THE BEGINNING TO YOUR FLUFFY FURRY TALE
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THE BEGINNING TO YOUR FLUFFY FURRY TALE
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The first step to providing a safe and happy home for your new ragdoll kitten is to get them acquainted with their new environment. Some aspects remain the same as when you introduce any new kitty to your home, but some are unique.
Give your Ragdoll kitten a safe place to retreat to while they grow comfortable in their new surroundings. They’ll want to explore, play, and get to know family members and pets but they’ll need to do it in their own time with a secure place to hide should they exceed their comfort zone. This secure place should ideally be away from other pets, children, high traffic areas, and loud activities.
Also ideally, you should place their litter box and food within comfortable access of their hiding spot, though not right next to each other. Putting food, bedding, and a litter box too close can cause unsanitary conditions for the little one. If possible, ask the breeder or former owner what type of litter they were using to ease the baby’s transition to their new box to the benefit of them and you.
Spend quality time with your new Ragdoll kitten to get them used to you and encourage other family members and pets to do the same a little at a time. Don’t bombard the baby, just every so often show some affection their way, verbal, physical, or both as the kitten feels comfortable with.
If you haven’t already done so for other kids or pets, baby/pet-proof your home. Hide cables and cords, and try to keep small objects and plants they might want to eat away from their reach.
One of the best qualities about Ragdoll cats is their love of affection. For pet owners who crave affection, this aspect of the breed’s personalities is highly prized. The catch is, you aren’t the only person here who needs affection; the kitty does too. If you’re going to leave them alone, they can get upset and a bit rambunctious trying to entertain themselves.
Make sure to choose the Ragdoll breed because you want the affection, not just for their beautiful appearance. When you do have to leave them alone to work or sleep or whatever, give them plenty of toys to entertain themselves, and a scratching post in case they get a desire to claw their loneliness away.
Your Ragdoll kitten needs to play. Lots!
Supply your Ragdoll kitten with a variety of cat toys. They’ll want things to pounce on, things to roll, things to pat, and things to climb. Balls are a particular favorite toy of Ragdolls, so go heaviest on these. Variety is important though to combat boredom.
Playing with your Ragdoll kitten is also important. Play fetch with them, throw pouncing toys, and more.
Ragdoll kittens have unique feeding requirements. They grow bigger than normal cats and this process takes them as much as 4 years! All this growing requires a lot of food and food packed with protein.
Avoid cat food with grains and opt for the most protein-y foods you can find. Most of the time, canned food fits this bill best.
During growing periods, feed your cat a little more than one whole feeding. So, if they eat a whole bowl of food, give them a little more. Don’t go overboard though and just keep giving them bowl after bowl because they can become obese like any other cat. And after 4 years they won’t need quite as much food as they did before because they are simply maintaining their weight rather than growing.
It’s nearly impossible to get this exactly right on your own because individual cats grow at different rates. It is best to consult your vet about the best foods and the best amount of food for that ragdoll’s rate of growth.
In order to keep your ragdoll kitten safe and healthy, they’ll have to have regular vet visits, more so than your average cat.
During that 4 years of growing time, they’ll need to be seen by a vet to make sure everything is happening normally and that you know how best to feed it at different stages. They also have to have regular vaccinations.
There are diseases that only Ragdolls can get. They are prone to kidney and bladder issues and their large size makes them more likely than other cats to develop heart problems. It is important to know when your Ragdoll kitty will need to go for early detection visits for breed specific diseases.
If you are concerned that vet bills may restrict you from having a Ragdoll kitten, consider getting pet insurance to help manage the cost. Check out our page on our partners Trupanion!
There’s a lot of controversy about whether cats should be indoor, outdoor, or a mixture of the two. With Ragdolls there isn’t any debate.
Ragdolls are very tolerant and trusting cats, so they are terrible at defending themselves. They don’t even usually put up a fuss of any kind to let you know anything is going on. If another animal or person attacked your Ragdoll, it could be hurt very badly or killed.
For this reason, Ragdolls should not go outside by themselves and should be outside even with supervision only under very protected conditions. Maybe one of those screened-in pet rooms will do well for your Ragdoll kitty. Even a metal fence enclosure with a roof may allow another animal to hurt it through the openings.
Ragdoll cats are very safe around children, as far as the children are concerned. Unfortunately, unknowing or unkind children can pose a threat to the cat.
Make sure your children are taught how to properly handle and treat the Ragdoll kitten before allowing them to be alone with it. Just like with outdoor animals, the child could hurt the kitten before you even knew what was happening. A child small enough to not understand what they are doing should never be alone with the Ragdoll.
Don’t let children who come over to play with your child be alone with the Ragdoll either unless they are have been made as familiar with how to properly treat the cat as you are.
You might have already anticipated the other pet angle after reading the other two tips. Ragdoll cats do play well other pets, when other pets don’t rough handle them. How you work this out depends entirely on your specific pet situation. If your pets treat your Ragdoll well, then all should be good. If not, restrict interactions between those pets.
Because Ragdolls get bigger than your average cat, everything made for cats won’t be comfortable or safe for them.
They’ll need a bigger litter box. Covered litter boxes may not work for Ragdolls, and toys with cubby holes for cats to get in may not fit Ragdolls well.
Keeping Ragdoll kittens safe from hairballs and your home safe from furry messes requires at least weekly grooming.
Thankfully, because Ragdolls are so friendly, grooming should be an enjoyable time for both of you.
When you first get your Ragdoll kitten, you can make this more likely by getting them used to grooming at an early age by brushing them gently every day as part of their affection.
Ragdoll cats are delightfully friendly and beautiful cats, but they also require some special care.
Be mindful of special feeding requirements, the importance of vet visits, and to protect them from danger to keep your Ragdoll kitten safe and healthy.
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