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The Ragdoll is a large breed with bright blue eyes, pointed coloration, and a laid-back attitude. Not only are these cats easy-going, but they are remarkably intelligent, and they make for an all-around great family pet – including households with children and other pets.
Ragdolls aim to please and they have been known to pick up tricks quickly – with the right motivation, of course. They make fast friends with everyone they meet but they reserve a special degree of affection for their own family.
While all cats have the same basic nutritional requirements, Ragdolls are bigger than the average housecat, so they need more calories. They also tend to be kept as indoor cats which has certain implications in terms of balanced nutrition.
Ragdolls are a slow-maturing breed as well. Though they may achieve their full coloration by 2 years of age, they may not reach full size until 4 years of age.
At A Glance: Best Cat Food For Ragdoll Cats To Buy
Want a quick look at the products reviewed in this article? In the comparison table below, we’ve highlighted some of the most important features of each product. You’ll find more detailed information about each product later in the article.
Nom Nom Chicken Cuisine Fresh Cat Food
|50% Off Your First Order|
Smalls Fresh Ground Bird Human-Grade Cat Food
|25% Off First Your Order|
Wellness Complete Health Chicken Entrée Canned Food
ZiwiPeak Beef Recipe Canned Cat Food
The Honest Kitchen Grace Grain-Free Turkey Cat Food
Stella & Chewy’s Absolutely Rabbit Dinner Morsels
Hound & Gatos Turkey & Turkey Liver Canned Cat Food
What Should You Know About Your Ragdoll’s Dietary Requirements?
First and foremost, remember that cats are obligate carnivores.
The term obligate carnivore refers to the cat’s biological requirement for a meat-based diet. A diet made primarily of animal protein is not just a preference for your cat – it’s a necessity.
But what does a biologically appropriate diet for obligate carnivores look like?
The ideal diet for Ragdoll cats features real animal protein as the first ingredient.
Real animal protein should always be the first ingredient in your cat’s diet. Check the ingredients list and if you see anything that isn’t meat, poultry, or fish listed first, move on.
As obligate carnivores, cats have a limited ability to digest plant products. They actually lack a specific digestive enzyme called salivary amylase which helps omnivores and herbivores break down carbohydrates. In other words, your cat isn’t designed to eat plant foods and won’t be healthy on a carbohydrate-heavy diet.
Your cat’s ideal diet contains about 52% protein, 46% fat, and 2% carbohydrates or less.
Second, a biologically appropriate diet for Ragdoll cats contains moderate levels of healthy, animal-based fat.
Protein provides the building blocks for healthy tissue and strong muscle in your Ragdoll but fat is the most concentrated source of energy available. As is true for protein, it is best when it comes from animal-based sources so look for ingredients like chicken fat or salmon oil within the top 10 ingredients.
Plant-based fats like sunflower oil and flaxseed oil can be beneficial for cats, but animal sources are preferred. These fats are often included as natural sources of omega-6 fatty acids to help balance out the omega-3s your cat gets from ingredients like fatty fish.
The best diet for Ragdoll cats is low in carbohydrates – ideally under 2%.
After ensuring your Ragdoll’s diet is rich in protein and healthy fats, you should check the carbohydrate content. In the wild, your cat’s diet would contain less than 2% carbohydrate, but commercial diets are much higher in carbs.
We consider a commercial diet to be sufficiently low in carbohydrates if it comes in under 10%.
To calculate the estimated carbohydrate content of a cat food formula, add up the guaranteed analysis values for crude protein, crude fat, crude fiber, moisture, and ash. If the ash level isn’t listed, you can estimate 7.5% for dry food and 3.5% for wet food to get a rough idea. Subtract the sum from 100 to get the estimated carb content of the recipe.
Generally speaking, canned cat food is higher in protein and lower in carbohydrate than dry food.
Finally, a healthy diet for Ragdoll cats contains essential vitamins and minerals for balanced nutrition.
Most commercial cat foods contain synthetic vitamins and minerals to meet the basic nutritional requirements for cats, as established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). If a product carries and AAFCO statement of nutritional adequacy, you know it will meet your cat’s minimum requirements for nutrition.
What the label doesn’t tell you, however, is where those nutrients come from.
You want to feed your cat a high-quality diet made up of primarily whole-food ingredients. The more synthetic supplements in the food, the more likely it is that the main ingredients are low in nutritional value or that their nutrition has been compromised by high heat processing.
The shorter the list of ingredients the better, especially if your cat has food allergies. Fortunately, Ragdolls are no more prone to food allergies than any other breed.
How Much Should You Feed Your Ragdoll?
Once you’ve chosen a high-quality cat food for your Ragdoll, the next question is how much do you feed him? Ragdolls are a large breed, weighing 10 to 20 pounds at maturity, so they may require more calories than other cats.
