Monday 3 October 2011

Why do cats hate water?

Why do cats hate water? The answer is that, in general, they don't! Some cats do and some cats are reluctant to deal with water but few cats hate water. It is an individual cat trait or characteristic.

If tested any cat will be able to swim perfectly adequately and totally naturally. Please don't test this though.

Many cats including the Maine Coon, Turkish Van and Bengal cat like water. The Savannah cat also likes water. Wildcat hybrids do.

I think it is a myth peddled by people who are unsure about cats. Even in rain cats just get on with things. My old lady cat who is 95 in human age gets wet in the rain and it does not bother her in the slightest.

What you will find is that some individual cats, perhaps cats that are part of cat breeds such as the Persian, will dislike water and make that known to us. That will normally be an individual cat trait and not a general trait within a cat breed or a group of cats.

If a cat dislikes water perhaps it is because a cat's natural state is a self-groomed body. They leave their saliva on their fur. This is what cat's consider normal. If they get wet it washes off their saliva and leaves their coat ungroomed. They will dislike that.

This page lists wildcats that like water.

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  1. Monty loves to play out in the rain. It doesn't bother him in the slightest. He will come in absolutely drenched to the skin, lick himself dry, and not seem the least concerned about it. He hates when I try to take a towel to dry him off. So now if he comes in from the rain I just leave him alone to take care of his wet coat in his own way. We had rain every day for a week straight almost and his fur is very soft now-- must be from all the rainwater.

    My mother had a cat that would swim in Lake Delton. I don't think the cat liked water so much, though. It wasn't a desire to swim that was motivating her, it was the fact that mom and her sisters were out on this raft they had anchored in the middle of the bay. The girls would relax out there and sunbathe all day and the cat would meow on the shore for them to come back. When the little girls didn't return to shore, the cat started to come to them. Frequent bathing was not good for that cat's coat. According to my mother her fur got very dry, almost like straw. But the cat's distaste for water was certainly something that could be overcome when there was a deeper motivation at work-- wanting to be near her human companions.
    Ruth (Monty's Mom)

  2. Thanks, Ruth, for supporting this statement that I have made. Cats don't mind water, let's put it that way. They at least put up with it. Some actively like it. But it is wrong to say that cats hate water.


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