ragdoll lying in hammock bed

Best Cat Food for Ragdolls

LAST UPDATED 9 AUGUST 2023

This article is written by Pet Circle's qualified veterinarian, Dr Gillian Hill, BVSc (Hons)

Ragdolls are more than just stunning in appearance; they boast an endearing personality that makes them the perfect companions. Their social and loving nature makes them excellent family pets, and they easily adapt to indoor living, thriving in cosy and secure environments. This guide will help you to know what to look for in the best food for your Ragdoll, that will help them thrive through premium nutrition.

Six factors to consider when choosing a food for your Ragdoll:

  1. Health conditions: Your treating veterinarian should be your first port of call when it comes to dietary advice if your Ragdoll has any underlying diagnosed health conditions. In many cases, there may be prescription cat food which are the best option to help manage your cat's condition. For health support, there are a range of non-prescription, therapeutic options to help prevent certain conditions, or support your cat's specific needs.

  2. Complete and balanced: In choosing a food, the most important consideration after any health factors is that the diet is complete and balanced for your cat's stage of life. Ensuring that it meets AAFCO or FEDIAF pet food control guidelines is crucial to ensure that your dog receives all the nutrients they require in the correct ratios.

  3. Age: Cats of different ages have very different nutritional requirements. Kittens require energy-dense food which meets their intense growth rates, while senior cats are often less active and have a slower metabolism which means that they require fewer calories and less fat, but an easily digestible diet, to help them maintain good body condition.

  4. Quality: The quality of the ingredients and the digestibility of the nutrients they provide should be a key factor in choosing a food. Premium cat foods are designed to be highly digestible (which means smaller, firmer stools) and do not change ingredients batch to batch like grocery type brands, which means less tummy upsets. They also tend to contain higher levels of added beneficial nutrients, such as omega fatty acids for joint and skin health, and some are backed by testing to ensure they deliver the results they promise. Learning how to read pet food labels and knowing the ingredients in your cat's food is a crucial part of knowing what is the best food for them.

  5. Avoid overfeeding: Ragdolls are prone to weight gain, so it's important to monitor their portion sizes and avoid overfeeding. Food specifically designed for indoor cats, or weight loss cat food are often a great choice for Ragdolls with more sedentary indoor lifestyles. No matter which food you choose, follow the feeding guidelines provided on the cat food packaging and adjust as needed based on your cat's age, activity level, and individual metabolism.

  6. Dry vs. wet food: Both wet and dry cat foods are suitable for Ragdoll cats, and it's generally recommended to incorporate wet food into their diet to ensure proper hydration. Wet food can be especially beneficial for cats who don't drink enough water on their own.

Results:

  1. Best Overall: Royal Canin Adult Ragdoll
  2. Best for Indoor Ragdolls: Pro Plan Liveclear Adult Indoor Hairball Control Cat Food
  3. Best for Weight Control: Hills Perfect Weight
  4. Best Grain-Free Diet: Wellness Grain Free Indoor
  5. Best for Ragdoll Kittens: Royal Canin Kitten
  6. Best Wet Food: Royal Canin Intense Beauty

How We Review Our Products

Our Pet Circle Vet Squad comprises 30 vets with over 120 years of collective, independent veterinary expertise. Our Vet team use their health and husbandry knowledge, along with their own personal and clinical experiences to evaluate each product and provide detailed, informative reviews, free of any commercial bias. We then collate this information into our 'best of' recommendations.

Product Reviews

Best Overall: Royal Canin Adult Ragdoll

Pros

  • Formulated specifically for adult Ragdoll cats, with nutrients to support skin and coat health, joint health and cardiac function
  • Available in 2 size packs - 2kg and 10kg
  • Contains specific ingredients to maintain urinary health
  • Specifically designed pyramid-shaped kibble to suit the Ragdoll's broad jaw and encourage chewing to support dental health

Cons

  • Not made in Australia
  • Poultry-based food, so will not be suitable for cats with sensitivities to poultry proteins or fats

Dominating the breed-specific food market, Royal Canin make a range of diets for specific cat breeds, including Ragdolls. There are a number of benefits which makes this diet the clear overall winner for adult Ragdolls.

