Ragdolls are so cuddly and exquisite that anyone can immediately develop a liking for them. They are not really active so they can compete for being the best lap cat in the world. Ragdolls generally shoot up to be one of the largest cats, but what if they are still tiny?
Your Ragdoll can still be small if they haven’t reached the age of 1 year. Some kittens tend to get to their maximum height in 2-4 years of age. Sometimes the growth will be gradual and steady or it can be sudden. However, if they are not growing even after 2-4 years mark, they might be the runt of the litter.
Are runts really that bad, as people make it sound? Can parasites in the stomach cause stunted growth in Ragdolls? We will explore these areas and more about Ragdolls.
1. Ragdolls And Their Growth Sprouts
Ragdolls start-off as tiny kittens who are always hungry for food. They need to be fed properly or it could result in malnutrition. The kittens eat more as compared to other breeds’ kitten. But that helps them in growing bigger.
You can expect them to eat an ungodly amount of food till the age of 1. After that age, you can restrict them from eating too much. Your Ragdoll might be a steady grower or would grow out in unpredictable intervals. This is quite common to notice in Ragdolls.
The more they grow the more their appetite increases. So you also need to keep pace with that – increase the amount of food accordingly.
If you notice your Ragdoll isn’t growing much or at all in the 1st year of its life, you don’t have to worry. They can have their random growth sprouts any time between the first 4 years of their life. But what if they don’t grow out much?
2. Is My Ragdoll Not Growing Because Of Parasites?
Parasites can cause discomfort and unusual hunger in your Ragdolls. But would it stunt your cat’s growth?
Parasites have no hormonal effect on your cat and its growth. However, it is not good for their overall health. When your cat has parasites, it would suffer from problems with digestion. If the problem persists for long, it would lead to poor growth and development.
3. Am I Feeding My Ragdoll Incorrectly?
Your Ragdoll kitten will need frequent meals, which would be essential to their overall growth and development. In case you are opting for feeding them with cat food (others like to go with a BARF diet), their meal should have 75% of wet food and 25% of dry food.
They are supposed to be on a carnivore diet.
If your Ragdoll is licking its bowl after finishing its food, then it means you are feeding them less. If you observe that your Ragdoll is leaving food behind (at least half of it), then you might be overfeeding them.
Ragdolls generally tend to overfeed themselves if there is food around. The main thing to look out for is the licking part. If they are licking their bowl, fill it a little more. But if they are done, do not overfill.
4. The Curious Case Of Runts
A male Ragdoll can grow up to 16-10 pounds. A female Ragdoll can grow up to 15 pounds in weight. But if they turn out to be smaller than average (10 pounds for male and 8 pounds for female), you could be having the runt of the litter.
Generally, a runt is distinguished as the smallest or the sickly one of the litter. Not all veterinarians agree on one definitive meaning of a runt.
Some are too sickly to feed themselves and are often ignored by the mother. But with enough love, care, and attention, they can outgrow their flaws.
However, you could notice following abnormality in the runts – stunted growth, underdeveloped organs, malnutrition, and the likes.
They certainly need more care and attention than the rest of the litter. If you are up for loving and caring to a little extra amount, a runt can be an exceptional pet.
Regardless, no breeder should demand a less or extra price for a runt. They do not lack in personality or traits. Breeders should inform interested people before going forward with the adoption process.
They might have some physical abnormality that can be well adjusted as they grow up. Small efforts and contributions to their health can make their life easier. They are definitely worth it!
Challenges With A Runt Ragdoll
If you have full certainty that your Ragdoll is not going to grow up to a normal range, then you can expect them to have stunted growth.
A stunted growth rate is not very obvious to notice in the litter. It is later that we find out that they have this abnormality. You should also check if they have any more abnormalities – both outside and inside.
Stunted growth can also mean that one or a few of their organs can be compensating for the loss. Sometimes, some organs can stop functioning on a normal level.
If the abnormality is more physical and outwardly (such as cleft lips, absence of limbs) then you would need to make arrangements to make them eat well and run around independently.
To make this work, make sure you regularly visit your veterinarian and get statistics about your Ragdoll’s health. This will give them a fair chance at life and love. Do not ignore any signs of illness, weakness, or abnormality.
As we have mentioned earlier, some runts may have a physical deformity. This means you will have to make special arrangements for it to thrive.
From baby-proofing your home to being alert about their whereabouts, you would have to make these arrangements.
If you need better clarity on what solutions will work for your Ragdoll, you should ask your veterinarian. Discuss the things that can potentially harm your Ragdoll.
From chewing on wool to plastic – there can be a lot of things that your Ragdoll can get its hands on and suffer worse consequences than the others.
Managing With Other Pets
If you have other kittens, cats, dogs or other animals in the house, make sure that the interactions are always under your supervision. If the runt is physically weak, do not make them mingle with other pets that can potentially harm them.
Keep them in separate rooms until you are sure that your Ragdoll can bear the weight of interaction with other pets. Also, make sure not to make any sick pet close to another pet, as it can worsen the health of the runt kitten/cat.
The sooner you notice these factors, the better you will be able to take care of the situation. The best thing about being a runt is that they are generally showered with affection by their pet-parent.
Their helplessness yet a determined nature makes every heart melt. Runts are adopted for their fighting spirit that doesn’t lack any kind of optimism.
What age is a Ragdoll fully grown? Most of the Ragdolls reach their full growth potential until the age of 4. Some may have a sudden growth sprout in between 1-3 years of age and stop growing further. Some may have steady growth while some will grow at random intervals.
Do Ragdolls get more affectionate with age? It depends on the personality of the cat. However, as they mature, they can become more mellowed down and affectionate. Still, it varies from personality to personality. Kittens tend to be more aggressive than mature Ragdoll cats.
Do Ragdolls get lonely? Ragdolls love company and would feel lonely if left alone for a long period of time. It is a good idea to get them a companion in case you have long working hours and can’t interact with them more often during the day.
Which is bigger – Ragdoll or Maine Coon? Male cats are mostly taller and sometimes heavier than female cats. Here, male Ragdoll is heavier than male Maine Coon while both female Maine Coon and Ragdoll weigh the same. In case of height, male Maine Coons are taller than male Ragdolls.