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Can a Ragdoll Cat Be Left Alone? Tips to Keep Them Happy

Written by: Kristin Hitchcock

Last Updated on January 31, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

Lilac Ragdoll

Can a Ragdoll Cat Be Left Alone? Tips to Keep Them Happy

Ragdolls are known for being extremely people-oriented. They attach themselves to their families and prefer to be with them as much as possible. However, they can deal with being alone for a few hours daily. These gentle giants love to cuddle and be the center of attention, so they can experience separation anxiety. They aren’t best for owners who will be gone for much of the time, as they thrive on lots of human interaction.

Ragdolls may need some extra help learning to stay home alone. They aren’t as independent as other cats, after all. However, most Ragdolls are fine being left alone for the average workday.

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How Long Can a Ragdoll Cat Be Left Alone?

Ragdolls thrive with plenty of interaction with their people. Therefore, they work best for families that are home much of the day, but they can cope with the average workday if they’re taught to be alone from an early age. If you work 8-hour days usually, then a Ragdoll is a fine choice. Ragdolls do just fine with most work schedules.

However, if you work at a job requiring longer shifts, you may need to choose a different breed. Of course, all human interaction counts. Therefore, your Ragdoll should be fine if you work long hours, but your spouse or children are often home.

Is It Okay to Have Just One Ragdoll Cat?

Because Ragdolls are prone to separation anxiety, many cat owners mistakenly believe they must adopt more than one cat. However, this isn’t the case. Ragdolls are extremely people-oriented, so they’re prone to separation anxiety, and adopting another cat won’t fill the role of humans in your Ragdoll’s life.

There is no guarantee adopting two Ragdolls will prevent either from feeling separation anxiety. There is a chance that either cat will get along particularly well, even if they are siblings. Plus, two cats often mean twice the work—you’ll need to purchase more litterboxes and food.

fluffy ragdoll outdoors
Image Credit: Serita Vossen, Shutterstock

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How to Keep a Ragdoll Cat Happy While You’re Away

In today’s world, people rarely spend all day at home. Even those who work at home often leave to pick up dinner or run errands. Therefore, even if you try to be home as much as possible, you’ll need to leave your cat alone eventually.

Preparation is key to preventing separation anxiety in ragdolls. You’ll need to let your cat practice being alone, preferably from an early age. Consider this “training”, even if it may not look like traditional training

When you do need to leave your cat (and during this training period), there are many things you can do to keep your cat entertained while you’re gone. Distracting your feline with plenty of activities is key to preventing anxiety.

Here are some of our top tips for keeping your Ragdoll happy when you aren’t home:

  • Don’t make a big deal about leaving. If you lavish praise and attention or draw out the leaving process, you could add to your cat’s anxiety. Just put on your shoes and go.
  • Provide puzzle toys. We highly recommend investing in some puzzle feeders. These provide your cat with something fun to do while you’re gone. Just consider the added calories when planning your cat’s meals.
  • Consider interactive toys. Interactive toys move without any input from your cat. These toys provide additional entertainment and may help Ragdolls get the necessary exercise (as these cats tend to be a bit lazy).
  • Consider pheromone diffusers. If your cat is distressed when you leave, consider investing in a cat phenomenon diffuser. These can help cats feel calmer, as they release synthetic pheromones that resemble those released by mother cats to calm their kittens. Not all cats respond to these, but they can be very helpful for those that do.
  • Leave on a TV or radio. Sometimes, the silence of an empty home disturbs cats more than anything. Leaving on a radio can make the feline feel a little less lonely.
  • Provide lots of hiding places. Consider investing in a cat tree with lots of hiding places or purchase several covered beds to leave around the house. When stressed, Ragdolls will often hide. Providing them with plenty of hiding places can lower their anxiety and make them feel less exposed.

When to Contact a Vet

Some cats are more anxious than others. Sometimes, even if you do everything you can, your cat may still be extremely anxious when left alone. If you’ve followed several of the suggestions above and your cat still gets extremely anxious when left alone, we recommend contacting your vet.

Some level of separation anxiety is normal for Ragdolls. However, their anxiety should never be so bad that it interferes with your or your cat’s day-to-day life. If you avoid leaving home because it will upset your cat, you should contact your vet for help.

There are many things your vet can do. They may recommend behavioral therapy, which can provide training to prevent your cat’s anxiety. Medication is always an option for cats that are particularly stressed out. In the end, it all depends on what your cat needs.

You’ll probably need to try multiple options before one works well for your feline. Many techniques require time to work, so there aren’t many quick fixes. However, speaking with your vet is the first step to handling cats with extreme anxiety.

ragdoll cat lying on couch
Image Credit: Ria Peene, Shutterstock



Ragdolls are generally much more affectionate and people-oriented than other cat breeds. They are often purchased by those who want a feline that will be cuddly and attentive. However, this people-oriented temperament also makes them more prone to separation anxiety.

This doesn’t mean that you can never leave Ragdolls alone, though. Most do just fine when left alone for a few hours. However, they’re less independent than other cats, making them more anxious when left alone.

Luckily, there is plenty that you can do to help your Ragdoll be more comfortable alone. Early training and plenty of toys can go a long way to preventing separation anxiety later on.

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Featured Image Credit: Imaan Ahmad, Shutterstock

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