Whether you allow your Ragdoll cat outside or not very much depends on your attitude toward domestic cat guardianship. There is no black-and-white answer and there are no legal issues (unless you live in an Australian jurisdiction where there are cat curfews). It’s all about personal choice. In the UK where 90% of cat owners allow their domestic cat companions wander to wander outside unsupervised, those who live with a Ragdoll cat will certainly consider keeping them inside for good reason.
The reasons are pretty obvious. The Ragdoll is a very beautiful domestic cat. Their beauty predisposes them to being stolen by unscrupulous people who might take a fancy to owning such a cat. I don’t think cat theft is commonplace in the UK or even America. It’s probably quite rare but it does happen and as a concerned cat guardian you don’t want to add to the risks of harm that your cat must live through during her life.
Another reason why you might keep your Ragdoll cat inside is because they are bred to be laid-back. The Ragdoll is one of those rare cat breeds where breeders actually make an effort to ensure that their character meets a certain standard. This is not to say that a good proportion of Ragdoll cats cannot be described as laid-back.
It is not all beautiful and fine in the world of Ragdolls:
- Breeder voluntarily surrenders 45 Ragdoll cats to the MSPCA
- Breeder’s beautiful Ragdoll cats caged in rabbit hutches in freezing conditions
Dr Bruce Fogle recounts a story about Ragdoll cats that he has seen at his veterinary clinic. He confirmed that most of them are genuinely laid back and relaxed individuals as their name suggests. But he has known Ragdolls that he describes as “neighbourhood thugs”. It appears that one of his clients was particularly proud that her Ragdoll cats regularly attacked a local feral cat whenever he entered their garden. Ragdoll cats are like any other cat at heart.
To recap, the reasons why you would keep a Ragdoll cat indoors at all times is because they are highly attractive, desirable and laid-back. There is a third commercial reason which is less pleasant to address. Ragdoll cats are very expensive. You don’t want an expensive item of yours wandering around the neighbourhood exposed to whatever dangers may unexpectedly occur. There is a good argument that all fancy purebred cats should not be allowed to roam freely for this reason alone.
As I said at the beginning, it depends upon the cat owner’s attitude and philosophies regarding cat guardianship. Putting aside the purebred aspect of this cat for a moment, there is also a strong argument that in certain parts of the world which includes America that cat companions should be kept inside anyway. They are both prey to larger animals and predators to smaller animals. Keeping them inside stops them being killed and killing. That’s a good reason and it is irrelevant whether your cat is a fancy pedigree cat or not.
P.S. The best solution for a Ragdoll is a catio or cat enclosure. Ragdolls deserve the smells and sounds of the outside like any other cat.