|Purred: Wed Jan 24, '07 2:41am PST |
|Ok this may sound kind of funny from me a Ragdoll cat rescuer but...Not everyone should own a Ragdoll!
I have my two Ragdoll's and one Ragdoll rescue girl as part of my family at this time (as well as several domestics and one Bengal). I rescue Ragdoll Cats so I have seen the best of them and the worst of them come through my home. And what happens to them when they are not treated like Ragdoll's need to be or as well as any cat should be treated. And what they are like coming from bad breeders!
Some of these cats have had both situation in their short lives bad breeding and bad homes!
Ever since they were promoted as one of Oprah's best things a couple of years ago the number of Ragdoll breeders good and bad has sky rocketed! Now to those wanting only Ragdoll Kittens, or to those wannabe breeders wanting to make money this may sound like a good thing!
How this effected Ragdoll Rescue and Ragdoll Cats was not a "good thing" however.
Breeder's tripled so you can imagine how many more Ragdoll Cats that put out there needing homes! From good breeders and a lot of bad or BYB breeders. First money shown gets a kitten the breeders motto and that means that many just don't care where the cat ends up so they are not always treated well.
The tag line that just about every breeder puts on the web about what a Ragdoll should be like is way to stereotypical. It probably is for most breeds but I know first hand with Ragdoll's.
To say that all Ragdoll's are "all" docile, "all" lap cats. is like saying that because I am Irish I must have red hair and love beer!
Many may be just like that "stereotypical" Ragdoll, like the ones mentioned on every breeders webpage. My two boy's have some obvious Ragdoll traits.
The problem is that if this stereotypical "puppy like" "floppy" "lap cat" "friendly" " easily adjustable" cat turns out to be shy, hates laps and starts peeing on things when your first child is born or you adopt a puppy and don't bother to introduce them properly or even if you do. Gosh people don't want "that cat" it isn't perfect and it turned out to be a "cat" after all! Not a stuffed Ragdoll that a 2 year old could do anything to with out being hurt or wouldn't end up with potty issues when it encountered to many changes. Honesty is the best policy, even if it talks someone out of getting a cat, because it just might mean that "that cat" won't ever end up in a kill shelter or needing rescue and trust me I would love to be put out of business!
People contact me all the time wanting a guaranteed perfect cat. A cheaper than a breeder Ragdoll kitten! If I ever get a purebred Ragdoll kitten in rescue I know it will be from a really bad breeder and probably not be anything like a perfect Ragdoll! They want this color of cat at this age and they want it no matter what even if it won't fit in with their family situation. I am picky way picky most think but ya know I'm not a breeder it is not first come first served I work for the cats not the cash!
I have seen way to many people just have to have a purebred Ragdoll kitten, pay 500-700 (around here) for one, only to want to give it away a year or so later! This disposable society really hurts our furry friends most.
The truth about Ragdoll's as I have learned in my experience with them:
None of the rescued Ragdoll's I've fostered nor are my own Ragdoll's lap cats but that is not to say there aren't some Ragdoll's out there who love laps.
They can be easy going and docile in fact I thought there was something wrong with my two Ragdoll's when I brought them home when they were babies! They didn't climb the curtains they slept a lot and didn't bite and scratch each other when we played! Being docile can be deceiving to many for a long time people though that they did not feel pain like other cats did and that they didn't like heights so it was alright to leave them on a 12 story balcony with out fear!
Myy boy's have been loved and not mistreated since coming to me at 9 and 10 weeks old, un like many of the Rescued Ragdoll's I see. They were however taken away from their moms too young and show some issues from that. They were not properly socialized either. One was sort of a Rescue from a not so good breeder who breeds for money only and he was not in very good shape when I got him both were sick almost died from an upper respiratory infection, the stress of being not properly weaned and old enough to be adopted yet for Ragdoll's I think played a part in that. It is so important that they not leave Mom till they are naturally weaned and at least 12 weeks.
Ragdoll's are so very beautiful oh my gosh so very handsome I have 100's of photo's of my boy's!
