Why Do Ragdoll Cats Go Limp?

Why Do Ragdoll Cats Go Limp

Ragdoll cats are beautiful and affectionate felines that are also called gentle giants similar to the Maine Coon breed. These blue-eyed furballs are calm, relaxed and make good pets especially if you have young kids. One trait that sets them apart from other breeds is their tendency to go limp when they are picked up by their owners. 

Why do Ragdoll cats go limp?

Ragdoll cats go limp because of an instinctive reaction that reminds them of kittenhood when they would go limp each time their mother picked them up. As kittens, they relax when their mom carries them by the scruff which is attributed to a reflex that allows them to relax when held by that area. 

This cat breed is docile, passive and yearns for human attention. They love to be held and when picked up they go limp just like a doll because they become relaxed, thus, earning the monicker, “floppy cats”. However, this does not mean that all Ragdoll cats go limp when held or picked up as each of them has a unique personality. 

Why are Ragdoll cats so floppy?

Ragdoll cats are described as floppy because they tend to hang or move in a limp, loose and ungainly way. They go limp when you pick them up and they tend to become happy and relaxed that their muscles “go floppy”. These cats are laidback but they also relish human attention. Surprisingly, they are large and muscular and this just goes to show that they can go boneless at will and in their terms if they want to.

Why is my cat going limp?

Your cat goes limp especially if you pick her up because of an instinctive response based on memories of when she was still a kitten. Mother cats carry their young by grabbing them by the scruff and the kittens go limp and lay still which is attributed to a certain reflex when held in that area. Your cat could also be going limp because she wants to, she is happy to be picked up and she feels completely relaxed and contented. 

What is the Ragdoll flop?

Ragdoll cats are famous for the so-called “Ragdoll flop” which is what they do when they are picked up. They go limp in your arms, become extremely calm and relaxed and spread their legs all around as if they have not a care in the world.  Since they go limp when held, their tummies are also exposed which is a sign of trust and submission. This may signify that they flop about because they are comfortable in your presence and do not see you as a threat. 

However, not all of them will do the famous flop since just like all other breeds each cat has its own personality and temperament. While most will willingly go limp some will only do so for a few minutes. Some of them will only flop down in front of you with their belly up and give you that endearing look of affection. 

Do Ragdoll cats like to be picked up?

Yes, Ragdoll cats like to be picked up and held by their owners. This cat breed is affectionate, gentle and has a docile nature. They crave human company and do not mind being cuddled and carried around.  These cats are lap cats and thrive on human companionship which explains why most of them really like to be picked up. 

Interesting facts about Ragdoll cats

Here are some interesting facts about the Ragdoll breed:

1. It is a relatively new cat breed. 

This breed only came about in the 1960s when an American breeder, Ann Baker bred her white Angora Persian cat, Josephine, with long-haired Burmese and Birman male cats. 

2. It is considered one of the largest cat breeds. 

Ragdoll cats typically weigh around 15 to 20 pounds with females weighing around 10 to 15 pounds. They are slightly larger than Maine Coons which weigh around 18 pounds and Norwegian Forest cats which can weigh around 16 pounds. This is according to data gathered by the Cat Fanciers Association or CFA. 

3. They have blue eyes and have various fur shades.

While Ragdoll cats are famous for their fluffy fur and large physique, they are also popular for their blue eyes and colorpoint coat. Their fur shades include the color seal or brown, blue, red and cream. They also feature tabby and tortoiseshell markings and they come in colorpoint, bicolor or mitted color patterns. Their coats darken into their permanent hue once they reach a mature age. 

4. They are not vocal. 

Unlike Siamese cats which tend to be vocal, Ragdoll cats are very quiet and good-natured. They rarely meow or purr which may also be worrisome as you are not easily alerted if they are feeling ill or in pain. 

5. They have dog-like qualities. 

Ragdoll cats manifest dog-like qualities and will willingly play fetch, follow you from room to room and hang around while you are in the shower. They will also greet you at the door like clockwork and like to be cuddled and held. 

You may also check out our earlier article on are ragdoll cats hypoallergenic to know more about this kind-natured cat breed. 

Final thoughts 

Ragdoll cats have striking blue eyes, lush coats and affectionate personality. They will go limp especially when picked up and held in your arms since it is instinctive and brings them back to their kitten days when mama cat carried them around. They may also go limp in your arms because they feel totally relaxed and contented and because they trust you. 

Image: istockphoto.com / LeoniekvanderVliet