With added omega fatty acids EPA and DHA, along with borage oil, the Royal Canin Adult Ragdoll enhances your cat's skin and coat by supporting the skin barrier function and nourishing the hair coat. Along with this, because Ragdolls are a larger breed of cat, it also has targeted ingredients - glucosamine and chondroitin - to support joint health to keep them moving comfortably. Ragdolls are also one of the breeds more prone to heart disease, particularly hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, so the Royal Canin Adult Ragdoll includes taurine and omega fatty acids to support heart function.

With a tailored kibble shape to suit the Ragdoll's broad jaw shape, it is easier for your kitty to pick up and chew, making the culinary experience much more enjoyable for them!

What our customers say: "My Ragdoll has been on a diet of Royal Canin Adult Cat Food since he joined our family. His coat is glossy and his teeth are still perfect. I believe that the quality ingredients of this product are the reasons why he is still so healthy even after 8 years exclusively on this dry diet."

What our vets say: "I love that this diet is formulated with Ragdoll breed specific characteristics and requirements in mind. Complete and balanced and fortified with taurine and omega 3 fatty acids for heart health, glucosamine and chondroitin for joint mobility and EPA, DHA and borage oil for healthy skin and a shiny coat." - Dr. Belinda

Shop Royal Canin Adult Ragdoll Dry Food

Best for Indoor Ragdolls: Pro Plan Live Clear Adult Indoor Hairball Control Dry Cat Food

Pros

  • Contains a specific protein to bind the common allergen in cats saliva responsible for human allergies
  • Decreases allergens by 47% by the 3rd week of daily feeding
  • Contains natural fibres to reduce hairball formation
  • Has a reduced calorie density, to prevent weight gain in less active indoor cats

Cons

  • More expensive than other indoor formulations
  • Contains chicken as the primary protein source which may not be suitable for cats with food allergies or intolerances

A recent revelation in the world of cat foods, Pro Plan Live Clear food is formulated specifically for those family members with allergies to cats. 10-20% of adult world wide are estimated to have cat allergies, and cat dander plays an important role in the release of the allergens into the environment.

Cat dander is very different to cat dandruff. Dander is the microscopic particles from skin and hair that are normally shed by a health animal. The predominant protein involved in cat allergies which accumulates on the fur and skin, and is released in dander, is called Fel D1. Fel D1 is produced by glands in the skin and the salivary glands also. Pro Plan Live Clear Indoor cat uses a specific protein sourced from eggs to bind the Fel D1 in order to reduce it's allergenic ability... meaning goodbye allergies, hello kitty!

Pro Plan Live Clear also contains natural fibres to reduce hairball formation for your indoor cat, and reduced calories in order to prevent excessive weight gain, leading to a happier, healthier cat! Along with being made in Australia, Pro Plan Live Clear helps you and your cat live more contentedly together and support local industry at the same time.

What our customers say: "My cat loves them, but also it reduced my allergies after 3-6 months of continuous use. I changed from daily antihistamine tablets to occasional use of eye drops and nasal spray. Cons: The stool stinks more than with other indoor dry foods."

Shop Pro Plan Live Clear Adult Indoor Food

Best for Weight Control: Hills Science Diet Adult Perfect Weight Dry Cat Food

Pros

  • Available in a range of bag sizes - 1.3kg, 3.17kg, 6.8kg
  • Helps change a cat's metabolism from fat storage, to fat burning, while maintaining lean muscle mass
  • Suitable for weight management programs in multi-cat households
  • 2 varieties of kibble shape in the one bag for variety
  • Available in wet form also - Hills Perfect Weight Pouches

Cons

  • Not made in Australia
  • Contains chicken as the primary protein source, which may not suit some cats
  • Not as effective for weight loss as prescription weight loss diets

Hills Perfect Weight utilises groundbreaking nutrigenomics to help cats lose weight. By activating a cat's unique metabolism using specific nutrients in the food, their natural ability to burn fat is stimulated, while maintaining their lean muscle mass. Along with a specific fibre blend to keep your cat feeling full, it is suitable for adult cats of all breeds and weights.

With two kibble shapes in the one bag (heart-shaped and disc-shaped), Hills Perfect Weight offers variety for those fussy eaters. It is a great choice for less active cats who are prone to weight gain, cats who are only slightly above their ideal weight, and also for cats who have lost weight on prescription foods and need to maintain their current weight.

