Do Cats Really Fear Water?

Cat Bathtub

Cats are supposedly afraid of water. But how did they catch fish if they didn’t swim?

Theories abound as to why cats fear water: originally there were no large bodies of water where cats lived; although they are predators, cats are cautious around watering holes where prey animals are easily attacked; at home, sinks and tubs are no exception; cats catch fish by wading into water where their paws can touch bottom. There may be some truth to some theories.

Actually cats are not really afraid of water, they just don’t like it. Cats that have heavy coats and live in cold climates don’t like the feel of water touching their skin. The water seeps down to their skin making it difficult to keep warm in cold weather.

Cats that have been disciplined with sprays of water will have a negative view of all but drinking water.

Of course not all cats are good swimmers. But big cats such as lions and tigers enjoy bathing. Some breeds of domestic cat actually enjoy playing water such as the Turkish Van. The Egyptian Mau and the Bengal also enjoy water to a lesser degree.

Many house cats that are bathed regularly from kittenhood on enjoy the experience.

Many cats are fascinated by the sounds of running water. They will play with the water and even prefer drinking that way. Try turning on the tap and see if your cat will come running.

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