Q: Why are Ragdolls expensive?
A: For the reputable breeder, raising Ragdolls is a labor of love and not for the faint of heart. Maintaining a successful cattery - defined by healthy and happy cats, not dollars - makes this hobby a full-time job. Many who are interested, but have never purchased a purebred cat as a pet, scroll through the pages of Ragdoll websites and are often caught off-guard by the price, which can range from $800 all the way to $2,000 or more depending on the breeder/cattery, Ragdoll type (Traditional, Mink, Sepia, Solid), pattern, color, and quality of the cat, and/or the Ragdoll's bloodlines. Paying that much for a cat may sound like a lot (it is); however, one must consider the cost of raising happy, healthy, properly socialized, purebred/pedigreed feline companions, while also maintaining a licensed, clean, nurturing environment for the cats to live and grow in. Below is a list of breeder/cattery costs to consider:
1. Cattery license (for each association cattery is registered with)
2. Association membership fees
3. Monthy website fee + advertising fees (TICA, social media, etc.)
4. Annual inspection fee
5. Individual cat (Kings and Queens) registrations (separate from the actual cost of each cat added to the breeding program)
6. Kitten litter registrations
7. Show fees *Even if a cat isn't entered to show, these are great educational events for breeders and cat owners.
8. Health testing: DNA, congenital, HCM, FIV/FeLV
9. Veterinary visits (includes emergencies)
10. Veterinary well-checks for every kitten
11. Vaccinations and dewormings
12. Flea treatment maintenance
13. Cat hygiene supplies (hypoallergenic shampoo, cat nail trimmers, brushes, cat toothbrushes, etc.)
14. Vitamins (we use Only Natural Pet Ultimate Daily Vitamins Plus Feline soft chews)
15. Wet and dry food (we use high-quality, grain-free Nulo, Open Farm, and Ziwi Peak brands)
16. Treats (we use grain-free Northwest Naturals, Whole Life Pet and Walk About )
17. Litter (we use biodegradable Swheat Scoop - multiple boxes scooped multiple times daily, boxes changed/cleaned every week)
18. Cleaners, cleaning supplies & equipment (cleaners must be kennel/vet-grade due to multi-cat household; supplies replenished
regularly; equipment - vacuum, steamer, etc. - properly maintained, occasionally replaced)
19. Security system, including professionally monitored fire and carbon monoxide detectors
20. Extras that add to the quality of health and happiness of the cats (we provide cat water fountains - require replacement filters, cat
trees, wall climbing units, scratching posts, toys, beds, and invaluable time and attention).
Q: Will my Ragdoll change much as he/she grows?
A: One of the fun things about raising a Ragdoll is watching your kitty companion grow and change. And, believe me, your Ragdoll will change a lot in the first few years of life! Yes, kittens are adorable, but so are full-grown Ragdolls. Just keep in mind that your kitten - if born a Traditional Ragdoll; not Mink, Sepia, or Solid - was born completely white. Traditional Ragdolls begin to reveal their color by the time they are a week old and have established color, albeit light, by the time they're 2-3 weeks old. Lighter colors such as chocolate, lilac, cream, cinnamon, and fawn may take longer to come in. Ragdoll patterns also start to take shape between 4-6 weeks. However, these colors and patterns will see much more darkening and definition over the next few years. In fact, many Traditional Ragdolls haven't achieved full color and pattern definition until they reach 3-4 years of age. How interesting is that?! If you follow us on instagram (@centerhillragdolls), you can easily scroll through the pictures and see how each of our furkids have changed over time. Pretty cool!
Q: Are Ragdolls fairly independent like other cats?
A: Ragdolls are extremely social. Although there are exceptions to every rule, the vast majority of Ragdolls do not like being alone for extended periods of time. Ragdolls quickly grow attached to their human and pet families, and they love nothing more - except maybe a treat - than chilling in the same room with their people, or curling up in a warm lap or bed. Ragdolls have been known to follow their humans from room to room, and are often curious about the activities going on around them. Ragdolls, like most dogs, are easily trained to do simple tricks. Because of their need for companionship, Center Hill Ragdolls offers a discount when 2 Ragdolls are purchased together at the same time, going to live in the SAME home. We also offer a discount to return adopters.
Q: Do Ragdolls shed/Are Ragdolls hypoallerginic?
