Do ragdoll cats have health problems? Yes. Ragdolls do not have any breed-specific health issues; however, they might suffer from common health issues due to their longhaired coat, increasing the risk of infections.
This article will detail the type of health problems that ragdolls can suffer from, as well as what you can do to help prevent them.
What You Need To Know About Ragdolls Cats
They are fairly well known for their blue eyes – while not all Ragdolls will have this trait, it can make them especially beautiful animals.
However, this is caused by an inherited abnormality which means that these cats must be registered with the GCCF (General Cat Council) – more on that later.
Ragdolls are generally tolerant of children, other cats, and dogs, but they should not be around smaller pets like rabbits or guinea pigs as they may play rough.
Health Problems Associated With RagDoll Cats
There are some health problems associated with the breed which you need to look out for in your Ragdoll. Below are the most common health problems associated with Ragdoll cats:
1. Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD)
It is common in many large cat breeds such as Maine’s and Persians, which can cause renal failure.
If you’re looking at getting a kitten from a registered breeder, then chances are PKD will be screened for at birth by a simple DNA test or an ultrasound. This will help prevent any health issues as the cat matures.
2. Hip Dysplasia in Ragdoll Cats
Ragdolls are known for their calm disposition and docile nature. Even if they aren’t pedigree breeds, you may want to consider getting your cat checked out by a vet before introducing them to any other animals or children if they display signs of Hip Dysplasia. This is a condition where there is a malformation of the hip socket to the point that it causes extreme pain.
Often, Ragdolls will walk with their hind legs splayed apart from each other, and they may whine or cry out when you touch them in certain places.
3. HCM in Ragdoll Cats
HCM often occurs in large breed cats such as ragdolls due to their increased size putting additional strain on their heart muscles. This disease causes ventricular thickening, which prevents blood from leaving the heart properly and results in congestive heart failure.
A vet can diagnose HCM through a physical examination, and an echocardiograph can spot any irregular cardiac rhythms or hypertrophy present. There are treatments for symptomatic HCM, such as ACE inhibitors and medications to help with fluid retention.
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a common form of heart disease that affects the contractile function of the heart (the walls of the heart muscle thicken and do not relax well between beats).
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy leads to an abnormal electrical conduction pathway (called hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy), prolonging the S-T segment on EKGs, ventricular tachycardia, and sudden cardiac arrest.
The cause for this thickening is unknown; however, there are many associations with hypertrophic cardiomyopathies, such as genetics or lack of exercise.
4. Muscle Dysplasia
This can cause pain and lameness in cats as they age. However, your vet can also test this at a young age, and steps are taken to minimize discomfort later on.
The main thing to consider is that Ragdolls are very large, heavy animals with powerful limbs – thus, you should never leave them unsupervised around small children who may accidentally hurt them due to their size and weight.
Other Considerations For Ragdoll Cats Health Problems
You should also be aware of congenital heart problems (inherited from parents) – this can be tested for by taking chest X-ray.
Always visit your vet with your cat if they display any signs or symptoms of illness, even if it is just a routine check-up.
Cats like humans tend to hide any problems they may have, so you need to make sure you’re on top of things before it’s too late.
Hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver disease) is another health concern for many cats, especially senior ones.
Affected felines often stop eating and become extremely sluggish due to the illness’s progression; if it’s allowed to advance far enough, euthanasia may be the only option.
Because older kitties are at high risk of contracting this disease, it’s always wise to discuss preventative care with your vet.
Altered Feeding Schedules
Many owners find their feline companions to “go off” their food for a day or so and then return to normal eating habits and an appetite.
But if this continues, it could be a cause for concern and should be brought to your caregiver’s attention.
Like any animal, Ragdolls may become stressed under certain conditions. When adjusting to changes in the household (new babies or pets), moving to a new home or being confined for long periods are examples of when cats might lose their appetites.
Because older kitties can experience health concerns that affect how much they eat, it’s important to discuss any problems with your vet.
Some of the drugs used to treat seizures in humans have been shown to cause liver failure in cats. Be sure to discuss any medications given to a Ragdoll with your vet before giving them over-the-counter meds.
Gradual Weight Loss
Cats losing weight gradually may be suffering from a chronic illness like diabetes or cancer and should see your veterinarian immediately.
Acute (sudden) weight loss, on the other hand, maybe caused by additional factors such as parasites, treatable skin conditions, and dental problems.
Consider health before you buy Ragdoll Kittens
Ragdolls are not especially expensive to buy as kittens, averaging at about 1 pound to 3 pounds each.
However, you should never buy one without researching their health history first and getting them checked out by a qualified vet.
This alone could cost around £100, so always a factor when deciding whether or not you can afford a Ragdoll kitten.
If you are looking at getting one from a breeder, always ask them for health clearances on both the sire and dam of the litter.
If they are registered with an organization such as the GCCF, you should receive these though proof of vaccinations will also be helpful.
It is not advisable to buy kittens without any health records. Still, it can be difficult to get people to disclose this information if they’ve had any illnesses in their past (especially in pets).
Do ragdoll cats have health problems? Ragdoll cats are known to be the most gentle and loving of all cat breeds, but they can also have health problems that you should know about. But aside from those concerns, there’s nothing not to love about this breed.
Ragdolls make fantastic pets if you can care for them properly. They are affectionate creatures who love nothing more than cuddling up with their favorite human companion or playing gently (though always supervised when playing with children).
Keep an eye on their eating and sleeping habits, and you should have a happy, healthy Ragdoll.