Are Ragdoll Cats Cuddly?


Many people want a cat they can cuddle and can be quite disappointed when theirs just isn’t that way inclined. One particular cat has a reputation for really enjoying human contact. Let’s answer a popular question about this breed.

Are Ragdoll cats cuddly? If you are yearning for a cuddly and affectionate cat, the Ragdoll is an ideal choice. You won’t find a more lovable, huggable cat. Ragdolls melt into the arms of their owners and thrive on being lavished with affection. This gentle giant was bred to be floppy and cuddly.

Are Ragdolls Cuddly? Kitten

Why are Ragdoll cats cuddly?

There is a very good reason why ragdoll cats are so cuddly. They are a relatively new breed, developed in the 1960s for the specific purpose of being companion cats. This means Ragdolls are docile and not particularly interested in hunting or displaying aggression.

The Ragdoll story began with a Californian breeder, Ann Baker, who bred a white longhaired female stray from her neighborhood with other cats she owned. She noticed the resultant kittens had unique, endearing temperaments. Baker selectively bred the most loving and docile of these kittens until she developed the cuddly and affectionate Ragdoll breed we know and love today.

How Ragdolls like to be held

There are various ways in which a Ragdoll likes to be held and cuddled:

The standing cuddle

A Ragdoll loves to be scooped up into your arms – gently obviously. It will enjoy having the high ground from where it can view things it wouldn’t normally be able to see. It will enjoy being held while you walk around. Your arms will probably feel worn out before your Ragdoll tries to get down.

The lap cuddle

A Ragdoll will happily flop on your lap all evening whilst you watch TV. You will probably be desperate for a drink or a comfort break but will feel too guilty to move.

The over-the-shoulder cuddle

Some Ragdolls like to place their paws over your shoulders for a proper hug-style cuddle. From this position they can nuzzle into your neck or might even bunt you gently with their head.

The babe in arms cuddle

This is the classic floppy Ragdoll cuddle position. You can hold a Ragdoll belly up in your arms like you would a baby. It will go completely limp and enjoy every moment of your affection.

Are Ragdolls ever too cuddly?

Though Ragdolls are super cuddly, they do not exhibit overly clingy behavior. Of course, everyone has a different perception of what clingy really is.

A Ragdoll likes to be where you are and might trail around the house after you. It is very receptive to attention and will enjoy as much as you are prepared to lavish upon it.

You’ll lose a certain amount of privacy as a Ragdoll will accompany you to any room in the house, including the bathroom. Some quite like water so may be keen to join you in the shower!

All of these traits are endearing and a true Ragdoll love would never call this behavior clingy.

Are Ragdoll Cats Cuddly? kittens

Are Ragdoll kittens as cuddly as adult cats?

All kittens are live-wires and Ragdoll kittens are no exception. They don’t keep still for long. However, once they have exhausted themselves, Ragdoll kittens will sleep anywhere – your lap included.

Make sure you play with your Ragdoll kitten as much as possible but avoid any roughness. As the pair of you bond and its trust in you grows, your Ragdoll kitten is more likely to enjoy cuddles. Let it come to you as if you force the situation it is less likely to want cuddles from you.

Patience is the key!

Are male Ragdolls more cuddly than females?

Many people claim male cats are more cuddly than female cats. I have always found it impossible to determine this. All Ragdoll cats are unique, and this includes how their personality develops.

As long as kittens of either gender are socialized properly they should grow into confident adult cats. Then, as long as you nurture a kittens trust in you it should develop into a sociable and loving cat no matter if it’s male or female.

On this note, it’s fair to say both male and female Ragdolls have the potential to be equally cuddly and affectionate cats.

The cuddly Ragdolls personality

Ragdolls are popular pets especially for families with young children. There’s a good reason for this – they are extremely docile, tolerant, and cuddly. It is paramount that children are taught to respect Ragdoll cats and treat them kindly and gently.

It is very rare for a Ragdoll to scratch as they tend to keep their claws retracted as they play. This is an ideal trait around children. I would still recommend all young children are supervised around any cats, not just Ragdolls.

