If you’re in the market for a cuddly cat, look no further than the Ragdoll. Having met a few of these friendly felines over the years, I am convinced that they could turn anyone into a full-blown “cat person” in no time.
Are Ragdoll cats cuddly? Ragdoll cats are known as one of the most cuddly breeds. They’ve been favored by families with children since their development in the 1960s due to their gentle demeanor and tolerance of handling. In fact, the name Ragdoll refers to how these cats tend to relax and go limp when being picked up— just like an actual ragdoll toy.
Let me show you how cuddly they are in detail, why they are cuddly and what you can do if your Ragdoll is not that cuddly!
Ragdolls Are for Lovers
So many cat owners come home to a seemingly empty house, eventually finding their cat in a private but comfortable spot of their liking. A Ragdoll, however, will most likely be waiting for you at the front door!
Once inside, you’ll often find yourself being followed by your cat from room to room. This is unsurprisingly part of how the Ragdoll earned its nickname of “puppy cat” among feline fanciers.
Once you settle in, be prepared for some serious cuddling! Some Ragdolls are known to enjoy being held like a baby, while others may prefer to act as your own personal foot warmer.
Other Ragdolls might even sit on your shoulders like a parrot or your grandma’s shawl. Regardless of the position, you can expect a purring ball of fur to be attached to you at any opportunity.
Instead of spending their night causing mischief like the average housecat, Ragdolls often settle into bed with their humans. Many even enjoy burrowing underneath the blankets. It doesn’t get much more cuddly than that!
While it may take the average cat hours to come out of hiding when guests arrive, some Ragdolls may even cuddle with your house guests without much hesitance!
This calm and affectionate behavior makes Ragdolls a top choice for those who live alone and may become lonely. Go to any nursing home, and you’re likely to find one of these fluffy beauties spreading love amongst the residents.
If you like constant affection and physical contact, you’re in for a treat! If not, you may want to steer clear of this attention-seeking breed.
By the way, you should always get a companion for your Ragdoll cat – here is why.
Why are Ragdolls So Cuddly? A Look At Their History
This lovely breed’s short history perfectly explains how they have become such wonderful house pets.
Most cat breeds were developed hundreds or even thousands of years ago to control rodent populations, but the Ragdoll has a much sweeter origin story. The Ragdoll cat was created by American breeder, Ann Baker, in the 1960s, long after cats were used for their mousing skills alone.
Instead, Ragdolls were bred solely as companions, which shows in their docile personalities.
The breed comes from the combination of Baker’s own domesticated cat and a stray of no special genetic background. What made their litter of kittens special, according to the breeder, was their absurdly laid back demeanor.
This led to a more strategic breeding of this combination of cats and other long-haired breeds, which ultimately resulted in the Ragdoll we know today (source).
Ragdoll cats are such laid-back social butterflies that one New York City hotel even used a cat named Matilda III as their ambassador.
Matilda happily greeted guests from around the world at the famous Algonquin Hotel for more than seven years– a daunting task that wouldn’t be tolerated by just any kitty.
This Makes the Ragdoll Perfect For You If You Are Looking For A Cuddly, Affectionate Cat
In addition to their signature cuddly nature, you can expect a few other traits from a Ragdoll.
- Size– These cats are known to be among the largest of domesticated cat breeds, with full-grown males topping 20 pounds.
- Clingy Behavior– Part of what has earned these cats nicknames like “cat-dog”, is that they tend to seek out attention the same way that dogs do, following around their owners and becoming involved in whatever activity they get into. Some Ragdoll owners have even reported their cats joining them for a bath!
- Talkative Nature– Ragdoll owners love the soft, musical meow they get from their cats. Not every Ragdoll is talkative, but some use their voice frequently to get the attention they so desire.
- Gentle Demeanor– Ragdoll owners report that their cats excel at playing gently, leaving their claws retracted. This unique awareness is yet another reason they make great family cats. They also tend to be more tolerant of other pets, including dogs.
While these are common traits, it is important to remember that each cat is an individual, and may not fit perfectly into the breed standard.
Your Ragdoll Cat Isn’t Cuddly? Try This!
Whether your cat is a Ragdoll or any other breed, there are a few ways you can encourage them to be more cuddly with you.
- Understand Your Cat´s Body Language– Just like human relationships, your relationship with your cat will only improve if you understand how she’s feeling. Educate yourself on feline body languages, such as ear positions and tail movement, so that you can tell whether your cat is asking you for space or possibly even attention.
- Reward Positive Interaction– Occasionally offer your cat some treats and give soft, gentle pets while she’s enjoying them. This allows her to make a positive association between physical contact and treats.
- Try Catnip– Introduce your cat to catnip which can sometimes make them more affectionate and cuddly. You can find catnip at pet stores, online, or even your grocery store’s produce section.
- Establish a Routine– Cats thrive on consistency, so if you offer extra attention around the same time every day, like when you get home from work or when you first get up in the morning, your cat may learn to expect and appreciate it.
- Don’t Smother Her!– If every time your cat does show you affection, you hold or corner her for longer than she wants, she may feel that visiting you is a risk not worth taking. This goes back to using body language to make sure you’re not overstepping your bounds.
Most Affectionate Cat Breeds
If for some reason you do not think that a ragdoll cat is the right breed for you, there are other breeds to consider. According to PetMD, these are the most affectionate cats, in no particular order:
- Ragdoll Cat (If you want to learn how affectionate Ragdolls really are, read this article!)
- Scottish Fold Cat
- Oriental Shorthair/Siamese Cat
- Kurilian Bobtail Cat
- Tonkinese Cat
- Burmese/Bombay Cat
- Sphynx Cat
Do Ragdoll cats shed? Just like almost all cats, Ragdolls do shed. Most shedding occurs during the change of season, but generally, this cat is not a high shedder, despite the look of its gorgeous coat.
If you want to know more about their grooming requirements, read our Ragdoll cat Grooming Guide here.
How big are Ragdoll cats? Ragdoll cats are one of the largest breeds with males reaching more than 20 pounds. Females generally weigh 8-15 pounds while adult males weigh 12 – 20 pounds, with some reported up to 30 pounds!