Cat owners always work hard to find the healthiest food for their pets. This is no small task, as there is an ever-growing list of brands to choose from. If you are the owner of a Ragdoll cat looking for information on the best food to feed this floppy breed, you are in the right place. These big kitties can reach 20 pounds and need high-quality animal protein and plenty of nutrients and minerals to support their hefty size.
Ragdoll cats, also called the Raggy, are a highly sought-after, lovable breed that is very popular as family pets. In fact, they were named the most popular cat breed in the world by the Cat Fanciers Association in 2022. The Ragdoll is a designer breed created in the 1960s by a California cat breeder who bred large kitties with a unique tendency to flop. This habit has earned them the nickname of floppy cats.
These big floppy kitties are amazing, docile sweethearts and crave attention. They make fantastic family pets and are even sometimes called “puppy cats” due to their affection, trainability, and affinity for being around people. Feeding them a high-quality diet is a big responsibility and something that intimidates many cat owners. Not all cat foods are created the same. There are many different variations on ingredients and preparation that set some brands apart from the rest. Let’s find out what is the best food for Ragdoll cats.
Best Foods For Ragdoll Cats At A Glance
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Best Diet For Ragdoll Cats
Like all other felines, Ragdolls are obligate carnivores, meaning they require a diet heavy in meat. High-quality animal proteins are best. Raggies grow quickly and can reach over half their adult size by four months old. They need a diet that is full of protein to support their rapid growth and bulky frame. These kitties should follow a diet modeled after the natural feline diet. This means they should have over 50% of their diet from animal proteins, around 20% fat, and 3% or lower carbohydrate content.
Protein is an absolutely essential dietary element for cats. It is necessary for building and repairing muscles. Kittens need even more protein than adult cats because they are still growing and developing. It is critical to pick pet nutrition products that deliver adequate amounts of high-quality protein from sources like poultry, seafood, or meat.
Cats also require certain amino acids, including taurine, arginine, and methionine, for the health of their heart, immune system, brain development, and eyesight. A diet that is low in amino acids can lead to poor growth and long-term health issues in cats.
In addition to protein and amino acids, cats need a balanced combination of other nutrients, including fats, carbs, vitamins, and minerals. A nutritionally balanced diet should provide these nutrients in the right amounts to support your pet’s overall health and well-being.
Ragdolls need a mixture of both dry kibble and wet food. Wet meals include canned and pouched. Some owners opt for fresh feline meals. Keep in mind that this breed should not be fed a kibble-only diet. Kibble is much lower in moisture, and this breed is susceptible to health conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, bladder stones, cystitis, urinary tract dysfunction, kidney disease, obesity, gastric ulcers, feline diabetes, polycystic kidney disease, as well as heart disease. Because of these health risks, a high-quality diet is imperative to your Ragdoll cat’s overall health and life longevity.
It is also important to note that because cats are obligate carnivores, their bodies are not well-equipped to digest plant materials. Felines lack the digestive enzyme salivary amylase, which is critical in helping herbivores and omnivores break down and digest plant materials like carbohydrates. Though cats can have some carbohydrates, ideally, their diets should not contain any more than 2% carbs. This is especially true for Raggies.
Consider The Following Factors
- It is important to ensure that the ingredients used in cat meals are of high quality. This includes looking for natural ingredients and avoiding any artificial preservatives or flavors.
- Food must provide the right amount of essential nutrients for cats. Look for brands that are rich in proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.
- The cost of cat chow is an essential consideration. Some brands can be more expensive than others, so shopping around and comparing prices is important.
- Taste is also a big part of the equation. Cats can be picky eaters, so choosing something your cat will enjoy is a good first step. Felines love the taste of meat, so look for brands that list named meats as their first ingredients.
- Always make sure to read brand labels for ingredients and look for the American Association Of Feed Control Official’s (AAFCO) guideline statements. Look for brands that use natural, real, named meats at the start of their ingredient labels.
