Hygiene

Do Ragdoll Cats Shed?

Ragdoll cats are known for their long, gorgeous, colorpoint coats. They are also a breed that sheds. Learn more about how much Ragdoll cats shed, and how to care for their luxurious coats.

Danielle DeGroot

Last Updated: July 6, 2022 | 10 min read

Ragdoll Cat looking at a pile of its own cat fur brushed after using a comb specialized for combing a cat fur

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Cats have different lengths, colors, and textures of coats. Many of them shed. Shedding can be a big issue for pet owners, especially because it gets everywhere. Cat hair can trigger allergies in humans and is unsightly when it is all over your clothing. Learning how to manage cat shedding is something every kitty owner will need to know. The amount felines shed can vary by breed. Learn more about the extremely popular Ragdoll cat breed, how much Ragdoll cats shed, and what owners can do about it.

Ragdoll Cats

Ragdoll cats are a breed with blue eyes, a colorpoint (dark points, light coat) coat, and long silky hair. The breed started in 1963 when a California cat breeder matched a long hair white housecat with other male cats. The cats involved in beginning this breed were rescues or pets, and they were chosen specially for their personalities and appearance. The name Ragdoll comes from those early breeder cats’ behavior traits of going limp and flopping in their owner’s arms.

Ragdolls are big and can reach 20 pounds. They live for 13 to 18 years and get along with people of all ages. They make lovely lap cats and companions. Ragdolls are currently listed as the most popular cat breed in the world. These easy-going, friendly kitties are gentle giants who tolerate other cats and dogs. Ragdoll cats are not difficult to care for. However, they do have special needs when grooming.

These elegant felines have gorgeous white or light-colored coats with colorpoint markings. Ragdoll’s soft, flaxen coats can be either long or semi-longhaired. Their coat patterns can come in colorpoint, bi-color, Van, and mitted. Colors include cream, chocolate, red, seal, blue, lilac, orange, beige, silver, and tan. There are also Lynx and tortoiseshell variations of this popular feline breed.

One big question about Ragdolls is if they shed and what to do about it. We decided to look further into how much they shed and see what cat owners can do about it.

How Much Do Ragdoll Cats Shed?

A beautiful cute couple of blue bicolor Ragdoll purebreed cats on a white background.
Ragdolls are a lower-shedding feline breed since they do not have an undercoat.

Ragdolls have sometimes been called hypoallergenic cat; however, that is not the case. The term low shedding is a little misleading because Ragdoll cats do indeed shed, but they do not shed as much as some other long-haired cat breeds. However, how much an individual cat will shed depends on several factors.

Ragdoll cats have thick coats and will shed. Some will shed more than others for several reasons.

Factors That Affect Ragdoll Cats Shedding

Season

Ragdoll cats will fill in their coats in colder months and places that have colder climates. When warmer temperatures move in, they will shed this heavier coat. Expect more shedding in the springtime or earlier summer. Felines can get seasonal allergies, which will cause them to shed more.

Location

The geographical location where a kitty lives will play a role in how often they shed. Warmer climates will cause ragdolls to shed more than colder climates. Places with a milder climate year-round may cause lighter shedding year-round. Colder climates mean less shedding. Cats with less access to sunlight will shed more.

Diet

Diet and nutrition play a significant role in your cat’s overall health and the health of his coat. Poor nutrition means poor coat health. Cats who eat a lower protein diet will shed more. Felines with a high nutrient diet with healthy fats, omega-3, and omega-6 fatty acids, have less shedding. Talk to your veterinarian to learn more about your Ragdoll’s nutritional needs. He will need a high-quality diet but needs to watch out for overeating. Felines with GI issues, like indigestion, may also start to shed more.

Living Environment

Cats tend to shed when anxious or under stress. A highly stressful home environment will lead to increased shedding. This is true for Ragdoll cats and any other breed with short or long hair. They can shed extra when startled, scared, worried, etc. Cats shedding when they get stressed is a natural physiologic response when stimulated by stress, being frightened, or being in an uncomfortable situation.

Health

Your feline’s health will affect the health of their coat, including shedding. Balanced nutrition, good hydration, brushing, and stress levels will impact how much your Ragdoll cat sheds. Pay close attention to hydration. Cats are known for not drinking enough water. They like to play in it but sometimes neglect to drink enough. A dehydrated kitty may start to shed more and appear in poor health.

Excessive Licking

A feline that is excessively licking may lose hair. This is a big problem because your cat may start having more hairballs. If he is licking more at one specific spot, it is best to have him examined by a vet. He could have injury, infection, or other issues causing him to lick too much in one area.

Genetics

Shedding in housecats is also influenced by genetics. Some breeds are simply prone to more shedding. Your Ragdoll may have a higher shedding breed’s genetics in their bloodline.