A: It is a complete myth that Ragdolls do not shed and that they are hypoallergenic cats. The simple answer to the question of Ragdolls shedding is this: Yes, they do. Ragdolls have medium-long to long hair that does require some maintenance - especially once they're older; if you don't do it, the cat will... and that is not always healthy for the cat. Although it is completely normal for cats to regularly groom themselves, cats that have long hair need to also be brushed a few times a week. Ragdolls tend to not have a thick undercoat, but if their hair isn't brushed regularly, hairballs - which, in extreme cases, can lead to vomiting and/or constipation - can become problematic. The upside to brushing is that your Ragdoll sheds less. The bonus is that your Ragdoll loves the attention, and time spent brushing is time spent bonding. Furthermore, if a person is severely allergic to cats, it is typically the saliva and dander that triggers the histamine intolerance, not necessarily the type of cat. However, some Ragdoll owners claim that their allergies aren't aggravated by Ragdolls as much as they are by most other cat breeds, including domestic short-haired cats, and can easily be controlled with over-the-counter antihistamines.
Q: Is it true that Ragdolls are resistant to pain?
A: Ragdolls ARE NOT resistant to pain. This is a horrible myth that has been around for years. Just like any other cat, Ragdolls do feel pain, both physical and emotional. However, unlike many other cat breeds, Ragdolls are usually very easy-going and, in some cases, quite docile, so care should be taken to not be overly agressive in play or day-to-day contact. Aggressiveness, rough play, overly-loud/chaotic environments, or exposure to other pets that are threatening can cause a Ragdoll to take on undesirable behaviors such as hiding, being anti-social, using the bathroom outside the litter box, or even becoming ill. The key to a happy, healthy Ragdoll is lots of love and attention!
Q: I'm interested in bringing a Ragdoll (or 2 ) into my home. What should I look for in a responsible breeder/cattery?
A: As fellow cat lovers, we can certainly testify... you're in for a treat with your future Ragdoll! Here at Center Hill Ragdolls, all Ragdolls in our program are members of our family and are treated as such: loving, nurturing, interactive, clean, low-stress lifestyle with no locked kennels/cages, no dirty/bacteria-ridden living quarters (includes litter boxes and food/water areas), no low-value filler foods, and no cutting corners on quality care and health-maintenance. All registered catteries have their own methods of operation, routines, and personal preferences. However, all reputable breeders should maintain at least this high level of care for, and attention to, the Ragdolls in their program. Yes, it is expensive to run a registered, quality cattery; for the breeders that genuinely care for their feline family members, their health, and the health of their offspring, the hard work and expense is worth it to know that the quality of the breed is being advanced and that families can take comfort in knowing that they are bringing home a healthy, well-socialized, purebred Ragdoll.
Don't be afraid to ask questions. The reputable breeder will be happy that you have done some research prior to adopting and will be more than willing to answer any questions, or address any reasonable concerns that you may have. Many Ragdoll catteries post answers to most of the important questions right on their websites, so be sure to look there for important details and information. If you are considering adopting from a specific breeder, and these details are not included on their website, a few important questions might include:
1. "Are you a registered cattery? If so, with what organizations?"
*Registered catteries pay fees and commit to operating ethically, and are therefore held to a higher standard.
2. "Are all the Kings and Queens in your program purebred, registered Ragdolls with pedigrees/certificates? Will the kittens be registered?"
*If you're told that you're purchasing a purebred Ragdoll, the breeder selling the kitten should be able to prove it with documentation. Ensuring that the parents of the kitten you're purchasing are pedigreed/registered Ragdolls (thereby producing registrable offspring) is the only real assurance you have of this. Otherwise, the kitten should not come with a purebred price tag. This advice is especially important if you see an ad for 'Purebred Ragdoll Kittens', yet there is no mention of the breeder/cattery being registered with an organization, or of the Kings and Queens being registered Ragdolls. Without documentation, there is no guarantee where the cats' bloodlines originated, what breed they may have been outcrossed with, or what conditions/diseases the cats may be genetically predisposed to; the cats being bred and the kittens being produced are simply pretty, Ragdoll look-alikes. This practice also makes it more difficult to guarantee that the kittens produced in these environments will be healthy and have that classic, easygoing Ragdoll disposition. As such, it's completely unethical for these individuals to sell their kittens - being passed off as purebred Ragdolls - for hundreds of dollars. Price is a big clue here: You can expect to pay at least $800.00 for a purebred, registrable Ragdoll pet kitten. Unsuspecting individuals sometimes pay the purebred/registrable price on the presumption that what they've been told about the kitten is true. If you're being asked to pay hundreds of dollars for a kitten that's being marketed as a 'Purebred Ragdoll' (and a purebred Ragdoll is what you're looking for), however no proof of such can be produced by the breeder, you should consider walking away. This IS NOT to say that non-pedigreed cats and kittens are not beautiful, or lovable, or desirable, or unworthy of being family pets; we have 2 non-pedigreed moggy rescues that are just as much a part of our family as our Ragdolls. However, many shelters and rescue organizations exist that occasionally adopt out sweet Ragdoll look-alikes as well as Ragdolls that have been displaced or surrendered - though these Ragdolls will likely not come with their original registration. Bottom line, no one should be breeding non-pedigreed cats (or dogs) to sell to the public. If an individual chooses to do so, there should be honesty and transparency reflected in the pet marketing, health history, and pricing.
