One of the most lovable parts of the Ragdoll is their silky, fluffy coat! They are medium- to longhair cats, which means they naturally have long hair which makes their shedding more noticeable. However, unlike most longhair cats, Ragdolls do not have an undercoat which means they do not need to shed as much. It would be incorrect to say that they do not shed at all though; Ragdolls will leave their fair share of hair all over your home, but it will be a little less than what you could expect from a different longhair breed.
At least twice a year your Ragdoll will naturally shed their coat to keep them cooler and allow for a new coat to grow in its place.
Ragdolls have a double layer coat consisting of guard hairs (outer coat) and awn hairs (middle coat). As mentioned previously, they lack the oily, water-resistant undercoat that most longhairs have.
Some Ragdoll owners have noticed that their Ragdolls will lose their guard hairs over time. Perhaps this is because they don’t need these hairs in a domestic environment of a home or some simply have a genetic tendency to lose their hairs.
Ragdolls typically have two major shedding periods; once in the spring to shed their heavy winter coat, and another in the fall to shed their lighter summer coat and prepare to grow their winter coat again. Seasonal shedding may also be affected by whether your Ragdoll is an indoor or outdoor cat; exposure to only regulated climates can dampen their natural fur growth cycle and might affect when or how they shed.
Cats can ingest up to two-thirds of the fur they shed from grooming themselves, which can lead to an excessive amount of hairballs. You can reduce the amount of hairballs by grooming your Ragdoll with a brush or set of brushes made just for that purpose.
Grooming by You
To prevent their thick hair from clumping you’ll want to brush your Ragdoll at least once to twice per week during non-shedding times, and almost daily during shedding times. Brushing may take from 5-20 mins depending on how thorough you are.
It’s best to go with the direction of your Ragdoll’s hair as going against the grain can irritate your kitty.
Some Ragdoll owners like to avoid brushing the tail and hair around the neck in order to keep it very fluffy and bushy as brushing it can thin it out a bit. Even if you decide to brush your entire Ragdoll, keep in mind that the tail hair does grow more slowly so you may want to brush it less frequently.
The Best Cat Brushes to Buy
There are many types of cat brushes available, including:
- Dematting Tools – For long-haired cats who often get matted hair and have very thin wire teeth set on different angles designed to thoroughly groom your cat without hurting their skin.
- Slicker Brushes – For medium to long-haired cats.
- Grooming Mitts and Gloves – Made with rubber nibs on the palm area and are best for cats who are uncomfortable with brushes.
- Rubber Brushes – Made with rubber teeth for sensitive cats.
- Pin Brushes – For medium to long-haired cats that have wide-set teeth that are less aggressive than deshedding tools.
- Bristle Brushes – Distributes natural oils and beautifies the coat, often paired with a pin brush to finish the grooming.
- Tools and Rakes – For cats with thick coats who shed a lot. They have thin metal teeth that reach deep into your cat’s coat to remove all levels of loose hairs.
Any of these tools might be appropriate for your Ragdoll depending on their particular coat thickness and length. It might be a good idea to get a few different options because different brushes might serve different purposes when grooming your Ragdoll.
Take note: if you have a female Ragdoll be careful when brushing her underside to not scratch her nipples with the fine teeth of a rake brush.
When is Shedding a Cause for Concern?
If your Ragdoll is losing patches of hair, shedding an excessive amount or scratching and biting at the same spot then it may be necessary to take them to a vet. Some issues that may cause excessive shedding include:
- Poor Diet
- Pregnancy or lactation
- Bacterial Infection
- Hormonal Imbalance
Removing Ragdoll Hair from Furniture and Clothing
Have a job interview you don’t want to showcase your cat hair at? Here are a few methods of cleaning up wayward Ragdoll fur from clothing:
- Lint rollers are your best friend. Keep one by your door, in your car and perhaps even at your place of work
- Put your clothes in a dryer with a dryer sheet or dryer ball for 10-20 minutes.
Likewise, if you don’t feel like bombarding guests in your home with cat hair, here are a few ways to remove it from furniture:
- Use damped rubber gloves – rub the damp rubber gloves over the surfaces of furniture and simply rinse them to clear the hair and repeat as needed.
- Spray a mixture of water and fabric softener on the furniture’s surface and then wipe off the hair
- To target fur on wooden or hard surfaces, use anti-static dusting spray to minimize the hair’s electric charge that keeps in clinging to the surface.
- On carpet, try wiping up hair with a pumice stone
- Vacuuming always works on carpet, you may just have to go over some spots a few extra times
- On hardwood laminate floors, use a microfiber dry mop as a vacuum may just blow fur around
Is it Possible to Stop my Ragdoll from Shedding?
In short, no. If shedding is going to be a major issue for you, then getting a Ragdoll is probably not a good idea. Even though a lot of articles claim that Ragdolls hardly shed, this is simply not the case. They will shed less than most longhairs, but they will still shed quite a bit.
Using the grooming and hair removal recommendations above you can minimize the amount of hair hanging around your house, but you’ll never eliminate it.