For cats with significant amounts of body weight to lose, the prescription weight loss diets are more effective, however they do need to be used only on the recommendation of your vet. For more tips on weight loss, check out our article on How to Help Your Cat Lose Weight. We also recommend learning how to tell if your cat is overweight.

What our customers say: "I came across this product purely by chance as I was after a good quality weight maintenance dried food that I could rely on to stop my cat gaining weight unnecessarily because she is very lazy. I haven't turned back since! Not only is this product manufactured by Hill's with the veterinarian's tick of approval, my cat loves it and would probably eat more than the recommended dose if I went ahead and let her - it's just awesome!"

Shop Hills Perfect Weight Adult Dry Cat Food

Best Grain Free: Wellness Core Grain Free Indoor Salmon and Herring Dry Food

Pros

  • Premium, grain free diet with very high quality natural ingredients
  • Made from salmon and ocean fish with no poultry, beef, soy, wheat or grain fillers
  • Added glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support
  • Available also in an indoor grain-free chicken variety

Cons

  • Not made in Australia
  • Available only in 2.27kg bags

Wellness Core is one the highest quality, natural diets available, utilising whole ingredients, superfoods, pre-and probiotics and grain-free carbohydrate sources. With meat-first recipes, you can be sure that Wellness Core will satisfy your cat's carnivorous needs.

The Wellness Core Grain Free Indoor Salmon and Herring contains only salmon, menhaden fish and herring meal as the meat protein sources, with no poultry, red meat or grain-fillers. It's therefore suitable for cats with sensitivities to chicken and beef.

This diet contains 38% protein to support lean muscle mass, with 63% of the protein from animal-based sources, for improved digestibility, and 10% fat, with controlled calories & carbohydrate levels (28%, as measured), perfect for everyday feeding of less active indoor cats.

What our customers say: "Looking at the bag, it looks fancy and I like the shiny blue colour, makes it stand out. Opening the bag was very easy, and it didn't rip in an annoying way. So that was good. Pouring the food into the cat bowl worked well. Was able to use the bag to control the direction of the pour. I really like the size of the pellets. It makes me think it would be easier for the cats to eat. While I was pouring it out, the cats were putting their head in the bowl. They started eating straight away, even my most fussy cat. The bag seal worked well. The pellets looked a little bit unappealing, but that's just from years of seeing greens, yellows, reds and oranges (fake colours I guess). I would recommend this to my family and friends, because it is so healthy for the cats, and natural and all around better for them - and my cats still eat it!"

Shop Wellness Core Grain Free Indoor Salmon and Herring Dry Food

Best for Ragdoll Kittens: Royal Canin Mother and Baby Dry Food

Pros

  • Highly palatable, and rehydratable
  • Softer kibbles for easier chewing
  • Contains a patented complex of antioxidants including vitamin E
  • Available in a range of bag sizes - 2kg, 4kg and 10kg.

Cons

  • Specifically formulated for kittens between 1-4 months of age. A different formulation is recommended for kittens from 4 to 12 months of age.
  • Poultry based diet that may not be suitable for kittens with food intolerances or allergies.

Royal Canin are the experts in age specific nutrition to meet the needs of your cat's particular life stage. For kittens, their dry formulations come in Mother and Babycat food (from weaning to 4 months of age), kitten dry food (from 4 to 12 months of age) as well as some breed specific kitten varieties. All varieties are highly palatable, with a complex of antioxidants and prebiotics to support optimal immune and digestive function, as well as omega fatty acids to support brain development in growing kittens.

The Royal Canin Mother and Baby Cat food is ideal for weaning kittens as it is a softer than normal kibble, and also rehydratable (with warm water or kitten formula) to encourage acceptance by young kittens. It comes in a variety of resealable bag sizes so you can choose, and store, the most suitable size for you and your household!

