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June 25, 2012 at 4:49 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Why Do Cats Hate Water?

By Bri Luginbill More Blogs by This Author

The first time I saw a cat in water, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for her. There Nika was - getting her first bath, drenched in water and looking like a large rat as her wet hair made her look two sizes smaller. Her little blue eyes peered up at me, pleading to just let her go. (poor thing!) Nika’s disdain made me wonder  - " Are all cats predisposed to dislike water?"

Why Do Cats Hate Water?

Scientists believe that feline water avoidance started with cats in the wild. sad cat getting bathCats who lived in the deserts, such as in Africa, had to adapt. They became used to a world with very little water and also learned to stay far away from any wet area  which might hold crocodiles.

However, not ALL wild cats have experiences like these!

In fact, the Asian Fishing Cat loves to swim and will frequently bathe in bodies of water to stay cool during hot days. Did I mention they even catch their dinner in the river?

Fact: Not ALL  House Cats Dislike Water.

For one, Freddy the swimming cat disproves the myth. He would play in bowls of water until he sad cat getting batheventually graduated to taking regular dips in the pool! This curiosity can extend to other domestic cats as well. You may see them dip their paw in water to see what happens or be intrigued by a dripping faucet.

The Bathtime Struggle

Cats rarely have to take a bath because they are self-bathers - constantly, cleaning themselves by licking their own fur. If they got into something sticky or the dirt just won’t come off though, human intervention may actually be necessary.

However, as cat owners know - bathtime can be very intimidating for a cat so it's up to us as owners, to make it a more positive experience.

sad cat getting bath5 Tips for a Less Stressful Kitty Bathtime

  1. Kind Words: Speak words of encouragement to them. Tell them it’s going to be okay.
  2. Empty Tub: Next, place them in an empty sink or tub.
  3. Grab a Washcloth: Start running a warm, damp washcloth over their fur. This will help gets them used to the water.
  4. Fill Slow: If they seem comfortable enough, turn the water on and slowly start filling the sink/tub up.
  5. Keep It Warm: Always use warm water, never hot and make sure to be constantly aware of how your cat is feeling.

Next time, I’ll try to ease Nika into her bath. Maybe then it will teach her water’s not that scary.

How does YOUR cat do with water? 

sad cat getting bath


H.Y. C.

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