6 Reasons Why Cats Hate Water - Some May Surprise You

6 Reasons Why Cats Hate Water - Some May Surprise You

Author WCF Staff


All people who love and adore cats are familiar with the fact that cats do not like water. Generally speaking, all domestic cats are not fond of water, although there are some exceptions. Domestic cats will try their best to avoid getting wet, and cat behaviorists have gathered a few theories why that is so. So if you ever wondered: "why do cats hate water" stay with us and find out.

Reasons why cats hate water

Cat behaviorists listed a few possible reasons why do cats hate water, and they include:

1. Level of unknown

The first theory is based on cats evolving in dry climates. Since they had little to no exposure to water (river and lakes), they were unfamiliar with water (besides drinking water). These cats never learned to swim since they didn't need it.

cat and water

2. Getting them wet

Everybody knows that cats like to groom themselves and look the best possible. The second theory is based on getting cats' fur wet. They don't want to get wet, primarily because of what water will do to their fur. A wet coat will cause discomfort for the cat, and it will take a long time for the coat to dry. Since wet fur is much heavier than dry fur, the cat's movements will be slower, and the cat will be unable to move entirely as they wish.

RELATED: Why Do Cats Purr? What Do Purrs Mean?

3. Shock

If your cat accidentally fell into the water in the past, there is a possibility that was a shocking experience for your cat. That experience can cause trauma for your cat. Many cats will have deviations from events that have caused them a traumatic experience in the past, and falling into water is definitely one for your cat.

4. Bad experience

Bad experiences can include your cat getting its first bath as a kitten and not loving it. Getting their fur wet in some situations can also cause a bad experience for your cat that will cause fear of water.

5. No control

Some cats will love to play with dripping water and sprinkles. The theory behind this behavior tells us that cats have more control in these situations. If your cat plays with dripping water, it will still be on a dry surface, cats' fur will not get wet immediately, and water will not come into their eyes and ears.

cat and tap water

6. Chemicals

We are aware that cats have an expressive sense of smell. Some behaviorists concluded that cats can detect chemicals in tap water, and they will not like the smell. If you soak your cat with that water, your cat could express displeasure since their coat will have a "bad smell."

WORLD CAT FINDER TIP: If you notice that your cat hates water, you shouldn't force it to get into the water. You can try to play with dripping water and see if your cat will enjoy that experience.

Are there cat breeds that love water?

Most kittens will hate water, but there can be some exceptions with older cats. Four popular cat breeds are known to be somehow fond of water. These cats have a water-resistant coat that will not hold water. Because of that, they might what to try swimming. Cats that love water are:

  • Maine Coon – these cats were used for pest control on ships in history, and that may be the reason why they love water
  • Abyssinian – these cats arrived in Europe by ships, and it is believed this is why they love water
  • Bengal – these cats likes to drink tap water as much as they love to swim and goof around in you provide them with opportunity
  • Turkish Van – these cats earned the nickname "swimming cat" because of their love for water and swimming.

RELATED: Why Do Cats Love Boxes? 7 Possible Reasons

Should I give my cat a bath?

The love between cats and grooming is well known. In most cases, cats will keep themselves fresh and won't need a bath. However, if your cat needs a bath for some reason (medical), you must ensure that you safely bathe her.

cat and tap water 1

TIP: To avoid slipping, you should use a non-slip floor mat.

If you are interested in reading all the safety tips on how to bathe your cat, you can read this article - 5 Tips On How To Bathe A Cat Safely


There are a few possible reasons why cats hate water, and all of them can be true in some ways. If you notice that your cat doesn't like water, you shouldn't force it. All kittens will try to avoid water and will not want to get wet, but there are some exceptions with adult cats that will enjoy a good bath and swimming in water.

World Cat Finder Team

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