Why Do Cats Hate Water?

As a general rule of thumb, cats tend to hate water. They can be the sweetest little kittens, all warm and cuddly, but the moment you try to give them a bath, they will become vicious little creatures. It seems that water is to cats while kryptonite is to Superman.

But why? Is it natural for cats to hate water? Can they swim? We try to understand the cat’s greatest weakness by exploring the question, “why do cats hate water?”

The cat’s ancestors

The cat’s seemingly instinctive hatred towards water can probably be explained by their ancestors, who were originally from the middle-east. Thousands of years ago, cats lived in desert regions, and it is only much later that the cat species started to inhabit forests with cold water.

Although cats now live almost everywhere in the world, in many different climates, they were originally predisposed for dry and warm climates. This seems to explain why cats dislike water so much.

To swim or not

The evolution of the feline species in different areas of the world shows that environment really does affect the species’ attitude to water. Lions, who live in the savannah, show a natural distrust towards water and will roar as their cross rivers.

Tigers, on the other hand, live in green environments and seem to love fishing in the water. There are also certain domestic cats that were bred in wooded areas, and seem to appreciate water, for example, siberian cats.

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Water: A love-hate relationship

Many cats also seem to be fascinated by water, which seems to oppose their apparent hatred for it. The sound and movement of running water is captivating, but splash water on a cat and it’s a different story.

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Since the cat only had access to water late in its’ evolution, water does not seem to have a direct association for cats with food. However, a cat may learn from experience, and if you get them used to warm water at a young age, with treats as a prize, and in a calming environment, they may come to love bath time.

Whether they love or hate water, cats are actually excellent swimmers! But watch-out, if a cat happens to fall into a pool or bath with soft edges, it will likely struggle to find a grip in order to get out of the water and could drown from exhaustion. So make sure to always stay close to your cat during their swims

Video: Why Do Cats Hate Water?

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Summary about Cats and Water

In the end, do cats really hate water? Although many do, it seems that cats can be trained to love water. If you start when they are young, and are patient and gentle, you might one day be able to bring your cat to the beach with you!

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