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23.05.2022

Hair today, gone tomorrow—do Ragdoll cats shed?

Friendly and beautiful, Ragdolls represent the perfect family cat for many. The realities of being a cat parent to a Ragdoll may be slightly different, though.

Since this breed spends most of their time indoors, any issues with their health will be highly visible—including the amount of hair they deposit on your furniture and the frequency with which hairballs land on your carpet.

Hair loss is natural for long-haired felines, but it can be kept in check with diet and regular grooming. Do Ragdoll cats shed a lot? Read on and get the lowdown, as well as the best tips and tricks to minimise the mess in your house.

Ragdoll cat fur—all the variations

While all Ragdoll kittens start out pure white, the colour variations that develop can be spectacular. The most common colourings are:

Markings

Colour possibilities

Bicolour 

  • Lilac
  • Chocolate 

Point

  • Flame
  • Chocolate
  • Lilac
  • Lynx 
  • Cream 

Tortoiseshell 

  • Seal
  • Calico 

Mitted

  • Seal
  • Blue 

As kittens, Ragdolls have relatively short hair, but all adults develop medium to long coats—unless they have been shaved for medical or cosmetic reasons.

This amount of fur can literally get everywhere!

Source: Pixabay

Do Ragdoll cats shed a lot?

Ragdoll cats shed excessively, and the phenomenon may not be limited to particular seasons. As predominantly indoor cats, Ragdolls are less affected by seasonal changes than other breeds, such as Norwegian Forest cats, Maine Coons, or Bengals, that like to spend extended periods outside. This means that you may have to contend with shedding all year round.

Under normal circumstances, shedding is not an issue. It forms part of your cat’s natural temperature regulation process and helps renew the coat at regular intervals to offer maximum protection.

You should regularly check your Ragdoll for signs that shedding has reached abnormal proportions. If your Ragdoll is dropping more hair than normal, there may be an issue with:

  1. Food allergy
  2. Parasitic infestation
  3. Viral or bacterial infection
  4. Stress

Food allergy

Food allergies occur when cats eat a protein that their body mistakes for a harmful invader. The cat’s system then mounts an immune response, resulting in red pustules appearing in patches on the skin. These areas are usually highly itchy, leading cats to lick them obsessively.

Visually, food allergies look terrible, but they are relatively easy to treat. Your first step is to identify what has caused the reaction, which could be:

  • Something your cat has eaten while outside, such as a bird, mouse, insect (e.g. a moth), snail, slug, frog, or leftovers salvaged from a bin or rubbish bag
  • A change in the formulation of the regular food, which often happens with lower-quality products—manufacturers will list unspecified “meat” among the ingredients, allowing them to chop and change according to raw material prices
  • A switch to a new diet that contains a protein source your cat is unused to. These cases will also often be accompanied by diarrhoea, nausea, or vomiting

Once you have identified the cause of the allergic reaction, you should remove it and wait for your feline to recover. 

Ragdolls have a reputation for being a bit fussy and sensitive when it comes to food. Whatever food type they favour—whether it’s dry, raw, wet, semi-moist, or homemade—you should make sure it’s of the highest quality and free of all known allergens.

Parasitic infestation

On the off chance that your Ragdoll has been checking out the neighbourhood, there is a possibility that parasites have taken hold. The most common parasitic infestations cats experience come from:

  • Mites, such as Scabies, Demodex, Cheyletiella, and Otodectes Cynotis
  • Fleas, particularly Ctenocephalides felis
  • Ticks, which are dangerous due to the diseases they can carry
  • Botfly larvae that burrow into the skin and cause swelling

Viral or bacterial infection

Any cat can suffer an occasional bout of skin infection—even indoor-loving Ragdolls. The most common skin disease they may encounter is ringworm—a fungal infection that causes an itchy, circular rash on the skin. Your Ragdoll will lick the infected area, which can lead to an internal transfer of the condition. Cats will almost certainly lose all the hair around an infected area, and the disease can take up to 9 months to heal completely.

Stress

If you have ruled out any allergies or infections causing excessive shedding, you should also make sure your Ragdoll isn’t stressed.

Cats love routine and predictability, and any disturbance to their normal life can cause them stress. Although Ragdolls are usually easy-going, they can become anxious if a new pet is introduced to the household or if you redecorate and disrupt their normal life.

The reaction to stress may involve over-grooming, the most noticeable symptom of which will be clumps of hair dotted around the house.

“You seriously think sending me outside to shed is a good idea?”

Source: Pixabay

What can you do about Ragdoll cat hair everywhere? Learn how to minimise your cat’s shedding

Regardless of how natural a process shedding might be, anything you can do to naturally minimise it is worth trying.

