Vet Vs The Net: Why do cats hate water?

We all know that water is the stuff of life. But why do our cats hate it so much? Jenny the vet has so answers...

So, why do cats hate water?

Turns out, they don’t hate water! Cats like natural bodies of water such as ponds and as Jenny says, if you have a pond in your garden you might even see your cat swimming in it!

So why don’t cats like being bathed? 

Of course, not all cats will like water – even if they’re swimming freely in it. No two kitties are the same and there aren’t any definitive reasons for this, but it could be any of these:

  • Cats don’t usually like changes to their environment. If they have never been bathed before, they’re likely to be frightened by the prospect of being submerged in water because it’s new to them.
  • Cats are self-sufficient and spend a lot of time grooming themselves. In their eyes, a bath – aided by a human – simply isn’t necessary. 
  • No matter how fresh your shampoo smells, it’s still a strange smell to them and they aren’t huge fans of having strange smells on their fur. 
  • Historically, felines live in dry areas. Entering large bodies of water isn’t normal to them

Should I be bathing my cat?

This isn’t necessary because cats are self-groomers and will take care of their own hygiene. The one thing your cat can’t do for their fur is keep it clear of fleas – this is where you come in. Regular flea treatment will help keep your cat itch-free and keep their fur in great condition.

Need more advice?

If you have further queries about your cat’s fur or any aspect of their behaviour, have a chat with your vet. To find your nearest recommended vet or pet clinic, use our Find a Vet page.