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Why Does My Cat Hate Water?

  • Post category:Behavior
  • Post last modified:March 3, 2020
  • Reading time:4 mins read
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It is widely believed that most cats despise water. They’ll drink water, but touching it is a no-go for most felines. That’s why giving a cat a bath can seem impossible, if not dangerous. 

The fact is that not all cats hate water. It can all boil down to the breed, fear of the unknown, and their past experiences with water. For example, tigers absolutely love water. There are also several domesticated breeds of cats that are known to be okay with water such as the Maine Coon and the Norwegian Forest Cat. However, it is still true that most cats actually do hate water, but the reasoning behind it varies.

So why do most cats hate water and has it always been this way? Those are great questions and I’ve done a lot of research on this subject so you don’t have to, so let me break it down for you.

Your Cat Would Rather Be Warm and Clean

why does my cat hate water

When a cat gets soaked in a large tub of water, they may actually feel cold. It is much harder for a cat to stay warm, and when your cat gets its fur soaked with water, it may make them highly uncomfortable.

I had to give one of my cats a bath once because they had rolled around in an unknown substance. Needless to say, my cat was shivering non-stop after being given this emergency bath. 

I had to wrap him up in a towel use my body heat to warm him up, and I didn’t use cold water either. I used warm water, which is highly recommended if you must bathe your cat.

Your Cat May Hate the Smell of Tap Water

It is widely known that city water systems use a variety of chemicals to treat the tap water that is pouring out of your kitchen or bathroom faucet.

You may or may not be able to smell these chemicals but your cat certainly will since they have a superior sense of smell in comparison to their human companions. Cats are highly sensitive to certain fragrances.

It’s In Their DNA

Another reason that your cat may hate being in the water is because their ancestors lived in mostly dry and arid regions where water was scarce. Loving water may just simply not be in their DNA.

Your Cat May Be Okay With Dripping Water

Even if your cat is completely afraid of a large volume of water such as that in a sink or bathtub, they may still be curious about water that is dripping from your faucet. This is because cats are curious creatures and the dripping water might intrigue them. 

Your Cat May Have a Negative Experience With Water

If your cat was constantly submerged in water or squirted with a water bottle, then this may also trigger their fear of water. This is common sense and a huge part of learned instincts. 

I once lived in a house where someone’s pet tarantula got out of its cage, and still to this day, I’m deathly terrified of any type of spiders. This can be true also for cats and their relationship with water.