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Why Do Cats Hate Water?

 by danielle on 11 May 2014 |
2 Comment(s)

Owners know the look of horror their cat gives if they are accidentally splashed with droplets of water in the bathroom - or the wretched expression they wear if locked outside in the rain. 

Water, according to cats, is evil. 

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It is a somewhat counterintuitive horror. Since cats are so particular about keeping themselves well groomed, one would not think the idea of a bath would be so utterly abhorrent. Additionally, big cats such as tigers are often seen paddling across lakes and streams in the wild. 

So what is the reason behind a domestic cat’s hatred of swimming, bathing and all things wet? 

Water aversion most likely stems from the modern domestic cat’s desert ancestors. These ancient wild cats, living in arid regions such as Africa and the Middle East did not experience watery environments often and so did not adapt the skills to cope with it when it was encountered. This suspicion of water has continued to the present day. 

The nature of cat fur is another possible reason for the distaste. A cat’s coat traps water  and if it should get soaked, it drastically reduces the animal’s ability to keep warm. Tigers on the other hand, who have been recorded to swim over 30 km in a single day, have oily, wiry fur which dries quickly. 


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That said, not all cats despise water. Certain breeds in fact are known for their love of taking a dip. The dog-like Turkish Van, nicknamed ‘The Swimming Cat’, adores water and will jump in the kitchen sink, ponds and pools to enjoy a swim – some owners have even found their Turkish Vans frolicking in the toilet. In their homeland, they would traditionally swim out to greet boats returning from a days fishing to beg for snacks.

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Other breeds such as the Japanese Bobtail, Bengal, Manx and Abyssinian are also known for their fondness of water. These breeds were developed in coastal regions, which inbred an unusual feline relaxation around water. 

Other varieties of cat can be trained to tolerate water, but it is certainly an uphill battle. 








Ryan Breakwell - Comment
Ryan Breakwell13 Oct 2014Reply
cool! amazing!!!!!!!!!!
KittyCatCat777 - Comment
KittyCatCat77727 Feb 2015Reply
Thanks for the amazing information about cats. We just got snow, and there is a cat named Charlie outside freezing, and his owners won't let him in the house! Same with their other deaf cat Murphy. Now they have 2 dogs, WHY??

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