Those familiar with cats probably know they are afraid of water. We have seen how cats and water don’t mix in movies, books, and even cartoons like Tom & Jerry. Most cat owners have probably witnessed this hatred for water first hand. But, what if we told you not all cats are scared of water?
When it comes to cats and water, the most important thing to understand is that most cats are not naturally afraid of water. Many house cats who show aversion to water have been conditioned to react that way due to their protective indoor upbringing which only allows them to interact with the elements (i.e., rain) on infrequent occasions. A cat’s “fear” of water is usually caused by unfamiliarity rather than a genetic predisposition to dislike H2O.
While most house cats prefer to not engage in full immersion, the vast majority of domesticated and wild felines are fascinated by water. You may have witnessed this type of behavior at home when dripping water is present, and they try to catch a drop or two with their paws. Cats’ fascination with water is even more evident out in the wild, as many larger felines enjoy a dip in large bodies of water to stay cool and refreshed.
Unlike dogs, cats don’t need regular baths to keep them clean since they do a lot of self-grooming. While their tongue is usually enough to keep them looking clean, cats eventually have to get in the tub, especially after a long day of playing outside or if they suffer from a medical condition. However, bathing a cat is no easy task. So what can you do to make cat bath time go smoother?
Since most cats don’t like to be fully immersed in water, consider filling the bathtub only a few inches, using a sponge or washcloth to do most of the cleaning and grooming. You may also choose to use a sink so they can be up high or take a shower with them holding your cat close to calm their nerves.
Use room temperature or warm water to make your cat feel comfortable and at ease. Also, keep in mind the force of the water coming from the faucet or shower head as most cats will get agitated if the water pressure is too high.
It’s no secret that cats seriously dislike having their faces and ears washed. Make sure you protect your cat’s ears before a bath with cotton balls and bathe them from the neck down. To clean their face and ears, use a sponge or washcloth.
Keeping cat treats handy is never a bad idea, especially if you know your cat has an unpleasant history with water. Food can momentarily ease your cat’s nerves making treats a must-have during bath time. To keep your cat calm and relaxed throughout, try organic CBD treats for pets.
If you are thinking of adopting a cat, but the aversion to water is a deal breaker, consider the following breeds known for genuinely liking water:
While other breeds may not be as friendly toward the water, remember you can help your cat overcome their fear by gradually exposing them to water from an early age. If your cat is already an adult, consider natural herbs to help them relax like hemp-derived pet CBD.