Because your Ragdoll requires more calories than average, it’s even more important to choose a high-quality cat food.
A high-quality cat food made with whole-food ingredients will be more nutrient-dense than a poor-quality diet. In other words, your cat gets the nutrients he needs in a smaller portion size. With a breed that already eats more than the average cat, this is important.
When shopping for cat food, check the feeding recommendations for your cat’s body weight. If the recommended portion seems high, it could be because the nutritional integrity of the food is low.
Do You Need A Breed-Specific Diet?
Several pet food manufacturers like Purina offer breed-specific diets for cats like the Ragdoll. Royal Canin offers a Ragdoll-specific formula in both dry food and wet food.
What you have to ask yourself is whether these diets are any different from a typical cat food and, if so, are they any better for your cat?
The truth is all cats have the same basic nutritional requirements – there are no significant variations by breed. The only differences worth considering are calorie needs based on size and minor dietary changes based on certain health problems to which the breed may be prone.
What To Avoid In Your Ragdoll’s Diet
The best option for your Ragdoll is a high-quality cat food made with whole food ingredients including real animal protein, healthy animal-based fats, and minimal carbohydrates.
Here’s a list of things to avoid in your cat’s diet:
- Artificial additives like colors, flavors, and preservatives
- Non-nutritive fillers like corn, wheat, and soy
- Unnamed by-products (like animal digest, poultry by-product meal, etc.)
- High concentrations of carbohydrates
- Legumes and pulses (like peas, beans, or chickpeas)
You may also want to avoid a strictly kibble or dry cat food diet for your Ragdoll.
Moisture is an essential component of a balanced diet for any cat, but Ragdolls tend to be kept as indoor cats which means the majority of their moisture intake comes from their food (rather than wild prey).
To keep your cat hydrated, consider feeding fresh food, canned food, or raw food. You can also add moisture to a dry food diet by soaking it in water or broth.
Top Picks For Best Canned, Soft & Wet Cat Food For Ragdoll Cats
#1 Top Pick: Nom Nom Chicken Cuisine Cat Food
For a protein- and moisture-rich diet, consider NomNom’s fresh cat food delivery service. This company sends you pre-portioned packages of fresh cat food right to your door, taking the guesswork out of feeding your Ragdoll.
NomNom currently offers two different recipes for cats, one fish-based and one-chicken based. Their Chicken Cuisine Fresh Cat Food features real chicken thigh, breast, and liver as the top three ingredients, all rich sources of premium animal protein.
The only other main ingredients in this formula are carrots and spinach which provide natural sources for key nutrients to help minimize the need for synthetic supplements.
This fresh cat food formula is made with human-grade ingredients and prepared in small batches to ensure nutritional integrity. Nom Nom doesn’t use any fillers or artificial additives in their formulas, and everything is frozen at the peak of freshness before being sent right to your door.
With Nom Nom’s subscription service, you never have to shop for cat food again. Your Ragdoll’s diet will be delivered right to your doorstep and you can change, pause, or cancel your order at any time.
Chicken, Chicken Liver, Carrots, Spinach, Dicalcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Natural Flavor, Potassium Chloride, Vinegar, Citric Acid, Taurine, Choline Bitartrate, Zinc Gluconate, Ferrous Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Copper Gluconate, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Manganese Gluconate, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Selenium Yeast, Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Cholecalciferol (Source of Vitamin D3), Potassium Iodide.
|Crude Protein||18% min|
|Crude Fat||4% min|
|Crude Fiber||0.8% max|
- Fresh cat food made with human-grade ingredients
- Packed with real animal protein and moisture
- Pre-portioned for your cat’s calorie needs
- Can be fairly expensive, especially for larger cats
- Limited array of recipe options (2 currently available)
#2 Runner Up: Smalls Fresh Ground Fish Human-Grade Cat Food
Another premium option for fresh cat food is Smalls Human-Grade Fresh Cat Food. This brand uses high-quality, natural ingredients and everything is prepared fresh and shipped frozen to your door.
Smalls gently cooks their recipes which helps retain more of the original nutritional value of the raw ingredients. You don’t have to worry about nutrients being destroyed by high heat processes and none of their recipes contain fillers, by-products or artificial additives.
This Smalls Fresh Ground Fish formula features Alaskan pollock as the primary ingredient, supplemented with additional protein from mackerel.
The only other main ingredients in this formula are salmon oil (a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids), peas, green beans, pumpkin, and parsley. The remaining ingredients are vitamins and minerals included to ensure complete and balanced nutrition.
This formula is packed with protein and contains less than 5% carbohydrate.
