The old tale that cats hate water and avoid it at all costs is certainly true to some extent for most cats, and this is usually particularly obvious when it is pouring with rain and your cat refuses to move from their comfortable seat and even contemplate going out of doors. However, some cats not only don’t come rushing inside when the weather turns but also seem keen to go outside when it is raining, often staying out for several hours and coming back in completely drenched for a good wash and dry off!
If you have noticed this sort of behaviour in your own cat and wondered why they seem keen to go out or stay out in the rain, or are at least not overly bothered by it, this article will explain some of the potential reasons behind it. Read on to learn more.
One of the simplest and most common explanations for why cats will choose to go outside in bad weather is to do their business! If the urge takes them when the weather is bad, they will still need the loo-and whilst providing a litter tray may give your cat an alternative to having to go outside in bad weather, many cats will refuse to use a litter tray unless there is absolutely no choice, greatly preferring to go outside away from their home to toilet, even if it is raining.
Next up, just because your cat is not in your home when it is raining and doesn’t rush to get inside doesn’t mean that they are necessarily sitting outside in the rain! Your cat may well have found a bolt hole or some dry shelter to provide cover in the rain, and is either there waiting for it to ease off so that they can run home, or simply enjoying some quiet time observing everything around them from a snug shelter.
If it is still raining when your cat does decide to come home, they will naturally come in wet-but this is not necessarily an indication that they have been sitting outside in the rain getting soaked the whole time.
If you live in an area that is often busy with pedestrians, dogs or other cats, you will probably find that your cat prefers to go outside when it is quieter and there is less going on, such as at night. People tend to stay inside too when it rains, and so your cat may be taking the opportunity to check things out when it is quieter, and maybe have the chance to investigate places that they would not normally be able to look around in safety or comfort.
Rain of course washes away dirt, dust and scents, and so your cat will likely be interested to go outside, scent the air and see what has changed. The atmosphere during and after rain changes as well, and because all of these things will have a direct impact on your cat’s environment, they may well be interested in going outside to get more familiar with it all!
Additionally, scent plays an important role when it comes to cats that live as neighbours and how they establish their territories; if a dominant cat has established and marked out the parameters of their territory, other cats are less likely to wander into it.
However, during and after rain, some of these scents will be washed away, and this may make cats that usually give certain areas a wide berth feel more comfortable about venturing out into areas that they would often consider to be off limits.
Some cats do their most successful hunting when it is raining, as the sound of the rain masks the sound of an approaching cat, and the gloom makes them blend into the background more effectively. The scent trail of the cat (and their potential prey) will also be less distinctive, and because small animals often rely upon rain for drinking water, they are more likely to venture out to drink.
This means that for some hunting cats, the payoff involved in sitting out in the rain and blending in comes in the form of easy prey!
Whilst most cats don’t actively seek out water out of choice, some cats have a natural affinity for water, such as the Turkish Van, which originates from the shores of Lake Van in Turkey. Turkish Van cats will often swim happily and tend to enjoy playing in water too, and are less likely than most to be put off by a bit of rain.
Their long, silky coats also ensure that they do not become waterlogged, and so dry off quickly without becoming uncomfortable.