The luscious, silky coat of the Ragdoll breed is perhaps its most distinct and highly sought-after feature. Despite being a long-haired breed, there is a widespread belief that Ragdoll cats do not shed much. Is this true? If so, are Ragdoll cats a good option for people who suffer from allergies? Here is everything you should know.
So, do Ragdoll cats shed? Ragdoll cats do shed as they are a long-haired breed. They will typically shed more during the Spring and Autumn months (this is known as seasonal shedding). However, unlike many other cat breeds, Ragdolls lack a thick undercoat which means that they generally shed less than other long-haired cats.
Some good news, I assume.
Nevertheless, some shedding should be expected; it is just one natural aspect you have to consider when owning any cat.
Thankfully, with a regular grooming schedule, you can keep even minimal shedding at bay.
With this all in mind, let us explore the amount this breed sheds in further detail, including the factors that can influence their propensity to release hair and how to minimize its influence in your home.
So do keep reading; it might make all the difference!
How Much Do Ragdoll Cats Shed?
The coat of a Ragdoll is silky, plush, and thick; however, these cats lack an undercoat which means they are less prone to matting and shedding than other long-haired breeds such as the Maine Coon and the Balinese.
But it is important to remember that these cats do still shed, especially in the Spring and Autumn months.
In the Spring, Ragdolls will shed their thick winter coats in preparation for the warmer months to come.
In the Autumn, they will shed their thinner summer coats in order to grow the thick coat required for the colder months.
Furthermore, the amount Ragdolls shed throughout the year can be affected by several factors.
Let’s run through them now:
Factors That Influence How Much A Ragdoll Sheds
Cats fed on an improper diet tend to shed more.
This is due to the fact that they may be lacking essential nutrients which are needed to repair and replace fur effectively.
Their Genetic Make-up
The density and texture of a Ragdolls’ fur can vary between individuals.
This may affect how much they shed. Ragdolls with coarser fur tend to shed less than those with more plush, delicate fur.
Their Health Status
There are several potential medical causes for excessive shedding in Ragdoll cats.
A health condition is most likely going to be the cause if you notice bald patches on your cats’ fur or if he has suddenly started shedding much more than usual.
Fleas are a common cause of excessive shedding due to the skin irritation that these tiny critters cause.
Other potential health issues include allergies, bacterial infections, and kidney problems.
How Often They Are Groomed
There is a bit of opinion variation between experts when it comes to how often you should groom a Ragdoll.
As they lack an undercoat, many suggest that Ragdolls only need grooming once a week.
Others state that more regular grooming keeps the coat in good condition and reduces the amount of shedding.
Especially in the Spring months, it is important to groom regularly to remove dead hair from the coat as this will go a long way towards reducing the risk of hairballs and will also prevent your cat from shedding all over your carpet!
The Environmental Temperature & Climate
As with all cats, a Ragdolls’ shedding schedule will vary depending on the surrounding temperature.
Ragdolls kept as indoor pets are likely to shed more than those that have outdoor access.
This is because the indoor environment tends to remain at a constant warm temperature which reduces the need for a thick winter coat.
Saying that, it is not recommended to allow your Ragdoll to free-roam outdoors as the attractive appearance of this breed can make them a target for thieves.
Instead, consider lead training your Ragdoll or building a safe enclosed area for your feline companion to explore.
All cats (including Ragdolls) are creatures of habit. So, if something changes in the environment, it may cause stress which can lead to excess shedding.
Depending on the individual, triggers can be as simple as the furniture being rearranged, so if your cat has suddenly started shedding more, it may be worth looking at his environment to identify any potential stress triggers.
Stress shedding may be more prevalent if you have just moved house or if a new pet has been added to the home.
Even though Ragdolls are a lot less territorial than other breeds, they still love their own routine, so they can become easily stressed if the dynamic changes.
Are Ragdoll Cats Hypoallergenic?
There is a myth that Ragdoll cats are hypoallergenic, but unfortunately, this is not true. Although they shed less than many other breeds, they still have a long coat of fur, so shedding is always going to be a factor.
The Ragdolls’ lack of a dense undercoat can lessen allergic reactions for some people that are allergic to dander, which is caused by the glycoprotein found in dead skin cells.
However, many people are actually allergic to saliva and skin secretions from cats.
