The belief commonly held in our society today is that cats hate water and hate swimming especially. It is only a rare instance that a cat loves to surf or do other water activities with their owner. However, the idea that cats hate water is a myth. Cats and water may have more in common than you think. Can cats swim, and should they? The answer to both is yes.
Can Cats Swim?
Can cats swim? Household cats generally descend from a wild desert species, which is why they naturally do not gravitate toward water as much as dogs might. They do not need to drink as much as dogs and they are less inclined to bathe in water. However, they are perfectly capable of swimming. Some species, such as tigers, demonstrate this quite well.
Do Cats Like to Swim?
Like with many things, cats will not want to swim unless introduced to it at an early age. When owners introduce their pets to different objects and activities when they are young, they will not mind it like they would if they are older. Some cats will never like to swim, but others may enjoy it very much.
Should Your Cat Swim?
Swimming is a healthy activity for people and felines alike. It exercises the body without putting the strain on joints that activities on dry soil would. A cat can learn to swim for the fun of it or for hydrotherapy specifically. In fact, Everhart Veterinary Medicine offers rehabilitation for cats if your pet should need it. Whether for health or fun, swimming can be beneficial for your cat.
How to Train Your Cat to Swim
As mentioned above, it will be easier to train your cat to swim if it is younger. However, teaching your cat to swim when it is older is by no means impossible. Cats that are more averse to the water will likely take longer to learn, but it is doable.
The first step is to carry your cat into a body of water, such as a swimming pool. Always supervise your cat when it is around or in the water. Do not lower your cat into the water unless it is completely relaxed.
The next step is to lower your cat into the water. Make sure your pet is comfortable every step of the way. Allow your cat to only have its head above the water.
Once it is relaxed, you can wait until it begins to paddle. Praise your cat along the way. If your cat is strong enough and does not need a life jacket, you can release your cat and allow it to swim on its own with exit points in view. If your cat has arthritis or another condition, it will need a life jacket.
Trust the Care of Your Pet to the Professionals at Everhart Veterinary Medicine!
At Everhart Veterinary Medicine, our veterinary professionals strive to provide your pet with the very best of veterinary care. We believe that the best care for your pet should be provided by experienced, compassionate, and knowledgeable veterinary professionals. With two Maryland locations in both Baltimore and Pasadena, we are always ready to welcome your pet as a new patient! Give us a call today at 410-355-3131 or 410-793-7670! For more information, as well as updates on veterinary news and topics, visit us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn!