Cats are funny creatures, some actually do like water! It is not uncommon for cat’s to
enjoy splashing and pawing at streams of water but this probably has more to do
with the play on light or shininess of the water than the love of water.
Some breeds of cats are actually known for enjoying swimming, such as the Turkish
Van, which has been nicknamed “the swimming cat”.
Whilst domestic cats are actually able to swim, they usually have limited exposure to
water because most cat owners do not bath their cats as often as they do a dog. In most
cases they do not like to enter water as it can be an exhausting experience for them.
Cats don’t hate water – they merely dislike getting their fur wet. A cats coat isn’t
designed to be drenched as it is very thick and has a dense undercoat that takes a
long time to dry out if soaked through. Unlike dogs, cats fur is not very oily which
means it does not have the same water resistant and quick dry properties. Therefore
if a cat gets wet they are likely to get very cold which in the wild could be fatal.
Even though many cats love the taste of fish, historically they are not ocean or river
dwelling creatures. The domesticated cats are descendants of felines that typically
lived in dry arid areas. They have never learned to swim because there was no
evolutionary need for it.
Cats are very fastidious creatures. They spend a lot of time grooming themselves
and this regimen of self-cleaning usually makes up for a better part of the cat’s daily
schedule and indeed its entire life. Being given a bath, doesn’t make any sense for a
cat as it physically doesn’t feel any cleaner after a bath and they aren’t big fans of
having anything that doesn’t smell “normal” on their fur.
If your cat is dirty or sticky, you might prefer to try a sponge or cloth bath to get them
clean. Use a special formulated cat shampoo that won’t dry out their skin, and apply
it to the sponge or cloth. Rub any dirty spots or wipe all over. Rinse out the cloth or
sponge and gently wipe your cat off with clear water. They will take care of the rest.