Why do cats hate water?
It doesn’t seem to make sense: why do cats hate water when their bigger cousins – like the tiger, bobcat and leopard – don’t mind taking a dip to cool off or catch prey? Veterinarians and researchers aren’t entirely sure, but exploring the theories is fascinating.
Why do cats hate water but play with a running tap?
How is it that some cats are fascinated by running water or even drink from a kitchen tap yet hate still water? “The appeal is likely more about the movement of the water, the noise it makes, and the light reflecting off of it,” says veterinarian, Dr Eve Elektra Cohen. “This stimulates the cat’s strong prey drive.”
Other experts think cats evolved and prefer clean and safe tap water over the stagnant water found in nature.
Water makes a cat’s coat feel icky
A curious cat that falls into your bubble bath or is caught outside in the rain may avoid water for the rest of its life. Why do cats hate water once they’ve experienced it? We could write it off as one of those unexplainable cat facts, but Dr Cohen has a theory.
“When a cat becomes wet, their hair/coat is heavier, colder and uncomfortable. It can also take a long time for a cat’s hair to dry on its own,” she says. “Another aspect of discomfort is that cats are quick and nimble creatures, light on their feet and adept at jumping and balancing. In water, they may feel a loss of control as it slows them down.”
Just one negative experience can turn your cat off water for good.