All cats have the potential to develop genetic health problems, just as all people have the potential to inherit a particular disease.
Any breeder who claims that her breed or lines has no health or genetic problems is either lying or is not knowledgeable about the breed.
Run, don’t walk, from any breeder who does not offer a health guarantee on kittens, who tells you that the breed is 100 percent healthy and has no known problems, or who tells you that her kittens are isolated from the main part of the household for health reasons.
Ragdolls are generally healthy, but bladder stones and a heart condition known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy are among the conditions that have been reported in the breed.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is the most common form of heart disease in cats. It causes thickening (hypertrophy) of the heart muscle. An echocardiogram can confirm whether a cat has HCM. Researchers have identified the genetic mutation that causes the development of HCM in the Ragdoll and have developed a genetic test that allows breeders to screen cats before breeding them. Cats identified with HCM should be removed from breeding programs. Avoid breeders who claim to have HCM-free lines. No one can guarantee that their cats will never develop HCM.
Ragdoll kittens can have rapid growth spurts and it’s important for them to have plenty of food available all the time. If your Ragdoll kitten cleans his plate, offer him a little more until he stops eating. Once the cat reaches his full size at four years, then you can ration his food so he doesn’t get fat.
*Arizona House of Rags is an up and coming breeder of Ragdolls in the West Phoenix Valley. I have been to Kathleen’s house a few times for well checks on her cats. She has a large, clean, beautiful home that her cats thoroughly enjoy. I have examined her breeding stock and found them to be healthy, gorgeous Rags. They have all test N/N for HCM which means they do not carry that gene mutation and none of the kittens will. Her cats get a lot of individual attention with her which is important since kittens need to be socialized at a very young age.
Dr Monica Brown – Fetch a Vet – West Valley House call Veterinarian.