Yes I love them all each color and marking even the non perfect ones, but I have also owned and loved domestics cats all my life and know that cats will be cats after all, purebred or not! I find them all beautiful in different way's too!
I also firmly believe that, my domestics because I love them and treat them how they should be treated are very much like my Ragdoll's in that they will follow me around like puppy dogs, most of my cats are laid back because I am.
I get kind of upset when people want a lap cat, or one that will follow them around but not unless it is a Ragdoll, if the domestic I have is exactly what they are looking for it should not matter what it looks like in my opinion. I have met way more domestics that are lap cats than Ragdoll's simply because they are smaller and fit better on a lap! My Ragdoll's don't really care for being held much they are so big you have to be careful to support them well or they may be hurt. I love big cats even my domestics tend to get large. But many people don't stop to think what a large cat entails. Sort of like the difference in scooping the doo doo of a Chi over a St. Bernard! Big stinky piles and mine big guy does not cover eeewww!
My boy's do flop (go limp hence the name Ragdoll) but one didn't flop till he was over 2 years old. Not all Rag's will though.
Neither one will greet people they don't know in fact my big guy is the biggest chicken in the house! Or should I say parrot! Ever had a 15 pound 4 foot long cat think he can perch on your shoulder like a parrot? Mine does!
Ragdoll's tend to bond with one person and I think it is really hard on them if that person should die or leave them. So finding a similar home to what they knew if it was a good one is important for rescued Ragdoll's.
Ragdoll's do have HCM ( a heart deformity) running through many well known breeders lines so make sure if you go to a breeder that they can show that they scanned the parents for HCM and they were negative! HCM cat will not live much past 2 and sometimes won't make it even to that age. Many good breeders are working hard to eradicate this problem but a BYB won't care.
Ragdoll's can be prone to being sensitive to vaccinations specially Leukemia vaccine! I lived and learned this one.
What I look for in families for Ragdoll's:
Fairly quiet and stable household.
Ragdoll's CAN be easily upset by too much activity going on, if you have a lot of small kids or many people coming and going all the time or plan on raising Jack Russell terriers your probably not the best match for this breed. If you are the type that pretty much sits around and reads or watch TV in your spare time sort of family it should work out well!
People who don't plan on having children or theirs are older would be the family I would look for if the Ragdoll has been abused or is skittish for some other reason like bad breeding.
I am very careful when matching adult Ragdoll's with younger couples who want to start a family. I have been contacted by so many people who have adult Ragdoll's they adopted as kittens, then had a baby and the Ragdoll who is used to being the baby is upset and starts not using it's litter box!
So if you plan on starting a family wait to adopt the kitten or adult cat who was treated well by children after the baby is born or about the same time so they can grow up together if it is a kitten and teach your child early on that they must be gentle with smaller living things it is a valuable lesson.
If I were a breeder I would not let a family with very small children say 2-5 who have not had cats in their lives adopt a kitten. My kids grew up with cats so they knew early on how to treat them and they were not allowed to mistreat them even in the terrible 2's! I would also not and don't adopt kittens to the advanced seniors I don't want the cat outliving them and needing a home again in it's life time if I can help it!
People who are not looking for a dog in cats clothing.
People who value their cat as a family member not just a pet.
People who understand that de clawing is mutilation and is not allowed by us for that reason!
All that said they are a great breed of cat and I am so lucky to have mine! Just be sure you are the right type of family for this breed before you bring one into your family. do your research talk to people like me who know the dark side of the breed that breeders won't talk about or simply have not seen! If you must have a kitten and can't talk into adopting a mixed breed kitten who might not live if you don't, that's when you should talk to breeders, many of them. Ask other people for recommendations heck ask me even I have breeders who work closely with my rescue and even though I would love to see them breed less and be more careful when adopted them out, I also know how much they care about the cats in their care and that they will take them back if you couldn't keep them! Always ask that question of a breeder if they won't take them back or help you rehome them forget it! But most of all do consider an adult rescue cat first!
Sorry for the book I hope you can tell I am passionate about what I do and this breed and cats in general!
Ragdoll Rescue NW
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