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Why Do Most Cats Hate Water? 10 Reasons Your Kitten Doesn’t Like Getting Wet

If you are a cat parent or a feline enthusiast in general, you might have noticed cats abhor being in contact with water. While most people would associate felines with hating water, there are some who are tolerant of it. Certain lifestyle habits also dictate how your cat might behave in the vicinity of water. Most animals tend not to show severe reactions when in contact with water. However, cats yowl, bite and scratch to get out of the water’s way. The next time you plan on bathing your kitty, you might want to go through our list of pointers below. Moreover, here are some reasons why do cats hate water, let’s check them out now.

Why Do Cats Hate Water?

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These reasons below will let everyone wrap their heads around the fact why their dear felines despise water so much:

#1 It Makes Them Feel Heavy

Cat fur makes for an excellent absorbent for fluid in this case. What this does is ensure that water remains stuck to bits of the fur for long periods. Thus, this makes felines feel like they have a weight on them; thus, such a situation hinders their natural movements to a large degree. So that’s the answer for ‘why do cats hate water?’.

#2 They do Not Enjoy the Smell

There might be something in the water that interferes with a kitty’s sensitive sense of smell. Reasons for that might often be chemicals found in their bath products. Sometimes it can also be due to the high mineral content in the water that imparts a smell to it.

#3 The Role Evolution Plays in it

Most of us forget that felines may not enjoy water simply owing to the fact that they were never meant to. Evolution placed kittens far away from most sources of water not to instill the enjoyment of swimming or to get wet in water. Thus, this is why there is the situation for cats hating water.

#4 Prior Memory of Unpleasant Experience

Some people question, ‘why do most cats hate water?’. Well, it might be that your cat did not always hate water. However, a memory or traumatic incident involving water may have triggered such a distaste for it. Now, whenever your feline sees water, it is reminded of that incident.

#5 Ability to Swim

Many cat breeds do not come with the innate ability to swim. This makes it extremely difficult for them to balance in the water. Apart from that, the cats might have a sense of fear as they believe that they are drowning. In this case, they tend to lash out violently. Thus, the inability to swim can be the reason for ‘why do cat hate water?’.

#6 The Cold Might be Bothering them

After your cat comes in contact with water, its fur tends to retain it. Upon interacting with the surroundings, this water-absorbed fur cools down and tends to make your cat feel chilly. So if you are wondering why does cat hate water, then cold can be a reason. It also messes up its body’s ability to regulate temperature.

#7 Issues Related to Grooming

Kitties are very particular when it comes to grooming. Having water on their fur completely throws them off their game. They feel uncomfortable as their tongues come in contact with wet fur. Sometimes, the water may also change the way they smell, which they don’t dislike.

#8 New Experiences aren’t Always Fun

Cats are generally not a fan of huge changes in their surroundings. So having them come in contact with cold, drippy water makes them uncomfortable. Most cats are not generally exposed to water from a young age. This often dictates their reaction toward the water.

#9 They Lose a Sense of Control

You might often find felines happily sitting on the tub’s edge and playing around. But when cats are introduced to the slippery sensation of water, they hate it. This can be mainly attributed to their loss of control over the balance. Hence, here’s the answer for your question, ‘why do cats hate water so much?’.

#10 Water can Create Discomfort

Sometimes water may enter into ear and nose cavities and cause your cat a lot of discomforts. This is also a perfect situation for infections to occur. Sometimes the water can remain on their skin, acting as a breeding ground for bacteria. Furthermore, this can lead to further allergies and rashes.

How to Get your Cat to Enjoy the Water?

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Here’s how one can make their kitties like spending their time under water:

  • Figure out how your cat likes its water. Some kittens might be okay with running water, while others might prefer still water. Do not put your cat in a situation it may not like.
  • Ensure the water temperature is optimal. Do not use too hot or cold water, as both of these would be detrimental to the cat’s sensitive skin.
  • Want to know how to bathe a cat that hates water? Well, start by not splashing water onto a cat’s face. Let them keep their heads above the water at all times.
  • Ensure your pet has enough areas to grip onto while it is having a bath. This will also reduce instances of panic in it.
  • Giving your cat treats might be a great way to encourage it to engage with the water. This will also serve as positive reinforcement.
  • Never rush the feline into liking the water. Take it slow and at your own pace. With more practice, these creatures will eventually grow comfortable.
  • Try to introduce your cats to water when they are tiny kittens. This will make it easier for them to be in water once they turn adults. So, now you can learn how to give a cat a bath that hates water.

Top 10 Cat Breeds that Like Water

We know that you want to learn, ‘what are the cat breeds that like water?’. So take a look at the below felines.

#1 Maine Coon

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These gentle giants love to paddle around and are blessed with a thick, water-repellent coat.

#2 Norwegian Forest Cat

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These felines are intrepid hunters and have no issues looking for their prey in the water.

#3 Abyssinian

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These extremely curious cats don’t mind the feel of water on their short coats.

#4 Manx

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We can trace the reason behind Manx’s affinity for water back to its island origins.

#5 Japanese Bobtail

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Another island cat on this list, the Japanese Bobtail comes with a water-repellent coat.

#6 Bengal Cat

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These cats retain some semblance of their wild origins and love to play in the water.

#7 American Bobtail

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This cat is a result of a genetic mutation that involves a penchant for water

#8 Savannah Cat

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The savannahs are in parts a serval; hence their natural instinct to enjoy the water remains constant.

#9 Turkish Angora

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Even though these cats look delicate, they are far from it. They love to go rough and tumble in water.

#10 Turkish Van

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Popularly known as the swimming cats, these animals love to join in whenever they can find water.


If you are wondering why cats hate water, you must dig deep. This can be attributed to a wide variety of factors stemming from multiple sources. Certain pets, like kitties, show a strong propensity to not like water. And thus, it is best to leave them alone and away from water. Forcing a cat into the water may not only physically hurt them but lead to behavioral issues in the long run. Furthermore, to make bath times enjoyable, ensure you try to make your cat as comfortable as possible. In case of any extreme triggers, it is best that you get in touch with a vet.