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Ever wondered why cats hate water so much? Well, there are a lot of reasons. If you’re not used to getting wet, and all of a sudden you find yourself caught in a sudden rainstorm, how would you feel?

But the reasons go beyond that. Here’s a look at why most cats dislike water, as well as some of the cat breeds that actually like to take a dip every once in a while.

Info For Pet Parents: Why Do Cats Hate Water So Much?

wet cat | Ultimate Pet NutritionThere is some evidence that the reason cats hate getting wet goes back to when they were first domesticated. Their owners protected them from the elements, so they rarely came in contact with water. Many of the domestic cat’s ancestors also rarely had any experience with water.1

There are a few other theories, however, as to why cats have an aversion to water. One has to do with their coats. If you have a Norwegian Forest Cat, or another breed with a long coat, it can get very heavy when submerged in water.

In fact, water can weigh down a cat’s coat so much that it makes it difficult for the cat to stay afloat. Wet cats don’t feel as secure because they can’t move around as well. When a cat with a short coat gets wet, that can make them very cold. Another reason cats may hate getting wet is the smell. Tap water contains chemicals that stink to most cats.2

Your Cat’s Natural Instincts: How Domesticated Cats Evolved From Wild Cats

You learned earlier a little bit about how the evolution of domestic cats ties in with an aversion to water. But how did cats become domesticated in the first place?

There is some evidence that humans domesticated cats on the island of Cyprus (located just to the southeast of Greece) about 10,000 years ago. Other evidence states that domestication goes even farther back – about 12,000 years.

These cats were domesticated in the Near East, which today includes Iraq, Syria, Israel, and several other countries.

One school of thought maintains that some cats had a genetic predisposition that allowed them to approach humans without fear. Farmers also captured cats, using them to hunt pests such as mice. Cats decided to stay because they had a steady supply of food. They gradually became tamer over time.3

Why Does Your Cat Like To Play With Running Water In The Sink And Tub?

cat and running faucet | Ultimate Pet Nutrition

It doesn’t make a lot of sense that your cat hates to get wet, yet is fascinated with the water coming out of your sink. The reason might be that they’re mesmerized by the light flickering off the water. Not only does it make a strange noise, it moves – and they love that.4

There are some cats that actually enjoy drinking out of the faucet. This goes back to their evolution. They instinctively believe running water falling into the sink is fresher than the water sitting in their bowl.5

Breeds Of Cats That Actually Love Water

asian fishing cat | Ultimate Pet NutritionNow that you know the answer to the question “Why do cats hate water?” let’s take a look at some breeds of cats that aren’t averse to taking a dip once in a while. There’s even a wild cat breed, known as the Asian Fishing Cat, that has webbed paws. They use them to dive underwater for frogs and other prey.6

And believe it or not, there are quite a few domestic breeds that also love water. Here are just a few.

  • American Shorthair – This athletic breed was first registered a long time ago – 1906, to be exact. American Shorthairs love to play with their water. They will often dump their water bowl just for fun.7
  • Maine Coon – The Main Coon might have a long coat, but this breed will often dunk their toys in water. They aren’t afraid of jumping into the toilet bowl once in a while. It doesn’t take owners long to figure out they always need to put the lid down.8
  • Turkish Angora – This is a beautiful breed that will often hop in the shower with a pet parent. Turkish Angoras also can’t resist the sound of running water. They’ve also been known to swim in small ponds.9

Should You Bathe Your Cat In Water?

The thought of trying to get your cat into the tub or the sink might seem impossible. Thankfully, most cats do a great job of grooming themselves.

But there are some instances where a cat will need a bath. If you have an outdoor cat, they may encounter something in the yard that could be incredibly smelly, such as a skunk. There might be a medical issue that will require a bath, such as ringworm. This is a type of parasite that can only be eradicated through bathing with medicated shampoos.

Some cats are too obese to be able to groom themselves. They need regular baths as a result. If your pet has arthritis, for example, they may need help with grooming. Warm water will not only help them keep clean, it may also feel good to their aching joints.10

Just be careful not to bathe your pet too often. This can make the skin dry and itchy, and can also make the coat dull.11

bathing cat | Ultimate Pet NutritionHow To Safely Bathe A Cat

Proper grooming is key to pet care. If you need to bathe your cat, here’s how to do it.

  • First, gather your supplies. You’ll want rubber gloves to protect yourself from scratching. You’ll also need cat shampoo, a towel, and a pitcher (or two) of warm water. Have cotton balls handy to clean out your cat’s ears.
  • Next, fill your tub or sink (depending on your cat’s size) with about two or three inches of warm water. Use the water from the pitcher to gently wet your cat’s body. Then rub in the shampoo.
  • Your cat will probably not want their head wet. It will be easier to use a washcloth to clean this area. Once you’re done with the bath, put the cat into the towel and gently dry them.12

If bathing your cat proves to be too much of a challenge, don’t feel bad. Take your pet to a groomer instead. Do a little research first, and make sure the groomer you’re considering will not only do a good job, but will also be gentle.

Learn More:
A List Of Pet Safe Houseplants (And Toxic Ones To Avoid)
Info For Pet Parents: Health And Safety For Cats During The Winter
Happy New Year Dogs And Cats: Resolutions For Pet Parents
Sources:
1 http://www.animalplanet.com/pets/healthy-pets/do-cats-really-hate-water/
2 https://www.animalfriends.co.uk/pet-advice/travelling/find-out-why-some-cats-are-scared-of-water/
3 https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/a-brief-history-of-house-cats-158390681/?no-ist
4 https://www.mnn.com/family/pets/stories/why-do-cats-hate-water
5 https://www.petmd.com/cat/behavior/pet-myths-do-cats-really-hate-water
6 https://news.wisc.edu/curiosities-why-do-cats-hate-water/
7 http://www.vetstreet.com/cats/6-cat-breeds-that-love-to-play-with-water
8 http://www.vetstreet.com/cats/6-cat-breeds-that-love-to-play-with-water
9 http://www.vetstreet.com/cats/6-cat-breeds-that-love-to-play-with-water
10 https://www.catster.com/cat-health-care/should-you-bathe-a-cat-what-to-know-about-cat-baths
11 https://www.banfield.com/pet-healthcare/additional-resources/article-library/everyday-care/should-i-bathe-my-cat
12 https://www.catster.com/cat-health-care/how-to-give-a-cat-a-bath