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Why Do Cats Hate Water?

cat bath towel blogIt’s a pretty well-known fact that cats aren’t big fans of water. For many cat owners, bath time means there’s a good chance the claws are going to come out.

Why do cats hate getting wet?

Instinctively, cats rely on their agility to thrive and feel safe. Being drenched in water makes a kitty feel weighed down and unable to escape. A cat’s top layer of fur is water resistant to some degree, but not enough to protect her during bath time, likely making her feel vulnerable.

Cats are also creatures of habit, and don’t always take well to new situations. If baths aren’t a regular occurrence for your feline companion, it’s likely she’ll feel anxious and fearful.

Do all cats dislike water?

The short answer is no, not all felines hate water. Cats have a natural curiosity, and you may even notice your kitty drinking from a running faucet or checking out a puddle with her paw. Some breeds, like the Turkish Van, are even known for being fond of the water.

Is bathing a cat really necessary?

Cats are typically able to do a good job of grooming themselves. However, there may come a time when a bath is necessary. If your feline companion gets into something especially dirty or smelly, it might be time to head to the tub. Also, elderly, sick, or injured cats may need some assistance staying clean. If you need to give your cat a bath, keep in mind that it will likely be a stressful situation for your feline friend. Try to pick a mellow moment for bath time (like right after a play session), use warm water, use a calming pet shampoo, and offer a reward when it’s all finished.

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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Nancy J. Olds September 23, 2015, 8:38 pm

    One of our cats, Max Milagro, is a 15 year old Maine Coon mix weighing about 20 lbs. who takes a bath in stride because he looks and feels so much better! Max has allowed me to bathe him ever since I adopted him when he was about four years old. He does not put up a fight, but let’s me shampoo him and even add conditioner! I believe that some cats are results oriented. That’s my Max! I have photos of him that my husband Jan helped me with the photography so I could do both while Max was in the tub. Just be careful to keep the water at a comfortable temperature and low enough for the cat’s comfort. Don’t wet his head too much unless the cat can tolerate this.

  • Patricia Hall November 7, 2015, 10:26 am

    Cats do need to be regularly groomed which includes a bath. They are naturally greasy creatures that produce dander. Dander is the substance that makes people sneeze and itch. All cats do when they groom is spit on themselves and get hairballs. To keep your cat’s coat beautiful and the pet healthy, professional grooming is important part of cat parenting.

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