When we bring a new cat to our houses, it starts a new chapter for us. Having a cat changes the essence of the house in the best way possible. A ragdoll cat not only fills the house with its endless love and affection it also brings the best parts out of you.
So, we must take care of them as well. As the age of a Ragdoll cat increases, the care also changes. So, you might be asking how long they live in general.
A Ragdoll cat can typically live anywhere between 9 and 15 years. However, the actual lifespan might also be more than 20 years.
So, we will explore how you can take care of Ragdolls when they are old and expand their lifespan as much as possible.
How long do Ragdolls live?
The average lifespan of a Ragdoll cat is between 9 and 15 years. There are, of course, deviations beyond this spectrum. Some Ragdolls lead healthy lives for 20 years, while some rare specimens have made it to 25.
A part of why Ragdolls have longer lives is that they do not reach full maturity until the age of four.
In contrast to other cats who do most of their growth in their first years, Ragdolls retain kitten-like characteristics for quite a while.
The tenth year in a Ragdoll’s life is an important milestone. It is the age where they are most susceptible to fatal disease and infirmity. Once past the hump, they revert to their characteristic health.
Factors that can influence the life of Ragdoll cat
There are, of course, factors that affect the longevity of a Ragdoll cat’s life.
Some of these are pre-determined(i.e., genetics), while others can be moderated and controlled. Reasonable care is enough to ensure a long and healthy life.
As with humans, genetics play an essential role in determining feline life and health. A look into the lives of the cat’s parents and grandparents can give you a more brief idea of the estimated lifespan of your cat.
Additionally, a study of genealogy helps provide insight into genetic diseases. You can, after that, chart out an exact path of prevention and cure.
It has not been proved beyond a reasonable doubt if males live longer or females. However, there are certain characteristics specific to each gender that affect lifespan in their unique ways.
Although peace-loving by nature, male cats are naturally more aggressive.
The aggression comes in heat and in a situation where the male cat has to search for a partner outside the house’s safety.
In a situation like this, he might likely encounter competition from another viable suitor. The problem does not occur if it is a neuter cat, which is often the case if your cat is adopted.
Females, on the other hand, often run a risk of contracting breast cancer. Early signs of cancer can be detected, and after that, prevented.
Neutered females have a lower risk of cancer, but neutering does not eliminate the risk.
A female cat with possible cancer risk is under a more compromising position upon giving birth to kittens due to postnatal complications.
A genetic disease existent in a large population of Ragdolls is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. A disease that causes blood vessels to swell and thicken, it can be detected in an early stage through regular blood tests.
A medical test is the only way for detection, for symptoms tend to be difficult to notice until an advanced stage, at which point it might be too late for effective prevention.
The same applies to chronic kidney diseases( polycystic kidney syndrome). If your cat is genetically likely to be prone to chronic ailments, regular checkups at the vet are imperative.
Cats are susceptible to a host of different infectious diseases. Some are virulent, some a result of bacteria, while some are the consequence of a flea infestation.
The latter is more preventable. It is vital to keep your cat clean and well-groomed.
Regular upkeep significantly reduces the chances of an infestation.
The key is vaccination. Vaccinate your kitten regularly.
Even after the cat is of a certain age, make sure to conduct a yearly vaccination update.
Nutrition affects the overall health and, thereby, lifespan of a Ragdoll cat.
The Ragdoll cat has an exciting trajectory of growth- kitten-like characteristics till four and rapid growth following the fourth year.
The growth occurs in fits and starts and calls for the proper nutrition at the correct times.
A diet plan for the Ragdoll is subject to frequent change. A young cat has a set of dietary requirements that differ entirely from an older cat’s needs.
Keep in mind that a neutered cat requires a more considerable amount of exercise. Ragdolls are prone to obesity.
Nutritional supplements like Omega-3 and vitamins might be an excellent additive to an existing diet to boost health.
However, seek a consultation with a doctor before you add an element to a pre-approved diet plan.
The Indoor/Outdoor Conundrum
The lifestyle of an indoor cat is vastly different from that of an outdoor cat. Both ways of life have their own sets of pros and cons.
An outdoor cat is sure to be healthier- owing to the access it has to fresh air, larger spaces, and frequent exercise. They also face the risk of attack, the lack of safety, and the forces of nature.
Indoor cats tend to have a shorter lifespan because of their sedentary ways of life. A sedentary lifestyle actively shortens the lifespan and diminishes the ability to fight off diseases.
You can, however, remedy it by looking after a regular, disciplined exercise of your cat.
Notoriously affectionate creatures, Ragdoll cats are known to be the happiest when on the receiving end of oodles of affection from their owner.
A lack of it can cause depression and loneliness that is entirely capable of shortening the lifespan. If you have extended hours at work and cannot devote an adequate amount of time to your cat, a cat-sitter is a good idea.
Cats stress. The reasons are many- loud noises, other animals, people they do not like, etc.
While it might not be possible to take your cat places utterly devoid of stressors, train your cat to control their anxiety. Distract them by giving toys, making sure they get proper rest, and being present in situations likely to cause them anxiety.
Happiness and calm trigger an influx of positive hormones that lengthen the lifespan.
The question posed in the title of the article has no definite answer. It is impossible to predict the exact span of an animal’s life. The best one can do work with an estimation. What is under one’s control, however, is understanding the factors that affect lifespan.
Fortunately, that is not difficult to do in the case of the Ragdoll. Aside from basic physiological needs( that also require monitoring), it is imperative to ensure that your cat can access adequate nutrition and exercise.
Equally important is the ascertainment of happiness, which plays a significant role in overall health.
Unconventional approaches might be welcome, for each cat is the possessor of a unique personality. Understand your cat, and cater to what makes them happy. That done, you can be expectant of a path encumbered by obstacles.
Hi There, AJ Oren here. I am the founder of this amazing pet blog & a passionate writer who loves helping pet owners to learn more about their pets through my articles. I am also the content manager of this blog. I have experience in pet training and behavior, sheltering, and currently working for a veterinary clinic.