Ragdoll Health Issues: The Risks and Dangers of Owning a Ragdoll Cat

If you’re considering adding a ragdoll cat to your family, it’s essential to be aware of the potential health risks associated with ragdolls. Ragdolls are known for their laid-back personality and limp body, but they can also be prone to several health issues. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the most common ragdoll health problems and what you can do to protect your pet.

ragdoll cat outdoor

Most Common Ragdoll Health Issues:

Ragdoll Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD)

Ragdoll cats are particularly at risk for developing polycystic kidney disease (PKD). It is a fatal genetic disorder that causes multiple cysts (pockets of fluid) in the tissues of feline kidneys. Symptoms of PKD include weight loss, lethargy, and vomiting. If left untreated, the disease can lead to renal failure and death. There is no cure for PKD, but early detection and treatment can prolong a ragdoll’s life.

Ragdoll Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)

Another health concern for ragdolls is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a condition that thickens the heart’s walls. HCM can lead to heart failure and death. Symptoms of HCM include coughing, difficulty breathing, and rapid weight gain. There is no cure for HCM, but treatment options are available. It is essential to regularly have your ragdoll cat screened for HCM by a veterinarian.

Ragdoll Allergies

Many ragdolls also suffer from allergies, which can cause skin problems, respiratory issues, and digestive problems. Symptoms of ragdoll allergies include excessive scratching, sneezing, and vomiting. If you suspect your Ragdoll has allergies, it is essential to take them to the vet for a check-up.

Ragdoll Respiratory Problems

Ragdolls are prone to developing upper respiratory infections, bronchitis, and pneumonia. Symptoms of respiratory problems include coughing, sneezing, and difficulty breathing. If your Ragdoll is experiencing these symptoms, take them to the vet right away.

Ragdoll Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

Ragdolls are also prone to urinary tract infections (UTIs). It causes pain when urinating, bloody urine, and fever. UTIs can be treated with antibiotics, but it is essential to get them diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.

Ragdoll O besity

Another health issue that ragdolls are prone to be obesity. Obesity can lead to health problems, including diabetes, joint problems, and respiratory problems. Symptoms of ragdoll obesity include weight gain, lethargy, and difficulty breathing. Treatment for ragdoll obesity includes diet and exercise.

Also Read: Ragdoll Cat Size: How Big Do Ragdolls Get?

ragdoll sitting on a living room floor

Measures to protect your Ragdoll

You can do a few things to help protect your Ragdoll from developing health problems.

Feed them a high-quality diet: A healthy diet is essential for all cats, but it is crucial for ragdolls. Ragdolls are prone to developing obesity and diabetes, so it is vital to feed them low in fat and calories.

Provide them with plenty of exercises: Ragdolls need plenty of exercises to stay healthy. Make sure your Ragdoll has a scratching post, a place to play, and access to the outdoors.

Get them screened by a veterinarian regularly: Ragdolls should be screened for PKD, HCM, allergies, respiratory problems, and UTIs by a veterinarian regularly. It will help to catch any health problems early and provide treatment options.

Brush their teeth regularly: Like all cats, ragdolls need to brush their teeth regularly. Brushing their teeth will help prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental problems.

Keep your Ragdoll’s vaccinations up to date: It is essential to keep your vaccinations up to date to help prevent them from developing respiratory infections, bronchitis, and pneumonia.

Keep them indoors to protect them from diseases and parasites: Ragdolls are susceptible to several diseases and parasites, which other cats can spread. It is essential to keep them indoors to protect them from these diseases and parasites.

Also Read:

two month old ragdoll kitten

Symptoms of a sick Ragdoll

There are a few things you can look for if you think your Ragdoll may be sick.

Lethargy: If your Ragdoll is sleeping more than usual or seems tired all the time, this could be a sign that something is wrong.

Loss of appetite: If your Ragdoll isn’t eating as much as they usually do, or if they’re losing weight, this could be a sign of illness.

Changes in bathroom habits: If your Ragdoll is urinating more or less than usual, or if their stool changes in consistency or color, this could be a sign of a health problem.

Excessive scratching: If your Ragdoll is scratching more than usual, this could be a sign of allergies or other skin problems.

Sneezing and coughing: If your Ragdoll is sneezing or coughing a lot, this could be a sign of a respiratory infection.

Fever: Fever is often one of the first signs of illness in cats. If your Ragdoll has a fever, take them to the vet right away.

Difficulty breathing: Difficulty breathing is a sign of severe respiratory illness and should not be ignored.

