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Cats are seemingly independent creatures, far less in need of constant companionship and attention than their canine counterparts. Some cats are certainly independent and can be left on their own for periods (although it is never wise or kind to leave a pet alone for long periods of time). Ragdoll cats are a pretty docile breed of cat, so do they need company?
Yes, Ragdoll cats need company. Ragdoll cats are excellent companions to humans but can get lonely. If left alone for long periods of time, Ragdolls may become destructive. Ragdoll cats are docile, so they are happy with any humans or other pets for companionship.
Ragdoll cats are a more dependent breed of cats, requiring a greater degree of companionship than certain other cat breeds. The reasons for this dependence can be attributed to the breed characteristics. There are signs of loneliness to watch out for in your Ragdoll cat, and there are steps you can and should take to alleviate this loneliness.
Do Ragdoll Cats Need a Companion?
Ragdoll cats were bred as companion cats, so they do need a companion. They are characteristically docile and affectionate, traits bred into them to make them content to remain at your side and live a very happy life with little need for outside activities and independence.
Their docile nature can lead to the assumption that they do not require company, but this is not the case at all. Their placid nature and affection mean that they require more companionship than certain other cat breeds. This is so true that most breeders recommend getting Ragdoll cats in pairs, and some breeders will only sell them in twos.
In particular, Ragdoll kittens should not be left alone for long periods of time (up to about six months of age). Ragdolls are the most playful when they are kittens and require attention and entertainment to ensure happiness. This time is also essential for creating a bond between yourself and your Ragdoll.
Ragdoll activity levels decrease as they get older, and they do become more independent, but as mentioned previously, they are never going to be completely independent.
Although this is the breed standard, you also must remember that there are individual differences between Ragdoll cats. You may get quite an independent Ragdoll cat who is content to be alone for more extended periods of time (but never leave any pet alone for too long). You may also get a more affectionate Ragdoll and require even more attention than is typical for the breed.
How Long Can You Leave a Ragdoll Cat Alone?
When asking if a Ragdoll cat can be left alone for long periods of time, you need to define ‘long.’ If you are often traveling for work or pleasure, away from the house for weeks at a time and multiple times a year, then a Ragdoll cat is not for you.
If you work a full-time job, you are not excluded from having a Ragdoll, as long as you spend a good amount of time with them when you are home and don’t go out every evening and weekend. You will need to watch your Ragdoll cat for signs of loneliness, though. If you notice any of these signs, you should look at getting a pet-sitter or another pet to be their companion while you are at work.
If you are primarily at home and go away for a week or two twice a year, you can also still get a Ragdoll cat, but you will need to hire a pet-sitter, so they are not alone while you are away for these extended periods. The pet-sitter will also ensure that your Ragdoll cat has food and clean water to drink.
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Can You Let a Ragdoll Cat Outside?
Remember that when you leave your Ragdoll cat alone, you should not leave them outside. Ragdolls are not adapted to outdoor life and can be vulnerable to predators, injury, and becoming lost. They will be happier and safer inside, although if you have an attached catio, they can access this safe outdoor space while you are away.
7 Signs of a Lonely Ragdoll Cat
There are certain signs to watch out for that will indicate your Ragdoll cat is lonely.
If your Ragdoll cat starts to yowl and speaks more than normal, it can be a sign of distress.
Ragdoll cats look to their humans for entertainment. They don’t need a lot of physical or specific entertainment. They are happy to sit and watch a movie with you or follow you around the house, but you need to be involved.
If you are not, they can become bored or distressed and turn to destructive behaviors such as pushing things off surfaces or scratching furniture.
Look out for if they start to exhibit signs of separation anxiety. If they cry when you leave the room, or they can’t find you. Suppose they become distressed when they see you getting ready to leave the house. These can be signs of separation anxiety and can indicate loneliness.
Some Ragdolls can start showing aggressive behavior towards you if they are lonely. Aggression is not at all in the Ragdoll cat’s nature, so this is a sure sign that something is wrong.
If your Ragdoll cat starts trying to escape through outer doors every time you open them, this can be a sign of loneliness.
Litter box issues
When Ragdoll cats are unhappy, they can start to urinate and defecate outside of the litter box. Cats are usually very tidy about their bowel movements, so something is wrong if they go outside of the litter box.
If your Ragdoll cat starts to groom themselves to the point of creating sores or bald patches, this is a sign of distress and can be attributable to loneliness.
How to Entertain a Ragdoll Cat
If you are leaving your Ragdoll cat alone and want to keep them entertained, these are some ways to do it.
Give your Ragdoll cat toys for entertainment; interactive toys are a smart choice. You can rotate the toys to prevent boredom.
Put up window boxes or beds near the windows so that they can have an entertaining view while you are away. Catios can also be a good idea if you have space. Ragdolls usually don’t need big catios because they are not that active, but a small area for a change of scenery and access to all the sight, sounds, and smells outside can help stave off loneliness.
If you work full-time, you can hire a pet-sitter to stay with your Ragdoll for a few hours every day to break up the alone times. Ragdoll cats are amiable, so they are much more accepting of a stranger’s companionship than certain other cat breeds. However, it would help if you tried to use the same sitter so that they become known to each other.
Pet-sitters should also be employed if you are away for days or weeks at a time, especially if you have no other pets. Remember that even if you have other pets, someone will need to make sure your animals are happy, healthy, and fed while you are away.
Get Another Cat
Getting two cats together is a good idea, although you can introduce a new cat to your resident Ragdoll. Ragdoll cats are a breed that gets along with other cats.
It would be best if you got a cat that will also be happy with the lifestyle you can provide and one with similar energy levels to your Ragdoll. Consider another Ragdoll or a Burmese or Birman cat.
If they have reached the point where they are displaying signs of loneliness, introducing another cat can increase their stress unintentionally. Try to get their anxiety under control first and speak to a veterinarian or cat behaviorist about properly introducing a companion cat to your Ragdoll.
Ragdoll Cats and Dogs
Ragdoll cats are also one of the breeds that will happily accept the company of other pets. If you decide to get a canine companion for your Ragdoll, make sure you choose the correct breed to get along with a laid-back cat, introduce them properly, and watch them together for the first few weeks.
Ragdoll cats are one of the more dependent cat breeds. Even though they are docile creatures, they require companionship for happiness and can become distressed if left on their own for a long time. Ragdoll kittens especially require a lot of attention.
Consider carefully if your lifestyle will suit a Ragdoll cat. If you are often away from home for business trips or vacations, then a Ragdoll is not the right cat for you. If you work a full-time job, you are not excluded from the joys of Ragdoll ownership; you need to watch for signs of loneliness and act appropriately if you see these. If you work from home, they are a fantastic choice.
If you are going out of town, you should consider hiring a pet-sitter to keep an eye on your Ragdoll cat. This will help make sure that your Ragdoll is properly cared for while you are away.
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