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How Long Do Ragdoll Cats Live? Average Lifespan, Data & Care

Lorre Luther

By Lorre Luther

Seal Tortie Lynx Point Ragdoll cat

Ragdoll cats are large, friendly animals with incredibly mellow personalities. If you’re thinking of adopting a Ragdoll cat, you may be wondering how long they typically live and if there are things you can do to ensure your pet has a nice long life by your side! Ragdoll cats live reasonably long lives; most live 10 to 15 years. Keep reading to learn more about Ragdoll cats, including how long they live and what impacts their longevity.

What’s the Average Lifespan of a Ragdoll Cat?

Ragdoll cats have average lifespans of 10 to 15 years, although many live much longer. Outdoor cats of all breeds often only survive 2 to 5 years, and indoor cats usually live between 15 and 17 years.

ragdoll cat sitting on a cat tree
Image Credit: izmargad, Shutterstock

Why Do Some Ragdoll Cats Live Longer Than Others?

1. Nutrition and Weight Management

High-quality pet food and access to clean water are essential for a Ragdoll’s mental and physical well-being. Cats that eat appropriate portions of food that meet AAFCO nutritional guidelines receive all the protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients they need for optimal physical health.

Limiting cats’ access to human food and treats is also critical to ensure that pets obtain all the nutrients they need without consuming too many calories, which can lead to weight gain. Treats should only make up about 10% of any cat’s diet. Overweight cats are at increased risk of developing chronic conditions such as kidney and heart disease, which can negatively impact their quality of life and shorten their lifespans. Some research suggests obesity can even negatively impact feline mortality,3 and Ragdoll cats can gain weight quickly.

Sufficient water intake is also critically important in supporting feline health. Over time, not drinking enough water can contribute to the development of feline urinary tract conditions such as bladder stones. Cats generally prefer to drink moving water; cat fountains keep the water flowing and often encourage pets to drink more which can benefit their overall kidney and urinary tract health.

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2. Exercise

Exercise and play are also critical for your Ragdoll’s health. Kitties in the wild stalk, spring, and pounce to catch prey, and indoor cats love to engage in the same activities. Short daily sessions with a teaser or something similar allow cats to run and pounce with abandon.

Aim for around two or three daily play sessions; about 10 to 15 minutes of playtime per session is usually enough. Sufficient physical activity can also help with weight management and ensure pets retain as much mobility as possible as they age.


3. Healthcare

Regular veterinary care increases feline longevity as it’s the best way to prevent health issues from developing and getting out of hand. With regular veterinary checkups, many chronic conditions, such as kidney and heart disease, can be caught before they become too advanced.

Kittens often require several veterinary visits during their first year of life, as they need multiple vaccinations and checkups. It’s also the most common time to spay or neuter pets.

Healthy adult cats should be seen by a veterinarian once a year for vaccinations, weigh-ins, and dental exams. Most cats require regular dental cleanings under anesthesia every few years or so to prevent the development of gum disease.

Senior cats require more frequent visits to the veterinarian for checkups and regular blood work that can help identify conditions like kidney disease and diabetes before things progress too far. Most veterinarians recommend that senior pets have biannual checkups. Catching chronic diseases early can often positively impact cats’ quality of life as they age.

ginger cat check by vet
Image Credit: Nestor Rizhniak, Shutterstock

4. Genetics

Ragdoll cats are pedigree cats and, as such, can suffer from a few breed-specific health issues, including polycystic kidney disease and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.  Ragdoll cats are also prone to obesity and developing urinary tract infections. Many suffer from vision and gastrointestinal problems, and the breed is also inclined to develop gum disease. However, most Ragdoll cats are healthy and live long happy lives.

The 3 Life Stages of a Ragdoll Cat

1. Kitten

adorable lilac ragdoll kitten
Image Credit: cath5, Shutterstock

Kittenhood generally lasts for around 12 months. Newborn kittens often weigh less than 4 ounces and are entirely reliant on their mothers. Most are weaned when they’re at least 10 weeks old, and kittens are usually old enough to be adopted when they reach 3 months.


2. Adult

Ragdoll cats are late bloomers, with many not developing their full coat colors until they’re around 2 years old. These large cats often keep filling out until they’re 4 years old.


3. Senior

Most cats hit their senior years around 12 to 14 years old. Veterinarians consider cats over 15 geriatric.

How to Tell Your Ragdoll Cat’s Age

It’s not easy to tell a cat’s age with precision, although it’s often possible to guesstimate. Kittens often weigh about 3.5 ounces when born and usually gain around 1 pound every month. Most have tiny milk teeth until they hit 7 months old or so. Young adults are sometimes full-size but still in the process of filling out.

Signs of aging can help you guess if a cat is an adult or a senior. Seniors often have yellow, missing, or broken teeth, and some have cloudy eyes from cataracts. Your vet may be able to help you determine your cat’s age, and if it’s microchipped, you can determine its birthdate by contacting the chip manufacturer.

Sealpoint Ragdoll on blue background
Image Credit: Linn Currie, Shutterstock

Conclusion

Ragdoll cats live about as long as other kitties, usually between 10 and 15 years. Outdoor cats seldom live past 5 years old, and the average lifespan for indoor cats is between 10 and 17 years. Cats typically live longer lives when consistently receiving high-quality food, regular veterinary care, sufficient play time, and exercise. Special care should be taken with Ragdoll cats’ diet as they’re prone to obesity which can lead to chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis and diabetes.


Featured Image Credit: jurra8, Shutterstock

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