In general, cats hate the water. You only need to try to give a cat a bath to work that one out.
Felines can clean themselves, they don’t want you getting involved in the process. But how about larger bodies of water – if your cat was to fall in a river, could it swim itself to safety?
The simple answer is yes they probably could, it’s just that they will do everything they can to prevent themselves from being in that water in the first place.
All the same, cats can swim even if they have never done so before. A cat will instinctively kick its legs to stay afloat, they do not need to be trained.
It is rare, however some cats do like to swim. The ancient Egyptians used cats to catch fish as well as mice.
The Turkish Van will often jump into water, just as their ancestors did in the Lake Van region of Turkey. This is a survival instinct, harking back to the days when the heat got so intense the only way to cool down was to go for a swim.
A wild cat that has evolved to swim with great efficiency is the Asian fishing cat. This species has partially webbed paws that enable them to swim at greater speeds in order to catch their prey.
Why Are Most Cats Afraid Of Water?
In short, we have domesticated them this way. Since the time we invited cats to live alongside us, we have shielded them away from water. Cats can clean and groom themselves and have had less and less reason to enter the water.
Then when we do introduce the water in the way of forced (and somewhat frantic) bathing experience, rubbing them down with medicated shampoo; well it is hardly surprising that water becomes less than enjoyable for them.
Cats That Love The Water
Just for sheer entertainment value, here’s a feline that feels more than at home frolicking in the blue.