Cats and water

What’s the deal? Why do cats dislike water so much? I understand that they bathe themselves, so they really don’t have much use for water other than to drink it, but crikey, does that mean the have to hate water? Why can’t they just splash around in it for fun? Is there even an answer to this question or is it just one of those things that just is and that’s it?

Tigers actually like water and any cat can and will swim.

Considering the fussiness of your basic house tabby my guess is they simply don’t like the feel of water matting down their fur. They also seem to have a sense of how silly they look when wet and that upsets them but I suspect I am just making that up.

Heh :stuck_out_tongue: Rephrase: Why do most domestic housecats hate water?

Most housecats dislike having their fur in disarray, as Whack-a-Mole said. My two cats do like to dabble their paws in a dripping stream from the faucet, and drink from it, but that’s as much water play as they want. They’d much rather play with something that doesn’t mess up their fur. Frankly, I’m GLAD that they don’t enjoy being dripping wet, as they are inside only cats and I can only imagine the mess they’d make if they DID try to splash in various water sources.

Ah, so they’re conceited little bastards, eh? :dubious: Can’t have their precious fur disheveled? I knew there was a reason I didn’t like cats.

Geez, you are a mean old Lady :wink:

In fairness I would hazard a guess that you don’t like to wallow in shit but some creatures on this planet are more than happy to do so. It may not be your thing but some animals groove to it.

Cats (house cats) may hate water but they are generally clean creatures. Dogs (at least many dogs) like water but are actually fairly dirty creatures.

In the end it’s just preference mostly. Even cats that dislike water are known to swim across a stream if the need arises.

FTR I have two cats and one dog but I would describe myself as a dog person without question. I love all my animals but I just enjoy dogs more than cats.

In shit, no. Water, sure. Anywho, I was only half serious about the “conceited little bastards” remark. I’m seriously not a cat person though. Good times.

For some reason, my cat doesn’t mind when his head gets wet. However, if just one drop of water lands anywhere else on his body, he’ll start cleaning himself furiously.

One of my cats will splash around in the water bowl, another comes running whenever she hears the bathtub filling up. She will stand on the edge of the tub and even start climbing down the sides just so she can get her paws wet. She has fallen in a few times, she has also stood in the shower (not directly under the water stream) when I’m in there.

On the other hand, one of our dogs won’t even walk in wet grass - he hates getting his paws wet. He won’t go out in the rain, and he absolutely refuses to go in the water when we take the dogs swimming.

My cat has the habit of jumping onto the edge of the bathroom sink while I comb my hair. He does this so he can dab his paws in the running water. One day I was getting sick of him getting in the way, so I cupped my hands and poured a huge amount of water over his back. He sat there, startled, as the water dripped off him and made puddles on the floor. Then he went back into the sink.

It’s very weird. He flees if I flick water drops at him, and goes crazy if he actually sees the water running down his fur. But he doesn’t mind being wet, and now if I don’t soak his back while I’m shaving he sits in the sink and stares at me until I go back in and rub him down with a handful of water.

Cats (house cats)… are generally clean creatures. Dogs (at least many dogs) …are actually fairly dirty creatures.[/qute]

By what standard? Do you have a refernce to support that, or is it just personal opinion?

Yeah…I have two cats and one dog currently. In my past I have another three dogs and three cats.

The cats are indisputedly cleaner creatures than the dogs as far as their personal fur maintenance goes. The dogs also seemed less…uhmmm…picky about their food.

I have never bathed my cats. Ever. Their fur was always lush and non-stinky.

My dogs I have had to bathe roughly every three months barring them rolling in a pile of crap or some such thing (which got them a bath on the spot). All the animals are strictly indoors (not counting walking the dog and an jaunt to the park for the dog).

Anecdotal evidence maybe but I’ll stick by my experience.

My cat has gotten in the shower with me and been fine unless hit directly with the water full force. He’ll sit outside contently in a light rain, and gladly goes outside when the ground is loaded with puddles.

He is an outlier.

The domistic cat is derived from the African wild cat, which is native to North Africa (including Egypt). One notable characteristic of North Africa is that it is rather dry.

Perhaps if you got them used to regular, but small bathings early in life as kittens, they wouldn’t be irritated by the water?

There are alos a few domestic cat breeds that like water. IIRC, the Turkish Angora is one. I seen picutres of a fluffy, white feline paddling around in the swimming pool and my (mostly) Turkish Angora loved sitting under a drizzly shower head.

But as pointed out above, it’s mainly an issue of grooming and wet fur feeling yucky (imagine going to work in sopping wet clothes). Dogs don’t mind so much – but then I’ve seen a dog happily rolling around in cow manure for the fun of it. Cats are pickier about their grooming.

Very true.

It’s quite amazing, really. You can throw in cat in a lake at it will swim to shore. Despite the fact it never “learned” how to swim.


Actually, cats just don’t like getting into water. Once they immerse their shoulders they see that it’s not really as cold as they thought and then they’re OK with it.

In all seriousness, once I"ve gotten cats into warm water they seem to enjoy it. Haven’t had one yet that is OK with cold water.

I can understand how wet fur must feel uncomfortable- its like wet clothing clinging to the skin, or even worse, if you have long hair and get soaked. A cat doesn’t have quite the dexterity to smooth everything out- its a rather time consuming process in which they lick, lick, lick their fur back into place.