The average lifespan of the average domestic cat can be between 11 and 16 years. So what is the average lifespan of Ragdoll cats?
Well… I’ll answer this question out of the gate and then go on to explain more about Ragdoll longevity.
The average lifespan of Ragdoll cats is around the 15 year mark. However, Ragdolls can have much longer lives, with many reaching up to 25 years of age.
Ragdolls tend to have longer lives, which is one of the reasons why it’s such a popular breed. They make great indoor pets, they’re super friendly and the relaxed Ragdoll personality sets them apart from many other pets.cats, there are steps you can take to improve the likelihood they’ll live a longer and healthier life.In this article I’ll discuss Ragdoll life expectancy and outline the factors that play a part in extending or shortening the average lifespan.
Table of Contents
- The Average Lifespan of Ragdoll Cats
- Things That Impact the Lifespan of Ragdoll Cats
- Ragdoll Cat Health Factors
- Related Posts
The Average Lifespan of Ragdoll Cats
As already referenced, Ragdolls tend to have an average lifespan of around the 15 year mark. Generally, they’re a fairly healthy cat breed and they tend not to suffer a multitude of health issues.
That said, there are conditions from which they are more likely to suffer than some other breeds
Things That Impact the Average Lifespan of Ragdoll Cats
While many Ragdoll cats live a long, happy and healthy life, there are some conditions that can shorten their life expectancy somewhat.
While it may seem ridiculous at first reading, gum disease can actually become a life threatening problem.
Like all cat breeds, it’s important to monitor dental health as gum disease isn’t just a case of losing teeth… it can shorten a cat’s life expectancy.
Gum disease, or gingivitis as it’s medically called, occurs when the gum that supports the teeth becomes inflamed. It becomes inflamed because food and bacteria become trapped at the gum line and harden to become tartar.
When tartar forms, the gums can become infected… and infections aren’t treated quickly, the bacteria causing them can travel around the body infecting other parts.
The good news is that gum disease is preventable by providing a healthy diet and a tooth brushing regime… which is no mean feat for cats to be honest!
All cats will experience gastrointestinal problems at one time or another and the Ragdoll is no exception.
Gastrointestinal problems might be:
- Gastroenteritis – a condition that causes diarrhoea and vomiting, usually caused by bacterial or viral infection
- Bowel obstruction – a potentially serious condition caused by foreign objects or certain illnesses
- Poisoning – caused by eating a plant that’s toxic to cats
Like many health conditions, early treatment of gastrointestinal problems usually results in a positive outcome. However, untreated digestive problems can impact the average lifespan of a Ragdoll cat… or any cat for that matter.
As with all cats, Ragdolls can suffer from several respiratory problems, some of which can be life limiting.
Firstly there’s cat flu. This is a virus causing fever, running eyes and nose, sore throat and mouth ulcers.
As a general rule, cat flu isn’t usually serious for healthy cats but it can be fatal for kittens, older cats and cats that have health issues. This is why it’s important to take your Ragdoll to a veterinarian if it’s showing symptoms… just to be safe.
Ragdolls can also suffer from feline asthma, which can be extremely serious. Feline asthma occurs as an allergic reaction to allergens that activates a cat’s immune system, causing inflammation and constriction of the airways making it difficult to breathe.
Polycystic Kidney Disease
Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) is a condition causing cysts to develop on and in the kidneys. It’s an inherited condition that usually manes the cysts are present from birth, but as time passes they grow.
As the cysts grow they prevent the kidneys from functioning as they should but sadly it’s often not something that presents as a problem for some cats until they reach 7 to 10 years of age.
Not all cats that have PKD will go on to suffer from acute problems as a consequence of the condition, but some cats with PKD experience kidney failure
While PKD doesn’t exclusively affect Ragdolls, indeed some other breeds such as Persians seem to be more at risk, PKD is something that affects Ragdolls.
In cases where PKD results in kidney failure, the lifespan of an affected Ragdoll will likely be shortened.
Like all animals, cats can suffer from heart disease. Some heart diseases are present from birth, while others are acquired through aging and lifestyle.
While heart disease can affect all cats, there are specific cardiac problem that some breeds are predisposed to more than others. One such condition for Ragdolls is Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM).
HCM causes a thickening of the heart muscle and although it’s a birth defect, it’s effects don’t present as a problem until middle age, where it can lead to heart failure.
The HCM condition seems to affect specific cat breeds more than others, and Ragdolls are sadly one of them. It’s not a curable condition and undetected it will shorten the average lifespan of Ragdolls, however it can be managed with medication.
How to Care For a Ragdoll to Increase Its Lifespan
While the average lifespan of Ragdolls is 15 years, they can live much longer. It is possible to give your Ragdoll a better chance to live a longer and healthier life by following some simple steps.
Keep Your Ragdoll as an Indoor Cat – Most Ragdoll owners seem to keep their cats as indoor cats. Firstly, they’re extremely friendly and social cats and this can lead them into trouble with less tolerant cats. Secondly, Ragdolls coats are long and silky and get mucky quite easily. Obviously, indoor cats don’t come into contact with dangers like vehicles, other cats, dogs, bacteria and viruses as outdoor cats. Keeping you Ragdoll as an indoor cat alone can increase life expectancy.
Feeding – Focus on providing your Ragdoll with a veterinary approved, high-quality cat food. The right combination of nutrients will ensure your Ragdoll has everything it needs to keep it in peak condition. N.B. Don’t let your cat eat junk and excessive treats. Ragdoll cats do have a tendency towards obesity (see below).
Exercise – Given that Ragdolls can gain weight as they age, it’s important to encourage them to play. Cat toys can encourage your cat to engage in fun physical activity and you could even encourage your Ragdoll to play in your garden.
Ragdoll cats have a 15 year lifespan on average but you can take steps to ensure they live as long and healthy a life as possible.
By providing a healthy diet, reducing danger and giving love, you’ll give a Ragdoll cat just about the best life you can!
Do you have questions about the lifespan of Ragdoll cats? Please leave a question or comment in the section at the bottom of this page.
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