Grooming Schedule

Long-haired cats need to be brushed regularly. Ideally, Ragdoll’s should be brushed every day. How often your kitty is brushed will factor into how often they shed. Grooming and regular brushing keep the fur from matting.

Ragdoll Shedding Season

Woman combing ragdoll cat on white background. Removing old wool
Ragdolls shed a bit throughout the year but have two seasons where shedding tends to be more significant.

These two times of year coincide with when seasons are changing. In the springtime, cats will shed their heavy winter coats. For Ragdolls, this is the biggest shed they will have all year. As the seasons change again in the fall, they will shed again to allow for their winter coats to fill in.

How Often Should You Brush A Ragdoll Cat?

Ragdoll cats need to be brushed very often. If you can brush him daily, that is best. Brushing at least once a week, with monthly grooming, including bathing, is needed at a minimum to keep your Ragdoll cat in good shape. Twice a week brushing is even better. Every day or every other day is best. Regular brushing prevents mats, helps remove dead hair and skin, and helps reduce shedding. This keeps your kitty healthy and prevents his hair from getting all over your clothing, furniture, guests, etc.

Make your grooming time with your cat an enjoyable bonding experience. Along with keeping his coat healthy and reducing shedding, this valuable time strengthens the bond the two of you have. You want this grooming time to be relaxing and something he looks forward to because he needs grooming so much. Brushing sessions should last about twenty minutes.

Best Brush For Ragdoll Cats

Greyhound Comb
Our Rating

Best Overall

Greyhound Comb

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itPlus
Our Rating

Best Slicker Brush

itPlus

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Pet Neat
Our Rating

Best Deshedding Tool

Pet Neat

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Many groomers recommend the stainless steel “Greyhound” comb. Brush all the way carefully through the fur to the skin, but not the kitty’s skin itself. Do not stop at just brushing through the top layer of fur. Ragdolls respond well to a brushing routine. A pin brush and a slicker brush are also recommended. You will want a variety of brushes to keep his coat in the best condition. He may enjoy a softer bristle brush as a follow-up to a pin or slicker brush.

Some experts recommend a massager that also helps groom your cat and a variety of combs. Fine toothed combs are needed, as Ragdolls have very fine hair that can get tangled.

A de-shedding tool may greatly benefit keeping your Ragdoll cat’s coat in tip-top shape. These tools work gently to remove excess hair, reducing shedding.

Other Reasons For Losing Hair

Poor Health & Disease

Different feline diseases and health conditions can affect coat health, including causing excessive shedding. Skin Infections can be painful and accelerate shedding. These can be bacterial or fungal.

Anxiety And Stress

Your kitty can be stressed out for various reasons. If you have children, other pets, or a highly trafficked home, cats may be startled and frightened easily. Felines can have a tough time adapting to change, so if you have a high-strung cat, try and keep his routine as regular and calm as possible.

Dehydration

Dehydration is extremely dangerous for cats. It affects more than coat health; a cat will get severely ill if he gets too dehydrated. Felines tend not to be particularly good at always drinking enough water. They are hard to control, and while they often hang out near water bowls, they may not drink enough.

Ringworm

Though often thought of as just a kitten disease, ringworm can affect cats of all ages and breeds. Excessive shedding is a symptom of ringworm, along with the release of dander, broken hairs, round patches of hair loss, red bumps, and scabs.

Obesity

An obese Ragdoll cat will have several health issues, including the possibility of shedding more than usual. Cats that are obese or overweight have trouble grooming themselves, which can cause excess shedding. If he cannot groom himself and remove dead skin and dead hair himself, his coat can become brittle. Overweight felines can also be more susceptible to mats, which can be painful and quite hard to remove. Proper management of your cat’s nutrition and exercise is essential to prevent him from becoming overweight.

Pregnancy

When felines get pregnant, it can be very physically demanding. Their bodies will use the nutrients needed to keep cats healthy to support the litter. This affects the health of the cat’s coat, causing excessive shedding. For pregnant Ragdoll cats, shedding can happen any time of year, regardless of climate, temperature, or season.

Old Age

The health of senior cats comes with many different special needs. Aging is a natural process for cats. However, they will need some special care to stay healthy as long as they are with us. As felines age, their skin loses elasticity, contributing to hair loss. Keeping them well fed, hydrated, and comfortable is vital. Consult your veterinarian to learn more about supplements, vitamins, and proper nutrition for aging cats. As they age, brushing is essential to reduce shedding and prevent hairballs.

