Categories: Ragdoll Cat

Are Ragdoll cats allowed outside? Yes.

Am I the only person who has answered yes to the question in the title? You will find that all the Ragdoll breeders and experts say that Ragdoll cats must be confined to the indoors because they are bred to be docile and therefore are unable to defend themselves and of course they are a beautiful pedigree cat and therefore vulnerable to being stolen. Good reasons to be sensible and keep them indoors.

Ragdoll cat. Beautiful eyes. Photo: copyright Helmi Flick.

Catio or enclosure

There is a third way which I rarely see mentioned. What about a catio or a cat enclosure outside in the backyard? Of the two the former is perhaps the most suitable and easier to construct. It is less intrusive and highly beneficial to the indoor cat. Catios should be far more popular and utilised. They are particularly suited to the age of urban development.

The obvious point that I am making is that a Ragdoll cat should be allowed outside under controlled conditions which protects the cat from outside dangers. What is wrong with that? It must be the best solution which should be encouraged. A blanket no is no the anwer.

Just because a cat has been bred to be docile and beautiful does not mean that they can’t have the usual benefits bestowed upon other domestic cats. The catio is a great compromise. It allows the domestic cat to enjoy many of the benefits of the outside but in safety.

18 Ragdoll kittens. Photo: copyright Helmi Flick.

I argued, years ago, that a catio improves a cat’s personality. What I meant was that if cats are able to employ their senses more in a more natural environment (which is what the catio provides) they are more likely to experience what Jackson Galaxy refers to as Total Cat Mojo. In other words the catio allows the raw wild cat within the domestic cat to express itself, the consequence of which is a happier cat.

To be fair, the United Kingdom Ragdoll Cat Community website do advise that if you want your Ragdoll to have outside access it should be in a secure garden or a purpose-built enclosure e.g. a catio. Well done on them.

Ragdoll collage. Photos: Helmi Flick.

Cat stroller or leash

There are two other options that would allow a Ragdoll outside safely (1) a cat stroller and (2) a leash. Both are unusual but the former is certainly very viable. I have a stroller myself. It is fun and not crazy!

All pedigree cats

There is a wider argument concerning all purebred, pedigree cats. None of them should be allowed to wander freely outside for reasons of theft. Putting aside for a moment that the cat is a sentiment being, you would not leave your £1,500 computer lying around outside on the pavement would you?

It does happen. I recently wrote an article about a wonderful lady who worked as a teacher in Qatar. She rescued 36 cats and brought them back to the UK. She said that you see Russian Blue cats on the streets in Qatar and they are not infrequently ill. I don’t know whether she’s referring to grey cats or whether she’s referring to genuine pedigree Russian Blues. I suspect it is the former but if it is the latter is a little bit shocking to be honest.

Popular cat breed

One last point to make is that the Ragdoll is a highly popular purebred cat (more reason why they would be stolen outside). They certainly rank in the top five most popular purebred cats or higher and you can see why. They are beautiful and because they are more suited to an indoor life (but still need stimulation) it brings peace of mind to the owner. Personally, I would commission a carpenter to build a catio. It’s the least you can do for your beautiful cat companion or go for the stroller and have some fun together.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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