How to Make your Home Ragdoll-Friendly
I will be quoting a lot of this chapter from the book “The Guide to Owning a Ragdoll Cat”, by Gary Strobel and Susan Nelson. I highly advise this book to everyone, even the ones who have a biology degree and have spent their life with animals!!
Having personally observed friends who are new to the cat world…I am amazed at what people don’t think of in regards to protecting a little one….so I feel I must list a few things in detail.
Before bringing your Ragdoll home, examine your home from the perspective of a tiny kitten. Getting down on your hands and knees may seem silly, but it will help you to realize what may present a hazard to your Ragdoll. Remember, your little Ragdoll is full of curiosity and anxious to explore its world. He or she will find any crack or crevice and climb in. There will not be a square inch of your home that is not left unexplored. Therefore, it is your responsibility to assure that your new kitten’s home is safe.
Hazards include electrical cords, open toilet seats, unattended flames on stoves and candles, hot liquid in potpourri bowls, hot stove burners, wall or space heaters, fans, open oven doors, open refrigerator doors, open dishwasher doors, open trash compactors, open clothes dryers, unattended dishwater, bath water, all cleaning supplies, tiny objects that could be swallowed, open fireplaces, open windows, loose window screens, balconies, electric paper shredders set on automatic, thread, string, rubber bands, ribbon, yarn, and sharp objects such as broken glass, discarded staples, needles, pins, feathers bitten from kitty toys, and knives.
Also please remember to secure your window blind strings. Kittens are frequently hung in these things. Be careful when closing open drawers, as kittens love to crawl inside and behind them to explore. Be very careful when opening the refrigerator door and closing it.
The injuries resulting from the above hazards can be heart wrenching. I observed a dear friend close the refrigerator door on her new baby and instantly kill it. Kittens pop their heads up under it to take a peek just as you are slamming it closed and you will have a broken neck.
Kittens can get severe electrical shocks and burns and die from biting into electrical cords that are not covered with foam insulation tubes. Drowning can occur when a kitten falls into an open toilet, bath, or sink of dishwater. Flames, space heaters, hot liquid, open oven doors, and hot stove burners can catch fur on fire, and burn right through the skin, or cause severe blistering of tender paw pads.
Kittens have been killed when clothes were quickly thrown into a clothes dryer and the drying cycle started. I still remember the devastation of hearing my cousin talking about this occurrence.
Since cats have little spines on their tongues that force them to swallow whatever they get even partially inside their mouths, they can swallow staples, pins, thread, and myriad other objects. Once inside the digestive tract, these objects can pierce the intestine or twist up inside the bowel, causing an obstruction.
Household cleaners can be licked up or transferred to the kitten’s mouth by self-grooming after the kitten walks across a surface cleaned with a poisonous substance. Check all labels; if you see that any label has a poison control telephone number listed, do not buy it.
Finally, many cats have been maimed or died falling through open windows and loose window screens; many more have died because their owners never realized that they would jump from an open balcony.
An additional hazard is living plants. Many are poisonous and they will eat them. Choose Holiday decorations carefully or better yet not at all. Never give your kitten access to a vase of cut flowers that are poisonous, cats will sample vases of flowers. Instead purchase wheat grass and catnip for their grazing. And keep your flowers and plants in a kitty free zone.
Although this list of hazards may seem quite lengthy, you must protect against all of them. If you do, you will save your kitten potential injury and yourself trauma/grief/the loss of a soulmate and unexpected vet bills.
Your new Ragdoll will tend to want to be with you all the time and is very easily stepped on. You will be amazed at how quickly a kitten or grown cat can silently move from one area of a room to another point right under your feet. Be cautious when rising from your chair or recliner…recliners easily decapitate kittens. Pushing back in your computer chair will almost always squish a leg….shuffle your feet when getting up in the dark to go to the bathroom. You won’t see them in your path.
Feeding your Kitten
Human Grade vs. Pet Grade
Ingredients in Your Pet’s Food
Q. What’s the difference between the ingredients used in human foods and those used in pet foods?
A. Pet foods are the traditional dumping grounds of the leftovers of human food manufacturing. Ingredients destined for human food products have to pass minimum standards of quality and safety imposed by the USDA (U.S. Dept. of Agriculture). Any indigestible wastes, condemned parts, or other by-products deemed unfit for human consumption are then used for pet food, where the quality and safety of ingredients are unregulated. In the big business of multinational food companies, nothing is wasted. This applies to grocery store brands and mass marketed specialty brands such as Science Diet (Colgate Palmolive), Iams and Eukanuba (Proctor and Gamble), Nature’s Recipe (Heinz), and Ralston Purina. A few conscientious pet food companies that are not owned by large conglomerates go to great lengths to make pet foods containing only human quality ingredients.