Ragdoll Feeding Amounts
Ragdoll cats will eat different amounts as they grow older. Kittens are experiencing rapid growth and use more energy, so they will eat more. Cats who have reached maturity will not need to eat as often. In the first few weeks, kittens will stick to their mother’s milk or a formula substitute. Around five weeks of age, they can be introduced to wet kitten food or soaked kibble but should still have access to their mother’s milk. Around six weeks of age, kittens will transition to eating solid foods fully. They should continue to eat a mix of wet and dry kitten kibble until they reach about 9 to 12 months old.
Adult male Ragdolls need about 350 calories per day. Females may need a little less and can survive on about 250 to 300. When your cat is younger, they will need to be fed more often, four or five times a day. When they reach about six months, this can go down to three meals a day. After one year, they will need one meal a day.
The specific amount you feed your cat at every feeding will depend both on the brand you are using and the age and size of your cat. However, cats around six weeks of age will eat 1/8 to 1/4 a cup four to five times a day. this amount will increase between four and six months when they eat 1/4 cup to half a cup four times a day. Between six and nine months old, kittens will maintain about 1/2 a cup around four times a day. Between 9 and 12 months, they should go to three meals a day, about 1/2 a cup to 1 cup each.
Adult kitties will eat two to three meals a day, between 1 and 1 1/2 cups of food each. As adults, your cat should eat between two and four cups a day. Ragdolls can be quite large, so though this may seem like a lot, keep in mind that it is proportionate to the size of your cat.
Adult Cats vs. Kitten Nutritional Needs
It is important to note that kittens and adult felines have different dietary needs. As kittens are growing rapidly and have higher energy requirements, they need a diet that is rich in calories, protein, and healthy fats. On the other hand, adult cats do not require as much fat and calories in their diet and can develop health issues such as obesity and diabetes if overfed. Senior felines may also experience digestive problems and require a more specialized diet. It is essential for cat owners to provide age-appropriate nutrition to ensure their feline companions remain healthy and well-fed.
Best Food For Ragdoll Cats
Smalls Human Grade
- Human-grade ingredients.
- Steamed, then frozen.
- Natural whole animal proteins.
- Subscription service.
- Fresh meals, freeze-dried, and kitty treats.
- Feline-specific nutrition focus.
The brand we would choose for our Ragdoll, regardless of price, is Smalls. Smalls offers fresh, human-grade meals shipped frozen to your door. The recipes are steam-cooked and then frozen. Your cat gets the top taste and nutritional value. These recipes consist of high-quality proteins, fresh vegetables, fruits, and vitamins and minerals. The company offers human-grade fresh fruit, freeze-dried meals, and kitty treats. This is our top choice for both adults and Ragdoll kittens.
Smalls uses natural meat proteins and includes beef, beef liver, beef hearts, chicken, chicken thighs, chicken breast, chicken liver, duck, turkey, cod, whitefish, and salmon among their proteins. Proteins are ethically sourced. Chicken recipes contain 86% chicken ingredients, including organ meat, beef recipes include 85% beef proteins, and fish is 81% fish. These recipes are high in moisture and low in fiber, making them very easy to digest.
We love the variety and quality that Smalls offers. Currently, they have nine different choices. They offer four protein choices, chicken, Turkey, beef, and fish, that come in three different textures, which include ground, smooth, and pulled. These recipes give kitties a ton of flavor and a variety of textures and appeal to even the pickiest of eaters. Smalls allows you to create a subscription with products that meet your cat’s specific nutritional needs. We also appreciate that this company has always focused only on high-quality cat nutrition and does not make dog food or other pet nutrition products.
Best Food For Ragdoll Kittens
Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Kitten
- Wet/canned food for kittens.
- Well-established brand.
- High in moisture and real animal proteins.
- 105 calories per 3 oz can.
- Grain, gluten, wheat, corn, and soy free.
- Easy to digest.
This is a high-quality salmon canned kitten-specific formula from Blue Buffalo. This recipe does not use any preservatives, artificial flavors, corn, wheat, or soy. Additionally, it is not a recipe dripping with gravy, so your cat is getting high-quality animal protein, plenty of moisture, and no fillers.
