Friday 16 September 2011

Swimming Cats

Despite the widespread idea that the domestic cat dislikes water and cannot swim, it is almost certain that all domestic cats can swim well if they had to. I would speculate that they are natural born swimmers but just don't know it.

This is because their wild cat ancestors are good swimmers. Some wild cats are exceptional swimmers. I am thinking of the leopard cat, the wildcat parent of the Bengal cat, the fishing cat and the tiger, to name three. Even the lion living on the savanna plains can traverse a wide river without a problem. The tiger can swim in the open sea for several miles if called upon to do that.

Wild cats need to like water because their prey is likely to be at or around water. The fishing cat has semi-webbed feet! This shows how proficient and adapted for water this cat is.

An example is in the news (mid September 2011). A black domestic cat called "Tootsie" living in Hereford, England, was almost killed by a car. His right leg was shattered. It was decided that the best way to rehabilitate him was in a hydrotherapy pool. These are swimming pools designed for medical use as swimming is good exercise without being weight bearing.

The pool built for dogs is at Canine Hydrocare. Tootsie swam naturally as soon as he was placed in the water for the first time wearing a safety harness. After six weeks Tootsie could swim around for 20 minutes at a time.

I wouldn't suggest that anyone test out my theory but I think that your lazy purebred Persian cat could manage a decent swim nicely. Provided his extra long hair didn't weigh him down too much.

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