Can Cats Swim? Things you need to know – Little Fat Kitten

Can cats swim?

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If you think that cats hate water, well you have to think about it again! In this article, we will answer the question million dollar question to see if cans can swim and eventually learn more facts about cats.


Reasons Why Cats Hate Water

First, let us learn the reasons why cat hates water. They are creatures of habit. Try giving a bath to a cat which has never been exposed to water, and you will be guaranteed with an unhappy pet. For some cat owners, it is great that they don't have to bathe their cats since cats are capable when it comes to keeping themselves clean. But, there could be times wherein cat might get dirty or might get something on the coat. So, this might need a rinse, or a bath instead.

What would you do now? Indeed, the idea of baths or even being drenched in the water isn't in the DNA of the cats wherein there are some other reasons why cats hate water that much. Some of these reasons include the following:

Unfamiliar Experience

bathing a cat

Have you ever tried your cat being bathed during their kitten years? Or do they not experienced being in the water at all? If not, they will definitely be scared if you bath them for the first time. Indeed, cats aren't good at adapting to new environments or situations mainly if the new case would involve getting soaking wet as well as strange smells such as pet shampoo.

So, the best thing that you should do is to introduce the cat to water at the young age at least. You can just put them in the shower and wipe them down using a wet towel as a good start. Most of the cats are being scared of water because it is considered as a new experience and cats would react out of fear.

More Work for Your Cat

You have to know that cats hate the idea of having different smells on the fur since they would think that they need to clean themselves.

If you are going to use a pet shampoo or if you are to wet the coat too much with water, the cats would know that they have to clean it off, though those are already clean. The best thing to do is to merely bathe your cat just to get something off from the fur and don?t use pet shampoo as well. And also, get the hair wet and wipe off the cat. Still, you will see that the cat will clean himself even after a bath. So, with this, it means that you are creating harder work for the cats.

Cats Don't Like a Wet Undercoat

bathing a cat

If you have domestic cats, they have an undercoat that is not very good in terms of repelling water. And this undercoat is the one that keeps the cats warm and insulated during winter or once its cold inside your place. If ever you bath these cats, the water will soak down through the undercoat making it so uncomfortable on their part.

You can compare this feeling to the idea of being wrapped in a wet blanket. Besides, they might also feel scared of being held down for a bath. Nonetheless, though cats hate water, you can still find one who loves water and could even swim. This leads you to ponder about if cats can swim?

Well, YES, cats can swim!

But of course, we need to learn more facts that will support the idea that cats can indeed swim. The ancient Egyptians trusted the abilities of cats, not just in terms of hunting mice but when hunting fish as well. Some cats swim only for pleasure such as the Turkish Van also referred as the swimming cat.

On the other hands, there are also certain types of cats that could swim for longer distances once needed such as the tiger cat. Ever imagined that you are in a situation wherein you are running from a feline, and you think water is your best escape? You might be totally wrong if you do so! Even if most cats hate water, it doesn't mean they are fearful about it. They will definitely jump in if they think there's a need for it.

We should know the fact that cats are considered as natural swimmers the same as dogs, but domestic ones aren't that used to water so that they would avoid it as much as possible. When it comes to swimming of cats, it is more or less according to instinct.

Compared to humans, we learn it at a certain age so babies that are just born in the world would probably learn how to swim for a particular period. In the case of cats, they don't fear the water as they learn, and they find it a lot easier to relax keeping themselves afloat.

So, if you choose to teach your cat on how to swim, you need to be prepared to get it out of the water if problems happen. Those Wildcats in warm areas of the world wherein there isn't much presence of rain would love to dive into any water they find since the same with humans they also love cooling down.

Cat Breeds That Love to Swim

In connection with answering the question if cats swim, let us know explore some of the cat breeds that definitely love to swim. There are breeds of a cat which have physical characteristics or temperament that would make them well-suited to water.

Yes, all cats could enjoy playing with water, but some breeds get the most thrills from it, and these include the following:

Turkish Vans

Though unrelated to swimming namesake, most of the Turkish Van owners said that their cats have an unusual fondness for water. They definitely have a lot of opportunities to try playing in the water and because of those desirable physical attributes. Turkish Van has a water repellant and dense coat keeping them warm in the water as well as sturdy hind legs that are great for swimming.

Van Cats

These are the original Turkish swimming cat. They swim in Lake Van in order to cool off in the hot Turkish summer as well as visitors would describe them swimming to meet fishing boats and have some lunch.

Maine Coon Cats

These cats also have a dense undercoat that makes it a lot harder for the water to penetrate their skin. And also, they love water because of their heritage as ship's cats. However, it is hard to tell whether how this influenced the enthusiasm for water.

Bengal Cats

One of the few short-haired breeds which also love water are the Bengal cats. The said affinity is attributed to the wildcat ancestry. Those are some of the most popular cat breeds that are known to love the idea of being in the water. And other breeds are American Shorthair, Turkish Angora, American and Japanese Bobtails and the Norwegian Forest Cats.

Safety Tips for Cats in the Pool

For those with pools at home, keeping the cat safe around it would be a priority. It doesn't mean that though cats have this innate swimming ability, you will not take any precautions at all.

Bear in mind that competent and graceful swimming will not come quickly to those cats who have gone their life without being submerged in water. If your cats don't have much experience in water and fall in the pool, they will panic and would wear themselves out before they could reach the dry area.

So, consider investing a pool cover before letting the cat outdoors. You also need to make sure that there are plenty of places for those cats who love to go for a paddle wherein they could quickly climb out of the water.


All cats have this ability to swim, but most of them prefer not to. We all love the idea of having cats that swim, right? So, a little advice, try to teach your cats to swim and expose them to water as early as possible.

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