A Ragdoll is a large breed of cat, not just referring to its luxurious fur but its body masses, too. The Ragdoll lifespan is hardly any different from other cat breeds and depends on how healthy its lifestyle is.
Average Ragdoll Lifespan
Like with most cat breeds, a Ragdoll’s average lifespan is somewhere between 10 and 13 years. Some Ragdolls have been known to live beyond that, with a few reaching up to 15 years of age. Of course, that depends on many factors, including the cat’s lifestyle, diet, and even genes.
What Shortens a Ragdoll’s Life Expectancy?
Poor Diet, Low Exercise
Like all cats, Ragdolls need a healthy diet and enough exercise to keep their body fit. Obesity is something to avoid with Ragdolls.
The average weight of a Ragdoll is between 10 and 16 pounds with a slow growth rate, which novice cat owners often mistake as being underfed or over-exercise. On the other hand, some pet owners enjoy chubby cats and purposely overfeed Ragdolls to achieve that big, pillow-like look.
Unfortunately, since Ragdolls don’t reach their full size until they are 3 – 5 years old, their bodies are not long enough yet to accommodate that much weight. This imbalance of body weight and height and length makes some Ragdolls obese, making them more prone to certain diseases.
More than anything, it is genetic diseases that shorten the life expectancy of a Ragdoll. Unfortunately, because of its large breed, the Ragdoll is prone to suffer from Hip Dysplasia.
It is a genetic disease that is often found in large breeds of both cats and dogs, like the Ragdoll. This kind of infection causes arthritis and is not very critical for most cats. Unchecked. However, it can cause paralysis.
Harsh conditions like Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy plagues a few Ragdolls as well. It is something that is found in this large breed’s genes. Although it affects Ragdolls, it is not very common.
Ragdoll kittens are also prone to one genetic disease that can shorten its average lifespan. Spinal muscular atrophy is a disease that causes muscle development to weaken, and symptoms of it show as early as three months.
How to Prolong a Ragdoll’s Life Expectancy
On the bright side of things, Ragdolls can live a long and healthy life despite the health threats in their genes. With the right amount of exercise, proper diet and much love, Ragdolls can reach beyond 12 years.
Large cat breeds like the Ragdoll, and especially the lazier breeds like the Persian cats, should have a few minutes of exercise a day. Fortunately, Ragdolls are energetic during their younger years and don’t need much stimulation as kittens.
As they grow old, Ragdolls will need to be encouraged to play from time to time. This particular cat breed can be trained to wear a leash and collar, and taken out for walks like a pet dog. Ragdolls are known for their intelligence and remarkable fondness and familiarity with their owners.
A Proper Diet
Low-calorie diet could help if the owner is not particularly active in stimulating a Ragdoll’s energetic personality. If possible, feed a Ragdoll with fat-free cat food that is dry.
Dry food is preferable to wet cat food since dry cat food reduces the build-up of tartar in their teeth. Occasional wet food should be no more frequent than 3x a week.
Last, but not least, proper health care and regular visits to the veterinarian will not only treat a Ragdoll’s minor health problems, but it will also help detect and prevent other/major health problems.