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Behavior Unbecoming of a Ragdoll

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hi Ragdoll Lovers,
I just got my first ragdoll in November and he is the sweetest thing. But as he gets older, it seems like he becomes less of a ragdoll and more of a cat...I know that sounds like an oxymoron.

To give you an example, here are some behaviors that Teddy exhibits that are not ragdoll-like.
- Loud and constant meows. Everytime he sees me getting his food, he will start meowing like crazy. Or if he's in the car, he will meow nonstop. I thought ragdolls were not very vocal...
- Mean face and paw ready to swat. Now that he is bigger than my other cat, he will jump on her and will not let go even though she is screaming bloody murder. I thought ragdolls were non-agressive...
- Stiff legs while being held. He used to let me hold him like a baby with his belly up but lately he has been pushing off with his legs and will jump out of my arms the minute he has a chance. I thought ragdolls go limp when held...
- Shedding and matted fur. It seemed like he did not shed for the first month I had him but now he's a fur monster. I even found a piece of matted fur the other week. I thought ragdolls did not get mats or shed...
- Always hanging out by himself. Unless you have a toy or something interesting to play with, he would rather hang out by himself and not next to you. I thought ragdolls like to follow you around everywhere...

If I didn't have a certificate, I wouldn't think this guy was a ragdoll. Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining but just thought it is funny how no matter what the breed, a cat will still be a cat.

Now that you know all about Teddy Bear McFurry, here are some pics to enjoy.

This is the innocent baby at 3 months when I first got him:


His favorite sleeping spot:


Someone made a big mess:


New haircut:
post #2 of 16
How old is he now? Is he neutered? He may be just into the bratty teenager stage of life.

Charlie's kinda that way now - really has been picking on Ling a lot more then normal. He's almost 10 months old

Hopefully things will improve soon and he will be back to his normal self. Then again, you might have just gotten the "exception" of the breed
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
He is 10 months, too. And neutered. Definitely in the bratty teenage years...full of energy and getting into everything. But you gotta love it!

Yeah, hopefully when he becomes an adult he will go back to being floppy and docile like a ragdoll should be
post #4 of 16
Ragdolls does act like a cat.. because they are one. Mine acts like a *normal* cat. But I wouldn't trade him for anything. I think it's alot of HYPE how people make them seem puppy like, if you want one to act like a puppy then get a puppy IMO. And they shed like all cats do, thats just another hype thing. If you want on that doesn't shed then get one of the hairless kind. I can't beleive you had your shaved! No way on earth I would do that all it take is brushing twice a week!
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyFirstRagdoll View Post
Ragdolls does act like a cat.. because they are one. Mine acts like a *normal* cat. But I wouldn't trade him for anything. I think it's alot of HYPE how people make them seem puppy like, if you want one to act like a puppy then get a puppy IMO. And they shed like all cats do, thats just another hype thing. If you want on that doesn't shed then get one of the hairless kind. I can't beleive you had your shaved! No way on earth I would do that all it take is brushing twice a week!
Please don't get me wrong...I was not complaining. I love my ragdoll and wouldn't trade him either. I just thought it was funny how he becomes more of a "normal" cat as he's getting older.