What our customers say: "My kittens and even largest cats prefer this kibble to any others I've tried so far, and I've tried so many. They prefer the small size and textured shape of the kibble because it's easy to eat. It smells pleasant and doesn't cause overly malodorous droppings. I've tried many other kitten kibbles, which are all too big and hard despite supposedly being designed for kittens. By comparison, Royal Canin mother and babycat is the only kibble I've found so far that is small enough to be suitable for kittens. It's also excellent for cats in convalescence recovering from illness or injury when reintroducing dry solids because of the small and easy to eat kibble size. I really like this product and recommend it as a standard staple daily kibble to be available for any kittens/cats. "

What our vets say: "I really like the Royal Canin range of kitten food. This premium kitten food contains highly digestible nutrients to help support healthy bone and muscle development. It includes an exclusive combination of nutrients to maintain optimal digestive health and stool quality, as well as antioxidants and prebiotics to support your kitten's natural immune defences." - Dr. Teagan

Shop Royal Canin Kitten Foods

Best Wet Food: Royal Canin Intense Beauty Pouches

Pros

  • Enriched with omega 3 and 6 fatty acids for a healthy skin and coat
  • High protein content to support lean muscle mass
  • Controlled phosphorus content to support healthy kidney function
  • Adding wet food to a cat's diet helps them to take in more water which is beneficial for kidney function and overall hydration
  • Available in both gravy, and jelly textures.

Cons

  • Not made in Australia
  • Some people find it difficult to remove all the wet food from pouch packaging
  • Ingredients list contains unspecified meat sources

With Royal Canin's dedication to scientific research and a passion for feline health, this gourmet wet food is a testament to the brand's commitment to excellence. With carefully selected nutrients, including omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, and a high protein content, this gourmet feast nurtures your Ragdoll's skin, promoting a soft and supple coat.

Not only does this wet food boost your cat's skin and coat health, it also boasts adapted phosphorus levels to support kidney function. With their higher water content, wet foods are super beneficial for cat's who are notorious for their low thirst drive. The extra water helps to support ideal hydration, which is crucial for kidney function and overall health. For more information about improving your cat's hydration, check out our ways to boost your cat's water intake.

What our customers say: "My cat would only eat Royal Canin Beauty and Sensory Taste. We have tried everything on the market, he only eats these 2. Recently we have adopted a kitten and we are struggling keeping her away of this food whenever the older cat is eating . She tries to steal it always! Can't wait for her to become adult so I can feed her the same. This one specifically is very good for their fur. We stopped feeding it to our cat for 2 months before and his fur started falling a lot . After starting feeding this again, his fur became stronger and softer again. Definitely see the difference."

What our vets say:"Royal Canin Feline Intense Beauty Wet Cat Food Pouches are a great choice for Ragdolls, because they contain targeted nutrition for healthy skin and an extra lush shiny coat. They also have an adapted phosphorus content to support kidney health. And, as cats can be a bit fussy, I love that there is a choice of either chunks in jelly or chunks in gravy!." - Dr. Jenny

Shop Royal Canin Intense Beauty Pouches

What to look for in a Ragdoll Food

When looking for a diet for your Ragdoll, you want to make sure you are meeting their nutritional requirements and energy needs while also providing support for their unique needs.

High quality protein source

With their luscious coat, Ragdolls require high-quality, highly digestible nutrients to suit their needs. Premium diets use protein that is easily digested and assimilated into the body, meaning the maximum amount of protein is absorbed and transported to where it's needed as fast as possible.

Ingredients for Skin and Coat Health

Keep your Ragdoll's luxurious, silky coat in optimal condition by feeding a diet containing skin support ingredients, such as omega fatty acids, zinc and vitamin E. Regular grooming is also crucial for Ragdoll's, to prevent matting, reduce hairball formation and lessen the dander shed into your home. For more information, take a read through our Cat Grooming Guide.

Controlled calories

Since they are most commonly kept as indoor cats, Ragdolls can have a tendency towards weight gain. For these cats, they will often benefit from a diet with controlled calories, such as an indoor, or weight control diet, to keep their weight in check. Cat food puzzle toys are also a great way to extend their meal time and add extra activity into their day in a stimulating and highly rewarding way!

How Much Do Ragdolls Need To Eat?

It is recommended to feed adult Ragdolls twice daily. The actual amount of food required depends on your cat's specific size, and the type of food you are feeding. The feeding guidelines on the food packaging provide a great place to start, and our Vet Squad are available 7 days a week if you have any questions about your Ragdoll's needs.

Further Reading

How To Brush Cat Teeth

Can You Flush Cat Litter?

Best Cat Food For Cats With Sensitive Stomachs

Best Automatic Cat Litter Boxes

Best Cat Brushes