Is A Ragdoll Good For Me?

This is a real question from a person who wants to have a cat. The title is the question, verbatim. The extra information is as follows:

  • the proposed cat companion to the person who asked the question, will be alone 9 hours per day because the person will be out of the house for 9 hours per day. She obviously works. She may have a companion and he works all day too. This is normal but not ideal. There are ways to deal with this though. It cat work.
  • the person says that she is “desperate for a cuddily, fluffy cat but my worry is if Ragdolls can be trusted in the house by itself and Im worried it will scratch the house down. Im thinking about getting 2 Ragdoll kittens but is this good for me???” (this is quote verbatim as it is sometimes useful see how people express themselves).
Ragdoll cat as a single cat
Photo copyright Giane Portal, “fofurasfelinas” on Flickr.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

This is my response:

Get a plush toy, please. I really don’t think you are ready for a cat companion never mind two. You mention Ragdoll cats because they are thought of as laid back accepting cats, which are able to adapt to being alone all day. This is incorrect.

Perhaps I am being too harsh. I probably am. However, I do think you need to make sure you are doing the right thing.

If I were you and if I was very keen to look after a cat I’d consider older rescue cats. The point is you say that you are desperate for a cuddly cat. But are you really desperate for a cat? Perhaps you want a cat as child substitute? Or some sort of comforter.

What you say gives me an indication that you want a child. That probably sounds horrible and insensitive but that’s the way I see it. You mention “scratching the house down”. This is not a good comment to make as it reflects a poor attitude towards the presence of a cat in the home which fails to accept natural cat behavior although cats do not “scratch the house down”.

Ragdoll Cats

Ragdoll cats are no better at being alone than any other cat. The better arrangement is to save the lives of two cats from a rescue center who are known to be friendly towards each other.

Then whatever happens, at the very least you have probably saved the lives of two cats. Everything else is a bonus. This is far better than buying two cats from a breeder.

You can then make your home very cat orientated to make sure that both cats are as contented as possible when they are alone. Marc on this site has some great ideas.

A key factor is to adopt a cat for the cat and for yourself not just to satisfy an urge that you have. And to adopt a cat for the life of the cat and to accept that your life will change. What you probably could have said in your question is:

I would like to adopt a couple of cats. I love cats and as I am out of the house all day I think it is better to adopt two. Has anyone got any tips as to how best to do this?

And please, never, ever declaw a cat. Accept cat anatomy and natural cat behavior and learn to work with it and enjoy it.

Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

22 thoughts on “Is A Ragdoll Good For Me?”

  1. I am a 75 year old lady who is disabled Im at home all day I would love to have a rag doll kitten because of my situation would it be fair for me to have one I have exsperience with animals, but I have none now. thankyou for your time

    1. Hi Maureen. Yes, it would be fair of you to have a Ragdoll kitten except as you hint in your comment that your life might end before the life of your cat companion. Therefore you should make provision for the care of your cat on your death. Also you need to make sure you have the ability to care for a cat properly in terms of your ability to get about and do all the necessary things such as veterinarian visits when required. I’m sure you have considered this.

      Some people would say that you should adopt an elderly cat from the local rescue centre such as Cats Protection as it is arguably more suitable under these circumstances. But as you long as you do the right thing in respect of cat welfare it’ll be fine.

  2. i think it’s your guys attitude that stinks quite frankly. She is being logical, obviously never been a cat owner before, decides she wants a cat. She does her research which suggests the best suited to her life style would be a Ragdoll. All the websites do say that. She takes it further, seeking advice before rushing into a decision. Instead of being supportive and giving solid advice you just attack her personality and make baseless assumptions about her. Then you all jump on the band wagon and throw baseless insults just because someone was asking for genuine advice about the big decision to get a pet. Clearly a bunch of bored housewives who have all day to sit at home and judge or retired or jobless grumpy old men of the same social standing. As a career women who faced a similar kind of moral dilemma and thought process around if it is fair to get a cat or kitten as a career women and which breed you could give the best life to considering your life style. You people are deranged. You can work an 8 hr day and have a happy lovable cat. I do. So jump off your soap boxes and either give real solid advice or shut up. I read one logical piece of advice and that was the taking two weeks off work to get the kitten to adjust. You guys are probably bitter jealous old cat ladies or men who never had the gusto to succeed in the work place. Everyone works these days if u unemployed and unstable and don’t know if u will be able to afford vet bills, neutering or toys then don’t get a cat! Xoxo

    1. I gave her genuine advice: don’t get a cat. If you find an honest and direct answer unpalatable tough. More fool you. Actually, to be clear this person was not asking me for advice. The question was taken from somewhere else and I used it as a discussion point.

