Why Do Cats Hate Water?

Wet CatIt is a myth that cats do not like water.  While it is true most do not like water, some tolerate it and others love to drown themselves in it. There are cats who like to play in their water bowl and others who will dunk their heads under a water faucet when it is turned on.  There are even some cats that will jump in the pool or lake and go for a swim.  

Some breeds of cats actually like water.  The Maine Coon, Bengal and Turkish Van all seem to have an affinity for the wet stuff. So why do some cats hate water?  They may have had a negative experience when they were young; falling into a toilet bowl or getting squirted by a hose and can quickly result in an aversion to water.  Other cats may never have had a traumatic experience surrounding water but were just never exposed to it while they were young.  Had they been introduced to water as a kitten they may have enjoyed swimming immensely.  If you are planning on getting a kitten and wish to have fun at bath time you might want to get your kitten used to water slowly and gently.   

To get your kitten or cat to enjoy bath time water needs to be associated with a positive or pleasant experience.  Try moving toys toward a sink with water in it.  Wand toys work well for this training.  Reward with treats when they get near the water.  As your cat moves closer and closer to the water continue with the rewards and praise.  When she touches the water heap a large amount of praise on her accompanied by some extra special treats.  Do not be disappointed if your cat never enjoys water.  This is just his personality.

Remember some cats just need exposure to water to learn to enjoy it.  Don’t assume you cat hates getting wet.  With time and reinforcement you may find you cat is actually a catfish who will spend hours playing in the sink, bathtub or your pool.

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