3. "What types of testing do you perform on your Kings and Queens prior to allowing them to breed?"
*At a minimum, ALL breeders should be testing their Kings and Queens for Feline FIV/FeLV (aids and leukemia). No exceptions. Upon request, breeder should be able to provide documentation of negative test results through a licensed veterinarian. It is also important that Ragdoll breeders are testing their breeding cats for congenital diseases, especially HCM (Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy) through a reputable testing facility/organization.
4. "What vaccinations, preventative treatments, etc. do kittens receive before being released to their new families?"
*Kittens typically leave the breeder between 10-14 weeks of age. For this age range, kittens should - at minimum - have received 1 core vaccine and a preventative deworming treatment. If adopted out in the 13-14 week range, it is appropriate for kitten to have had 2 core vaccines. In the event that a breeder releases purchased kittens with a spay/neuter contract due to their young age (under 16 weeks), and there is a case in which a kitten is not adopted out until 16+ weeks of age, this older kitten should be altered prior to going to new home.
5. "Do you provide a written contract with a health guarantee?"
*Make sure you understand the terms of the contract. These contracts and health guarantees are meant to benefit all parties involved and should ultimately serve to ensure the best interest of the cat/kittens being purchased/adopted.
6. "How many cats are in your home/cattery and in your breeding program? Do they roam freely, within reason?"
*Use your discretion regarding number of cats and available space to roam and rest, stress-free. Breeding males and females, as well as mothers with kittens require occasional separation. Cats should never be kept in small, enclosed spaces deprived of interaction, or be completely isolated. Temporary isolation in cases of aggression or mating, birthing/nursing, or injury/surgery/illness can be expected.
7. "Are you willing to allow viewing of your Ragdoll living quarters prior to purchase of a Ragdoll kitten?"
*Note that most Ragdoll catteries are CLOSED catteries - including Center Hill Ragdolls - that do not allow regular visits of their catteries or interaction with their cats. This common practice prevents cattery Ragdolls (adults and kittens) from being exposed to potential illnesses, viruses, bacteria, etc. that could potentially and inadvertently be brought in from sick animals outside the cattery including; from other catteries, shelters, or even pets/animals inside your own home. Please understand that running and maintaining a quality cattery is a lot of work and quite expensive... breeders make every effort to protect the comfort and well-being of the Ragdolls in their program, as well as any other pets they may have in the home that frequently interact with the Ragdolls. That said, if you're serious about purchasing a Ragdoll AND prepared to pay a deposit, most breeders will allow a brief walk-through of their cattery. Keep in mind that most catteries are inside the breeders' homes and should be respected as such. You may have small children at home, but it is recommended that you do no bring them with you to view a cattery. At Center Hill Ragdolls, we do not allow children under the age of 14 to enter the cattery living quarters. However, all family members are invited into our welcome area when it is time to pick your Ragdoll up to take him or her home!
*Likewise, don't be offended if a breeder asks you questions regarding your desire to adopt a Ragdoll kitten, your average daily/weekly schedule, details about your home (family, environment, other pets), and your experience with cats/pets. Remember, the reputable breeder works very hard to raise healthy, properly socialized Ragdoll kittens and grows to love each kitten that goes up for adoption. Therefore, she/he will want to ensure that available kittens are properly placed in capable, loving homes.
Q: If I place a deposit prior to a litter being available, when will I be able to choose my kitten once a litter is born?
