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Why Do Cats Hate Water?

Why Do Cats Hate Water?

Cleanliness is next to godliness; a saying that resonates well with the most impeccable people.

If you like to tidy up, you’ll definitely feel uncomfortable having an unclean pet. Even though our feline friends groom themselves, it is just normal to feel like their type of grooming is not enough, especially if they’ve spent hours in outdoor adventures.

So anytime you pick up your cat to give them a bath, it becomes bizarre. Cats and water do not mix!

You may have mastered a few cat cleaning tricks, like holding their neck during a bath, to keep them under control. But you will still realize the cat is uncontrollable.

That brings us to the question: why do cats hate water?

Our well-researched article will answer why cats hate water and help baffled cat owners understand the behavior of their pets.

Reasons As To Why Cats Don’t Like Water

Although some cats actually like water, there are those who hate it. The Turkish Van breed is well known for its swimming capabilities.

However, as any cat owner that loves the benefits of owning a cat knows, most cats have an aversion to water. Here are the reasons as to why.

Water Weighs A Cat Down

After cleaning a cat, their fur is drenched in water, thus weighing them down. It can take longer for their coat to dry, this affects their normal agility levels, thus making them uncomfortable. 

Behavioral Reasons

Unlike dogs, cats are less tolerant of new experiences and change in general. A cat that grew up not being exposed to water will definitely hate it. On the contrary, a cat that was exposed to water while still, a kitten will grow up accepting it.

Sensitive to Odors

It is established that cats may not like the scent of chemicals from tap water. The situation even gets worse when you factor in the use of a variety of shampoos that have scents that may cause an allergic reaction. Any smell different from their own coat is enough to put them off their bath time.

The Historic Evolution of Cats

The historic fact is that most ancestors of cats lived in dry, arid areas with fewer interactions with water bodies. There is not much in their ancestry that prepares the modern cat for a bath. 

Negative Experiences

Some cats might have experienced a bath during their kitten years. If they were deeply submerged in water and had a stressful experience, they will definitely hate water. 

Lack of Control

Surprisingly, cats get sad the minute you dip them into the water but would enjoy playing with any dripping tap within their reach. It is simply because they can have control over the situation, unlike when in a bathtub being surrounded by water.

Researchers have found that the flickering movement of water is hardwired into their brains as a potential sign of prey. 

Cat Breeds That Love Water & Don’t Mind Taking A Dip in 2023

These cat breeds have a different fur texture that is water-resistant. They do not experience discomfort, hence why some of them are even known to love swimming.  

Maine Coon

The folklore myth suggests that the Maine Coon cat breed is a descendant of Viking Ships cats. The premise of this myth is that these cats were kept in sailing ships where they were pest controllers, which explains why they are so at ease around water bodies like other animals..

They are well known to be fascinated by water, thanks to their water-resistant coat, they can enjoy splashing and playing in the water.

Turkish Van 

These cat breeds have a high affinity to water, such that most owners look for cat pools for them to enjoy swimming for their own pleasure.

The Cat’s silky fur turns thick and dense during winter and is shorter in summer.


The Abyssinian cat breeds are very fond of water. You would find them dipping their paws in a bathtub or even their own water bowl.

If you need some free entertainment, try to leave the faucet running for a while!


Their origination from an Island explains why they are so fond of water.

They are so intelligent and social animals. These cats are known to be the perfect cat for a dog person as they travel well, play a good game of fetch, and even carry toys with their mouths.

Is it Necessary To Bath A Cat?

There are a number of reasons why bathing a cat is essential. Read on to understand:

Situational Reasons

Our furry feline friends are very adventurous and may get caught in a situation that leaves them extremely untidy. For instance, if the cat gets into the trash leaving them with smelly fur and getting stuck with dirt, you will need to give them a bath.

If your cat picks up bugs that will prey on its blood and cause harm to their health, it is advisable to give them a bath and even take them to the Vet.

Cat Breed

Regardless of the cat’s self-grooming habits, cleaning a cat with long hair can be a difficult task for them. When it comes to cats with less fur or none, periodic baths will do good to help remove unnecessary body oils.

Medical Reasons

For cats that are obese, arthritic, or elderly, may not be able to perform basic cleaning. The back half of some of these coats may become matted, allowing their skin to be itchy. In this case, you will need to give your cat periodic baths.


This article reveals that some cats do not intentionally hate water, it is actually tied to their origin, experiences, and breed.

Therefore, you will need to use some cat care tips to give your cat the best life possible.


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