Do Cats Really Hate Water?
30 June, 2016
wet cat

Some of our felines can be found lying in the sink or dipping their paws in their own drinking water. But most cats are scared of water and really hate getting wet.  While dogs just literally shake it off,  cats seem to run as soon as they hear the shower turned on or if we try to bathe them.  Why do cats hate water so much?

When a cat gets fully drenched, your kitty feels dragged down

The top layer of a cat’s coat has some water-resistance to it.   But, when your kitty gets fully drenched, her fur is weighted down which makes her feel compromised and trapped.  And, this of course, makes our cats feel vulnerable since they can’t move as quickly and just want to hide.  Think how we feel when we get drenched from a thunderstorm and can’t dry quickly enough (especially drenched shoes!)

Most cats like to dip their paws in the water

Most cats are a bit curious about water and will stick their paw into a sink or tub full of water. Some may even put their head under a running faucet to get a quick sip.  Or watch in fascination when your sink drips.  But there is a big difference between getting a little wet and being completely submerged, especially when getting dunked is against their will.

Wet fur makes our cats cold and they don’t like being cold!

Cats maintain a higher body temperature than we do and it’s hard for them to get and stay warm.  When their fur is wet, it makes them feel really cold and they hate it!   Think of how cats will always look for that ray of sunshine to cover them as they nap even if it’s hot out.

Cats have an acute sense of smell and don’t like the smell of water!

Cats can smell the chemicals in tap water much more than we humans do. Some cats don’t even like to drink tap water because of their sensitivity to its odor.  Only filtered water for our kitties.

Feral cats or those in the wild choose if they want to get wet

Cats in the wild are able to choose whether or not to dunk themselves in water or allow the rain to wet their coats. But, not our domesticated cats.  Cats don’t like surprises, so a new experience such as being wetted down will make them skittish and desperate to get away.

Your cat does need to be wet down occasionally but advance prep is essential

Of course, there are times when your kitty gets so dirty that you need to help her with her grooming.  This also occurs in older cats, but usually by then, they are more relaxed which makes cleaning a lot easier.  If you do need to wet your cat down, just have all your supplies ready ahead of time.   Wet down your kitty quickly and then dry her off in a nice warm towel.  It’s always a good idea to wear a sweatshirt and long gloves in case your cat lashes out.

If your cat does need a bath, make sure to read our article: How to Bathe Your Cat in 6 Easy Steps!

2 thoughts on “Do Cats Really Hate Water?”

  1. Love the information about cats and water but did you know that another reason why they don’t like water? It’s because they don’t have eyelashes to repel the water from getting in there eyes. To help with baths you can put some Vaseline above there eyes to help with this problem. I learned this from a vet.

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