Why Do Cats Hate Water So Much?

Why Do Cats Hate Water So Much?

Not many of our feline companions are particularly fond of water, in fact it would be fair to say that most cats have an intense fear or even hatred of getting their feet wet, let alone submerging their entire bodies! However, some cat breeds really enjoy playing around in water which begs the question, why don't all our feline friends like getting wet?

Getting Waterlogged Inhibits Movement

Cats are very agile creatures and they often surprise even their owners at what they can get up to. One of the things that stresses a cat out more than anything is the feeling of being trapped. They get very anxious if they think they cannot escape a situation they find scary or threatening. If their coats get waterlogged, it could serious impact their mobility because it would weigh them down considerably!

When a cat has very wet fur, they feel extremely vulnerable which many behaviourists believe could be one of the reason they don't like water that much. The top layers of a cat's coat does offer them a little protection, but this is nowhere near enough for them to be completely waterproofed!

Cats are Creatures of Habit

Cats are real creatures of habit and they really don't like it when their routine is changed or interrupted. In the wild a cat gets to choose what they do and whether they are going to get themselves wet or not. However, our domestic cats don't have this luxury because it's their owners who dictate when they get fed and when they might need a bath or a wash down!

Our feline friends are not keen on surprises so when they are suddenly faced with a tub or a basin full of water or even a wet sponge, they can react quite dramatically. In short, the most placid of cats can turn skittish in a desperate attempt to escape!

What to do if a Bath is Absolutely Necessary

There may come a time when you have no choice but to give your kitty a bath. It could be because they are suffering from some sort of allergy and the vet has recommended you use a specific shampoo on their coats and skin, or it could be because they have got themselves very dirty and are starting to smell because they can't do a good job of cleaning themselves on their own – luckily this does not happen that often!

However, you don't have to totally submerge your pet to wash them because that would not be that fair. The best way to go about it is to use a sponge remembering to wear some strong gloves and a long sleeved top to avoid getting scratched in the process. You should sponge your cat down gently only doing one section of their coat at a time. You also need to make sure they are very well dried off afterwards to prevent them from catching a chill.

Slowly, Slowly Does It

A lot of our feline companions do, however, have a bit of a fascination about water and many will sit on draining boards watching a tap drip before swiping at it with their paws! Some owners even find their pets with their heads under a running tap trying to get a drink of water. This does not mean they like water and if you tried to put them in a bath, the chances are they would freak enough to run away and hide not reappearing until they think it is safe to do so again!

There is a huge difference between playing with a drip or two coming out of a tap and being up to their bellies in water. This is especially true if your cat is forced into having a bath against their will.

Breeds That Love Water

There are quite a few breeds that actually love being in water and this includes the following:

  • Maine Coon
  • Bengal
  • Turkish Angora
  • Japanese Bobtail
  • Manx
  • Norwegian Forest Cat
  • Abyssinian
  • Turkish Van
  • Savannah
  • American Bobtail

All of the breeds above enjoy playing in water and on a warm day a few of them will even take a swim in a pond, some even join their owners in the shower! However, just like people, none of our feline friends particularly like getting wet when the weather is cold outside!


Sharing a home with a feline companion is great because they are such nice characters to have around. Cats are creatures of habit and they hate it when their routine is interrupted or changed in any way. Our feline friends don't like surprises either so when they are faced with something they are not used to doing, it can really freak them out. Being forced to have a bath is definitely high on the list of things that will stress a cat out, unless that is they are a breed that really does love playing around in water!



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