I am sure you have noticed that cats simply hate water and there are a few that “have a blast” when it is bath time. There are also some breeds that even love to swim and they love water, but if your cat doesn’t seem the type to like water, here are the possible reasons why.

One reason for the aversion may have something to do with the fact that the feline species evolved in arid desert climates. Throughout their early history, cats were not exposed to rivers, lakes and rain and as a result were not as familiar with water as some other evolving species. Unlike dogs, who love to frolic in the water and in some instances are even trained to work in it, most kitties aren’t fans of getting wet.

CVMA- Canadian Veterinary Medical Association

# They are sensitive to odors

“Cats are also sensitive to odors, and it is speculated that your cat may not like the scent of chemicals from tap water.” The situation gets even more overstimulating if you factor in shampoos full of unfamiliar smells.

But you shouldn’t give your cat a bath when and if she needs it. You can do it if you have the right tools and techniques. Items to have on hand include towels, vinyl gloves, a gentle cleanser and after-bath treats. Your greatest tub-time help, however, is a trusted friend or family member who will be patient with you and your possibly unruly kitty.

# Cats like chasing/ playing with water

As a pet parent, you may notice that while your fur baby may dislike being wet, she loves to play with water. Whether it’s lapping up drips of water from the bathroom faucet, drinking from a pet fountain, or trying to stick a paw into your running shower, she’s all about the fun and games of moving water (as long as she doesn’t get too wet).

Experts theorize that a cat’s predilection for running water (like your kitchen sink) over still water (like a bathtub) is a matter of playful fascination. Dripping water “is a cat magnet”.

# Biological reasons

There are likely biological reasons as well. Even though many cats love the taste of fish, they are not ocean or river dwelling creatures historically. The domesticated cats are descendants of felines that typically live in dry arid areas. They have never learned to swim because there was no evolutionary need for it. This behavior, or lack thereof, has stuck around in our modern day cats.


Although most domestic cats don’t like water, their wild cousins, such as tigers, happily use it to cool off or hunt their next meal. There are also a few breeds of household kitties, including the Maine Coon, Bengal and Abyssinian, that love the water and occasionally enjoy a few laps around the pool.

Cat swimming in the Pool

The cat most known for her skills in the water is the Turkish van, a rare breed that has been nicknamed the “Swimming Cat.” These cats “have a unique texture to their cashmere-like coats that make them waterproof which lets them enjoy swimming and other water games.” With a built-in wetsuit, the Turkish van can paddle around as much as she likes.

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