Can you elaborate on why shaving is bad? I don't know if I'm missing something here. The reason I gave him a haircut is because he seemed to be hot and always laying on the tile, in the sinks or on top of tables. Plus I found a mat in his fur even though I try to brush him everyday. He just had so much fur and didn't really seem to be that diligent about grooming.
post #6 of 16
I am sure he will get the more "ragdoll behaviour" as he gets older, he is young and looks like a devil in his pictures! What a doll! You do have to remember that ragdolls are known to have certain behaviours and are more apt to get them, but all cats are indiviuals and all will act different! None are garanteed to have the floppiness to them, they can, but it isn't a certainy.
I have shaved mine before too, I like the lion cut, with the fluffy head they are by no means a non shedding or non matting cat, with minimum grooming it can be kept up. I still shave them in the summer, I don't think they like it, but it keeps them cool, I think. Give him time, but be prepared for him to be an indiviual and may not be what you have heard and expect of a ragdoll, he may just not like to flop when he is held, but he will still be the best cat (I am biast! I can't help it, I love ragdolls!!!)
post #7 of 16
Thanks for sharing the pictures! He's adorable. . . I'm sure he'll settle down once all the kitten is grown out of him!
post #8 of 16
My ragdoll went through a "bratty" stage too. Unfortunately for me, it lasted a few years lol! As he got older he started to act more ragdoll like. Now he is a huge love bug. He also went through a stage where he would hold himself stiff. Now he is floppy when I pick him up. As far as shaving your cat, I really don't see what the big deal is. We always brushed ours, but he still dropped clumps everywhere, and acted like he was hot in the summer. We get that same exact lion cut done on our ragdoll and he LOVES it. He always struts around the house like he's hot stuff! Plus, it feels SOOOO soft! My Mom gets his hair cut every few months or so. She doesn't really like his hair being short in the winter because she is afraid that he will get cold. I don't know why she worries about that, since she also has a cornish rex and they are BOTH indoor cats lol. BTW, I love the photos of your baby!
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
I am so glad to hear that the floppiness may come back. He used to let me hold him like a baby with his belly up. It was the cutest thing!

Thanks Bijou's Mom and celestialrags for your comments regarding the lion cut. I was starting to think I did something wrong... I have to admit I was a little hesitant about doing it but he has such a calm and tolerant demeanor, I knew he would not be stressed by the process. He does seem to enjoy the cut but it took him about a day to get used to it. I think it turned out very nice and he looks so cute strutting around the house now.
post #10 of 16
I think in some aspects you "may" have got the exception to the breed, but whoever told you a Ragdoll doesn't shed...lied. Ragdolls do shed, just like every animal with hair or fur. They do shed much more minimal than other long hair breeds, and the shedding seems to be more clumps than individual hairs everywhere. Additionally, the shedding season is here for all of our Ragdolls, they are seasonal shedders, and can look like 2 different cats, shorter coat in warmer climates, with a longer coat and ruff in colder months. I don't think shaving is wrong, but I wouldn't think it would make the cat very happy. When I am posed with questions about Ragdoll grooming, and especially when it is posed in this season, I always say, it is time to get out the brush and combo comb and get the dead hair off, the zoom groom also is a wonderful tool. The food we feed our cats can also make a huge difference in a cats coat as well.
As far as temperament, it has been my experience that Ragdoll do get more calm and docile with age, but 10 months is still a kitten age, and he is testing the limits.
They also do enjoy play, and love playing with dogs and cats, while the behavior may seem aggressive, but they may just be playing and screaming, (kind of like my 7 and 9 year old, they can be screaming as if someone is hurt, you walk in a pantic, and they look up with angelic faces, saying "we were just playing". Hopefully this is what you are seeing. There isn't any cat that "should" be aggressive as a trait, so while the trait for a Ragdoll is more laidback than some other breeds, it really does seem to come with age. We have a slow maturing breed, and 10 months is still very much a kitten, IMO.
He may be "busy", and not wanting picked up as much right now, did this behavior change after shaving? Please don't think I think it is wrong, I just remember the first time I shaved my hairy dog, he hated me, and thought the new "touch" of a hand was so strange. Try picking him up for short periods of time and give him a special treat, make the time of picking him longer each time, giving him praise for being a big boy, and then again a treat. Make him enjoy and associate praise and treats with being picked up and loved on. He sounds like he is just active, and more like a kid, who is too busy to stop and give his Mom a hug.
Since he did have more of what you feel is/was the Ragdoll temperament displayed as a younger kitten, I feel you should see his behavior return to normal. Has he experienced any dietary changes? The reason I ask this is I don't give sugar or caffiene, ect to my kids, but there have been times at birthdays or grandparents, that will give them this special treat, and the difference in my kids are night and day. They could show hyperactivity, when they are not A.D.D., and don't display this behavior unless given certain foods, and certain food dyes. So, I thought I would mention and ask if there has been a dietary change.
Your last thing you mentioned was he was beginning to spend more time on his own, and less with you, so I did want to mention again that try perking him up with a treat and have him associate that with some bonding time. Also, get some toys to interact with him, such as a wand and feather, play with him, let him get some energy out playing and interacting with you and pause every few minutes and give him some love and attention, and then let him play again.
If you continue seeing a behavior that just doesn't seem like him, you may ask your vet for suggestions, but from what I gather, he is just getting into his awkward stage of pushing limits, our first Ragdoll pet, did the same thing, he is 7 now, and a sack of potatoes, lover of all animals and people and his name could be flopsey, as I almost always find him upside down belly up, showing his white stripe as if begging for a belly rub, he calmed down around age 2, but when he turned 4, he became the cat we can say, none of our family could part with him, but we could say that about all of them.

