoll healthy.  We feed a combination of the following to all our cats:

A high quality complete dry food, such as James Well Beloved, Hills etc.  We tend to leave dry food down at all times, so our cats can graze.
A good quality wet food, such as Whiskas or Felix.
Steamed white fish, e.g. coley
Raw lean minced beef
An occasional treat of tinned fish, such as tuna in spring water - avoid fish in 'brine' as this contains too much salt for cats.

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There is much said about the non-matting coat of the Ragdoll and therefore the limited need for grooming.  However regular grooming, with a suitable brush and comb, for all Ragdolls is essential to maintain a clear, silky coat. A Ragdoll who is not brushed regularly will become knotty. Grooming removes dead, loose fur, which reduces the risk of the formation of fur balls and goes someway to limiting moulting onto furniture and carpets! Grooming is a good way to bond with a new kitten and is important in maintaining a good relationship with an older cat.  

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Ragdoll Health


Your Ragdoll kitten should be fully vaccinated against cat  flu and enteritis, by the time they join your family. The breeder should provide you with a vaccination record, indicating when your kitten’s booster is due.  It is important to maintain the protection that vaccination affords, by ensuring that you take your Ragdoll to the vet for an annual booster.  Taking your Ragdoll for their vaccination gives your vet the opportunity to give the cat a thorough health check and the potential to diagnose any problems early on.

Flea Control

Observe your Ragdoll’s coat regularly for any signs of flea infestation.  Small black specks within the coat are likely to be flea dirt, but  if you are unsure, place a piece of damp white kitchen towel beneath your Ragdoll as you groom.  Any flea dirt will drop onto the towel and dissolve into dark spots of blood.  If fleas are evident, then use a suitable flea treatment from your vet, such as Front Line.  Your vet will also be able to supply a spray for use around the home to kill fleas and eggs which may be living in furniture and carpets.  Regular preventative use of a flea spray is advisable, as apart from the discomfort these visitors cause to the cat, they are also intermediate hosts within the life cycle of the tape worm.  Infestation with fleas can lead to infestation with tape worm.


Regular worming is another important part in keeping your Ragdoll healthy.   Indoor cats, that never have access to the outside, should be wormed twice yearly, with a product from your vet.  Avoid using wormers available from pet shops as they are not always as effective as veterinary grade treatments.  Cats which go out should be wormed at three month intervals.


All Ragdolls which are not to be used for breeding should be neutered at approximately 6 months old. Unneutered adult cats both male and female may spray and once this habit is developed neutering does not necessarily stop it. Neutering also prevents infections, tumours etc. of the reproductive organs and general loss of condition in the cat, caused by reproductive hormones.

Knowing Your Ragdoll

It is also advisable to give your Ragdoll a thorough check over yourself, periodically and to become familiar with what is normal for your cat.  In this way, you are likely to notice any early signs of illness or disease, which can lead to early diagnosis and hence increase the chances of successful treatment by your vet.

Check that your Ragdoll’s eyes are bright and clean, with no discharge.  Check the third eye lid is not visible, as this is often a sign of poor health.

Look inside your Ragdoll’s ears and make sure they are clean.  Any small deposits of wax can be cleaned away from the outer ear using damp cotton wool, but never penetrate the inner ear.  Observe for any signs of ear mite infestation, which manifests as excessive production of thick, dark wax.

Check your Ragdoll’s teeth for any signs of tartar build up, a particular problem in older cats.  Foul smelling breath and red swollen gums may indicate gum infection or an abscess.  

Gently feel over your Ragdoll’s body for any lumps or swelling, paying particular attention to the neck and high up under the front and back legs ( i.e the arm pits).

If you discover any problems or are concerned for your cat’s health, then consult your vet immediately.

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Indoor cats are safer cats and Ragdolls should not be allowed to roam freely, as the risks to them are too high.


   Injury or death from road accidents
   Poisoning from garden chemicals e.g. slug pellets, garden plants etc.
   Poisoning from chemicals such as anti-freeze
   Infection with incurable, fatal diseases such as  FIV (feline aids) and FELV (feline leukaemia)
   Territorial fights with other cats in the neighbourhood, leading abscesses etc.

Ragdolls love to be in the company of their human and are happy to stay indoors, so why put them at risk?

However there are hazards indoors too, especially to a young kitten and so taking steps to keep your Ragdoll safe in your home is very important.  The following list is by no means exhaustive and intended only as guidance.

   Ragdolls are fascinated by water, so an inexperienced kitten is at risk of drowning – keep the toilet lid down and take care when running a bath.
   Washing machines and tumble dryers may seem cosy, warm places to a kitten.  Always check inside before use. 
   Open fires must be guarded and be sure to use a guard which has a  top, as a kitten will climb and could easily fall.  Hot ovens and pans of boiling liquids are also a danger.
   Teething kittens may chew on electrical cables, so ensure they are not accessible.
   Stray needles or pins, plastic carrier bags, elastic bands, plastic, polythene etc. etc. all pose a hazard to a kitten who sees everything as a ‘toy’.
   Kittens may become entangled in loose strings or cords, for example the pull cords on blinds, leading to strangulation.
   Pieces of thread, or similar are attractive to kittens, but if swallowed can tangle in the intestine.
   Household chemicals, such as dish washer powder, bleach, disinfectants, anti freeze, human medicines etc. are all poisonous if ingested by a kitten.  Store all chemicals away from your Ragdoll. Use cat safe disinfectants, such as Trigene or Vetasept, to clean floors and trays etc.  Phenol based cleaners (i.e. those which turn water cloudy) such as Dettol or Jeyes Fluid are toxic, even when diluted,  if just licked by a kitten. 
   Many indoor plants are toxic and Ragdolls may chew on leaves if given the opportunity.
   Open windows, upstairs, may attract the attention of a curious Ragdoll.  Once out on the ledge, a kitten may not be able to get back in.  Then the only way to go is down….a long way for a small kitten and if the kitten falls it can result in horrific injuries.

Having a kitten in your home is like having a toddler, perhaps worse, because kittens being so small, curious and agile can find themselves in all sorts of trouble.  Take great care!

For more information about substances and plants poisonous to cats and their effects please visit the following :-


Hidden Dangers of Plants

Poisons in the home

Fatal Attraction - common poisons exposed

Poisons - Hidden Dangers

Cats Poisons Guide

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