Ragdoll cats are indoor cats because they have been bred and designed to be indoor cats. Ragdolls have had many of the traits of an outdoor cat bread out of them. They are normally very trusting of everyone which can lead them into danger. They have very little in the way of aggression and are not very streetwise.
There are many different reasons Ragdolls have to be kept indoors that stem from their breeding and total lack of ability to cope outside.
Why is a ragdoll an Indoor Cat?
Due to their lack, the instincts that other cats have they cannot be outdoor cats as their natures are not suited to being outside. They are unable to protect themselves well and lack the drive to fight. They easily get lost or stolen.
Boo: Although Boo is not a full Ragdoll when I got him I did do a lot of Ragdoll research on him because obviously there were differences between Ragdolls and other cats. and I wanted to make sure that he was happy and well cared for. Also, I was very concerned about the fact that he was going to be inside in a relatively small area all the time. And although the charity said that was fine I still really wasn’t very happy about it. Below is some of what I have found about ragdoll cats in general. And why they are totally unsuited to being an outdoor cat and must be kept indoors.
Boo: Boo has to be an indoor cat it was part of the contract with the charity when I got him. And since I’ve had him I realise why that is more so than ever. It’s one thing to read about it online and quite another to experience what he’s really like when you’re dealing with him outside. Even though he’s under supervision at all times.
They Are Bred to Be Easy Going and Suited to Inside Life
Ragdolls have only been around since the 1960s. They were bred about then in America in California by a lady by the name of Anne Baker. She wanted cats that had a very docile nature and bred cats that were like that in order to create a new breed of cat called Ragdoll.
They are soft loving cats that follow you around the house and are nicknamed puppy cats because of their puppy-like nature.
Ragdoll cats are far too trusting to be left alone outside. They’ll go up to anybody and they love people. Unfortunately, they are unable to determine that some people are just very nasty and cruel which can land them in hot water.
Ragdolls Are Not Designed To Be Outside
Because ragdolls have had all of the aggression bred out of them and the personality is easy-going amiable it can be very dangerous for them outside.
Ragdoll cats, because they’re so friendly, do not understand why other cats may not be as friendly or tolerate them. So they will go up to other catch trying to be friendly and they get attacked. They are unlikely to defend themselves. They’re just too laid back and not great fighters.
Ragdolls Are Not Great Hunters or Jumpers
There seems to be some dispute over whether ragdolls can or cannot hunt. While it is true that they do enjoy chasing flies and other insects whether they are able to hunt is another matter.
All cats are trained by their mum to hunt so it is quite possible that your ragdoll has been taught how to hunt. However, they’re not the most accurate of cats.
Boo on Hunting: While Boo is not a full Ragdoll and therefore does not exhibit all their true traits he is in his nature more Ragdoll than anything else. His hunting, dear of him, is just a disaster. If I throw a mouse for him he just goes around in circles tapping things everywhere with zero accuracy, which is adorable. Having said this when it comes to flies he seems to be much more accurate.
Ragdolls are not very good jumpers either which makes for lesser chances of escaping if they are being chased.
They have had many of these instincts bred out of them over a number of years. This means they cannot be left out on their own because they cannot defend themselves as well as an ordinary cat can.
Ragdoll Cats Are Expensive
A true pedigree Ragdoll cat can cost hundreds to buy. It’s therefore unlikely that the owner would want to chance the loss of their cat because it’s run off and gotten lost or stolen.
Theft is a Real Threat to Your Ragdoll
As Ragdolls are such beautiful cats and also quite expensive to buy they are also very prone to theft by unscrupulous people. Even being chipped won’t save them from this and it still makes it very difficult for you to get them back again. The fact that the person won’t have any papers won’t stop them.
I have heard of instances where people have had their cat snatched out of their enclosed yard.
For this reason alone the Ragdoll has to be an indoor cat.
Boo: One of the reasons I was told to keep Boo indoors was because it was possible that he would be stolen. I was a bit puzzled by this at the time because obviously, he’s not pedigree. I’m not entirely convinced it when people look at him they realise that. Unless you are an experienced Ragdoll cat owner he can easily be mistaken for one.
In addition, he is so super friendly he would make friends with anyone. He has zero sense of self-preservation. I feel this is the case for full pedigrees as well. It’s this loving nature that makes them so sought-after. Unfortunately by people who have on savoury reasons as well as those that just love them.
They Have Zero Traffic Sense
A Ragdoll cat has zero traffic sense. This may be in part due to the fact that they have never experienced traffic or simply to their nature’s.
They Have Very Long Fur
Ragdolls also have a really lovely long fur coat. Which while looks beautiful takes a lot of maintenance. Being outside it will catch sticky buds and various other things or just to make it more tangled and dirty. Although it is said that they are not prone to matting (Boo matts big time) their long fur will easily get tangled and damaged.
What Should I Do If My Ragdoll Wants To Go Outside?
You may find that in spite of being an indoor cat your ragdoll cat still wants to go outside and enjoy rolling in the grass or chasing insects or dozing in the sun. If you want them to do this there is no harm in it its just that they just need to be protected while they are outside.
Allowing Your Ragdoll Some Outside Access
If you want your ragdoll to go outside there are three things that you can do. You can let your ragdoll out in the garden on a harness and lead. Or you can build a patio or cat run area enclosure in your yard. You could also cordon off part of your yard. However, be aware of the other cats may still be able to get into the yard so this needs to be adapted. You need to also be aware that your cat may get out.
Build or Buy A Catio
Catio’s come in various sizes. You can attach them to the house so that your cat can have a cat flap and go out as a normal cat would. Because they’re completely enclosed they are safe for your ragdoll cat.
Some people are happy to buy ready-made catios. While there are those that do amazing DIY projects some of which are full-size runs that go all over the garden and into the woods.
Enclosing Your Garden or Yard
If like me you are not keen on them having a small space and you are able to you can build a garden enclosure. If you can you can enclose all or part of your garden for your cat.
Depending on your circumstances that can be very impractical or quite expensive to do. Also, unless you can keep other cats (or humans) out it may not cut out all the dangers for your cat.
Taking Your Cat for a Walk
One of the things you can do to give your Ragdoll more outside time while keeping him or her safe is to take it for walks.
If you have an outdoor area where they can safely walk without fear of traffic or dogs you could walk them. Also, if your yard is not secure and you cannot build a catio or don’t think it is enough you can walk your cat around the yard.
Obviously, this depends on your cat being willing to do this. Ragdolls are usually OK to be trained to walk with a harness.
Ragdolls As an Indoor Cat
While a ragdoll cat is an ideal indoor cat and it’s bred to be that way. It does need special considerations as well as many of the other things that other indoor cats would need.
Ragdoll cats are very social animals compared to normal cats. So, therefore, it’s not a good idea to leave them on their own for a long period of time. Therefore it’s advisable if you can to have two Ragdoll cats together. This way when you go out there not left alone and they have someone to play with.
Of course, ragdoll cats need all the other things that cats need such as play areas and sleeping areas etc.
If you are looking for an indoor cat fo ryour family than a Ragdoll is ideal for that.