Why Do Cats Hate Water? Demystifying Through Science

Cats are infamous for their aversion to water. Felines and water don't mix, or at least that how many of us perceive it to be. Good thing cats rarely need a bath. However, have you ever wondered why cats dislike water so much? There are potential behavioral as well as biological factors to explain this.
Why Do Cats Hate Water? Demystifying Through Science - KittyNook Cat Company

Cats are infamous for their aversion to water. Felines and water don't mix, or at least that how many of us perceive it to be. Good thing cats rarely need a bath. However, have you ever wondered why cats dislike water so much? There are potential behavioral as well as biological factors to explain this.

Our furry friends have strange manners that keep us guessing about many things, but one of the most enduring difficulties concerns a quite fundamental aspect: water.

Why do pet cats dislike water? How come they love the water leaking from a faucet but will fight tooth and claws if they come close to a bathtub that's full of water? We'll probably never know the exact reasons. However, science and experts offer us a couple of theories that can help frustrated cat owners recognizing their pal's practices much better.

Why Do Cats Hate Water?

Pet cats are wonderful with drinking water, but if it comes up to their fur, water can instantly transform a happy feline right into a little lion. There are a variety of reasons to demystify this aversion:

1. Water Weighs Cats Down

why do cats hate water

Imagine having to lug a soaking wet blanket on your shoulders until it dries. A similar concept is at work when it concerns cats and water.

When their fur gets soaked, the dripping water will feel weigh down the cat and prevent it from moving with the typical agility they possess. That's somewhat an unpleasant experience for a feline that likes to navigate life with a resilient, uncomplicated gait.

2. The Cat's Biological History

One more reason cats hate is credited to their ancestry. There is not much in a feline's history to let them come across bodies of water, be it little or big. Our cat's forefathers, like tigers, lived in dry arid areas, indicating rivers or seas weren't a territory they had to deal with. They have never discovered to swim because there was no evolutionary need for it. These habits, or lack thereof, have lingered in our modern pet cats. There is very little in their ancestors' past to prepare the contemporary cat for bathtubs, which helps us understand why their first reaction is to escape an owner's grip determined to get them in it.

3. Cats Can Smell the Chemicals From Tap Water

why do cats hate water

The scent is a cat's most reliable sense. Although humans could not detect them, the faucet water's chemicals give off odors that a cat's delicate nose will get quickly. Felines are likewise really meticulous creatures. They invest a lot of time grooming themselves. Water is great for dipping a paw now and then, but having their fur immersed in a fluid that smells nothing like the "regular" scent of their coats is enough to have bath time a no-deal.

4. Negative Experiences

Some felines could have negative experiences with water, such as having their coat damp in early kittenhood. In some cases, it's those very first interactions that can help elucidate the mystery of why cats despise water. If being submerged in water was a traumatizing experience the initial few times, they'll likely say "no chance" at the sight of a bathtub well into their adult years.

5. Loss Of Control

why do cats hate water

Something else can explain why a cat will not want to enter into the tub yet is happy to have fun with any trickling faucet available or even venture near the full tub to dip their paw in. In those circumstances, a feline will have a lot more control over the scenario. Besides, they still have their feet securely on dry land and can conveniently escape. Being submerged in a wet surface with water pouring down on their hair coat, with some getting on their eyes, and weighing them down in the process is understandably enough to make their feline instincts go haywire.

Are There Types of Cats that Like water?

All these reasons cats dislike water holds across breeds and types. However, similar to every rule you can imagine, there are likewise exemptions some exceptions. Some cats have an affinity for water. What makes these types distinct is their fur's texture, making them much more water-resistant than various other cat breeds.

Turkish Van

why do cats hate water

A Turkish Van's water-resistant coat does not hold water, which makes swimming a pleasurable experience for them. These kitties have such a fondness for water that several owners search for feline swimming pools so they can swim to their heart's desire. They enjoy being in the water so much that they have been labeled "the swimming cat."

Maine Coon

why do cats hate water

A Maine Coon's waterproof coat means that they won't think twice to splash around every chance they get. Leave the faucet running a little bit, and you may soon have a Maine Coon on the tub.

Historically these cats have been pest controllers on cruise ships, which may be a factor why they're so secure around bodies of water.


why do cats hate water

Another cat that loves water, the Abyssinian will not be reluctant to explore every little thing from a full bathtub to the sink by dipping its paws. These kitties got in the country first by boat, so their utter comfort regarding water may originate from that initial trip across the ocean.

Can I Give My Cat A Shower?

why do cats hate water

Considering that most kitty cats don't have water-resistant or a fondness for water, you may be wondering what you can do when your cats get in a mess that they can't clean on their own?

Under unique situations, you can provide your feline a bath. It cannot be effortless, yet an excellent starting point is to get the essentials right. Ensure you have all set a non-slip flooring mat, special shampoo, towels, and a brush. We talk about this in-depth in another article. Be sure to check that out!



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