The first ingredients of this recipe are salmon, chicken, fish broth, and chicken liver. there are no unnecessary fillers or high plant material content. This is a grain-free recipe and provides kittens with those essential animal proteins, vitamins, and minerals they need for proper development. This chow tastes great and is easy for kittens to digest. The high moisture content is helpful for Ragdoll kittens, as the breed is prone to many digestive and urinary tract conditions.
We love that this kitten chow uses real salmon as the first ingredient. We also appreciate the recipe is protein-heavy and not full of fillers like corn or wheat gluten. Blue Buffalo also makes a chicken kitten formula which is available in a variety pack with salmon. 105 calories per 3 oz can. 78% moisture, 10.5% crude protein, 7% crude fat, and 1.5% crude fiber.
Wellness Core Natural Kitten
- Canned kitten formula.
- High protein recipe.
- Six named animal proteins.
- 199 calories per 3 oz can.
- High in moisture.
- Supports urinary health.
This is a grain, corn, and soy-free recipe developed specifically to support the needs of growing kittens. The protein-rich recipe is perfect for the Ragdoll. Protein comes from real, named animal sources, and there are no added flavors, preservatives, carrageenan, wheat, wheat gluten, corn, soy, or artificial colors.
This kitten recipe is well-balanced with plenty of moisture. The recipe uses turkey, chicken liver, turkey broth, chicken, chicken meal, herring, and fish oil. Additionally, the recipe contains cranberries which provide extra support for urinary tract health, something very important to the Ragdoll breed. This kitten recipe is developed specifically to provide felines, especially growing kittens, with plenty of moisture while supporting hydration and digestion and providing a variety of flavors and textures.
We love that this brand lists the first six ingredients as named real animal protein sources. This choice is high in protein, moisture, and flavor and provides exactly what a Ragdoll kitten needs. In addition, it’s very low in fiber, making it very easy to digest. The recipe offers 12% crude protein, 7.5% crude fat, 1% crude fiber, and 78% moisture. Offers 199 calories per 3 oz can.
Best For Adults & All Ages
I And Love And You Naked Essentials
- Limited ingredient, dry, grain-free kibble.
- For all ages.
- Chicken, chicken meal, turkey, duck, and dried egg.
- Digestive formulas and limited ingredient formulas are also available.
- 34% protein.
- 100% recyclable packaging.
I and Love and You Naked Essential Chicken & Duck is a limited-ingredient, dry, grain-free kibble formulated for all ages. This recipe uses chicken, chicken meal, Turkey, duck, and dried egg. Digestive and limited ingredient formulas are also available. The company highly focuses on sustainability and pet health. They use sustainable practices throughout manufacturing, including 100% recyclable packaging.
We like I and Love and You for a variety of reasons, one being that they use both novel and traditional proteins in their recipes. This dry kibble recipe contains 34% protein, which is super important for the Ragdoll. This is best used in combination with high-moisture wet food. We also appreciate the commitment to sustainability and natural-based pet care products.
We love the fact that this is high-quality kibble made for all ages. The company also makes a limited-ingredient dry kibble made with salmon and sweet potato for kitties with sensitive stomachs and food allergies. Kibble is made in the United States in USDA-inspected facilities.
Ziwi Peak Air Dried
- Gently air-dried.
- Raw food alternative.
- 96% animal ingredients.
- Supports digestion and healthy weight.
- Limited ingredients.
- Single protein options are available.
Ziwi Peak Air Dried is a high-protein, nutrient-dense, air-dried kibble. This recipe uses authentic whole-prey ratios and features 96% wild-caught mackerel and free-range lamb. The recipe includes organs and bones as well as New Zealand green mussels. These recipes are high protein, grain-free, and low carb. They use no fillers like grains, potatoes, or peas, making this a perfect choice for sensitive stomachs. The recipe includes a 10% superfood boost made up of holistic ingredients that support digestion, healthy weight, reduced shedding, joint health, and heart and brain development.
