Why Do Ragdolls Go Limp When You Pick Them Up?

Ragdolls can be quite an exciting cat breed when it comes to the ways they can show their comfort and love for you. If you have ever owned a Ragdoll cat, you might have seen your cat go limp whenever you pick it up. Have you ever wondered why cats do so?

 There is quite a sweet reason behind it, and you will be pleased to know about it. Despite it being an involuntary response, the reason itself makes it extremely special.

 So, let’s dive into the beautiful world of Ragdoll affection through the question at hand.

Why do Ragdoll cats go limp when you pick them up?

There are a few different reasons why Ragdolls display ‘floppiness’ on occasion. None of them are difficult to comprehend, for all of them exhibit correlation to the others.


It is no secret that Ragdolls are an amiable breed of cats. The innate aggression displayed by felines is bred out of them over the years ( selective breeding!) until they are the most mellowed-out versions of themselves.

You can relate a part of the languorous posture they often assume to their happy dispositions.

It is even more conspicuous in indoor cats, who live comfortable lives and have safety. It makes them complacent, unbothered as they are by any risk of attack.

As a matter of natural progression, their posture undergoes relaxation.

Nostalgia and reverting to kittenhood

Unlike most other cats who achieve full maturity by age, Ragdolls take their own sweet time to grow fully.

You can expect them to have reached full maturity by the age of four, at which time you can witness a full-sized cat who has let go of its kitten-like persona.

Not always, though.

A Ragdoll, when picked up, is rendered vulnerable to memories of when they were young, and their mother held them.

Kittens are often carted around in their mothers’ mouths.

A defensive mechanism their bodies naturally assume is to go limp. It prevents any accidental injuries.

Picking your cat up might trigger a similar reaction, even after they are way past childhood.

A Yearning for Human affection

Ragdolls are notoriously affectionate and would be pretty content to spend sedentary lives in the crook of their owner’s laps if allowed.

Being picked up is an act they greatly relish. The influx of positive hormones that follows this act is responsible for the temporary limpness.

An Indication of Trust

Going limp is often regarded as a sign that conveys trust.

When a cat goes limp in your arms, the chances that their stomach is exposed is quite likely.

As an animal that is private, showing the stomach is a sign of trust and submission.

It means that the cat is comfortable in your presence and has enlisted its trust in you.


Cats go limp when completely relaxed. While this entails physical relaxation, the former could also come to a state of mental peace.

Cats, especially Ragdolls, often experience bouts of anxiety. Loud noises, large crowds, other animals, etc., can trigger it.

In situations such as this, their bearing is tense, the spine erect, braced for flight.

In an environment that is free of stressors, the cat embodies relaxation in the posture too.


Indoor cats are mainly used to leading sedentary lives. It is more out of compulsion than choice, although the Ragdoll adjusts quickly and without resentment.

However, regardless of whether the cat in question is an indoor cat or an outdoor cat, exercise is necessary for healthy growth.

Additionally, Ragdolls are large-boned animals with muscular frames. A lack of regular/sufficient exercise will lead to obesity. A Ragdoll will often display limpness after a period of strenuous activity or exercise.

It is no cause for alarm; it intends to restore energy and trigger sore muscles’ loosening.

Do Ragdolls like to be picked up?

A Ragdoll cat likes when you hold them. They are affectionate, and proximity to their human owners is always a cause for happiness. However, there can be exceptions to the rule.

A cat who shrinks from being picked up or held might just not be used to the act. It is essential to ease your cat into the process of being lifted off the ground.

Cats might feel alarmed or consternated the first few tries—exercise caution. Do not try to employ coercion to coax the cat into your arms.

If your cat is unwilling to be picked up, it is prudent to abandon forced attempts to achieve the same.

Another reason might be a history of mistreatment. An abused cat is slower to trust people, even those who have shown them kindness. It is entirely justified.

Take things slowly and let your cat come to you. It gives them a feeling of control that is important in raising self-esteem and shedding fears.

As mentioned earlier, most people do not run into any problems when attempting to lift a Ragdoll cat. There is, of course, a correct procedure to do it.

You can do it easily when your cat is already relaxed. It makes the cat a lot more pliant.

Another good tip to adhere to would be to be seated before you handle your cat.

A comfortable posture inspires confidence and will cause your cat to place their faith in the act if they happen to be unacquainted with it.


Hardly a surprise, for most questions have easy answers. However, the technicalities can be complicated and require complete comprehension.

This same maxim should be applied when you attempt to pick up a Ragdoll cat. Luckily, most of them are happy to be picked up and, indeed, take great pleasure in nestling into the arms of a human.