Curiosity Killed The Cat: Why Cats Hate Water
All cat lovers have seen the often hilarious results that occur when cats come into contact with water, now all your questions are answered about why cats hate water. Whether it is a glass of water spilled accidentally on your precious feline’s carefully groomed fur, or the sight of your devoted cat dancing carefully around the edge of a full bathtub as you soak in there with a good book, we have all seen our furry friends express their distaste for water. But why is this?
No-one likes feeling soggy
How would you like to walk around in soaking wet clothes? Pretty uncomfortable, huh? As anyone who has got caught in a shower of rain knows, it’s pretty uncomfortable, and that is just how most domestic cats feel when they get covered in water. It can also be very cold for cats, and especially kittens, which isn’t something that they like! (link to keeping cats cool in summer).
Most of the water that a domestic cat will come into contact with will come from the faucet. As we all know, cats have very highly developed senses of smell and the chemicals that make faucet water fit for human consumption can smell very bad to cats. So, as well as the horrible cold, wet feeling, many cats just hate the way that indoor water like this smells.
So don’t be surprised if your kitty seems ok with the rain but hates the tiny splash of faucet water on their paws. Perhaps the rain just smells ‘cleaner’ to them. Which brings us on to my next point…
Some cats do love water! (natural water that is)
Yes, you heard right – there is a specific breed of cat that adores swimming. This is the wild Turkish Van Cat, which is named after its favorite swimming spot: Lake Van in Turkey. This breed of cat actually developed around the lake, and the animals clearly lived in symbiosis with the large body of water beside which they had made their home. This perhaps lends strength to the argument that domestic cats have evolved to hate water as we have bred those cats in conditions where shelter from the rain is a norm. So, for the regular domestic cat a bath or a shower of rain is a scary and strange experience to be avoided at all costs!
Quick Fact: The Turkish Van Cat is also known as ‘the swimming cat’. There are several other species of wild cats which love water. The Norwegian wild cat for instance actually hunts for fish in lakes and streams, often getting thoroughly wet in the process. This is one of the ways these cats play!
How about your cat? Are you regularly scrubbing him or her down with some pampering feline shampoo? Or, do they simply prefer to curl up by the fire and watch the rain, staying well away from all water that is not in their water bowl?
With an ever expanding range of cat bathing products on the market, it is clear that many people *are* opting to introduce their cat to water on a regular basis. My view is that as long as your moggy is happy that is all that matters. Bathing a cat is not essential – many cat owners never ever bathe their felines – but some cats do (it seems) like to wet their whiskers now and again.
Do you know of a cat who likes water? I would love to hear your story. Leave a comment below or contact me so we can feature your story.