Why do cats hate water? How do I give my cat a bath?
It has long been believed that water is kryptonite for cats. After trying to give their kitty a bath, a number of cat owners would stand by this belief. However, there are some cat owners who have no difficulty whatsoever in giving their pet a bath. This gives rise to the million dollar question, do cats really hate water, and if so, why?
The answer is yes and no.
Years of research have shown that some cat breeds hate water, while others absolutely love it. It may seem like an unusual answer, but it’s true and it all comes down to evolution! Most felines evolved in hot, desert-like surroundings. They were not familiar with rivers or lakes. So when they were introduced to water, they didn’t like it very much, especially since cats love to maintain a flawless coat; something water is bound to hinder. Also, cat fur takes longer to dry, so a wet kitty would also mean a cold kitty.
Which breeds like water then?
Breeds like the Turkish Van love water and will jump into a bath every chance they get. Again, this can be attributed to their evolution – these cats were known to cool-off during hot summers by jumping into water bodies in the Lake Van region of Turkey. Another breed that loves water is the Bengal Cat. One of the main reasons for this is because it gets half its genes from the Asiatic Leopard who loves water.
Are there other breeds that like water?
Other breeds that don’t mind a little H20 include the Maine Coon, who loves to copy-cat their owners. So if you have kids who have a fun time in the tub, chances are the kitty will join in having a gala time. The Turkish Angora, who is a cousin of the Turkish van, also loves water. As does the Savannah, who also shares its genes with wild cats that used water bodies to cool off during the hottest days in the bush.
Some cats even like playing with water.
As cats have become accustomed to living indoors, they have become more comfortable with water. Some cats are seen dipping their paws into the water, playing with it even. For some cats, a dripping faucet becomes an endless supply of fun. Seeing this, our cat store has introduced pet fountains that your cat would love to play with – we even encourage your kitty to drink more water in the day.
What do I do if my cat has a bath-phobia?
Cats rarely require a bath. The fact that they spend half their day grooming themselves ensures their coat stays soft and clean. If your cat gets itself into something sticky or smelly, you can place him/her in the tub and use a damp cloth with warm water to clean him/her off.
However, if you want to make regular baths a thing, you will have to make your kitty accustomed to it over time. You can start with the damp cloth in the tub once every now and then. Once the damp cloth becomes a habit, you can fill the bathtub with a little water – again it should be warm, not hot or cold, just warm. Slowly but steadily, you can keep increasing the amounts of water after each bath. Always remember to use a fluffy towel and reward your kitty with a treat after the bath is done. This will act as an incentive to get into the tub.
Start young if it’s an option.
If you’re getting a kitten home and wish to give them regular baths in the future, it would make sense to start this habitual introduction to baths as soon as possible. This will ensure that when they grow up, they have no problem with getting wet and they may even love it as adult cats!
We hope this article has cleared the waters when it comes to cats and their aversions to it. If you’re bringing a cat into your home, you’ll just have to wait and watch to see if it likes water or not. If not, you shouldn’t have any problem at all considering that cats keep themselves extremely clean. However, if you want to still give your cat a bath, we hope the tips in this article will help you. Good luck and have a pawsome day ahead!