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6 reasons why do cats hate water

Domestic cats have a strong aversion to water. The main reason for this is their fur. Cats can instinctively swim and actually pretty well. If a cat accidentally falls into the water, it will swim straight to the nearest solid surface after a quick orientation.

An old Chinese proverb says "All cats love fish but fear to wet their paws". 

Even before cats became pets, bathing or swimming in nature was not a behavior that was beneficial for cats. On the contrary: wet fur even gives cats several disadvantages.

Cat in front of pool


1 - Cats use their sense of smell to orientate themselves strongly. A wet fur disturbs this and so restricts the orientation.

2 - Cats protect their fur from water. If their thick fur gets wet, the weight increases, which means that the cat is severely disturbed in its balance and flexibility and that it is hindered in the event of a possible escape from danger.

3 - Cats are very clean animals and spend several hours a day grooming their fur. If the fur gets wet, the hygiene is over.

4 - Their fur protects them from the cold. A wet fur, on the other hand, loses its insulating effect and thus also the protection against the cold. Due to the high density of hair, the fur also takes a long time to dry.

Cats drinking water

5 - Cats lose their scent through water. Thanks to intensive grooming, cats get their very own personal scent, which other cats can also perceive from a distance. Once the fur has gotten wet, it takes a long time for its own scent to restore itself.

6 - There is also the shock factor. For example, accidentally falling into a full bathtub can be a frightening experience for a cat and they may fear water for the rest of their life.

Three cats in front of sea

Do all domestic cats hate water?

An aversion to water is one of the most well-known traits of domestic cats. However, this does not apply to all cats. Certain breeds of domesticated cats, such as the Maine Coon, Bengal, and Turkish Van, are less afraid of water and occasionally swim. What makes these breeds unique is the texture of their fur, which makes them more water resistant than other breeds.


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