top of page

How to Choose a Ragdoll Cat Breeder


Best advice before buying a ragdoll kitten

The BEST advice I can give anyone looking for a Ragdoll kitten is to do a LOT of research before you buy one. Don't pick one based on price, don't pick one based on looks, and don't pick one because it's ready to go home now. Look for awhile at different catteries and find one you really like and feel comfortable with. Get on their waiting list if needed. The time you wait will fly by and it's so much better to get the right cat from the right breeder. 

Make sure the breeder is doing the following

Testing adult ragdolls for PK Def, PRA, FIV, FeLv, and HCM. They have an online and social media presence and a professional website that doesn't look like something someone could throw together in half a day. They are feeding the highest quality foods, using high quality supplements and probiotics. Make sure they are socializing the kittens and really doing it not just saying it on their website. Posting videos of their kittens interaction with the children or family. Using preventative medications on kittens. Sanitizing everything properly, giving proper vaccinations and worming, having kittens vet checked prior to going home, doing fecal exams, keeping cats on flea and tick prevention, and giving breeding adults vitamins and supplements. They should be selling registered CFA or TICA kittens. Researching pedigrees to bred the best possible cats together, retiring queens at the proper age. Not keeping cats locked in cages and just breeding as many cats as possible or basically running a kitten mill. Make sure the breeder has a legal contract, and giving clients a written health guarantee.  

When you are doing it the right way and not taking shortcuts it will be reflected in the price of your kittens.  

Make sure they aren't scammers

Get the breeder on the phone and have a list of questions ready to ask. If they can't answer them, don't sound all that knowledgeable, or give you an answer you don't like, do not buy a kitten from them. Tip: Scammers will RARELY take a phone call. See our page Avoid Ragdoll Scams for great information on how to spot a scammer.

Make sure you get quality pictures and videos of the kitten

Another thing you should check for is pictures on breeders' websites. Do they claim their Ragdolls are raised inside with the family, yet they only have a handful of pictures taken inside or none at all. Do they have lots of GOOD QUALITY pictures at different angles of the kittens they are selling. They should be taking quality pictures with great lighting using a good camera. Do they have pictures of past kittens and lots of pictures of the queens and studs? There are quite a few catteries that have it written on their website that the kittens are raised inside with children and other animals and are held and played with constantly and it's an absolutely not true.  

Avoid backyard breeders

If you come across a breeder that does not have registered Ragdoll kittens DO NOT buy from them. There is no way to even know if you're getting a pure blooded Ragdoll other than their word. Plus, breeders don't buy kittens meant for breeding that aren't registered, so if someone is selling unregistered Ragdolls it's probably because they didn't pay for breeding "rights" and can't get their registration papers because they paid for a "pet."


TICA requires breeders to not give registration papers until proof of alter has been sent to the seller (this is why some breeders alter the cat before they let it go home). Paying for a "pet" and then breeding it without permission is a form of stealing.


Ragdoll breeders have worked incredibly hard to make the Ragdoll breed what it is today and for someone who is "backyard breeding" and probably has little knowledge of the breed to start with; breeding without permission ruins if for everyone.


Ragdoll breeders who sell a cat with breeding rights to someone just getting started mentors that person for a very long time and this is how we keep perfecting the breed. We pass on our knowledge and the breed just keeps improving. If they didn't pay for breeding rights then they certainly didn't get any help from anyone and are probably just pairing up random cats to make money and in doing so are certainly ruining the gentle, floppy, disposition that the other breeders have worked so hard to achieve. 

This type of breeding where the person has no knowledge of the cats bloodlines or how to research a pedigree is a major cause for Ragdoll cats not having the correct temperament, qualities, and correct breed standards. 


Please keep in mind that it is possible for a "backyard breeder" to be selling registered cats. Backyard breeding does not just mean your cats are not registered. It has to do with the manner in which you care for your cats.


Having cats locked in cages where all the breeder does is feed them and clean up after them and breed them as often as possible to make money is wrong. If the breeder isn't doing the proper testing for genetic disease, that's backyard breeding. If they are letting a kitten go home at six weeks old that too is backyard breeding. If they don't have the kittens vet checked and at least two sets of shots that's backyard breeding. 


On the other hand there are a lot of very good breeders out there too. These breeders spend endless hours putting their heart and soul into caring for their cats. They show their cats because they know by doing so they will continue to acquire new knowledge about the breed. They spend months looking through pedigrees to find that perfect kitten to add to their program. They ask you questions about your family and your home before they agree to sell you a kitten. These are the breeders that you want to be adopting a kitten from.

If you want a Ragdoll kitten that looks like it came off the cover of a magazine it will cost you more than $1,000 dollars. Also, I can guarantee that if someone is selling a kitten at that price they are not spending anywhere close to the amount of money they should be on those cats. Raising kittens and properly caring for cats is expensive.

If I had not had so many people tell me such horrible stories about breeders like this I would not have had to write this page. The only thing I can do is try to educate people on what to look for in a breeder and pray that the bad ones go out of business. I just really have a problem with people that don't properly care for their cats, don't spend any time socializing the kittens, over breed them, and let them live in horrible conditions so they can make a profit. Please don't help them continue this.


bottom of page