Do Cats Hate Water? Interesting Fact….

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cat inside a white bath tub with water pouring on its head

Do cats hate water? If you’re one of the many cat owners who have wondered this, you’re not alone! Cats are generally pretty suspicious of anything that falls outside their normal routine, and things like water can be a complete mystery for them. We also know that many cats can be rather finicky when it comes to their grooming habits, and may not be particularly supportive of their owners wanting to shower them with attention.

But the good news is that you don’t have to worry if your cat hates water – they don’t hate water on their own, they just don’t like you using it! So rather than force your cat into a situation where they’re forced to make an uncomfortable choice, we suggest that you simply give them the opportunity to hide if they’d rather do so.

This will help you avoid any potential conflict while allowing them to enjoy their own personal space if they’d like!

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Do cats hate water?

Our research shows that cats will generally stay away from wet areas although there are some exceptions to this. It is what they consider to be ‘wet’ that makes them wary of it.

In their natural environment, cats are hunter-gatherers and have learned that water is dangerous. The fact that water can lead to a way in which they can get caught up in a predator’s mouth has been ingrained into the cat’s mind over thousands of years. If they see something they perceive as being wet (or even where it might be wet), cats will initially try to flee from it.

However, if they manage to escape, it is not uncommon for them to eventually return to the water. For example, if they are scared of something and have no opportunity to avoid it in their current location, there may be one where they can escape from whatever is scary them.

If this happens, they may return to the water in order to move away from the scary thing. By doing this they are likely to be moving towards a new location that is less damp, so their fear of water is reduced as it is no longer directly related to their position.

Another way that this fear of wet areas can be reduced is if they become used to it. If your cat has always been around water, they will have seen plenty of situations where other cats and animals use these areas. They may then take notice of how excited other animals also are when using these wet areas. As a result, they may also enjoy using them. [to use as knowledge, not to be copied verbatim]

Cats will generally try to avoid being near or around water and if you see that your cat is avoiding the area, this can give you some confirmation that water is not to their liking.
If given the option, however, most cats will choose to ‘cave’ in towards any nearby sources of shelter rather than run away from it in an attempt to escape.

The reason for this is cats will usually try to create their own shelter wherever they are, so if there is none already there and they have the option to create one, then they will choose that.

While your cat may not like water on its own, they may be more than keen to sleep in or under a wet place if it means that it also creates a dry space for them!

As we have seen above that cats do hate water, there are some that are an exception to this. These cats will actively seek out standing water and wade right in.

The reason for this is because a couple of these cats are actually chasing their prey into the water! These cats care nothing about the dangers of being wet but they can’t help but follow their instinct. Another thing that may have something to do with this is cats have not yet been domesticated and as a result, they still have some of their natural traits in them.

One of those traits is that they still need to drink fresh running water in order to remain healthy, which means that these particular breeds still have an instinctive need to keep themselves hydrated despite the dangers that water poses to them.

cat inside swimming pool

However, if you’re thinking of getting one of these cats and moving to a water-rich environment, then be wary that they may not have the same aversion to it as the rest of the cat population.

While we wouldn’t advise giving your cat any medication that comes in a liquid form or even sprinkle them with anything at all, there is one thing we would caution you against.

You may have heard of someone giving their cat sub-optimal nutrition in order to cut costs as well as use up some of their leftovers.

If you do give your cat a few leftover scraps from the dinner table, you may notice that they will eat them and then run off. You might even wonder why they aren’t interested in it or unable to stomach it at all!

However, what these researchers noticed is that after eating the food, the cats would then head straight for any water source nearby and take a (brief) drink before running back to their owners and jumping into the lap.

So instead of getting your cat to eat leftovers, you could give them a bowl of water instead and they’ll lap it up like a cat drinking water should!

Now that we have seen that cats do hate water, let us also look into some reasons to why cats do hate water.

Read On!

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Why do cats hate water?

Cats may be a diverse species, but they are still individual pets and have individual personalities that can differ from one to another.

However, why do you think that some cats will hate water when another cat may adore it? This is mainly because there are various factors that can affect how one cat may feel about water.

While a number of these factors can be avoided, it is up to you to determine which ones could affect your cat’s perception of water and in turn, allow you to take steps towards preventing them from hating it!

