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Do Cats Hate Water?

cat lying outside with green sunny background

Why do most cats prefer to stay high and dry? Here’s why your cat might hate water.

There are some traits of cats that make up our idea of what all cats are like. We think of them as being nocturnal (not quite true,) adorable (true,) and agile in ways that dogs never can be. It’s also a popular belief that cats hate water. Do they really? Yes, most do, but not all. We’ll explore why this is so and what you can do to have a cool cat when summer heat strikes.

Why Most Cats Hate Water

Native of the Desert

Domestic cats were once wild animals of the desert. Perhaps that is how ancient Egyptians found them and domesticated them. Their biology makes them thrive perfectly well in the desert where the sun is hot and little water is to be found. Their nature is why full submersion in water might be highly foreign and frightening to them.

Loss of Agility

It is hard to be limber and light when you have a full-body wet blanket on. That is how a cat might feel if it is completely wet. It can’t move as nimbly as it usually can, and this state of being is highly uncomfortable and unsafe. 

Irritable Chemical Smells

Tap water contains multiple chemicals that help to sanitize raw water and make it safe for drinking, bathing, and using in the garden. Another theory about why cats hate water is that their sensitive noses can detect all the chemicals in water, and they are bothersome. If your cat has no problem drinking tap water, it might not be an issue.

Psychological Problems

Psychological problems would mean beliefs your cat has about water submersion that are not true, resulting in a lot of hostility and fear. It could be that your cat had some bad water experiences when it was a kitten, or it feels a loss of control that scares it. Gentle assurance can help you coax it into getting clean during bathtime.

Some Cats Love Water!

Most cats are adverse to water for the reasons above, but some cats absolutely love taking a swim. Some are even famous for surfing! It may have to do with the breed, common water-loving breeds being Maine Coons, Abyssinians, and Turkish Vans. Of course, there are always exceptions.

Cooling Your Cat in Summer

If you are looking to cool your cat down in summertime, make sure it is drinking enough water. You can also put a cool compress on its fur or wet it with your hands.  

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 three Maryland locations in Baltimore, Pasadena, and Cross Keys, we are always ready to welcome your pet as a new patient! Give us a call today at 410-355-3131, 410-793-7670, or 443-470-6790! For more information, as well as updates on veterinary news and topics, visit us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn!

This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 28th, 2023 at 11:14 am. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.