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Can cats swim?

9 August 2021 — Cats

We often hear that cats hate water, and therefore we tend to think that they can’t swim. But can they? The answer is yes! For those with cats at home, you may be surprised to learn that they don’t hate water after all, even though they may prefer to stay away from it. Among the multiple cat breeds, some are actually great swimmers whereas others like to play with water, but without getting wet of course. Here’s some information to clarify all of this.

Why do cats fear water?

To begin, it’s important to note that fear of water is not innate in cats. On the contrary, swimming is part of their many instincts. However, there are some reasons that can explain this fear.

First, cats are rarely exposed to water from an early age, which can make them wary of it. If your cat hasn’t been accustomed to water during their life, it’s only normal that a dip in the bathtub or pool may annoy them. Especially since cats are creatures of habit and prefer to do things at their own pace.

Second, when a cat’s coat gets wet, it absorbs water and becomes heavy. This extra weight affects their agility and mobility, and cats hate that feeling.

Some cat breeds are more likely to love water

On the other hand, certain cat breeds really enjoy swimming or playing with water. The Turkish Van is an example. This cat, which is from the region of Lake Van, located in the Armenian high plateau in the south-east of Turkey, loves to swim and catch fish. Here are a few cat breeds that also love water:

-The Abyssinian

-The Bengal

-The Maine Coon

-The Norwegian

-The Siberian

Even if your cat likes to swim, it doesn’t mean that they also like to bathe. So, beware of those cat scratches!

Getting your cat used to water

There is no question that getting your cat accustomed to water from an early age will allow them to be more comfortable with it. However, if your cat doesn’t want to get close to water, don’t force it. To get your cat used to water, turn on a faucet and let your cat get their paws wet, or let them approach the bathtub when you are in it. Your cat may never become a great swimmer, but if you ever must give them a bath, it’ll be easier.

Safety rules to follow

If your cat likes to take a dip in the bathtub or pool, always supervise them. Also, make sure they have a way to get out by themselves. To avoid ear infections, don’t forget to dry your cat’s ears when they get out of the water.

Finally, there is no miracle solution to make your cat love water. However, getting them accustomed to it can help reduce their fear of it. What is important to remember is that you must never force your cat. Also, never spray them with water to punish them as this will only reinforce their negative feeling towards water.




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