This air-dried kibble can be used as a meal topper or a complete meal for all life stages. This is suitable for kittens to seniors and can be used with indoor and outdoor kitties. The air-drying process creates a ready-to-serve raw alternative.
We love the high quality and holistic approach of this kibble. This nutrient-dense formula from limited ingredients supports a cat’s whole health. A very tasty and healthy option for a Raggy. Make sure to feed along with moisture-rich wet food.
Stella & Chewy's Freeze-Dried
- Freeze-dried raw food.
- Fresh, high-quality animal proteins.
- For kittens and adults.
- Multiple flavors include chicken, duck, goose, turkey, salmon, cod, and rabbit.
- No preservatives, fillers, or artificial ingredients.
- Rehydrate and serve.
Stella & Chewy’s has developed freeze-dried raw cat food using top-quality ingredients that are both delicious and nutritious. The food is made with 98% cage-free chicken and is produced in small batches, ensuring that each serving is of high quality. Freeze-dried chow is free of added hormones, antibiotics, fillers, grains, gluten, and artificial ingredients. It is available in six flavors: chicken, duck, turkey, wild-caught salmon, cod, and rabbit.
Freeze-drying preserves fresh raw food’s taste, texture, and nutritional value. Before serving, rehydrate with cool water. Once rehydrated, this kitty chow is as fresh and nutritious as a raw diet. The food is full of nutrients, tasty, and 100% nutritionally balanced.
We love that this food can be rehydrated and served, offering both the moisture and high-quality animal protein content that felines need. This food uses premium raw ingredients and is still very affordable, making it a great addition to your Ragdoll’s diet.
TIKI PETS Cat Aloha Friends
- Grain-free, low carbohydrate recipe.
- For all ages.
- Pumpkin to aid in digestion.
- 52 calories per can.
- High moisture, 84%.
- Real animal protein.
TIKI PETS Cat Aloha Friends offers complete and balanced nutrition suitable for both adults and kittens. This is a low carbohydrate, nutrient-rich cat food that holds high moisture content. Several unusual recipes are available, including tuna and pumpkin, tuna, calamari and pumpkin, tuna, shrimp and pumpkin, tuna, tilapia, and pumpkin, as well as tuna, whitefish, and pumpkin. We appreciate the variety of proteins as well as pumpkin as a gentle source of fiber that aids in nutrition.
This cat food is hand-packed, grain-free, and uses real fish and real meat ingredients. It is also low in carbohydrates and high in moisture content, two very important things to look out for with the Ragdoll cat.
We love the low fiber content of this food, at just 5%. The recipe boasts 11% crude protein and 1.8% crude fat. It has 84% moisture and boasts 52 calories per can.
Ragdolls are a beloved feline breed that needs top-quality, well-balanced nutrition from their very first day of life. These are larger kitties that can grow and mature longer than some other breeds. Because a Ragdoll breed is susceptible to digestive and urinary tract issues, their nutrition is key to lifelong health. Raggies do well on a mix of dry and wet kibble. However, they will need to eat more wet than dry food. Ensuring they have foods high in real animal proteins and high moisture content is very important in promoting lifelong health and preventing painful and disruptive urinary tract and digestive issues.
Owners with concerns about their cat’s nutrition or suspect that they are not having their dietary needs met should consult with their veterinarian or a pet nutrition specialist before making any drastic changes. If you can afford it, sticking with wet and fresh foods is a safe choice for the Ragdoll. Remember that though this breed grows quite large, they should not overeat as they will become overweight, which can lead to obesity, diabetes, heart health issues, and more. Cats who have special digestive needs and need special foods to support the urinary tract, digestive health, hairballs, or weight control should also discuss making this switch first with your veterinarian.
Sharing your life with a cat like the Ragdoll is both a wonderful privilege and a huge responsibility. Providing your Raggy with the very best nutrition from the day they come home is very important. Pay close attention to your pet, if they like their food, and if they are having trouble digesting. Make sure always to feed your pet age-appropriate formulas, and stay away from foods meant for human consumption.