Ragdolls have many dog-like traits. They are confident and loyal, can be trained to play fetch, greet you at the door, and lap up attention in a way that is more usual for dogs not cats.

Do Ragdolls become more cuddly with age?

Adult Ragdolls are certainly more cuddly than Ragdoll kittens so it may take a while for one to become as cuddly as you expect. As Ragdolls age, they can become more lethargic and cuddly and this is often true of many senior cats. What you might find is an older Ragdoll cat will sleep on your lap for hours, happily drooling!

Are Ragdoll Cats Cuddly? Ragdoll being stroked

When a Ragdoll doesn’t live up to expectations

Certain larger breeds take up to four years to mature and the Ragdoll is one of these. This means you might not find your Ragdoll as cuddly until it has truly reached adulthood. The best advice I can give is let your cat choose to come to you for cuddles as opposed to forcing it to be held.

If you have an unusually nervous Ragdoll, you can use a few tricks to encourage it to be more cuddly:

1. Create a relaxed environment

Choose a quiet room with no-one coming and going and no loud TV or music is ideal. Spend time in that room with your Ragdoll and let it realize you are no threat.

2. Sit quietly and build its trust in you

A cat is less likely to approach you if you are noisy and make quick movements. It certainly won’t settle if it feels threatened or vulnerable. When your Ragdoll approaches you, blink at it slowly to build a bond. You may have to wait quite some time for your cat to trust you enough to climb on your lap.

3. Use a treat to encourage it to come close

Once your Ragdoll trusts you, sit on a large seat and use a healthy treat to encourage it on to your lap. Don’t try to keep it on your lap once it has eaten the treat. Let it get down as soon as it tries to.

4. Don’t immediately get excited if it sits on your lap

If your Ragdoll sits on your lap, resist the temptation to show excitement. You may find even stroking it sends it running. Let it settle and give it a light tickle its chin or cheek. Watch your cat’s body language and stop any touching if you see its tail start twitching.

5. Never pin your cat on your lap

If you wrap your arms around your Ragdoll and especially if you try to detain it on your lap, you will lose its trust and put it off sitting on you again.

6. Make it a relaxing experience

Once you get your Ragdoll on your lap, let it relax. If you take this opportunity to start cleaning things from the corners of its eyes or fiddling with knots in its fur it will probably just run.

The Ragdoll’s affection compared to other cat breeds

The Ragdoll is the most affectionate and cuddly cat there is. Are any other breeds as affectionate as Ragdolls? If you’re looking to add another cat to your household with a similar cuddly nature, here are a few you could choose from:

The Sphynx

It’s no surprise that this cat is cuddly. It needs to steal body heat from its owner to keep warm. A hairless cat is affectionate but might be too expensive for some.

Are Ragdoll Cats Cuddly? Two Sphynx

The Siamese

Siamese cats are definitely cuddly. They are a cat that’s renowned for not liking to be left alone.

Are Ragdoll Cats Cuddly? Siamese kitten

The Maine Coon

I’m a little bit biased here as I have owned two Maine Coons. One was very cuddly and the other not so much. On the whole, Maine Coons have cuddly moments and tend to become more cuddly with age.

Are Ragdoll Cats Cuddly? Two Maine Coons

Are Ragdoll Cats Cuddly? – Conclusion

It’s safe to say that Ragdoll cats are cuddly, affectionate cats. Some are also floppy – just like Ragdolls. If you are worried that your cat isn’t as cuddly as you hoped it may just be a bit young to settle down. You can always follow out guide to build your Ragdolls trust in you.

Jane

I'm Jane Pettitt, co-owner of Pets Knowledge Base with my husband, Matt. I have a grand total of 50 years’ experience as a pet owner. It all started with a guinea pig called Percy when I was 5 years old and since then I’ve lived with two more guinea pigs, a hamster, mice, a rabbit, a tortoise, a dog, and 11 cats. I’ve learned so much about pet care during this time and many of my articles are based on my personal experiences plus those of my family and friends.

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