Does a litter of tiny, fluffy Ragdolls staring up at you with big blue eyes sound appealing? Well, as many catteries will tell you, Ragdoll cat breeding isn’t as easy and charming as some would-be breeders might think.
So… before you start looking for a breeding pair, check out these key things to consider.
Table of Contents
- You’ll Need to Know the Ragdoll Breed
- Ragdoll Cat Breeding is Expensive
- Interview Ragdoll Breeders
- Home Environment
- Time Considerations
- Avoid Genetic Health Problems
- Emotional Toll
- Summary – Ragdoll Cat Breeding
- Related Posts
You’ll Need to Know the Ragdoll Breed
Firstly… you must become very familiar with the ins and outs this large, gentle breed. While it’s best to read and digest everything you can get your hands on about the Ragdoll breed, we’ll give you some basics.
Ragdolls were first developed in the 1960s by Ann Baker in California. Baker set up a strictly standardized registry by 1971, and the breed became recognized by popular registries like the CFA and FIFe.
Ragdolls are gentle giants who love being held and enjoying the company of their humans. They tend to go limp when picked up, which is their most endearing quality. As wonderful family pets, they generally get along well with other pets or new household members.
Extra grooming attention is required for their long, silky fur coats. Their signature large, round blue eyes and point coloration distinguish them from other kitties. Overall, these calm and affectionate felines melt the hearts of cat lovers worldwide and have inspired many Ragdoll owners to start breeding them.
Find out more: What Are Ragdoll Cats?
Ragdoll Cat Breeding is Expensive
The costs of breeding add up fast! This is one of the biggest factors to consider for would-be breeders.
To set up your breeding program, you must invest in your breeding pair or queen. One Ragdoll cat could cost up to $3,000 or more! You’ll also need equipment such as:
- a queening cage
- litter boxes
- medical supplies
- cat toys
- cleaning supplies
- and premium food.
Of course, you must pay for a breeder license and cattery registration too and you’ll have numerous vet bills, from check-ups for your queen to vaccinations and microchips for the upcoming kittens.
Not only this but you’ll have to consider the cost of supplemental vitamins and kitten food for your breeding queen and her newborns.
Finally, if you want to earn recognition and a stellar reputation as a breeder, you’ll need to attend cat shows. These have their own slew of expenses like entry fees, transportation and hotel costs, groomer fees and show supplies.
Ragdoll cat breeding is not cheap!
Find out more about caring for Ragdoll cats.
Interview Ragdoll Breeders
Don’t buy your first queen and stud impulsively. Take your time, interview Ragdoll breeders, and scope out the highest-quality cats you can find.
You’ll likely want to purchase an actively showing cat with a minimum title of “Grand Champion” (not “Champion” alone as this is just a participation title).
As you shop breeders, you’ll need to decide whether you want to own a breeding pair or just the queen.
You can choose to only own a queen and partner with a reputable breeder to use the services of their stud. However, you’ll need to assess the stud’s quality, just as you will for your queen.
Ragdoll cat breeding requires a lot of space at home.
If you plan to have a stud, he must be isolated due to his expected spraying habits. However, isolated studs will likely need a spayed or neutered friend to stay happy and active. You’ll also need to think about space for the queen and her litter.
Beyond that, you’ll have to think about the noise level too. When female cats are in heat, they meow very loudly. If you have neighbors or even roommates, this may cause them disturbance, as queens are in heat for seven days every two to three weeks as a general rule.
You’ll have to work hard to keep your home clean, well-ventilated and safe for your breeding program: active cleaning, litter-scooping, and organization are required to keep a cat-friendly household.
Ragdoll Cat Breeding Requires Time
Besides the time spent setting up your cattery, you’ll need to prepare to spend lots more time taking care of your breeding pair and kittens. Additionally, factoring in time to travel to and attend cat shows will be a must, as will preparing for numerous vet visits. Furthermore, expect to spend time meeting potential customers and staying connected with other breeders.
During the birthing process, you’ll want to be with your queen to address any issues that arise. After the kittens are born, remember that they must be well-socialized to develop friendly personalities properly. Yes, the Ragdoll personality means they are generally social and have a loving nature, but they still need proper socialization as kittens.
Avoid Genetic Health Problems
As you learned above, Ragdolls have only been around since the 60s. So, pay close attention to where your breeding pair comes from to avoid inbreeding. If Ragdolls are closely related, the resulting litter may have genetic health issues. They may inherit harmful recessive genes. Common genetic disorders in Ragdolls include hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (a heart disease) and polycystic kidney disease.
Inbreeding may also cause reduced fertility, smaller litter sizes, and a higher risk of stillbirths or neonatal mortality. Structural and skeletal problems in Ragdolls, like hip dysplasia, become more likely, as well. As you can see, conducting proper health screenings to lower the risk of passing on genetic problems is critical for the well-being of your future kittens!
Find out more about common Ragdoll health problems.
Speaking of health issues, it can be truly heartbreaking to encounter them with your beloved Ragdolls. Whether health problems arise in your breeding pair or new kittens, it’s tough to endure. Sadly, some kittens do not survive after birth, so you’ll need to be fully prepared to handle these painful situations.
Also, you’ll raise your kittens from birth and then wave them goodbye to their adoptive parents. Parting with any pet that you’ve emotionally bonded with is challenging. Consider whether you’ll have the support of friends, family, or a partner to help you through emotionally difficult times if you do decide to breed Ragdolls.
Summary – Ragdoll Cat Breeding
Hopefully this article has given you some food for thought regarding Ragdoll cat breeding. There are many demands and many challenges to consider if you want to become a serious and ethical breeder, but many people do successfully convert from Ragdoll lovers to breeders.
If you feel ready to move forward after understanding what’s required, bear in mind that Ragdoll cat breeding isn’t for the faint of heart. That said, if you do decide to become a breeder, we wish you the best of luck on your cattery journey!
Have you tried breeding Ragdoll cats? Or perhaps you’re thinking of becoming a Ragdoll breeder? I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences. Please leave your comments and questions at the bottom of this page.
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