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A fluffy black and white cat is lounging comfortably in a raised garden bed filled with soil. The background is a blurred green garden area, suggesting an outdoor setting. The cat appears relaxed and content, with its eyes half-closed.
Pet Blog

Do Cats Like Water?

While most cats are fascinated by running water and enjoy watching it, the majority of our feline friends do not like getting wet. It should be very easy to tell by your cat’s body language how they feel about water. Many wild big cats (tigers, lions, leopards, etc.) swim or bathe in rivers or lakes to cool themselves in hot climates. Since domestic cats aren’t exposed to the elements like their wild cousins, many house cats don’t experience the same joy from getting wet.

Reasons Cats Don’t Like Water

Scientists aren’t exactly sure why many cats hate water so much, but they do have a few ideas…

Water Weight

When a cat’s fur gets drenched, it’s like carrying around a heavy, wet, blanket. This is uncomfortable and makes it harder for them to move with the agility they are used to.

Chemical Smell

Smell is a cat’s strongest sense. The scent of chemicals or soap in the water may be undetectable to you, but your cat can definitely smell it and will be put off by it.

Lack Of Control

While cats are able to be in control when they are sitting on the kitchen counter dipping their paw in the sink, a bath is a completely different story. That lack of control can stress your kitty out enough to make them want to have nothing to do with a bath.

Past Experiences

Often, past experiences are in play with how your cat reacts to situations in the present. If they had a scary or negative experience with water when they were younger, it’s not something they will want to revisit now.

How to Make Bath Time Easier

We know bathtime is right up there with nail trimming for the fastest way to send your cat into a panic. Luckily, cats can usually clean themselves with their tongue. If they get into a messy situation that requires a bath, there are a few things you can do to help make the experience less stressful.

  1. Only fill the bath with just enough warm (not hot) water to dip your cat in. Don’t overfill.
  2. Avoid getting your cat’s head wet, and only put shampoo on the affected area.
  3. You can distract your cat with lots of praise and yummy treats.
  4. Make sure you rinse off all the shampoo/conditioner so that your cat doesn’t ingest it when they lick themselves.
  5. Gently towel dry your cat, and then leave them in a warm room to dry off.

A bath isn’t the only way to help keep your cat’s coat looking and feeling great, this mackerel shine meal enhancer can also do the trick! Even if you can’t get Fluffy to calm down about their encounters with H2O, you can help relieve stress in other areas of their lives.

Which Cats Like Water?

Believe it or not, some cats actually enjoy the water and love getting wet! These rebel breeds include:

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

If you’re looking for a cat who will love the water as much as a Labrador Retriever, you’ll be set with one of these breeds. If you have a cat who does not enjoy water activities, these treats can help calm them down a bit so that bath time is a little less stressful.