While you may think it is a fact, we know that not all cats actually hate water. Many cats like to play in streams of water and some breeds even like to swim! More often we know most cats have an aversion to water we there are some behavioral and possibly biological reason behind this.

Why cats dislike water

There are several reasons behind why your cat may not like to be submerged in water and this is what we found.

Waterlogged Fur. Their fur is water resistant to a degree but if their entire coat is soaked your pet will be uncomfortable as it weighs it down.1

The smell. Cats are very particular creatures and spend a majority of their time grooming themselves. When your cat gets in the pool or even has to take a bath they are covered in a smell that is not “normal” for them and have to work to make themselves smell right.

It’s something new. Many cats are very skittish and don’t like trying anything new so when you put a grown cat into the bath they don’t understand what is going on. Kittens who have received baths from a young age may be more accustomed to the feeling water has. Be sure to understand the bathing process and not make those common bath time mistakes.

Biological reasons. Though cats may like the taste of fish, historically they have never been a river or ocean dwellers.2 Their ancestors have never enjoyed the water so it makes sense their domesticated relatives don’t enjoy it either.

The Mesmerizing Drip

While most cats don’t enjoy being submerged in water they are fascinated by water. This can be by playing near the water bowl or watching the leaking faucet for hours. This draws the cat try and catch a drop or two.3 The perfect solution for cats mesmerized with water is a flowing pet fountain like the Petmate Deluxe Fresh Flow or Petmate Fresh Flow Rain to help entertain their fascination.

Tips for Bath time

If your cat gets into something sticky or muddy you may want to clean them up quickly. Try to have the warm water already filled in the tub and avoid anything unnecessary such as bubble bath. Keep a folded towel on the edge so there is something for them to grip onto and say soothing words to try and keep them calm. Lastly, use a cup to pour onto their body and be gentle with their face.


  1. Why Do Cats Hate Water
  2. Why Do Cats Hate Water So Much?
  3. 6 Reasons Your Kitty Won't Take a Swim

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