      There are too many people who “want a cat” for the wrong reasons. This is an example. There are too many abandoned cats for no good reason. I want to stop those situations occurring.

      We are all sensible animal loving people who like the truth.

  3. Ruth aka Kattaddorra

    ‘Is this good for me’ says it all,she wants the cats to cuddle on demand and we all know cats don’t do that, they choose if and when they want a cuddle.
    Some cats never accept cuddles, what then if hers don’t,she won’t want them any more.
    This woman is too me me me to be a good cat caretaker and I hope she never ever gets any.
    Yes let’s buy her a large plush toy lol good one Michael!

  4. Ragdoll cats are adorable my friend has two cats like this but they mostly inside cats as with them being so expensive they so fluffy and loveable. they just like normal domestic cats. Its sad tht people pay alot of money when they can get a perfectly good domestic cat which is the same all my 5 cats are all domestic animals and have all the lovely different personalities

      1. thats exactly right michael and they are all lovely and need our love. I just dont understand why people pay so much money for an animal. It doesnt help the cat out it just makes the breeder more money

  5. PS.

    Marc – you said, “I read a foster parents blog the other day and she said a lady came looking for a calico cat who would match her curtains!”

    More of the same stuff and perhaps even worse.

    Quick, track her down and lock her up before she adds a living decoration to her home interior! 😉

    God help us, right?

    =^..^= Hairless Cat Girl =^..^=

      1. lol – it’s unbelievable really. I am not making it up, I’ll see if I can find that blog post just out of interest.

        1. The truth is, I expect a lot of people to choose a cat on the basis that he or she blends in nicely with the home decor. White cats and spotted cats (Bengal cat for example) come to mind as classic looking cats that would fit in nicely with certain types of decor. It is a bit mad but so very human.

  6. Hi Michael,

    The first thing that comes to mind is that this lady isn’t ready to have a pet.

    She needs to do some reading about cats and basic cat care before she should even consider adopting a cat.

    I get a real bad feeling about her in regards to cat guardianship. I hope she doesn’t get a cat yet and perhaps never considering the remarks she’s uttered. The idea of her being a cat guardian concerns me very much.

    At this point in time, she’d be much better off with a stuffed teddy bear that has a drawstring that says, “I love you mommy, please hold me tight!” when she would pull the drawstring.

    =^..^= Hairless Cat Girl =^..^=

  7. Scary stuff!! Is she in the US? The only circumstances I would say she should adopt a cat would be if it were 2 cats and they were rescues, since the US has so many cats being killed each year. Otherwise a pedigree purebred cat is totally not ok for a person who puts it like that (probably – we don’t really know for sure do we) I read a foster parents blog the other day and she said a lady came looking for a calico cat who would match her curtains! What is it with people man. What do they think. Do they know that cats poop? Sometimes I wonder. The lady quoted above sounds like she went to a party in a house where there were a couple of cats and she cuddled with one for 20mins and now she’s all like ‘I’ve so gotta have a cuddly cat’. If she is away all day then she should get 2. That way when she doesnt give them the attention and care and love they really need they will at least have eachother and it wont be one cat abandoned in some flashy apartment all alone and lost and meowing at them and them saying “what, why does he keep meowing, we gave hime tons of food already”. Yuk. Depressing.

    1. I apologize a bit for being so negative though. Maybe she will be inspired by having a cat and will connect with it and love and care for it and become a cat advocate even. Everybody starts somewhere and learns something in this life. I guess I am just trying to say as much as I of course have a lot to say from the obvious nature of her comment I don’t want to sound like a total snob either. I am aware that life can take many unexpected turns. I wish she wanted rescue cats from a shelter, that’s all. It would make the world of difference in this particular unique situation in my opinion.

      1. I agree with Marc. The only solution for her is to adopt an adult cat with a knowledge of its history. If she prefers two, then find an already established pair. Kittens should be out of the question entirely.

        I also agree, I’m not sure she understands they are not wind up toys to behave at her whim. They should be adopted when she can be off work for at least two weeks to help them get established. Longer would be better.

        You wonder why there are so many cats returned to shelters or abandoned? This is potentially why.

    2. I am totally with you on this. It is not a good attitude but as you say we don’t have all the facts. I have a feeling though that the mentality of this American lady is somewhat typical of the kind of person who does not make a great cat caretaker/guardian. Her attitude seems very egocentric to me. I like to see the opposite. A cat-centric attitude.

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