Fleas

Fleas can cause excessive shedding in Ragdoll cats. Mites, ticks, and lice can also get into your cat’s fur and cause discomfort and shedding. Make sure to keep your cat treated for fleas, ticks, mites, etc. Talk to your veterinarian about how to best prevent these pests from finding their way to your pets. Additionally, you should inspect your home and your cat’s environment for pests if you find these on your kitty.

Many other medical conditions can affect cats that may cause excessive shedding. These include kidney disease, cancer, fungal infections, liver conditions, adrenal issues, hypothyroidism, etc. Please always consult with your pet’s medical care team if you are concerned about excess shedding or disease.

How To Control Shedding In Ragdoll Cats

Young woman with ragdoll cat on couch.
Ragdoll cats are a beautiful, immensely popular breed.

While there is no way to completely control the amount of shedding your Ragdoll cat has, you can certainly take some steps to reduce it. Remember, your kitty is going to shed regularly. This is normal.

  • Keep your home at an ideal temperature for your kitty. Ragdoll cats fare best in a mild climate, and a warm house will mean more shedding. Regulate your Ragdoll’s low body temperature low, and be careful of him overheating.
  • Warm baths, using a mild, feline-safe shampoo. Never use human products on your cat. Consult with your vet or groomer to learn what products are safe for cats. Once a month bathing will help your Ragdoll’s coat clean and vibrant and help remove excess hair and help decrease shedding. If you own a Ragdoll, getting him used to bathing at a young age may be advisable to help with this part of his care. Consider professional grooming every few months to help keep his coat healthy. Groomers can often have better luck with bathing cats and offering product recommendations.
  • Clean the floor and furniture, keeping them free of crumbs and food snacks. This discourages pests and keeps your cat’s digestive tract free of human foods, which can cause gastric issues.
  • Place fresh water out in multiple places. Also, offer your kitty wet food periodically to make sure he is getting enough moisture.
  • Maintain a clean and fresh litter box.

How To Keep Your Home Clean

Even if you stay on top of your cat’s shedding, you’re bound to have cat hair around your house that needs cleaning up. We have lots of experience in this department. Depending on your cleaning preferences, you may find one or all products suitable for your home.

Robot Vacuum

If you want the cleaning done for you, then we recommend the Shark IQ Robot Self-Empty XL. This self-cleaning robot vacuum can map out your home, so you can send it to a specific area that needs cleaning. You can also set “no-go zones” for areas around your cat’s food and water bowls to ensure the vacuum doesn’t mess with those areas. The brushroll removes pet hair, so there is no hair wrap, and the self-emptying base holds up to 45 days of cat hair, dirt, and debris.

Cordless Vacuum

Bissell’s ICONpet Edge vacuum is perfect for general vacuuming and getting those hard-to-reach areas like windowsills, room corners, underneath furniture, etc. It’s cordless, so it’s easy to grab and go. It includes several attachments to help clean up the cat hair on your stairs, hardwood floors, and everywhere in between.

Air Purifier

Filtrete’s air purifier captures 99.97% of airborne particles, including pet odors and cat hair. This air purifier can help clean the air in a room up to 250 square feet in size. It notifies you when the filter needs changing to ensure optimal performance. You can adjust the fan speed, set a timer, and dim the control panel lights from the soft-touch display. If you notice your home has a pet odor, this will help eliminate that fast.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I stop my Ragdoll from shedding?

This is a common question. The answer is simple. There is no way to stop a Ragdoll cat from shedding. It is simply part of having a cat. Felines regularly shed, some more than others. How much Ragdoll cats shed can vary. They shed less than some other long-haired breeds. Every cat is different. You can take care of your cat’s coat, brush him every day, and that will help reduce shedding.

What is excessive shedding?

Excessive shedding is different for every cat. If you notice more fur loss than usual or feel that a large amount of hair comes off every time you brush, that may be excessive. If your cat sheds a lot every time they get startled or leaves piles of hair everywhere all the time, this is excessive.

Does shaving a cat stop shedding?

Shaving a housecat may stop shedding temporarily. However, once his coat grows back in, he will start to shed again. Consider looking into a hairless or no shed breed of a cat if shedding is a big concern.

Final Thoughts

Ragdolls make for excellent kitty companions. However, these flaxen felines require a high level of care when keeping their fluffy, colorpoint coats in top condition. Expect to brush your cat every day and give regular baths to keep his coat in top condition.

As a cat owner, it is a privilege to care for these creatures. Our responsibility is to make sure he has everything needed to stay healthy. Ragdoll cats are a long-haired breed that does shed, though they shed less than some other breeds. How much Ragdoll cats shed depends on many factors in the cat’s life. Shedding is normal for this breed, especially when the seasons change. There is a lot a pet owner can do to help control shedding. Always consult with your veterinarian if you are concerned about excessive shedding in your Ragdoll cat.

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