Whitefish (Alaskan Pollock), Mackerel, Salmon Oil, Peas, Green Beans, Pumpkin, Parsley, Calcium Carbonate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Choline Bitartrate, Salt, Taurine, Magnesium Gluconate, Potassium Chloride, Zinc Gluconate, Ascorbic Acid, Copper Gluconate, Vitamin E Supplement, Manganese Gluconate, Ferrous Gluconate, Niacin, Thiamine Hydrochloride, Vitamin A, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Selenium, Dried Kelp, Biotin, Vitamin B12.
|Crude Protein||23.0% Min|
|Crude Fat||8.0% Min|
|Crude Fiber||0.1% Max|
- Fresh cat food made with premium natural ingredients
- Gently cooked and frozen at the peak of freshness
- Shipped right to your door in convenient deliveries
- Fairly expensive compared to other options
#3 Budget Pick: Wellness Complete Health Chicken Entrée Canned Food
This popular recipe is a straightforward, meat-based canned cat food that incorporates high-quality chicken, chicken liver, and turkey. According to customer reviews, the pate has a texture “like ground meat” that cats seem to enjoy.
In addition to carnivore-appropriate meat ingredients, the canned food contains fruits and vegetables like carrots and cranberries, plus cassia gum, guar gum, and xanthan gum as thickeners.
What makes this Wellness Complete Health canned food a great option for Ragdoll cats, other than the high nutritional value, is that it comes in large 12.5-ounce cans. Because Ragdoll cats eat more than the average housecat, many cat owners value products that can be bought in bulk.
Altogether, the food is high in protein from species-appropriate animal sources, moderate in fat, and low in carbohydrates. The food is 34 calories per ounce or 101 calories in each 3 oz can.
Chicken, Chicken Liver, Turkey, Chicken Broth, Carrots, Natural Flavor, Guar Gum, Cranberries, Ground Flaxseed, Potassium Chloride, Taurine, Salt, Cassia Gum, Xanthan Gum, Choline Chloride, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Beta Carotene, Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Niacin Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Potassium Iodide, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid.
|Crude Protein||10.5% Min|
|Crude Fat||7.0% Min|
|Crude Fiber||1.0% Max|
- Plenty of high-quality animal-based protein
- Comes in 12.5-ounce cans for bulk buyers
- No artificial additives or fillers
- Contains some thickeners (cassia gum, xanthan gum, guar gum)
#4 Best Canned: ZiwiPeak Beef Recipe Canned Cat Food
With ZiwiPeak cat food, you always get grass fed meat and a host of natural ingredients. This cat food is always of very high quality and made without the use of artificial components. If you aren’t sure how sensitive your cat is to certain foods, then this can be a great product to start with.
The chunky loaf style of the meat is very attractive to cats, as it gives them food that’s appealing to bite into instead of mushy food that they can’t get much enjoyment out of. There is no filler here, and you really do get a lot of value for your money, as you won’t find a bunch of gravy taking up the space in the can.
On the downside, not all cats are going to like it, but that’s true of even the finest cat food. Some cats will just be picky about what they eat, and ZiwiPeak’s offerings may not be to their liking.
Beef, Water Sufficient for Processing, Beef Lung, Beef Kidney, Beef Tripe, Beef Liver, Chickpeas, New Zealand Green Mussel, Beef Bone, DL-Methionine, Dried Kelp, Minerals (Magnesium Sulfate, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex), Taurine, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid).
|Crude Protein||9.0% Min|
|Crude Fat||5.5% Min|
|Crude Fiber||2.0% Max|
- Made from high-quality, ethically-raised meat
- Rich in protein and moisture
- Available in slightly larger 6.5-ounce cans
- Fairly expensive compared to other brands
- Some cats may be sensitive to beef
#5 Best Dehydrated: The Honest Kitchen Grace Grain-Free Turkey Cat Food
Ragdoll cats can benefit from a moisture-rich diet. This Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Turkey recipe is a dehydrated cat food, so it shouldn’t be fed as-is but, once rehydrated, it is a great source of moisture for cats. It is also packed with real animal protein from fresh turkey.
Grace by The Honest Kitchen contains 70% cage-free turkey, making it a nourishing high quality protein choice for your meat-loving cat. The recipe contains pumpkin, which is a good fiber containing food often used as a home remedy for hairballs.
This food wasn’t made specifically with indoor cats in mind and is high in calories, so make sure to watch the portion sizes when feeding it to a less-active cat. For most Ragdolls, however, the higher calorie content is beneficial to maintain a healthy weight.
All of the ingredients are human-grade and minimally processed.
Dehydrated Turkey, Dehydrated Eggs, Dehydrated Pumpkin, Dehydrated Potatoes, Dried Parsley, Dehydrated Kale, Dried Cranberries, Minerals [Tricalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Potassium Iodide, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Sodium Selenite], Taurine, Vitamins [Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), D- Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin D3 Supplement].
|Crude Protein||38.5% Min|
|Crude Fat||34.5% Min|
|Crude Fiber||2.5% Max|
- 70% of protein from real turkey
- Made from human-grade ingredients
- Minimally processed, no artificial additives
- Rich in moisture when rehydrated
- Some cats dislike the texture of rehydrated food
#6 Best Freeze-Dried: Stella & Chewy’s Absolutely Rabbit Dinner Morsels
If you like the idea of feeding your cat raw food but you don’t want to deal with the hassle, Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw food for cats is a great alternative. It’s available in three different sizes and a number of different recipes including novel proteins like rabbit.
