It is a common assumption that felines dislike water. Some people even have actual experiences of cats creating havoc when given a bath. Because of that, it has become a common belief that cats swimming is a crazy notion.
Actually, it is really not absolute insanity. You can check out cat videos online, and you will see kitties soaking in the water and enjoying it.
Let us check out the following realities to understand cats better as well as their water preferences and swimming abilities.
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Cats and Water: A Quick Look At Their History
Your feline friend does belong to the same kin as the diurnal-hunting lions and the nocturnal-hunting tigers. However, domesticated cats have been found to be the evolved variety of Middle Eastern wildcats. The latter still exists in the said part of the world.
Living in the deserts of the Fertile Crescent, they have very less contact with water forms. Because of this, they have not had the chance to be very exposed to water or to like it.
For several millenniums, cats have traveled the globe in the same way humans and other animals do. This has brought some of them to watering holes. It is then expected for them to develop a liking for being in the water.
Some breeds of cats do fancy soaking in water. The following are some of them.
- Maine Coon
- Turkish Angora
- Turkish Van
It is noticeable that these breeds do not hate water. In fact, they do tend to stay near showers, sinks and other parts of the house with a water source.
The Reasons Why Cats Do Not Like Getting and Being Wet
You can observe that cats including yours generally dislike having wet fur. Because of this, they do not like going for a swim. So, the question is really why do cats hate getting themselves wet?
Below is the list of the top reasons behind this.
Exposure to water is very minimal. Cats are able to keep themselves clean even as kittens. There is no big need to bath them regularly. As a result, they have very rare interactions with water. They end up getting dumbstruck when exposed to water.
Cat fur takes a longer time to dry. Cats’ coats are generally thicker and drenched in water more easily. Thus, they take more time to completely get dry. This causes the cats to feel colder for a longer time. Being cold makes them uncomfortable. So they dislike getting their fur wet.
Are Cats Able To Swim?
The question that we wish to address here is the cats’ ability to swim. Actually, cats indeed can swim in the same way that other mammals are able to. This innate skill is a part of the instincts kit designed to ensure optimum survival.
In case your feline friend accidentally falls into a body of water, you can rest easy. Paddling will take place automatically. Your pet will keep himself floating at least for some time. The answer to the question is yes. Cats can swim.
Cat Swimming Risks
It is a relief to find out that your pet can take care of itself in the water. However, you should not be completely unconcerned. There are some cases of cats drowning. You should not let them go swimming by themselves. You should instill some levels of precaution to ensure their safety.
Drowning takes place because cats are unable to get out of the water by themselves. Whether they jumped consciously or fall accidentally into the water is not relevant. Their bodies are quite small and limbs are shorter. This makes it difficult, if not impossible, for them to climb out of the pond, pool or any type of watering hole.
If your home has a swimming pool, it helps to have the following. These are basic precautionary measures to keep your pet safe.
- Set up a barrier surrounding the pool
- Install an alarm system in the pool
- Build a platform your pet can use for climbing out
Swimming Lessons For Your Cat
You do not have to force your feline friend if he really is not into water and swimming. Forcing them will just cause them stress. Anyway, they do not really require the skill unless you have some specific plans that would need them to swim seriously.
However, you can still work on reducing your cat’s hatred of water bodies. Maybe it will, later on, lead them to intrinsically desire to swim. The following are some of the tricks you can employ to do that.
- Expose them to water at a young age
- Put toys in a sink or bathtub without water to associate both with positive feelings
- Use less water at the start
- Provide them an easy exit out of the water
You should have learned a lot of things by now about the relationship between cats and water. You may point out swimming as one of your cat’s hidden talents the next time you think about them. It can even be your next activity to try together.