They hate water:
Cats hate water because it makes their fur wet and that usually means that they are going to lose some of its natural oils. This is the main reason why cats tend not to like staying in wet areas; it is a simple way to reduce the amount of their coat’s natural oils getting ruined.

If a cat feels that they’ve lost all of their natural oils, they will be unable to remain healthy and as a result, they may not be able to hunt effectively. It may also affect the cat’s eyesight and have health problems such as feline acne and possibly even blindness.

Other cats may hate water because they think that it is not a good place to live in or not a good way to solve social issues, while one cat may just hate water because they are too scared of it!

Cats do not like water:
There are many reasons why cats do not like water but the main one is probably their fear of getting wet, especially when they are scared. Any time that there is a reason for them being afraid of something then most likely, they will grow fearful of it regardless of how wet or dry it might be.

5 reasons why cats hate water

As we have discussed above, cats hate getting wet and there are many reasons why they do not like it. A lot of these reasons relate directly to them losing their natural oils and becoming unable to hunt effectively. So we have decided to look into the specific causes of why your cat may fear the water.

Let us look at some of those reasons…

  1. Feline Acne:
    If you notice that your cat has been scratching their ears a little too much then there is a good chance that they may be suffering from feline acne! Feline acne is when a cat’s skin starts breaking out in small clusters of pimples or boils which are known as acne vulgaris.

Acne is not just a cosmetic difficulty, it is also a sign of great irritation in the cat’s body and may be even worse than human acne. If the cat scratches itself too much then they can cause themselves to get an infection which in turn can lead to an ear infection or even generalized body inflammation.

But why would this happen? Well, feline acne can be directly correlated with stress or other social and environmental factors such as poor nutrition. If you notice that your cat has acne then consider changing their diet and see if that has any effect on improving their skin.

You could also try giving them some dietary supplements such as fish oils which have been known to promote healthy skin.

  1. Feline Anatomy:
    A cat’s ears and nose are most likely going to be the first parts of their body that get covered with water if they are swimming in it. That is because their noses and ears are very sensitive parts of their body and may even be the reason why cats don’t like water so much when they come back from the toilet!

The problem arises when there is no air or liquid coming in or out of them! The water then rushes in through the ears where it gets trapped and that adds to the irritation felt by cats, who realize that they have lost some of their natural oils. This can then lead to an ear infection which may require an ear cleaning.

If your cat has been traumatized by this event, it is likely that they will be especially prone to fear of water.

  1. Feline Curiosity:
    Another reason why cats do not like getting near water is because it means that the cat is going to get wet. If your cat has never seen its owner walk into a swimming pool or a bath before then they may think that they are going to get drowned if we go in there! If you are expecting your kitten to enter into a pool or other large body of water, then it might be best to desensitize them slowly.
  2. Environmental Issues:
    One reason why cats might hate water is because they have had a bad experience with it before. If you take a cat to the beach and then let them in up to their ears, they may not be too happy about it! One way to avoid this is to slowly change the amount of water that your cat is exposed to. Let them slowly get used to being around large amounts of water until they can at least stand next to one and be able to slowly tolerate it.
  3. Stressful Experiences:
    If there is a reason for your cat to be stressed then they will most likely not want to come near water because they are scared that a natural disaster may occur. You should make sure that the area near where your cat has access to water is as safe as possible which means that the only dangers in the vicinity are ones that you have already prevented.

Some people tend to keep their cats indoors for this very reason, but if you have an open space around your house then it might be best for you and your cat if you can keep them fenced in so that they do not wander off too far.


Cats hate water because they are afraid of getting wet and this is the reason why they do not like it. Cats also hate going near water because they think that it is a bad place to live in, but their experiences with other animals may have also taught them that there are bad things that can happen to them if they are caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.

There are also many strong reasons for cats not to like water such as being wet or getting dirt and dust onto their fur or eyes. They also don’t like the water because of their natural oils being washed away and losing their hunting abilities.

Some cats also dislike water because they think that it is a dangerous place to live in and this is one of the main reasons why cats do not like it. However, some cats have just been conditioned to fear water from a traumatic experience or other events in their lives.

It can often be difficult to tell whether your cat hates water just because they are timid or has some sort of innate fear of the emotion itself. In any case, you should try to see if there are any specific causes for your cat’s dislike for the water before you start trying to get them over it.

cat owner bathing its cat with water in bath tub

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