They’re known for flopping over, surrendering to your embrace. Their silky coats give them an elegant look, and their affectionate nature warms even the coldest of hearts. But how long do ragdoll cats live, and how can you keep them at your side for as long as possible? Let’s find out!
How Long Do Ragdolls Live?
On average, ragdoll cats live between 12 and 15 years. Although this is the average, some ragdolls can live into their 20s. Ragdoll cats do have a susceptibility to developing certain health conditions, however. Ensuring a long, healthy life for these cats requires proper care, including preventive care.
The Average Ragdoll Cat Life Cycle
The first year of a ragdoll kitten’s life is crucial to its development. Usually, these types of cats gain one pound each month during that first year. Although kittens usually stop growing around this time, ragdoll cats don’t reach their full size until around age three. Sometimes, it takes a whole four years for them to stop growing.
Kittenhood starts transforming into a type of adolescence around six to 12 months. At this stage, ragdoll cats are still playful as they continue growing both physically and cognitively. They still have a while before they are done growing, so you can expect their behavior to shift a bit when they reach adulthood.
Technically, your ragdoll cat reaches adulthood at 12 months, but their growth and development don’t stop until around three or four years old. That’s when they reach full maturity. During those first couple of years, they can continuously change and by age four, they’re fully developed. Usually, your ragdoll cat becomes even more affectionate and relaxed during adulthood.
Factors That Threaten the Ragdoll Cat’s Lifespan
There are a few health conditions that ragdoll cats are susceptible to. They include:
Respiratory Tract Conditions
Respiratory tract conditions may occur in ragdoll cats. This may present as an infection with symptoms like nasal discharge and sneezing. However, you can prevent this by ensuring your cat is up to date with vaccines.
Heart disease is also common in ragdoll cats. Either your cat develops a heart condition later in life or your cat may have already been born with a heart disease. These cats are especially prone to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. There is medication for this, however.
Mouth and Gum Disease
Mouth and gum disease may also threaten your ragdoll cat’s lifespan. Left untreated, the bacteria can cause periodontal disease and can even damage your cat’s kidneys and liver. However, with routine care, you can keep them healthy and pain-free.
Ragdoll cats are susceptible to gastrointestinal disorders as well. They might get an infection or have an accident like eating something they’re not supposed to. If you are on top of their health and get them treatment right away, your cat can usually make a complete recovery.
Ragdoll cats may develop kidney disease. Their kidneys help filter out any waste from their bodies and when disease is present, they require treatment. This is an irreversible disease but with proper treatment, your cat may be able to continue a relatively normal life.
How to Extend the Life of Your Pet Ragdoll Cat
With proper care, you can ensure your ragdoll cat lives the longest life possible. Owning a ragdoll cat, like with any pet, is a big responsibility. Make sure that you are keeping an eye on your pet throughout their life, noticing any subtle changes to their behaviors. Cats are notorious for hiding their pain and only you can pick up on those minute changes that let you know when your cat isn’t feeling well.
Be sure to follow up with proper grooming because they have long hair that needs daily brushing. Brush their teeth every week, check their ears to make sure that they’re clean and there are no signs of infection, and stay up to date with all vaccinations and vet visits. Take care of all the practical matters and love your ragdoll with your whole heart. These are affectionate cats that bond with you and trust you. If you provide them with the basics and the love they need to thrive, you can extend the life of your ragdoll cat.
Ultimately, it’s neglect that can lead to your ragdoll cat’s early demise. These domesticated cuddle bugs are dependent on you. Feed them nutrient-dense foods, play with them so they can exercise and remain at a healthy weight, and stay on top of all their grooming and veterinary check-ups. It’s not a hard job to care for a ragdoll kitty, but it’s one that requires your devotion.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © madeinitaly4k/Shutterstock.com
Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.