Saying cats hate water would be the most incredible understatement of the century! Cats loathe water and will do anything to avoid taking a bath. As a kid, I didn’t know and got clawed a couple of times before I learned my lesson the hard way. I recently tried to bath my cat Chacha after she got fleas, and I must admit it was a nightmare! This pushed me to do some research and understand this cat behavior. Why do cats hate water?
Cats are incredibly protective of their smell and will avoid anything, including water, which will alter their natural fur coat smell. They also feel freezing when they take a bath, making them hate water.
Why do cats hate water?
Why cats hate water is an enigma that has always baffled many cat owners. Here are some of the reasons why kitties will do anything in their willpower to avoid getting wet.
1. Cats hate change.
Cats have a powerful sense of smell and can easily detect some odors from water taps. Seeing they are not flexible and will resist changes, cats do not want their fur smelling different than usual. Now, imagine factoring in shampoos and conditioners! Some cats will not be too pleased with the new smell and will resist taking a bath.
This explains why some cats enjoy playing with water, from dipping a paw once in a while to drinking in a pet fountain. Our feline friends love the thrills of moving water as long as they don’t get too wet!
2. Cats are clean animals.
Cats spend nearly the whole day lazying around and licking and grooming themselves. In their minds, why would they need a bath anyway?
3.Water makes them feel cold.
Cats hate water because it makes them feel cold. Seeing kitty spends almost 60% of her time licking and grooming herself, her coat tends to become lighter. Their body temperature drops drastically, and it takes a while before their coat can dry up.
The water will get to her skin, and she will feel freezing. The fur also takes time to dry out.
4. Water weighs them down.
If you’ve ever been in the rain with no umbrella, then you can understand why cats don’t love water. Remember the stress you might have undergone with tangled rained on hair? Having to walk around with a wet blanket until it is completely dry would also accurately explains how a cat feels when wet.
A wet coat only reduces a cat’s agility, something that’s really uncomfortable for a species that loves to move swiftly.
5.Lack of control.
As a non-swimmer, I can totally understand cats on this. Cats tend to lose control with a wet and slippery floor, and the water in their eyes and ears does not make it any better.
This also explains why cats will put a paw in the tub but will not dare jump in. She loves that she is still in control. After all, she is on dry ground, and should anything happen, she can quickly run away!
6. Previous negative experiences.
Cats, just like humans, will avoid anything that had traumatized them in the past. If your fluffball had a negative experience with water while a kitten, she will definitely pass the offer to join in the pool as an adult cat.
7. Evolution history.
The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) explains that cat ancestors evolved in dry arid areas. Cats did not have encounters with large water bodies in those early days, and whenever they went fishing, they would aim for fish close to the banks.
Seeing that cats do not have a love relationship history with water, this is one reason why an indoor cat will scratch and claw its owner, who is attempting to give her a bath. Probably the reason I got clawed so many times as a child before I learned my lesson the hard way!
Which cat breeds love water?
It goes without saying that cats and water never mix. I can say without a shred of doubt that as you’re wetting your cat’s coat, you’ll watch her turn from your cute adorable fluffball to an angry little cat that will claw you unless you let her go. However, surprisingly, some cats do love water!
Weird as it may seem, these cat breeds don’t mind getting wet and will occasionally enjoy a swim in the family pool.
1. Turkis Van.
Nicknamed as the swimming cat, the Turkish Van is known for excellent swimming skills. Thanks to their waterproof fur coats, this rare cat breed will jump in the pool to enjoy a swim without creating a fuss.
These kitties love being in the water so much that their owners have to find them some cat pools so that they can swim as much as they’d love.
2. Maine Coon
These giants have no problem being around water bodies and will gladly take that bath. This, however, does not come as a surprise seeing these low maintenance cats have a history traveling around the world.
Sailors in England traveled with them to keep pests at bay!
Should you wash your cat?
Probably no. Cats are clean animals, and it is rare to find a smelly cat. However, if your cat, by any chance, is infested by flees, then yes, go ahead and wash your kitty. Be prepared, though, since your cat may probably claw you.
To make the experience a little easier, you could always fill the tub with water before the bathing process. A running tap might worsen the situation, with the cat’s anxiety quickly rising. You can also use towels to line the tub. This way, your kitty will feel as if she has something to grasp on, compared to the slippery tub surface.
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