Vomiting and diarrhea: Vomiting and diarrhea can be signs of many different types of illness. If your Ragdoll is vomiting or has diarrhea, take them to the vet right away.

Blood in urine: Blood can signify urinary tract infection or other health problems. If you see blood in your Ragdoll’s urine, take them to the vet right away.

Seizures: Seizures are signs of a severe neurological problem and should not be ignored. If your Ragdoll has a seizure, take them to the vet right away.

If your Ragdoll is having any of these symptoms, it is essential to take them to the veterinarian right away. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential for preventing your Ragdoll from developing more severe health problems.

Also Read:

ragdoll health issues due to eating sweets

Veterinary cost

Like all cats, ragdolls require regular veterinary care. The cost of this care can vary depending on your location and the type of veterinarian you use, but it is safe to say that it will be at least several hundred dollars per year.

For routine care, such as vaccinations and check-ups, you can expect to pay around $200-$400 per year.

Owning a ragdoll can be expensive, especially if they develop health problems.

If you think you cannot afford to provide proper care for your Ragdoll, there are a few options you can consider. Some organizations provide financial assistance for veterinary care, and there are also pet insurance plans available that can help offset the cost of vet bills.

What kinds of treatments are available if your Ragdoll gets sick or injured?

There are a variety of treatments available for ragdolls who become sick or injured. Treatment may range from simple home care to hospitalization, depending on the illness or injury severity. Common treatments for ragdolls include:

caringa a ragdoll cat

Antibiotics: If your Ragdoll has a bacterial infection, they may need antibiotics to clear the infection.

Pain relief medication: If your Ragdoll has a painful injury, they may need pain relief medication to help them feel more comfortable.

Surgery: In some cases, ragdolls may need surgery to treat an illness or injury. Common surgeries for ragdolls include spaying/neutering, dental work, and fracture repairs.

Physical therapy: If your Ragdoll has an injury that affects their mobility, they may need physical therapy to help them regain strength and function.

Special diets: Ragdolls with certain health conditions may need to follow. This could include a low-sodium diet if they have congestive heart failure or a high-fat diet if they have pancreatitis.

Topical ointments or oral medication: Ragdolls with skin problems or allergies may need topical ointments or oral medication to help relieve their symptoms.

The cost of treatment will vary depending on the severity of the condition and the course of treatment required. It is essential to discuss all treatment options with your veterinarian so you can make the best decision for your Ragdoll’s health.


How can I prevent my Ragdoll from getting sick?

The most significant way to safeguard your Ragdoll from illness is to regularly have them examined and vaccinated at the veterinarian’s clinic. It is also critical to maintain their surroundings clean and toxin-free and provide them with an appropriate diet.

What are some common health problems for Ragdolls?

Some common health problems for ragdolls include respiratory infections, urinary tract infections, obesity, and gastrointestinal problems.

How long do Ragdolls live?

Ragdolls typically live for 12-15 years.

I can’t afford to take my Ragdoll to the veterinarian. What should I do?

Some organizations provide financial assistance for veterinary care. There are also pet insurance plans available that can help offset the cost of vet bills. Contact your local veterinarian for more information.

My Ragdoll is sick. What should I do?

If your Ragdoll is sick, the best thing to do is to take them to the veterinarian as soon as possible. Early diagnosis and treatment can improve the chances of a full recovery.

How much does it cost to own a Ragdoll?

Annual costs typically range from $100-$200 for routine care such as check-ups and vaccinations and $400 for more extensive treatments. 


Owning a ragdoll can be a rewarding experience, but it is important to be aware of the risks and dangers of ragdoll health issues.

By taking your Ragdoll to the veterinarian for regular check-ups and vaccinations, keeping their environment clean and toxin-free, feeding them a balanced diet, you can help ensure that your Ragdoll stays healthy and happy.

Have you ever owned a Ragdoll? Share your experience in the comments below!

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Esme Watson
Esme Watson

Esme Watson, the founder of Cat Queries, is a passionate cat lover driven by a deep love for felines. Inspired by her own furry companions, Minnie and Mickey, Esme created a platform dedicated to empowering cat owners with comprehensive and reliable information on feline health and behavior.

Cat Queries combines Esme's personal experiences with expert insights, offering a valuable resource that caters to all aspects of cat care. This inclusive approach fosters a welcoming community for cat lovers, making Cat Queries a trusted source for information, support, and guidance. Ultimately, Esme's mission is to enrich the lives of both cats and their human companions through knowledge and understanding.

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