Grooming Your Ragdoll Cat

by Rob on October 11, 2014

Ragdoll cats have soft, rabbit-like fur that rarely mats. You can reduce shedding and hairballs by grooming your Ragdoll regularly. Cats shed their winter coats in the spring; you may notice more hair on your furniture and clothes during the spring months. To keep matting and shedding to a minimum, comb your cat’s fur using a wide-toothed steel comb. Ragdoll cats and kittens are easily conditioned to their grooming rituals, so you should not have any problems. Be gentle when grooming your cat. If mats have already developed, try doing just a little every day.

Giving Your Cat a Bath

Bathing your cat on a regular basis helps keep their coat shiny, clean, and healthy, helps to reduce shedding, and helps to remove oil accumulation. You should bathe your Ragdoll cat or kitten approximately once a month, and then blow dry until completely dry to avoid a chill. Your cat’s body temperature ranges between 102 and 104 degrees, so they will like the bath water fairly warm.

If your Ragdoll has problems with eye goop or if tear staining is a problem, you can wash your cat’s face using a wet washcloth on a daily basis. Fortunately, with their calm, gentle personalities, Ragdolls take well to grooming if you are gentle, consistent, and start their grooming programs when they are young. Some breeders report that the Ragdoll coat is easier to maintain, and that eye tearing is not as much of a problem as it is with the Persian cat.

Pet Shampoos

Any pet shampoo is acceptable for bathing your cat. Other products that are safe to use are blue Dawn dish soap (very good if your cat is greasy), and No More Tears baby shampoo. Do not use ‘human products’ as a general rule. They have additives for fragrance that can be irritating to a cat. Remember that your cat will lick their fur.

Grooming and Hairballs

As cats groom themselves, they accumulate hair in their stomachs and often throw it up. This process is usually accompanied by loud howling, gagging, retching, and gasping noises that can be very alarming. An occasional hairball isn’t much of a problem; however, in long-haired cats, hairballs sometimes become quite large and cause problems. Minimize the problem by grooming out loose hair before it can be swallowed and by using a hairball lubricant like Laxatone or Petromalt. Adult longhair cats may be given a teaspoonful once a week. More frequent administration is not a good idea because these products can interfere with vitamin absorption. Giving mineral oil is not a good idea because it is tasteless and may be accidentally inhaled. Frequent vomiting, as often as once a week, requires veterinary attention as it could indicate another serious medical condition.

Nail Trimming

Most cats attend to the nails themselves; however, claws can overgrow, tear, and split causing painful infections. Trimming your cat’s nails regularly reduces the chances of these problems and reduces their desire to scratch your furniture. Human nail clippers work well on some cats, particularly kittens with tiny claws. Commercial cat toenail clippers are available from your veterinarian, pet supply store, or you can buy them online. These are designed to cut kitty claws at the proper angle without the risk of splitting or crushing the nail. There are trimmers designed like scissors as well as guillotine-type clippers. The best clipper has very sharp blades and is one you’re comfortable handling.

Get your Ragdoll cat used to having his paws handled while still a kitten. A good time to clips claws is when your cat is relaxed after a nap. Often, it’s easier to have two sets of hands available during nail clipping; one pair to hold and calm your cat, the other to trim. Trimming nails single handedly works well with trusting cats that have confident owners. Remember to cut only the clear translucent tip of the nail and to stay away from the pink part. If you cut in the pink part of the nail the cat will bleed and an infection can occur.

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{ 62 comments… read them below or add one }

shana September 28, 2009 at 8:38 pm

I just got my 2nd ragdall a month ago she is a purbred seal mitted named Isabella, sadle my 1st died 4 years ago, her name was Tifany. I got her when I was 16 and she died when I was 37! She to loved only me and was ALWAYS in my arms, lap, or on my sholder as I went about my day. she was my very best freind for 21 years and I will always miss her dearly…… I do remeber her sheading but not alot but that mite be becouse she was a small cat 5 pounds at the most as for rating of the fur only on her chest the last few years. I will miss her sleeping nose to nose with me every night….. Isabell has brought soooooo much love to me and my family, though she looks full grown she is very much a kitten. she loves to be held in a craddel position infact she demands it, she just hangs off kindof on her side in my arm as i walk around but if I sit thats the end of it, its PLAY time. Good luck to all of you, I hope you have as much with your babys as I have mine…..