The easiest way to keep your Ragdoll’s coat in top condition is by grooming them regularly and feeding a diet that’s as close as possible to what cats eat in the wild—their metabolism has evolved to maintain their protective layer by eating:

  1. Animal protein
  2. Animal fat

Animal protein

Cats can’t survive on a vegan or vegetarian diet, let alone keep their coat healthy. Felines need the amino acids—like taurine—contained in meat to:

  • Strengthen hair growth and repair
  • Deliver energy
  • Build muscle
  • Maintain organ function

You can measure the efficiency with which Ragdolls can process various protein sources by checking their respective biological values (BVs). The higher the percentage, the more easily felines can get the amino acids they need and the less they need to eat to cover their requirements. The BVs of the most common protein sources are as follows:

Protein type

BV

Animal protein:

88%–98%

Vegetable protein:

45%–68%

Even the best vegetable protein source—soya—is nowhere near as good a provider of amino acids as the weakest meat-based protein.

Cats’ hair is made up of 98% protein, so the better the protein source in your Ragdoll’s food, the better the feline will be able to grow and maintain a healthy coat.

Animal fat

Besides being an excellent secondary source of energy, animal fat provides essential fatty acids, such as:

  • Linoleic acid
  • Arachidonic acid
  • Omega-3 and omega-6 acids

The omega fatty acids are particularly important because they help regulate your cat’s inflammatory healing response. This means that your Ragdoll will be able to repair skin abrasions and problems with sufficient animal fat in the diet.

A high-protein diet that delivers its calories through meat and contains up to 20% of animal fat is the best way to keep your Ragdoll’s shedding to a minimum.

Things that could make your Ragdoll’s shedding worse

Food that contains any of the following could make your Ragdoll shed even more hair:

  • Grains, cereals, and high levels of carbs—Any food that uses these substances to bulk up the product automatically contains less meat. Your Ragdoll will have more difficulty processing the lower-quality protein and will not be able to build as strong a coat
  • Undefined meat sources—If the product lists “Meat (minimum 4% “xxx flavour variant)” among its ingredients or mentions “animal byproducts” or “meat derivatives,” you have no way of telling what exactly has been used in the food. This is an open door to gastrointestinal problems, protein allergies, and reduced nutrient absorption, all of which can impact your Ragdoll’s coat condition

How to recognise high-quality Ragdoll cat food

A quick check of the product's ingredients list and guaranteed analysis will indicate the quality you’re dealing with. You should look for the following values:

Nutrient group

Ideal percentage

Animal protein

50% or more

Animal fat

Up to 20%

Carbs 

Less than 3%

The ingredients list should:

  • Be short and simple, with no long scientific-sounding additives, colourants, or flavour-enhancers
  • Have a clearly identifiable meat source in pole position

Bad hair day.

Source: Pixabay

Can Untamed help with Ragdoll cats and shedding?

Looking after your Ragdoll’s coat couldn’t be easier with Untamed!

Our cat food is the best you can do for your Ragdoll, with every product featuring:

  1. High levels of exclusively animal protein
  2. Vet-formulated recipes

High levels of exclusively animal protein

Untamed contains twice as much meat or fish as most other commercial cat foods.

Every Untamed recipe—whether Chocka Chicken, Tuck-in Tuna, or Full-on Fishy—is packed full of the best-quality animal protein, made even tastier by being served in rich jelly or gravy.

Even cats that normally don’t like wet food have been known to go wild over Untamed—and your Ragdoll’s coat will bear witness to the goodness that Untamed delivers.

Vet-formulated recipes

Untamed products have all been developed by vets to ensure your Ragdoll gets only the best of the best. As well as being great for your cat’s coat, Untamed can help keep typical feline ailments at bay, such as:

    Untamed is exactly what your Ragdoll needs, whether you have a:

    Want to get your Ragdoll’s coat luxurious and—most importantly—keep it on your cat, where it belongs? Try Untamed and see the difference!

    Shedding problems solved with Untamed!

    Image (c) Untamed

    Get Untamed and solve the problem of Ragdoll cats shedding

    Starting on your Ragdoll’s journey to better coat condition couldn’t be easier!

    You will have to persevere for a couple of months as a cat’s coat only renews itself every 2–3 months, but your first steps should be:

    1. Tell us about your Ragdoll
    2. Customise your cat’s meal plan
    3. Order your initial trial pack

    Once your trial pack lands on your doorstep, your Ragdoll can explore the taste sensations that our tailor-made cat food subscription offers. We will make sure the cupboard is never bare.

    Ragdoll parents whose feline companions have already tried Untamed tell us you should expect to see the following after ordering our cat food online:

    Timeline 

    The Untamed effect

    After a week

    • Increased energy
    • Less mess in the litter tray

    In 2 months

    • Better muscle definition
    • More energy to play

    Within 4 months

    • A sleeker, shinier coat
    • Less shedding and fewer hairballs

    Life-long 

    • Natural weight control
    • Fewer health issues