An experienced veterinarian, Dr. Jennifer Creed offers particular expertise in the health problems of purebred cats. Dr. Jennifer Creed also owns Midwest Ragdolls, a Traditional Cat Association (TCA) Supreme Cattery of Excellence, and has been in two books about ragdoll cats.
Sturdy of build and generally healthy, the lovable and affectionate ragdoll cat can live for 12 to 15 years in the family home. However, the breed is prone to a number of health problems of which owners should be aware, so that they can seek out treatment.
Ragdoll cats can get bladder stones and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a thickening of the cardiac muscle. As this thickening occurs, the exterior wall of the heart becomes thicker and the muscle cannot contract normally, thus preventing adequate blood flow. There is no cure for HCM, but symptoms are controllable with medication.
Ragdoll cats may also have a higher risk of feline mucopolysaccharidosis, a genetic condition that can lead to joint damage and vision problems. Unlike HCM, this condition is treatable. Therapies include bone marrow transplantation and replacement of the arysulfatase B enzyme, a deficiency of which causes the condition.