Thekittylover November 26, 2009 at 5:47 am

I have had a ragdoll sense i was three, Im now ten and i still love my cat. He is a blue mitted Lynx and his name is Oliver. He doesn’t like to be held to much but he does sometimes (when its raining) he does alot of funny things like play fetch ride around in a baby buggy and even sleep by me in the night. He also runs around the house like a horse (side ways and i know only kittens do that) he is not as big as a regular ragdoll because he was the runt. And when i first got him he got sick and he had to go to the Vet. he loves clean houses.

Hope Your ragdoll is as fun as mine

sharon redman March 2, 2010 at 3:18 pm

hi there we have a 12 month old male ragdoll his name is mr koshi cat . he loves getting brushed and luvs his bath once every fortenight. im writting to you because for the last couple of weeks he has been licking or (grooming) constently how can we stop him from doing it all the time please help me and mr koshi cat

Tasha June 16, 2010 at 2:01 pm

I just got my ragdoll a week ago and she is adorable…though, she just got fixed. She has been licking his incision sight, how do i stop the sight from possibly getting infected? She is about two years old.

niamh September 16, 2010 at 12:46 pm

hi,i was reading your comment regarding ragdolls being a good pet for someone with allergies, and asthma..i have both reactions to most cats,i now own a 1 year old ragdoll and i have no problems.before i bought her i read somewhere that their the only cat breed that dont trigger allergies as they only shed hair and not skin from where the tip of the strand of hair is attached,so their the perfect cat for anyone with allergies as all other cats shed skin with d hair and thats what triggers an allergy.u should visit ‘ragdoll secrets’, it will give u all the information u need about them.They dont shed clumps of hair usually, i hoover every week and i never notice an excessive amount of hair.their a wonderful cat and a great friend,almost like your shadow at times!!!

Cathy April 11, 2011 at 3:03 am

Does anyone take their ragdoll cat to the groomer in the summer to get hair thinned to be cooler? If so how is the hair cut?

carol April 16, 2011 at 6:59 pm

We take our ragdoll to the groomer to be shaved @ least twice a year.

Nancy Charbonneau April 17, 2011 at 4:28 pm

I would like to hear the answer to Cathy’s question, as I would like to thin out all that hair! This is my first long-haired kitty and I don’t know what to do about him.

Tam April 25, 2011 at 6:00 pm

Cathy – we live in Australia and have a tabby x persian, he gets trimmed with hair clippers at the vet when it gets really warm here. They usually sedate them so the cat doesnt get distressed, the cat would have to be extremely laid back to be able to get trimmed without sedation.

James May 20, 2011 at 3:01 am

I have 2 ragdolls. A seal point and a blue mitted. The seal point doesn’t shed too much and rarely gets mats but his brother, the blue mitted one mats frequently and sheds a lot. We comb them regularly and give a hypo (with the needle removed) full of laxatone occasionally when they are having a hairball issue. Friends of ours shave their cats but we never have. When I bought the cats I was assured by the cattery that ragdolls were low shedders. Not all ragdolls are low shedders. My blue mitted is the worse shedder I have ever owned. Even the vet gets covered with fur when we take him in for his checkup.

Nancy Charbonneau June 8, 2011 at 10:03 pm

Is anyone here from Calgary? If so can you let me know your cat groomer/trimmer? I have talked to some awful people who prefer DOGS to cats and I wouldn’t have my baby trimmed by those people! If anyone wants to see him playing, go to YouTube:
and you’ll see he REALLY needs a haircut!

Nancy June 21, 2011 at 1:04 am

Does anyone use “human shampoo” on their Ragdoll? I am about to give my baby his first bath (well, tomorrow because it’s late here) and I don`t have any cat shampoo. What kinds of cat shampoo are there, anyways? And where do you get them?

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