No cat owner has ever tried to bathe a cat without getting scratches all over their arms. Like many other cat behaviors, their aversion to water is also all too famous and all too mysterious. We examine the possible causes behind cats’ hatred of water.
Some cats can’t swim
You know how when you are at an upper story terrace in a building and you instinctively know that you shouldn’t get too close to the edge if there isn’t a high enough fence there to prevent you from falling. That’s the same instinct that tells cats to hate water if they belong to a species that cannot swim.
It’s a defense mechanism
We may believe that cats developed fur to look cute but actually, evolutionarily, they developed thick furry coats to stay warm in the wild and to ensure that the fat in their body didn’t burn up too quickly in between meals. For a cat in the wild, getting wet basically meant that the body lost a lot of important calories while drying which could even have led to death. Hence, cats evolved to simply hate water instead of trying to figure out what will grasses they could weave into super-absorbent towels.
They don’t need water to keep clean
Cats groom 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, thus, doesn’t make any sense for a cat as it physically doesn’t feel any cleaner after a bath or after a splash in the water. With no noticeable benefit of getting in the water, a cat probably just concludes that water is just something that gets it incredibly cold and disgustingly wet and thus ends up displaying a hatred for it.
It’s a lifestyle thing
Cats don’t come out to play with their owners in the backyard. This means that they have no concept of hanging out with their owners at all and thus they can never be conditioned to enjoy water activities. Since most house cats love hanging out indoors on soft, cozy surfaces, they just never become used to the idea of getting wet until they have to scoop a pet fish out of its bowl!
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June 10, 2013
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