Why Do Cats Hate Water?

It is commonly believed that cats hate water. They don’t beg to play with a hose or jump in a pond or pool like dogs do.

Just splashing cats with water seems to irritate them, right? Or maybe cats are just always a little annoyed.

But what makes them hate one of the most abundant substances on Earth? They have to drink it to survive, so what is it?

The simple answer is that they’re just not used to being wet.

Cats clean themselves by licking, so people usually don’t bother to train them to bathe in water like we do with dogs. S

how cats, for example, learn very early to bathe and be groomed for the judges, and they have no stereotypical fear of water.

If you want to get a cat who loves water, train her as a child to think that water is nice.

Ideally, if you start introducing them to water during their socialization period before they reach 16 weeks of age.

A cat’s preference for bathing on its own, without human help, is another factor in its dislike of water.

Because cats are so thoroughly licked, little oil accumulates on their coats. The oil helps repel water, so when the cat gets wet, water soaks all over its skin.

This makes the coat feel heavy and saturated with moisture, and they may feel less fast and agile themselves. And, you know, wet.

We also use water as punishment, which doesn’t add to cats’ love of the wet.

When they jump on the table, or lick our yogurt bowl, or scratch the armrest of the couch, we often splash water on them. It works because it’s an unpleasant surprise.

It’s cold and uncomfortable, so they stop their behavior, which we don’t want from them, and run away to look contemptuously at us from a distance.

Do all cats hate water?

A dislike to water is one of the most well-known features of domestic cats. However, this is not true of all felines.

Some big cats, such as tigers, usually bathe to cool down or hunt for prey, and even some domestic breeds have been known to like to swim when the opportunity arises.

In general, however, domestic cats do their best to avoid getting wet, and behaviorists have developed a number of theories to explain this.

One of them suggests that because the species evolved in a dry climate and had little or no access to rivers or lakes, water (except for drinking) is an unfamiliar element to them and so they avoid it.

However, it is more likely that cats don’t like to get wet because of what water does to their fur.

Cats are finicky animals who spend most of their day grooming themselves. Wet fur makes a cat uncomfortable, and it often takes a long time to dry it.

Also, wet fur is heavier than dry fur, so the cat becomes less agile and easier to catch by predators.

There is also the shock factor. Accidentally falling into a full bathtub, for example, can frighten a cat and make it fearful of water for the rest of its life.

Domestic cat breeds that love water

Many cats like to play with running or dripping water, such as from a faucet.

Behaviorists believe that cats are attracted to the movement of water and the sounds it makes, all of which can stimulate a cat’s instinctive drive to catch prey.

Such play is acceptable even for a cat that is intolerant of water, since only its paws remain wet.

Some domestic cat breeds, such as the Maine Coon, Bengal and Turkish Van, are less afraid of water and even enjoy an occasional swim.

What makes these breeds unique is the texture of their fur, which makes them more water resistant than other breeds.


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