I will agree with MyFirstRagdoll, in saying Ragdolls have been hyped up, to be non-cat like, there is so many myths, and so many that continue spreading these myths, and people can be dissapointed. However, they do display dog like traits, such as following from room to room, coming when called, and very trainable to voice commands, however, I think that can be any cat, but Ragdolls are bred to have this trait show up more. I have had people come over to visit our cats, and we have different reactions, most are good, but we have had some who came over expecting a mythical creature when browsing for a kitten, they had been told, that if a Ragdoll was picked up, it would go limp, this isn't true, they may relax if they are comfortable with who is holding them, but I have seen moggies who relax when held, if they are comfortable with who is holding them. The people expected no shedding at all, so imagine their amazement when fur got on them after holding a cat, they were told the ca wouldn't shed, and that they wouldn't have allergies to a Ragdoll again, all untrue.
As a breeder, most every breeder strives for a certain temperament within that breed, and certainly we can say Ragdolls do display certain wonderful traits as a breed, but sometimes these traits get built up a bit much, making a Ragdoll seem less than a cat, and more like an amazing myth. I love the Ragdoll breed, I am a little biased, but I want people to understand if they are thinking about a Ragdoll, still expect to get a "cat", shedding hair, indepent, stubborn, playful, and at time solitary.
I also forgot you mentioned Ragdolls are not "talkers", you know I keep hearing that too, and from many, but I have to say I have more talkers than non-talkers. I have only been around one OS Siamese, and I would say some of our Ragdolls talk just as much. They carry on full conversations, they know certain cabinets have the treats, so sometimes our oldest neutered boy will be yelling at us, while pawing the cabinet, allowing it to open a bit and slam shut, and when we come in there, he talks and talks and talks, just waiting for his treat. He has now held a meeting with some of the other cats in the house, and have told them all of this place of treats, and what you must do in order to get the treats, so we now have many treat and food talkers. I would say the talking will continue, and since my oldest is 7 and still very much a talker, I would say your kitty will continue. Many of our Ragdolls have a quiet chirpy meow, so maybe that is what they meant by quiet talkers, but I can say for a fact more than not I see Ragdolls, unrelated ragdolls, and they seem to be very much a talkative breed, but maybe I am breeding an exception.
I think there are many things you can try to bring out the lovebug he once was, please let us know if you see some improvement in his behavior.
Best Wishes.
post #11 of 16
I don't have anything usefull to add. I just wanted to say that she's adorable! Oh, and I LOVE the lion cut... many cats even enjoy having their fur cut like that (I'm thinking of Bella713's Sev here). I've often thought getting Wickett a lion cut but he doesn't act like he's hot a lot and he stresses very easily.
post #12 of 16
It is very interesting to read your experiences...I just picked up my first
Ragdoll from Celestialrags on Friday and I posted a comment in furpictures about what a big mouth he is!What a set of lungs...but I have noticed since he is at home, that he cries when he realizes he is alone. I don't see traits of him wanting to be in my arms, but he definately wants to know where I am - and as I move around the house, he follows me around. I will be interested to see how he treats Mollie and Sophie as he gets older, but right now, at three months, he is respectful, but not fearful of them. As for the lion cut - your baby looks adorable -and if your cat is more comfortabler in the warm weather, than I think you are doing the right thing!
PS you have a beautiul Raggie!
post #13 of 16
That's interesting behavior...That goes against everything I've read about a Ragdoll's disposition. ~

My Renji's still a young ragdoll, eleven weeks, so he hasn't hit that stage yet...I hope he never does x3. He's like my shadow, trailing me, wanting attention, etc. ~

I agree with the others; he's just going through a stage. x3 ~Kiba
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks to all for the nice replies. I would just like to reiterate that I have no regrets about my ragdoll. He is a sweetheart and I love him dearly, even if he is a bratty teenager right now.

