Can cats Swim?

Posted by | Jul 24, 2016 |

Cats do swim

Author Amira

Hi there!

I’m Amira, founder and editor at Cattention.

This website is dedicated to share useful but entertaining information and help You understand Your cat’s actions, behavior and needs.

Welcome to my Cat World!

We have all seen cats being quite curious about water; dipping an exploring paw inside the bathtub filled with water or just smelling the running faucet are not uncommon situations, we, cat owners, can experience day by day.

But what happens if a cat accidentally falls into the water? Usually, they will jump out immediately with a weird expression on their faces. But why is that?

Can’t cats swim? Or do cats hate water? Or are they afraid of it? Clear all your doubts by getting the answers to all these questions in this article.

Can cats Swim? – The answer

The simple answer is yes; cats can swim naturally.

Cats do not even necessarily need training. Even if they have never done it before, they instinctively kick their legs and stay afloat without having any prior experience or practice.

As most mammals, including big cats like tigers and lions, are capable of swimming instinctively in their natural environment, so can most domestic cats, and they do it surprisingly well.

It is just that they typically do not really want to swim. Most cats don’t like being in the water at the first place and will do everything to avoid being wet.

Are cats afraid of water? – Or else why do cats hate water?

Since cats clean and groom themselves a couple of times each day, it would make perfect sense that they would enjoy having a bath as well. So why is that cats are commonly famous for being one of the few creatures that hate being in water?

There are several reasons why most cats prefer to keep their furry coats dry and make a big fuss when even a paw gets wet:

  • Scientists believe that cat’s dislike of water comes from the early domestication. A long time ago, when we invited cats to accompany us, we have shielded them away from water.
  • Although wild cats like tigers swim to cool off themselves and get some food, most domestic cats don’t encounter water too often, therefore they are not used to it. Cats are creatures of habit and do not really like changes. So a cat that has never experienced water before will most likely hate being in the water.
  • Some cats shun water because they associate it with a bad, negative experience like a heavy rainstorm, forced bath or being sprayed as punishment.
  • Last but not least, when a cat’s fur gets waterlogged, it becomes matted which weighs down the cat causing extremely uncomfortable feeling for a cat.

After all, it is no surprise that cats usually tend to avoid water and will only swim when they really have to, as it represents something unpleasant and out of ordinary for them.

Although they hate it, they do not fear it, and will definitely jump in the water if they feel threatened by a predator.

Recommended to read: What should I feed my kitten?


cat bathing