Cats and Water


I have always wondered why it was, that some cats absolutely despise water for anything other than drinking, while others just can’t seem to get enough of it. I decided it was worth looking into, so here is what I found out.

Why Some Cats Like Water and Others Don’t

Us humans have sheltered our house cats from these elements and from water in general for so long, they seem to have developed an aversion to being wet. Stray cats are less likely to show this hatred, because they are more likely to be accustomed to it. Of course, stray cats tend to act differently than pets, due to their wild nature.

A cat who has never experienced the sensation of being completely drenched, might be a little less leary of water and maybe even a little curious about it. These curious kitties are the ones that are likely to stick their paws in the toilet and scoop it out, just for fun. Running water can be a thing of wonder for these curious cats as well. They like to bat at it or hold their paws under it, so they can see the change in the flow of the water. Biting at and drinking this dribbling water can also be incredibly fascinating for some cats.


The main reason most cats don’t like water is because their top layer of fur is slightly water resistant, so when they clean themselves it doesn’t soak all the way through to the skin. When they get completely soaked, this top layer holds in some of that water on the little hairs underneath, which weighs them down and makes them very uncomfortable.

We’ll usually only go through the experience of giving a cat a bath once. This is because it can be a very traumatic experience for both parties. The first time a cat is introduced to a bath, they will most likely hate it. This new and uncomfortable experience is not something they are likely going to want to try again.

If getting your cat used to water is something that you are after, then repeat exposure is the way to get there. If you start when they are kittens then they will be easier to handle, which can be less stressful.

There are also certain breeds of cats who just naturally like water. If you are wanting to take your cat sailing then you might want to consider one of these breeds instead of trying to convince your already leary cat to like water.

One of these breeds is the Maine Coon. In New England, a while back, it was common for sea captains to have one of these guys on board. Many never went on a voyage without their furry faced friend. A cousin to the Maine Coon, who also likes water, is the Norwegian Forest Cat. They’ve been known to be excellent fishers.

The Abyssinian, who is local to the coast of the Indian Ocean, is among the water loving variety. Along with the Manx, Japanese and American Bobtail, Bengal, Savannah, Turkish Angora and Turkish Van.

There may be more breeds out there who are naturally prone to love water, but these are a few that I have run across.

All of these fabulous breeds of aquatic kitties are available to whoever should seek them. I, personally, love my non-water dwelling cats. But if I were to get one, I would choose the Maine Coon. Something about having a cat the size of a dog, who behaves similar, is very intriguing to me.


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Julie Antonson

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