A: We love welcoming new individuals and families to the Center Hill Ragdolls family. If you have placed a deposit, you have had the opportunity to ask very important questions, and we - as loving, cautious breeders - have done the same in order to ensure an excellent fit. The health and happiness of each kitten adopted out by us is a top priority. Also, monitoring kittens for proper growth, appetite, potty habits, temperament, and color/pattern (can take some time with light colors) is very important; this process generally takes 5-6 weeks. Once we have a confirmed pregnancy - queen is typically 6-7 weeks pregnant at this point, unless we've run into an issue earlier in the pregnancy and have confirmed pregnancy through ultrasound - we notify all families on our wait list. Once litter is born, these families are notified regarding the number of kittens in the litter; we may not know the sex of the kittens until they are a few days old. Finally, once families have been notified of litter arrival, number of kittens (so that we know how many families will get to pick when the time comes), and sex of kittens, we will spend the next 5-6 weeks monitoring and caring for mom and babies. This period is extremely important and requires a lot of time, care, and attention. We will not be sending individual kitten pictures to families until we open up the picking process; kittens are typically around 5 weeks of age at this point. This timeline prevents us from being overly distracted and possibly missing something important should we have an issue. This process is not only to the kittens' benefit, but to the kittens' future families' benefit as well. Although we don't send multiple individual kitten pictures to wait list families in these first weeks, we do remain active on social media, so families can always follow along and watch the growth and progress of the available kittens prior to picking the kitten they ultimately choose to bring home. This additional time also allows families to see the subtle changes from week to week of each kitten, and that may influence the choice a family ends up making. Depending on the size of the litter, every person/family on the wait list may not get an opportunity to choose from a single litter: Remember, families choose based on order of deposit received. In the case of a small litter, or large wait list, the remaining folks on the list will be moved to the top of the wait list for the next available litter, and the process repeats.
Q: I just brought my Ragdoll kitten home and he seems very shy and hesitant. When will he behave like the playful, cuddly Ragdolls that I hear so much about?
A: It's important to remember that, although you already love your new baby, you're bringing your kitten into a strange and unfamiliar - albeit welcoming - environment. The kitten has been removed from the only home and routine that he/she has ever known, and away from the familiarity of his/her mother, littermates, and other cattery Ragdolls; it is expected that the kitten will be unsure and cautious in these new surroundings. Although some kittens are very outgoing and settle in to their new homes very quickly, it is absolutely normal for kittens to be nervous and shy for at least the first week or so. It is not at all uncommon for some kittens to take a few weeks to fully warm up to their new families (especially if being introduced to other pets), take to a new routine, and fully settle in to their forever homes. Kittens are like small children - each has his/her very own unique personality, and will therefore respond differently to a new home and family. Know that your kitten is naturally curious and wants to be loved, played with and touched. While it is true that Ragdolls are known for their sweet, loving, docile personalities, not all Ragdolls are exactly the same. Many kittens are raised and socialized together - in exactly the same patient and loving manner - for the first 10-14 weeks of their lives, yet some Ragdolls will still grow up to be a bit less social and cuddly than other kittens from the same litter. One of the best things you can do to ensure a stress-free, smooth transition for your new kitten is to continue his/her current product use - primarily food and litter. Your kitten's digestive system is very young and sensitive, and the high-quality food he/she is currently eating is vital in building a strong immune system. If the diet suddenly changes, not only could this cause severe gastrointestinal distress (vomiting and diarrhea), it could compromise his/her immune system. You may consider adding additional high-quality food alternatives, for variety, when your cat gets a bit older. The same litter should be used to maintain that sense of familiarity as well. Changing litter brands instantly could confuse your kitten (smell, texture, etc), causing him/her to have accidents outside the litter box. Remember... patience, love, and consistency is key; hang in there!
When picking up your new family member, you should take note of the kitten's physical appearance and behavior. The kitten should not have fleas or flea debris (dried blood specs, flea poop) in his/her fur, should not have red, swollen, or crusty eyes, should not have yellow/greenish nasal drainage, should not have any skin infections or rashes - especially on or around the face (beware or ringworm), and should not be coughing/wheezing. As mentioned earlier, it is completely normal for the kitten to be unsure and a little shy. However, if the kitten continuously hides (is unable to be coaxed out of hiding spots with toys, treats, or a calming tone), or shows a tendency to hiss and scratch, it may be a good idea to ask the breeder about his/her socialization methods. It's important to understand what challenges you may be facing in the months and years ahead, prior to making the decision to bring an unhealthy, unsocialized Ragdoll into your home.
Bringing your pet Ragdoll home is an exciting time. The ultimate goal for Center Hill Ragdolls - as well as many other Ragdoll breeders - is to ensure a great match for both, the kitten and the adopting individual/family. Whether or not you choose to adopt your new feline family member from us, we are always happy and more than willing to answer any questions regarding Ragdolls and/or the adoption process. Don't hesitate to contact us!