Freeze-drying destroys pathogenic organisms without altering the nutritional and textural qualities of fresh raw meat, making this Stella and Chewy’s recipe a highly-digestible choice for cats.
The morsels are primarily composed of rabbit meat and bones. Since most cats don’t eat rabbit on a regular basis, it’s not one of the top allergens and is unlikely to stir up any allergy issues.
The food contains probiotics, which can improve overall digestive health. Handling, processing, and storage conditions could kill these microorganisms, however, so it’s unclear how viable they’ll be by the time they reach your cat’s food bowl.
Rabbit With Ground Bone, Rabbit Liver, Olive Oil, Pumpkin Seed, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Phosphate, Choline Chloride, Dried Ediococcus Acidilactici Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium Longum Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus Coagulans Fermentation Product, Taurine, Tocopherols (Preservative), Dandelion, Dried Kelp, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Copper Proteinate, Riboflavin Supplement, Sodium Selenite, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Manganese Proteinate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 Supplement.
|Crude Protein||44.0% Min|
|Crude Fat||30.0% Min|
|Crude Fiber||5.0% Max|
- Novel source of protein (rabbit)
- Highly digestible natural ingredients
- Rich in protein and probiotics
- Requires thawing before feeding
- Fairly expensive
#7 Best for Sensitive Stomach: Hound & Gatos 98% Trout and Duck Liver Canned Cat Food
Though Ragdoll cats are no more prone to food allergies than other brands, some cats do develop sensitive stomachs. In this case, it’s important to find a high-quality diet made with simple natural ingredients that is easy to digest.
Hound and Gatos 98% Trout and Duck Liver is a great option for a number of reasons. Not only is it packed with protein and moisture, but it is completely free from plant protein and made with a limited list of ingredients. In fact, it doesn’t contain any added carbohydrate ingredients.
This canned food formula is a great choice if you’re looking for a high-protein diet that is also rich in calories and nutrition. It also doesn’t hurt that it contains a novel source of protein. It could be just what your Ragdoll needs.
Trout, Fish Broth, Duck Liver, Calcium Carbonate, Agar-Agar, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Salt, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Magnesium Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Niacin Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Calcium Panthothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid.
|Crude Protein||10.5% Min|
|Crude Fat||8.0% Min|
|Crude Fiber||1.0% Max|
- Novel source of protein (trout and duck)
- Rich in protein and moisture
- Highly digestible and limited list of ingredients
- Fairly expensive compared to other options
Raw Food For Ragdoll Cats And Ragdoll Kittens
The commercial cat food options above should provide your Ragdoll with the balanced nutrition he needs, but if you’re looking for an even more biologically appropriate diet you might consider raw food.
Many pet nutrition experts consider a raw food diet the highest quality diet for cats. Why?
Because raw food diets for cats are whole-prey-inspired. This means they are designed to mimic the natural diet of wild cats which includes muscle meat, organs, and raw bone.
If you choose to feed your Ragdoll a raw diet, your first decision is between a commercial raw food diet and a homemade raw food diet. Commercial diets take the guesswork out of the equation though they can be pricey. If you choose to make your own raw cat food, be sure to follow a veterinarian-approved recipe to ensure your cat gets the nutrients he needs.
Learn more about homemade and raw cat food in our handy guide.
- Best Cat Food for Diarrhea
- Best Cat Food to Prevent Vomiting
- Best Hypoallergenic Cat Food
- Best Kitten Food – Top 5 Best Kitten Foods
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Ragdoll cats eat a lot?
While the Ragdoll’s ideal diet is no different from any other cat’s in terms of nutritional needs, this breed does tend to eat a lot more than other cats. Ragdolls weigh 10 to 20 pounds at maturity, so they need more calories than smaller cat breeds. In fact, they may eat 5 to 8 times as much as the average cat.
Do Ragdolls need a special diet?
Not necessarily. Any high-quality commercial cat food made with whole-food ingredients and centered around real animal proteins should be sufficient. That being said, Ragdoll cats tend to be kept as indoor cats so they may be at-risk for hairballs and dehydration due to a lack of moisture in most commercial diets. Consider a fresh, canned, or raw food diet for your Ragdoll.
Is it better to get a male or female Ragdoll?
Many Ragdoll owners say that male cats are sweeter, but there’s no way to quantify this claim. Some say female Ragdolls play a little more aggressively but both sexes form strong bonds with their owners.