Cat people and dog people are often one and the same. Many wish to open their hearts and homes to more than one animal. But if you own a Ragdoll cat, is it a good idea to bring a canine into the mix? The answer may surprise you.
Are Ragdoll cats good with dogs? Ragdoll cats are the perfect breed to introduce into a home with a dog. They have a mild temperament and personality traits similar to a dog’s. In fact, they are often called puppy cats. Despite being different species, they have a lot in common, leading to a beautiful cat-dog friendship.
Continue reading if you want to learn more about Ragdoll cats and their relationship with dogs.
Why do Ragdolls get along so well with dogs?
It is commonly thought that cats and dogs are bitter enemies. In reality, it’s far from the truth. A quick internet search reveals countless pictures of cats and dogs cuddling up to one another.
While cats generally love their canine siblings, one breed stands out from the rest. Below, you’ll find the reasons why Ragdolls get along with dogs better than most cat breeds.
They get along well with everyone.
Ragdoll cats love making new friends. They typically enjoy one human above all the rest, but there is plenty of love to go around. Ragdolls befriend everyone, including dogs, other cats, children, and strangers.
They have the right personality.
Ragdolls are calm and laid-back, with the ability to be outgoing. Also, they are not territorial, meaning they are not aggressive when clueless pooches overstep their boundaries.
Ragdoll cats often act like dogs.
People refer to Ragdolls as puppy cats because they have similar behaviors. Ragdolls are very playful can learn to fetch. They also have a dog-like loyalty towards loved ones.
They are sturdy cats.
These cats get along well with dogs because they can stand up to dogs. Ragdolls have strong bodies and a large frame that's perfect for rough playing.
The pros and cons of having a Ragdoll cat and a dog
Adopting a second pet is a big decision. It’s important to know what to expect when mixing Ragdolls and dogs.
They are good for your health.
Studies show that pet owners are happier than non-pet owners, and they live longer! Multiple pets are beneficial for physical health because you spend more time being active. Also, multiple pets are good for mental health.
They lower risks of anxiety and depression since they are always there waiting to give you love.
They help each other stay active.
Multiple pets don’t only help their owners stay active, they help each other stay active as well. Cats and dogs that get along love to play, cuddle, and relax with each other and they share their toys.
Aside from physical activity, they receive mental stimulation from one another. This is a bonus for pet owners that have busy schedules.
Children thrive in multi-pet homes.
If you have children, multiple pets are the way to go. Owning multiple animals teaches children responsibility. They also learn about the different needs of each type of pet. Best of all, animals provide children with companionship and unconditional love.
They can take up a lot of your time.
Pets depend on you for a lot. The more animals you own, the more you’ll be needed. Each animal needs its time and attention. Don’t forget that multiple pets mean more to clean up.
They may fight.
Even cats and dogs that get along may fight from time to time. These two types of animals use different body language to communicate how they feel. It’s easy for the opposite breed to miss the hint, which could lead to an aggressive reaction.
It’s more expensive.
Owning multiple pets has a financial impact. You’ll be purchasing more food, making more trips to the vet, and buying more supplies. Before you adopt multiple animals, consider the cost.
Introducing your Ragdoll to a dog
If you’ve decided that the pros of having both a Ragdoll and a dog outweigh the cons, you’ll have to know how to properly introduce your two pets. It must be handled with care. If not done correctly, it could forever hurt their bond.
The first step is to have both animals under the same roof, but separate for the first few days. You want both animals to have safe spaces but still be aware there is another animal in the home.
Although they can’t see each other, they can still hear and smell the other animal.
After a few days of this, you can begin to introduce both animals to one another at a distance. Try feeding you Ragdoll and dog on opposite sides of a door. This builds trust and helps both animals associate the rewarding experience of a meal with the new animals.
Additionally, you can let the animals view one another for a short time through a barrier.
Often, dogs get too excited meeting a cat for the first time and could frighten your Ragdoll. To refocus your dog’s attention, have your cat in view, but do not make it the center of attention. Use toys or treats as your dog's main focus.
Scent is also really important when introducing two pets. After a few days, exchange their bedding. Both animals can get used to new smells without it being too overwhelming.
When you feel that both pets are comfortable with one another’s presence, you can have a face to face meeting. You should always be present for first meetings. The animals should be introduced in an area separate from their safe spaces.
With luck, the first face to face meeting will go over well. But it may take weeks or even months for both animals to feel completely comfortable together.
Keep in mind that all animals are different. Some cats and dogs become best friends instantly, while others only learn to tolerate each other. Always watch both animals until you are confident they will get along.
The best dog breeds for a home with a Ragdoll cat
Just like cat breeds, dog breeds have very distinct personality traits. It is important to consider a dog breed’s characteristics before you adopt and already have a Ragdoll. Since there are so many dog breeds, it is helpful to look at a dog breed’s group.
Breeds from the herding group like to round up everyone, including your cat. Dogs from the terrier group have the instinct to hunt critters on the run, and hounds love to chase other animals.
Although dogs from these groups can be trained to not antagonize your cat, their instincts remain.
Instead, look at dog breeds in the sporting group. They are often well-rounded and friendly. Sporting dogs, like Ragdolls, make friends with all humans and animals.
The toy group is another great option. These lap dogs are coveted for their loving and friendly personalities. These dogs would rather curl up with your Ragdoll than chase it.
Below you’ll find the best breeds to be your Ragdoll’s friend:
These happy-go-lucky sporting dogs love all of their family members, including felines. They are gentle, yet outgoing and are not hard to train.
Although beagles are part of the hound group, they are excellent companions for cats. They are small, friendly and loyal. They were bred to be pack animals, so a beagle would look at your cat as a friend, not as prey.
They are the definition of a toy dog. Pugs are gentle, quirky and love to nap. They enjoy animal companionship, making them a perfect fit for a household with a Ragdoll.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
This breed is also from the toy group. These spaniels are small, sweet and far from aggressive. They will try to befriend even the most aloof cat.
These sporting dogs may have big bodies, but they also have big hearts with a lot of love to give. They have a similar laid-back personality, just like a Ragdoll.
Irish Wolfhounds are incredibly sensitive gentle giants. They seem to feel what a person or animal of any size needs. Pierre says that, in his opinion, Irish Wolfhounds are furry angels. We couldn't agree more!
What’s a Ragdoll cat’s personality like? This breed is laid-back, loving, and gentle. They enjoy being social but do not often beg for attention. They tend to get along with everyone, including children, other cats, and other pets but will love their one special human above the rest.
Are Ragdoll cats hypoallergenic? They are not hypoallergenic, but they may be a great option for someone with allergies. Ragdolls do not have an undercoat, which causes the most shedding. This means that while they shed, they do so significantly less than other cat breeds.
Can Ragdoll cats be left alone? You can leave your Ragdoll alone for a short amount of time if necessary. However, they should not be alone for more than a day. Besides needing proper care, clean water, and food, they are very social. Your Ragdoll can grow bored and lonely. This can ultimately lead to depression.