Perhaps, for a pet that is so obsessed with self-grooming you’d also expect every cat would jump onto every opportunity they get to take a dip. Yet the question remain “why do cats hate water”. For the most part they prefer stroking puddles around the yard or playing around with droplets from a faucet. Cats from dry regions do not avoid water because they need to cool off.. For a cat living in the desert, it makes sense, for it to cool off at available water source. Mostly, when cats are drenched in water they lose their flexibility because the water weighs them down.
Why do cats hate water.. The myths and truths
The fact that “cats hate water” is a widely accepted notion means that pet owners rarely introduce full immersion baths at an early age. Ordinarily, pet owners can’t help to force kitty to take a bath when they feel it’s necessary. In other circumstances, the cats come into contact with water as a disciplinary measure or from rainy droplets. Understandably the cat will refuse to be subjected to any unsolicited grooming. Prior to domestication, cats were still wary of water. In the wild they avoid water bodies for various reasons such as safety.
Cats love dripping water but not swimming
As stated earlier their fascination with water have cats dipping paws in bowls or they become mesmerized with a dripping faucet. In fact, cats have been known to stare continually at non dripping faucet anticipating for droplets. In their mind the faucet represent a play thing and as such they develop a desire to catch a droplet before it hits the surface below.
Unlike dogs cat groom themselves rigorously thereby suppressing their desire to take a water bath regularly. Their tongues are adapted to the self-grooming function and can remove particles or dirt when a cat licks herself. In essence, a water bath is an unnecessary invasion at least in the eyes of the feline plus it bathing creates more work for them.
Evolutionary changes in cats stemming from their ancestors restrict most of the cat species to ever mature near large water bodies such as lakes or oceans. Therefore never developed a need to swim. So you can imagine what a supposedly large mass of water will do to their instincts –it will have them running wild.
Do cats really need a bath?
Ideally, cats can survive without taking a bath for a long time. Obviously because cats hate water! However, in extreme cases, self-grooming might not clear smelly or sticky substances the feline’s body came into contact with. When this happens the most obvious thing to do is to give them a bath. Before filling the sink or tub with water you can first pass a wet cloth over its fur. This will help the cat to easily adapt to the watery environment. Once the water is filled add shampoo as you gradually but delicately pour water on the cat’s fur. Repeat the process all over the feline’s body and skin until you are certain kitty is clean. You should ensure that the shampoo is properly rinsed off –to avoid irritating the cat later on.
When you introduce bathing in kittens, they become accustomed to the water. They won’t be as afraid of water as they grow up and he/she would be excited every time they are taking a bath.
Also read: Why Do Cats Sleep So Much?