It is widely assumed that cats have a huge aversion to water, but does this actually seem true? What do kitties really think of water?

Scientists believe that we (humans) have created cats’ dislike of water by shielding them from rain ever since we’ve domesticated them. Additionally, the ancestors of the domestic cats – like the Wild European cat and Africa and China’s Desert Cat –  had so limited contact with water that cats never evolved to deal with water. However, it appears that cats and water have a love-hate relationship…

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There are a few mismatches regarding cats and water:

Experiences
If a cat’s experience with water is mostly a rainstorm, forced bath or spray with water as a ‘discipline lesson’, it’s no wonder that he or she wants to stay away from water (as the cat associates water with negative/bad things).

Fur
Do you remember when you went for your swimming diploma? There was this one part where you had to swim from A to B with your clothes on. When you try to remember, you can probably still feel the weight of your soaked clothes. This same thing that happens to your clothes, happens when a cats’ fur becomes waterlogged: it will weigh him down – not really comfy or practical for that matter. Luckily for them, cats clean themselves by licking their fur and – because they do this so well – they don’t even need to take a bath.


Then again, there are some perfect matches of cats and water:

The Infatuating Dribble
I’ve never heard of a cat that doesn’t like water dripping from the tap. Mushi and Cheesy definitely love sitting by the tap at the office. They drink little sips of water from it, while trying really hard not to get their little faces wet…

Cooling down
Especially cats in hot and dry climates like to cool down in water. Big cats like tigers and lions also spend lots of time in the water to cool off: they’re great swimmers actually!

Fishing
Cats are also adept at fishing, just as hunting mice. Some cats will sit in the water or at the edge to catch some fish.

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In conclusion

There are both rights and wrongs for a cat to like water from nature’s view and we believe that no cat is alike. If your cat isn’t fond of water, don’t push him/her. Since your kitty grooms itself, bathing does not need to be an issue most of the time.

If you do wish to bath your cat (for example when he of she’s really dirty of got something sticky in their fur) here are some tips:

  • Get the right kitty shampoo (ask your vet!) and keep this away from the nose, eyes, mouth and ears;
  • Place some of his of her favorite toys in the tub;
  • Be VERY kind and caring: talk to your cat in a calm way and pet him or her constantly;
  • Do not rush or push it, avoid “fighting” with your cat;
  • Dry your cat with a soft, clean towel by rubbing gently;
  • Some cats like the warmness of a blow-drier, but please note that it’s not to hot or hard, and keep enough distance;
  • Reward your cat afterwards with his of her favorite candy and crawl up on the couch together!