Are Ragdolls Lap Cats? A Look At Their Behavior

Ragdoll cats are known for their affection. But when it comes to the idea that they are all lap cats, that’s only true in a broad understanding of the breed. The truth is, Ragdoll cats are much like any other cat in terms of their individual personalities.

Ragdolls are lap cats. However, with the understanding that they are individual cats with individual personalities, the one shoe fits all approach is inappropriate. If you are the proud owner of a Ragdoll kitten, it will most likely be a lap cat at some point, but it’s not something that is set in stone. 

When we talk about animals, it’s easy to generalize based on the features of that species, breed, or whatever else applies at the time. However, one thing that is almost a certainty is that your Ragdoll will be a highly affectionate, deeply loving, family-friendly cat. 

But that doesn’t necessarily translate into a cat that will lay on your lap every time your butt hits the couch. That’s especially true if you own a female Ragdoll, as they are slightly different from their male counterparts. 

What is a Lap Cat?

A lap cat isn’t something that is entirely defined by whether or not the cat sits in your lap all of the time. Instead, it’s more broadly—and more accurately—defined as a cat that spends a lot of time by your side. 

Ragdolls meet that definition in almost every sense of the word. They are one of the most, if not the most, affectionate, loving, and companionable cats in the world. A Ragdoll will constantly remain by your side, day or night, especially a male Ragdoll. 

As young cats, Ragdolls are far more active and, like many other cats, love to play and pounce. They are far more active until they settle into themselves around the age of three. At this age, you will begin to see just how much of a lap cat your Ragdoll will be. 

Once they reach around three years of age, the male Ragdoll will close in on between 15 and 20lbs. The female is nowhere near as heavy. But like the male, she is considered a large cat in her own right and will be a very companionable cat. 

Here are some of the things that you can expect from Ragdolls that will fall under the definition of “lap cat”:

  • Closeness and seeking your affection
  • Laying next to you most, if not all, of the time
  • Laying next to you or on your lap
  • They will follow you around everywhere
  • Consistently by your or another family member’s side
  • Engaging and ready for your attention at all times

As constant companions, Ragdolls are considered lap cats in more ways than one. They will spend the great majority of their day seeking out your attention. The male will be a little more forceful about it than the female, but both will do just that. 

It rarely matters what is going on at any particular time, as a Ragdoll will be up and ready for attention at any time. So most of the time, when you settle in for the day, whether it’s on the recliner, the couch, or a chair at the kitchen table, you shouldn’t be surprised if your Ragdoll jumps onto your lap.

Do Ragdolls Become More of a Lap Cat as They Age?

This is definitely true, especially when it comes to the male Ragdoll, as they are far more energetic and playful in their early and formative years. However, as they reach a more mature age, they will generally calm down and become even more affectionate than they already were. 

Female Ragdolls are similar but not quite as adamant about it when they get older. They are playful at a young age but not nearly as aggressively playful as male Ragdolls. Of the two, the female is the more laid-back Ragdoll and that will only be exacerbated by age. 

Neither the female nor the male is going to be much in the way of jumpers—especially the male—and will often rub their bodies up against your ankles and calves, purring, meowing, and giving you the look that only a Ragdoll cat can give.

It’s a signal to pick them up, and, as Ragdolls, they will go completely limp in your hands as you settle them down on your lap. Once there, Ragdolls will be perfectly content to remain there until you decide to get up, however long that may be. 

Ways Ragdolls Show They Want Lap Time

There are many ways that Ragdolls will implore you to pick them up and give them some lap attention:

  • Rubbing their bodies and face against your leg
  • Try to groom you
  • Eye kisses
  • Showing you their bellies
  • Head bop or nuzzle you

The first one may also be a sign that your Ragdoll is ready to be fed. 

However, if there is a routine and it’s not that time of the day, it’s generally a sign that it is craving your attention and wants you to pick it up.

Trying to groom you is another way Ragdolls will try and share their affection for you. It is one of the best times to pick them up to chill out on your lap. It’s also a sign that they consider you to be one of her own and that your Ragdoll is perfectly content in the moment. 

Eye kisses are a term that is often applied to Ragdolls because it’s a certain look that they give you that is obviously full of love and affection. If you settle your Ragdoll on your lap and pet him gently, he will often close his eyes, which is the ultimate show of trust.

Showing their bellies is another form of absolute trust and affection from your Ragdoll. It also lets you know that they are really comfortable being around you and happy. So it’s a great time to pick them up and show them your appreciation for their level of trust. 

Head bopping or nuzzling you, even if you are standing up and the Ragdoll can only reach your shin, means that your Ragdoll is attempting to convey its high esteem for you and that you are a part of its pack.

As in the above instances, it’s just another sign that you are free to pick her up and give her some attention for a little while. Your Ragdoll will definitely appreciate it and will likely spend the whole day chilling out on your lap from that point on. 

No matter what the body language, vocalizations, or eyes are doing in any of the above situations, these things are a part of what Ragdolls do regularly. You can expect this type of behavior off and on, every day. Feel free to pick them up during this time and give them some affection.

Final Thoughts

Your Ragdoll will be a lap cat in almost every sense of the word. 

However, the singular definition of sitting in your lap doesn’t do anything to define the nature of what it is to be a “lap cat.”

Being a “lap cat” means so much more to your Ragdoll than you think.

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