When it comes to affectionate cat breeds, ragdolls are front and center. They are rarely distant and often want to cuddle their way to your heart. It’s a rewarding feeling. You may wonder if it’s possible for them to be more affectionate than they already are.
Do ragdoll cats get more affectionate with age? Ragdolls can become more affectionate with age. As cats mature, they go through different stages of life. A ragdoll kitten will likely be less affectionate in comparison to an older cat. But this is generalizing. All cats have unique personalities, so it cannot be certain their demeanor will change with age.
There’s no easy way to tell how your ragdoll’s personality will change with age. However, becoming familiar with your cat’s life stages and behaviors will make it easier for you to recognize how they are feeling about you.
Life stages and affection
Just like humans, ragdolls change with age. They go through different life stages. Listed below are the various life stages and how it corresponds with ragdolls’ affection.
- Kitten (Newborn to 6 months old) This is the baby stage for ragdolls and a crucial time for socialization. If you are able to get your ragdoll as a kitten, you can familiarize them with affection. They will grow up being comfortable around humans and open up more easily
- Junior (6 months to 2 years old) Think of junior cats as young, rebellious teenagers. Your ragdoll will be extremely active and playful at this life stage. At this point you can notice their personalities shining through, making it easy to see if your ragdoll will be a natural cuddler or will need some encouragement.
- Young Adult (3 to 6 years old) Your ragdoll has now entered her prime years. At this life stage, your cat is physically and mentally mature. Your ragdoll will be all for long play sessions followed by lots of cuddles and ear scratches.
- Mature (7 to 10 years old) At this life stage, your ragdoll will not change much from the young adult stage. However, ragdolls are sedentary cats and may be less interested in play and more interested in snuggling up to their favorite humans.
- Senior (11 to 14) Oh, the golden years- a term not only meant for humans. Your ragdoll will start to show signs of aging, like growing gray or white fur, and losing luster to its coat. Your ragdoll will be significantly less interested in play. This is the time in a ragdoll’s life when they will be most affectionate.
- Geriatric (15+) In this final stage of a ragdoll’s life, they will be looking to you for affection, so give your sweet ragdoll all the love and comfort you can. Due to health-related issues that come with aging, your cat won’t be as spry as they once were. Always look for signs of illness in geriatric cats and take them for check-ups regularly.
How do ragdolls show affection?
Ragdolls are famous for being one of the most affectionate cat breeds out there. Mostly, they are straight forward with letting you know how they feel. Once you know the signs of affection that ragdolls use, it will be easy for you to spot them.
- They follow you from room to room. Ragdolls are famous for trailing behind their humans. They always want to be near you, so if kitty follows you from place to place, consider it a sign of love.
- They go limp in your arms. Yes, this is where we get the name “ragdoll”. When a ragdoll is comfortable with its human, it will go limp when held.
- They lie in your lap. If your ragdoll can’t get enough of your affection, they will look for your lap to take a snooze. Just like following you from room to room, this is a sign your cat wants to be as close to you as can be.
- They headbutt you. These headbutts, also known as bunting, are another way ragdolls show their affection. Cats have scent glands around their faces. Rubbing their face on you is a way to pass the scent on to you. They do this to show they accept you as one of their own.
Despite ragdolls having outgoing personalities, they could offer more subtle affectionate gestures if they are feeling shy. Listed below are some common behaviors ragdolls use to return your love.
- They stick their tail straight up. A tail straight in the air is a sign of comfort and confidence. If your ragdoll is very excited, you may even see its tail twitching.
- They slowly blink at you. A slow blink is a friendly gesture. Your ragdoll is communicating that it fully trusts you.
- They chirp, trill, or purr. These sounds are not only adorable, but they serve as a friendly greeting for humans.
- They show you their belly. Your ragdoll's tummy is a vulnerable spot. Exposing this sensitive area is a sign of trust.
Tips for helping your ragdoll become loving
Perhaps your ragdoll is not showing you as much love as you’d like. Don't fear, as there is still hope. You can make the most progress in the kitten and junior stages. But at any point, you can help your cat become more affectionate towards you.
- Cover all bases. Make sure your cat is fed, has fresh water and a clean litter box. Have comfortable places for it to nap, and invest in some challenging toys. If you hit all these marks, you’re en route to a happy, relaxed feline. If you need help with that, here are 15 awesome toys for Ragdoll cats.
- Pet them correctly. Ragdolls can’t resist a good petting session. Rub your cat in spots it loves, like by the ears and under the chin. Avoid areas they do not like, such as the feet and stomach. If you get the sweet spots, your ragdoll will love you for it.
- Spend plenty of time together. Simply being present in your ragdoll’s life is an excellent way to build your bond. Familiarity leads to trust, and trust will lead to lots of love.
Always remember that no two ragdolls will have the same personality. While most will be affectionate cuddlers, some will be feisty, aloof, or plain crazy. But it is up to you to find their quirks and love them for the wonderful cats they are.
If you need more help with that, you should read this article: Why your Ragdoll cat is so mean!
Do ragdoll cats need a companion? Ragdolls don’t necessarily need a cat companion to be happy if you are home almost all the time. They are good with other cats and even dogs so you can give them a companion if you wish to do so or if you are a working person.
More information on that here: Do Ragdolls need a companion?
What sounds do ragdoll cats make? This breed is not the most talkative. Familiarizing yourself with the sounds they make can help you better understand your Ragdoll. Like most other breeds, they will meow, chatter and purr. They can also growl, yowl, and hiss if they are not in a good mood.
What health problems can ragdolls have? Luckily, ragdolls often live long lives without any major health issues. However, they can be predisposed to obesity since they are not very active cats. Ragdolls can also develop UTI’s, kidney disease, and heart disease. Always monitor your ragdoll’s behaviors and contact a vet if necessary.