Special thanks to FamilytimeRags for taking the time to share your experience on ragdolls. Especially the part about the talking because it seemed that this was abnormal. Sometimes I just think that he likes to talk for fun. He doesn't even cry for food until after he sees me in the frige to get it out...it's as if he's saying I was not fixing it fast enough. I kind of forgot about using treats to lure him into my arms because my first cat, Whiskers, never responded to treats. But I'm sure they will work on Teddy because he is a little piggy boy and will eat anything. His favorite toy right now is the hot pink feather fan that you see Whiskers with in my sig. I got that at a party last weekend and pulled out one of the feathers and tied it to a fishing toy. Boy is he getting some exercise. I never buy toys from the pet store anymore because his favorite toys are the random things around the house like plastic forks, tissue paper, packing styrofoam, bottle caps, etc...I tell everyone if they see anything that looks like trash on the floor, it's not trash, it's Teddy's toy.

I do hope that my post will help dispell the "myths" out there. I learned these myths from the info I read about ragdolls on the internet. But I am by no means disappointed with my raggy.
post #15 of 16
I think breeders can also specialize in these qualities, it is so important to always buy a cat from a good breeder, get to know them and the cattery before you buy, some people only visit a few times sometimes the kittens go to quickly and you want to grab it while you can, but always ask are they being pushed out the door or are they in high demand. If they are in high demand AND they have great temperament they will be sold for way more money. The breeder will know their temperaments. and if you visit you will know their temperaments.
Was your cat sold as show or pet? And you did get papers? Not that it really matters.
I was talking to a few breeders I know, and they said there are people out there who will not give you the correct papers for true ancestry. So you always have to be aware. But I’m glad you love your kitty that is the most important thing.
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miyu View Post
I think breeders can also specialize in these qualities, it is so important to always buy a cat from a good breeder, get to know them and the cattery before you buy, some people only visit a few times sometimes the kittens go to quickly and you want to grab it while you can, but always ask are they being pushed out the door or are they in high demand. If they are in high demand AND they have great temperament they will be sold for way more money. The breeder will know their temperaments. and if you visit you will know their temperaments.
Was your cat sold as show or pet? And you did get papers? Not that it really matters.
I was talking to a few breeders I know, and they said there are people out there who will not give you the correct papers for true ancestry. So you always have to be aware. But I’m glad you love your kitty that is the most important thing.
This is a good point, there are good and bad breeders in every breed, and I have met a few of my own who lied about ancestry with full knowledge, it is best to do as much research on one's chosen breed, so that a pet owner can be involved with certain questions regarding health, testing, and of course temperament.
As a breeder, one thing maybe you can all empathize with, is the one's looking for a certain temperament, and you want to match the person up with the kitten you feel is best, but the pet adopter wants certain color/pattern/gender, and while sometimes it is can be done, it is hard for the breeder to help choose temperament when they want a certain color or pattern.
It does sound it the original posters message, that this seems to be a fairly normal Ragdoll, I haven't really met many Ragdolls that are "quiet", I know that is what many say, but ours do talk, and carry on conversations, and will let you know when they want attention or food by either getting up in your face, winding around legs, or talking. I would be concerned more with temperament, but while Ragdolls are laid back, they are a cat, they like to play, it seems as though he may just be playing with the other cat, although it may be rougher than what one would like to see in a Ragdoll. The OP would have to make the decision of whether he is just being playful or showing aggression towards the other cat.
In my "short" experience with Ragdolls, there seem to be the ones who are very much lap cats, who are very much in your face for attention, and then there are the ones who are much more happy to lay next to their person. I have seen many who could be carried cradled all day long and sleep, and some that if you placed in a cradle position would flip over. I do think a lot has to do with socialization and training as a kitten. I have noticed that our some of our larger Ragdolls enjoy being carried by us, but not our kids, as they have got to a weight that the kids just are not able to support their whole body comfortably.
