Caring for your Ragdoll
Most Breeders will supply a diet sheet detailing what food the kitten has been reared on. It is always wise to continue your kitten on this diet as certain foods can be too rich. Your kitten's diet should include both wet and dry food and always ensure that fresh water is freely available. It is not recommended to give Ragdolls milk.
If you decide to change the kittens food at a later date, it is best to keep the kitten on one variety for a day or two just in case it disagrees with the him/her. If your kitten should become a bit loose, a diet of boiled rice and chicken should be given, but always consult your veterinary surgeon if the problem persists for more than 24/48 hours as cats can become dehydrated very quickly.
It is sensible practice to give your Ragdoll a thorough grooming at least twice weekly and most owners will find their pets enjoy a daily light grooming that will maintain their coat in top condition. If neglected, a Ragdoll's coat will matt and form knots. If his/her coat becomes greasy, groom with a little talcum powder. During the moulting season it is necessary to groom more often to prevent him/her digesting loose hair and getting fur balls. Make grooming fun for your pet and he/she will look forward to having this special time with you each day. Check his/her ears once a week and gently clean with cotton buds if dust should gather in the outer ear. It is also wise to clip the tips of his/her claws regularly as they can get very sharp.
Most vets recommend that you clean your cats teeth daily with toothpaste specially prepared for the purpose. Don't go to the expense of buying a toothbrush as most cats won't let you near their mouths with it, instead put a small amount of toothpaste on a paper tissue and gently rub it along the cat's gums and teeth. It has a pleasanttaste and does not require to be rinsed off. If your cat should get tartaron his/her teeth, a trip to the vet may be necessary. It is a wise precaution to check your cat's teeth andgums regularly.
Initially it is wise to use the cat litter used by the breeder. Until the kitten is familiar with his/her new surroundings, keep his/her litter tray in whichever room he/she is in. When you get home with your kitten show him/her the tray by putting him/her in it and gently move his/her front paws in a scraping motion.
A word of caution ~ some kittens can be fussy about using their tray if itis not scrupulously clean, especially if there is more than one cat using the tray, therefore it is essential that you remove any soiling regularly, and it might be best to invest in a second tray. If you have a problem with your kitten using the litter tray, then it may be necessary to restrict him to one room until you are confident that he/she knows where the tray is kept.
All kittens love to play either with their owner or with another cat or dog. Do give him/her lots of love and attention and he/she will repay you with lots of affection. Remember he/she needs plenty of rest whilst growing, so try not to let him/her get over tired especially during the first few weeks.
Ragdolls enjoy playing their version of 'football' and they will happily tap a table tennis ball around the room. Be prepared to be kept busy retrieving it from under the furniture where it inevitably ends up. There are lots of interesting toys available to stimulate your cat, the popular cat track being a much loved favourite, but they also get just as much fun from simple things like rolled up paper, a wine bottle cork, or an empty toilet roll holder.
Create play areas to stimulate your Ragdoll so that he/she can get plenty of exercise. If you have a safely enclosed garden your pet will enjoy playing in the fresh air, especially if you are with him/her. It is not recommended to allow him/her to complete freedom as his/her easy-going nature could make him/her less aware of danger. No-one is ever prepared for the heartbreak of a much loved pet being run over by a car or taken away by a stranger. Responsible owners will ensure that this will never happen to their pet. Ragdolls can be trained to walk on a leash and many owners enjoy taking their pet for 'walkies'.
A scratching post is a must as it allows your kitten to shed the sheaths of his/her claws on the post and not on your furniture. It is wise to invest in a multi-level model as he/she will have hours of fun climbing on it, he/she will most probably sleep on it and it will prevent him/her from getting bored. It is also the ideal prop for photographing your cat.
A deep litter tray is essential but remember to buy one big enough so that he/she will still fit into it when fully grown! As most male neuter Ragdolls grow to be very large adults, a covered tray may be too restrictive.
A grooming kit consisting of a wide toothed comb, a slicker brush, moulting comb and a pair of nail clippers.
Your kitten should have been vaccinated against enteritis and cat flu before you collected him/her and his/her annual booster will be due in a year's time. Discuss with your Veterinary Surgeon whether it would be wise to vaccinate him/her against leukemia at around 6 months of age, if he/she is allowed access to the outdoors.
The Club recommends that all kittens are insured for at least the first 4 weeks on leaving home as this is the time when he/she will be at his/her most vulnerable. Veterinary bills can be considerable, especially if an animal should break a bone, therefore it is wise to continue the insurance for peace of mind.
DANGER IN THE HOME
Before bringing your kitten home check to make sure your house is kittenproof as mischievous little puss will be inquisitive and unaware of hidden dangers.
Certain plants are poisonous - ensure yours are of the safe variety
Never leave an unguarded fire
Take care never to leave plastic bags lying around
Cats can choke on rubber bands
Always check the washing machine and tumble dryer before you switch on as this is a common cause of accidents
Keep him/her out of the kitchen whilst you are cooking until the hob cools
Check the toilet seat is always kept down as inquisitive puss may jump in and be unable to get out
Never leave the bathroom door open whilst running a bath