Ragdoll cats are an exceptional pedigree breed with a unique, sensitive, sociable and curious personality. It’s hard not to fall in love with their affectionate nature, silky fur and sentimental eyes.
One of our main concerns when adopting a Ragdoll is the possibility of leaving her alone at home while we go out to work, run errands, or even go on vacation. Read on for an in-depth scoop if you’re wondering: can Ragdoll cats be left alone?
Most experts agree that cats will do very well if left alone for a whole weekend. However, a typical Ragdoll, aptly nicknamed “puppy cat,” may not be happy spending as much time alone. If you’re a frequent traveler, you may want to consider a more independent breed.
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Can Ragdoll Cats Be Left Alone?
If you’re out for the day, or even at home but don’t want any distraction for several hours, a Ragdoll could be a perfect companion. A Ragdoll tends to get bored, lonely, restless, and sad if she doesn’t get enough stimulation, but she can do very well on her own for up to 12 hours.
Does Age Matter?
Ragdoll cats have an average lifespan of 12-15 years. It isn’t advisable to leave Ragdoll kittens home alone before they’re around a year old since they’re so needy. Plus, this is the ideal time to train them to adjust to your lifestyle and routine.
An adult Ragdoll aged about 4 is best suited to be left alone since she gets calmer, more independent, and is still relatively healthy. As a senior cat at 11+ years, some decline in health is expected although she’s still independent. She’ll lose interest in her usual activities, and will be more affectionate and need much more attention and love.
Do I Leave My Ragdoll Cat Indoors or Outdoors?
Ragdoll cats have no hunting skills, cannot defend themselves if attacked, and can easily get disoriented, lost, or hit by traffic. This makes them very vulnerable and unsuitable to be left outdoors alone for any reason.
Are Ragdolls Easy to Train?
Since they’re very loving, it’s easy to train a Ragdoll, especially if she’s still a kitten or a junior. Even a simple daily routine like eat, play, and sleep, will teach her to always have something to do, and help her smoothly adapt to your schedule.
3 Steps to Take Before Leaving Your Furry Friend
The list below will give you some ideas about how to best care for your Ragdoll while you’re away through a workday or a little longer.
● Set Up a Territory
Since cats are very territorial creatures, give her a special space to feel at home in. A cat tower, cat hammock, hiding platform, simple floating shelf, play area, scratching post, and window throne are all excellent options.
Cats are great observers and dreamers. She’ll love to sit by a window or ledge and daydream, play, groom, survey the neighborhood or take a nap.
● Play Fetch
Make a game of fetch part of her morning routine to exhaust her energy. Ragdolls love to sleep, often up to 12 hours a day. She’ll sleep during the day while you’re out, and be more active mostly at night and the early morning.
● Safeguard Her Environment
Prop open all doors in your home to prevent the cat from getting trapped inside a room away from her supplies. Ensure she can’t get outside, gain access to any toxic substances or dangerous areas.
How to Check on Your Ragdoll While You’re Away
There are several things you could do that’ll give you peace of mind knowing your Ragdoll cat is safe, happy, fed, entertained, and stimulated.
Keeping an eye on your pet from afar will do you a world of good, and lessen separation anxiety for you Ragdoll cat. Here are 3 of your options.
● Pet Monitoring Camera
You can buy a wireless, high-resolution pet camera for an affordable price. With just a push on your smartphone, you can remotely spot emergencies before they happen, talk to your Ragdoll, check on her behavior and health, even feed her. Such cameras offer features like:
- Two-way audio/video
- Full-room view
- Sound/motion detection
- Night vision
- Treat dispenser
- Laser toy function
You may choose to ask a neighbor, friend or relative to pop in during the day to feed or check on your Ragdoll.
For affordable prices, you could use apps like Rover to check on your cat at scheduled times. Your sociable Ragdoll will likely be very happy to see and engage with a stranger. Ensure they’re a trustworthy person beforehand.
Feeding and Care
- Invest in an automatic feeder. Using a phone app, you can program it with a feeding schedule, and it’ll even send you notifications when your Ragdoll’s been fed.
There are also automatic/manual treat dispensers (with or without a camera) that’ll have your Ragdoll sitting transfixed, waiting patiently for her next treat.
- Top her dry/wet food, and water bowls before you leave for the day. An inexpensive gravity bowl that dispenses more food or water will ensure she doesn’t run out if you’re away for longer. There are even refrigerated versions.
- Make sure her litter box is clean. If you’ll be away for longer, you may need to add extra litter boxes.
- Offer her a companion. While another cat would be ideal, your Ragdoll may love having a pet dog to play or cuddle with. Opposite genders tend to become friends faster. Go about it through slow, supervised introductions before leaving them alone together.
- Turn on the TV or radio. Playing music or videos can be surprisingly comforting and entertaining to your Ragdoll. She might even have a favorite cartoon, show or music style.
- Buy her some toys. Interactive cat toys are great to mentally stimulate your Ragdoll especially if you constantly rotate them around.
3 Ways To Bond With Your Ragdoll When You Return
To thank her for being good in your absence, deepen your bond, and keep your Ragdoll cat happy, try doing the following:
- Go for an evening walk, making time for her to mingle. Play vigorously for an hour with her before bedtime.
- Watch a cat movie or cartoon while petting her. Massage your hands on her head down to her tail, and rub behind her ears.
- Give her treats, patting her while she eats.
Behavior Issues That May Point to a Problem
Ragdoll cats may get lonely, sad, anxious, and depressed for several reasons, mainly not getting enough stimulation. Some kinds of territorial or attention-seeking behaviors might be her way of conveying unhappiness and may need addressing.
In a Nutshell
The whole question of can Ragdolls be left alone comes down to training and how comfortable and engaging you make their environment. Given the Ragdoll’s sleeping pattern, loving nature, easy training, and adaptability, they’re sweet, flexible, undemanding pets to have.
There’s a wide range of creative pet services and supplies available today, including technological aids like pet monitoring cameras and apps. This makes it easy to feel comfortable about leaving your Ragdoll cat home alone for much of the day, or even longer if you prepare well.
I’ve been living with cats since 2008 and I can confidently say I have more feline friends than humans lol. I currently live with 5 cats in different life stages; two of them are less than one year old, one is 2-ish years old and the oldest two are 9-ish years old. I’ve developed a strong bond with cats over the years and I’m eager to share my experience through this blog. You can learn more about my cats here.