Q. What kind of meats are used in pet foods?
A. There are two sources of supply for “pet-grade” meats and poultry. One source is federally inspected USDA meat packing plants, where the carcasses that fail inspection due to damage, disease, or cancerous tumors are separated for shipping to the pet food factory. The other source is rendering plants, where 4D animals (dead, dying, diseased, or disabled) are rendered into a dry crumbly meal and used for livestock feed, fertilizer, and pet food ingredients. Rendering plants also process road kill and euthanized zoo animals and pets from shelters and veterinary clinics.
Q. What about grains in pet foods?
A. Name brand pet foods utilize the waste products in the grain category, too. After the more valuable starches and oils have been extracted, often by chemical processes, the hulls and remnants are turned into ingredients such as ground corn, corn gluten meal, brewer’s rice, ground wheat, and various flours. These ingredients have almost no nutritional value, and are merely fillers. Sometimes whole grains are used that have been deemed unfit for humans because of mold, too many pesticides, or improper storage.
Q. How about fats and oils used in pet foods?
A. Fats are an expensive and nutritionally important part of a pet’s diet. Many manufacturers use “blended fats” from multiple sources, including recycled restaurant grease (often rancid) that are stabilized with powerful chemical preservatives. Both the toxins formed in previously cooked fats and the preservatives used to stabilize them have been linked to cancer.
Please feed your kitten Lifes Abundance food/canned salmon/grilled chicken breast or canned Lifes Abundance and provide fresh wheat grass and catnip. I leave dry food out all the time for nibbles throughout the day and feed moist food 2x daily 6 am and 6 pm. Lifes Abundance is far superior to other brands I have investigated. They are both a natural, healthy, holistic food with real human grade organic meat, wholesome whole grains, garden veggies and healthy fruit, probiotics, omega 3, vitamins and minerals and antioxidants. No by- product meats and fillers, preservatives and color. Holistic Blend Sea Greens or Lifes abundance supplements and cat treats.
When kittens are young to prevent diarrhea please stay with Royal Cannin 34,36 or Lifes Abundance with warm water. You will need to use a rolling pin to break the pieces into smaller bites for some cats and all kittens. But the cats prefer a more complete nutrition with the organic meats of Lifes Abundance and their coats improved dramatically within 2 weeks of switching!
Please do not use the clumping litters…when kittens get it on their tongues from grooming it swells in their stomachs and can cause a deadly bowel obstruction…I recommend MiMi litter from Walmart. It is simply a silica gel that drys out the smells and mess. Scoop it out 2x daily and 1x each month rinse and bleach it out. Leave the litter box in the sun for 10 min and then coat it with cooking spray. Fill with clean litter and this will prevent clumps from sticking to your box.
What is so special about Ragdolls?
Your Ragdoll will want to be with you all the time. You’ll be met at the door when you arrive home and followed around the house, even into the bathroom. When taking a shower, expect your Ragdoll to watch and wait patiently for you right outside the shower. As you push aside the curtain or showerdoor, you’ll see your Ragdoll looking up at you with those big blue eyes. Your Ragdoll will be curious and eager to meet and greet guests to your home. If you want a lap cat, the Ragdoll is for you. Ragdolls need their owner’s attention and lots of love. If not on your lap, your Ragdoll will be lying nearby.
Very few breeds of cat offer the intimate companionship of the Ragdoll. Persians are purchased for their beautiful coats. Maine Coons are purchased for their large size. Siamese are purchased for their blue eyes. Himalayans are purchased for their dramatic color points. Ragdolls are purchased for their purrfect personality. As a bonus, you get a beautiful coat, large, stunning blue eyes, calm laid-back personality, and the classic pointed pattern—all together in one fabulous package called the Ragdoll.
“Never before in the history of the cat fancy has a breed taken over the hearts and homes of so many people so quickly. Word of this new and fascinating breed is sweeping the world, and Ragdoll breeders are having trouble keeping up with the demand. The Ragdoll is the gentle giant of the domestic feline world, and, as you will see, the perfect cat for the 21st century.”
Gary Strobel & Susan Nelson