Unfortunately, despite shedding less, Ragdoll cats still produce these allergens.
It is possible to live with a Ragdoll cat if you suffer from allergies; however, this will be entirely dependent on how sensitive your allergies are and how you maintain your cat’s shedding and home:
If you think you may have a cat allergy, it is best to spend some time around a cat before choosing to adopt one.
You can also get a skin test at your local doctor’s surgery to be certain.
It is worth bearing in mind that allergic reactions can vary from cat to cat, so you must do your homework before making the final decision to bring a new cat into your home.
How To Reduce Shedding In Ragdoll Cats
You will never be able to stop your Ragdoll from shedding completely, but there are a number of things you can do to manage the issue. Perhaps the simplest and most effective way to reduce shedding in your Ragdoll is through regular grooming.
By doing this, you are removing the dander and loose fur that would otherwise make it into the air and potentially trigger your allergies.
It’s best to get your Ragdoll used to grooming from a young age, as this will make him more accepting of the routine as an adult!
You can start with a soft brush that won’t damage delicate kitten skin; then, you can gradually progress to a more efficient brush as your cat ages.
It is recommended to brush a Ragdolls fur at least once or twice a week to keep it in good condition and to reduce allergens.
The best brush to use is a soft bristle brush as, despite its length, the coat of Ragdolls is surprisingly fine and easy to groom.
So, a metal or hard bristle brush may be too harsh and could damage your cats’ skin.
Refraining From Bathing
Some people suggest bathing your cat to reduce shedding. This shouldn’t be necessary as Ragdolls are more than capable of keeping themselves clean.
In fact, bathing may make the situation worse as many pet shampoos can dry out the skin, which causes more dander to be released.
If you think your cat is shedding more than he should, then you may want to check his diet.
Many kibble foods tend to contain large amounts of carbohydrates as they are cheaper than meat products.
As obligate carnivores, cats struggle to digest carbohydrates which can lead to digestive issues and excessive shedding.
It is well worth buying high-quality cat food for your Ragdoll that contains high amounts of natural protein, taurine, and calcium to ensure your cat remains healthy throughout his life.
There are also a variety of diet supplements that you can give to your cat, which will promote coat health.
Supplements that include Omega-3 fatty acids are considered to be the most beneficial.
Maintain Your Home
When it comes to managing the cat fur on your furniture, there are several things you can do to keep it under control.
A simple lint roller can become your best friend when you own a long-haired cat!
Simply roll the device over your clothes and furniture for fuss-free hair removal.
If you don’t have a lint roller, you can dampen a rubber glove and rub it over your furniture, which will work just as well.
It is also important to vacuum your home regularly but ensure you buy a hoover that is designed to pick up cat hair – the extra money you pay out will be well worth it in the future!
Remember to vacuum more often in the Spring and Autumn months when your Ragdoll will be shedding more.
In addition, it may be worth looking at the fabrics in your home as some materials are fur magnets compared to others!
For example, a leather sofa is a better option than a fabric one because fur is less likely to stick to it.
If your allergies are particularly sensitive, you should keep your bedroom off-limits to your Ragdoll cat, so you don’t end up suffering through the night.
Aside from house cleaning, regular hand washing is important, especially just after you have interacted with your cat, and clean your clothes regularly to ensure you remove as much cat hair as possible.
Contact A Vet
As mentioned above, several medical causes may cause your cat to suddenly start shedding excessively.
If this is the case, it is best to seek the advice of a vet as soon as possible so it can be treated.
The bottom line is that Ragdoll cats do shed, so it is something that you will just have to accept if you adopt one of these beautiful felines.
If you suffer from allergies, you will need to put precautions in place to ensure your cat doesn’t aggravate them, such as regular cleaning and grooming.
These cats make wonderful pets as they are incredibly affectionate, playful, and loving, but it is always worth bearing in mind that no cat is 100% hypoallergenic.
Looking at cat breeds and wondering which ones shed? Then my following guides will be of interest:
- Do Munchkin Cats Shed?
- Do Calico Cats Shed?
- Do Savannah Cats Shed?
- Do Tabby Cats Shed?
- Do Norwegian Forest Cats Shed?
- Do Bengal Cats Shed?
- Do Russian Blue Cats Shed?
- Do Cats Shed Their Whiskers?
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.