Cats are notorious for their reactions to being wet. We’ve all seen it – the windmill of claws, flying paws and eerie meows (unlike dogs that love the water). But where does this fear stem from? There is a plethora of reasons kitty may not be fond of the water.
Consider these factors:
The number one reason cats do not like water is because it is unfamiliar territory. Their ancestors did not live near large bodies of water and never had to learn how to swim. In the wild, felines get the choice whether or not they submerge themselves in water or even let the rain hit their fur. At home, pet owners force their kitties to take a plunge in the tub, and these poor creatures aren’t fond of the surprise of being waterlogged.
Another reason cats don’t care for water is because when their fur is drenched, cats lose their quick mobility and agility. Their coats get heavy, and that limits kitty’s ability to move as it normally would. Then they feel trapped, and it makes them vulnerable and skittish. Naturally, felines like to feel alert. Their wild instincts tell them that they must be able to escape any and all danger that comes their way. Cats are creatures of habit, and heavy fur creates a feeling of uncertainty.
Lastly, kitty likes to embrace water on his/her own terms. Not ours. Cats are “my way or the highway” kind of creatures. Being submerged in water is not their idea of fun. They do not like to be surprised (hence, the cucumber epidemic), and they do not care to feel trapped without an escape. When your feline friend doesn’t have time to decide whether or not he/she feels the water is safe, their fight or flight reflex kicks in and his/her first instinct is to flee.
Give your cat some time to adjust to the idea of bathing or submerging in water before you throw them right in. Without time to think it through, your furry friend will likely oppose the water and, for a while, you.