Why some cats are scared of water | Animal Friends

Find out why some cats are scared of water

When it comes to cats and water, it’s a common assumption that all felines hate swimming. Some people might be shocked if they saw a cat voluntary splashing around in the bath, however you may be surprised to learn that not all cats hate water and some will try to jump in!

In this guide, we’ve shared some of the cat breeds that love splashing in water, along with some safety tips to ensure that they don’t become ill from swimming:

What cat breeds like water?

Although not all felines dislike being in water, certain breeds love swimming more than others. In fact, some cats have the build that makes them great natural swimmers once they get in!

Turkish Vans are one breed of cat that loves swimming, hence why they’re often referred to as the ‘swimming cat’. This type of cat has a body built for swimming with their long frames and rounded paws.

Maine Coons are also a big fan of swimming, even though they’re one of the biggest domestic breeds! Their robust bodies are suitable for holding themselves in water and they’ve even been known to scoop water with their paws. If you’ve got a Maine Coon, you may have spotted them trying to do this from the toilet!

Bengals are great swimmers too, and as they derive from Asian Leopard Cats, they still have their natural instinct to splash and play in water.

Reasons for disliking water

Even though certain cats love swimming, there are still many cats that will shiver at the sight of a bath! The reasons why cats hate swimming vary, although these are the most common:

Heavy coats

If your cat is long-haired and they start swimming, their coat may become too heavy and make staying afloat a struggle. Cats’ fur isn’t water-resistant, meaning they feel less secure in water, as they aren’t as agile.


Another reason why your cat may hate water is because their body temperature drops drastically. As domestic short hairs generally have little fur, the water can get directly to their skin and make them feel too cold and therefore, desperate to get out of the water.

Sensitive to odours

Cats are also extremely sensitive to odours, which is why some don’t like swimming outdoors. They may be put off the scent of the water or the chemicals in it – and may also be the reason your cat won’t drink tap water.

Safety tips for cat swimming

If your cat loves swimming, there are a few water safety tips to make sure that they don’t catch a waterborne illness or injure themselves:

  • Always keep an eye on your cat in water and take them out if you suspect that they’re struggling to keep afloat
  • Clean your cats’ ears after they’ve been swimming to prevent an infection
  • Never let your cat drink water from a swimming pool. This could cause disturbance to their stomach.

Whilst many cats like water, you should never force your cat to swim and always keep an eye out for their safety when around water. Remember that having cat insurance will help you to protect your feline against any water injuries or illnesses, helping them get back into perfect shape and back to swimming in no time!


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