I love the Ragdoll for many of the traits that they are known for, but it does seem some breeders, will "hype" up these traits and it raises a pet owners expectations of the breed, making the breed seem more mythical than what it is, which is a cat.
Of course, being a breeder we hear it all, some one will call telling us they have horrible allergies and they read that Ragdolls are hypoallergenic. There is NO truth is this statement. I have had visitors who were holding one of our most loving Ragdolls, and he shed a clump, as Ragdolls will typically shed a clump of hair, and they were honestly shocked, saying the last breeder they spoke with said this breed did not shed, so while the are minimal shedders compared to a Himalayan, but these cats shed, they shed on a daily, weekly, monthly basis, but it is much more prevalent with the season.
Then we have the real winners who call us, and these are the ones who make me wonder, as well as those who have it on the internet, they ask, if the ragdoll has skunk genes, as this was a myth created by the originator of the breed, Anne Baker, who also told that this cat could "not" feel any pain. She demonstrated this once by throwing a Ragdoll against a wall, and the cat came back to her, and hence this myth started, this myth also started with the foundation stray white cat, Josephine was pregnant with yet another litter of moggies, she was not friendly, until hit by a car, and she was nursed back to health by people, and Ann Baker noted that the kittens seemed "different", and thus the rumor started that the future kittens and foundation Ragdolls were somehow genetically changed by the car accident, I could go on and on about the myths Ann Baker and other Ragdoll breeders have either came up with or continued, and I could go on and on about the strange questions that come up, when being asked about the Ragdoll. On forums such as this, I try to play devils advocate, I do like to think we are breeding for the laid back temperament and for the floppy nature, lap cats that they are known for, but I also want others to realize these are still cats with cat natures, they can still hunt, yes, I have had a Ragdoll kill a mouse and a bird. I will admit, I was stunned to about our parakeet, and it was our fault, not the cats, but Booker the Budgie had learned to open his door and come in and out, and at the time we had 2 neutered pet only Ragdolls, we had not became breeders at this time. I was told Ragdolls did not have a "hunting/prey nature", and silly me, I believed it. Booker had been out before, I didn't believe in clipping his wings, so he eventually was allowed to fly around, when we were home, and we had to clip his cage shut at night. This particular day, we only had one child at the time, our 7 year old wasn't born yet, I believe we had a well child check up, and no one remembered to clip Booker's cage, and it was not a scene you want to walk into when you come home. I won't go into details, but it was clear that the cats or cat had a play day with Booker, he did not eat him, only what appears to be playing with him as a cat would do any moving toy. I had grown up with a parakeet, but after Booker passed, we knew we were a cat family, and would never risk the life of another bird or small animal again, when we had cats. I have heard that Ragdolls and Rabbits have lived together nicely, I have not experienced it, so I could not comment if they were always supervised, I do know the rabbit was litter box trained, and also a large breed rabbit, so it would get a bit smaller than the Ragdoll, but not much. Some of the beautiful rabbits we were able to meet at a pet expo, such different large and small breeds.
In the short of all I have wrote, I still find that some of the myths on Ragdolls remain, and some of the traits of the breed have been built up larger than what they should be. They do not go 'limp' when picked up, we have some who will relax, go to sleep cradled, AND I should mention that it is when they choose to allow that..LOL But, just because a Ragdoll is picked up, doesnt mean you won't have a squirmer or one that just in general doesn't like being held and much more prefers being next to the person. Some did think when they saw a kitten, that it when it was picked up, it was just going to "react as if it was dead, and go limp"... Each also has their own personality, some are more relaxed than others, and it also doesnt mean they will just stay like that, if they are ready to get up, they will. I have never had one look and act like they just lacked all muscles, and was just limp, but I do believe we have Ragdolls that are to standard, that show a laid back, docile disposition, that would fit the description of what a Ragdoll CAT, emphasis on the word cat, should be.
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