Why Do Cats Hate Water When Dogs Love Water? 5 Big Causes

Cats and dogs are known as pets. Both are great animals, intelligent and fearless, so people love them enough. Almost everyone knows that a dog is good at swimming but a cat is scared of water. Not just dogs, many animals love to swim. But cats prefer to be hundreds of hands away from the reservoir or bathtub. Why do cats hate water when dogs love water? Or, what is the reason for the cat’s fear of water? Do you ever have such questions in your mind? Cats get angry when they sprinkle water. But why are cats so scared when they see water?

If you take a look at domestic dogs or cats, you will see that even though dogs love to deal with water, cats do not like to put water on their bodies.

It is good to know that there are some reasons behind this strange nature! Let’s not know why cats are afraid to see water.

Why Do Cats Hate Water When Dogs Love Water?

Kelly Bolen, a veterinarian and former director of the Department of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University in the United States, recently spoke about the cause. He mentions two reasons for a cat being scared of water.  We also get an explanation of the meaning of the cat’s licking from him. However, let’s go to our main topic.

  1. Body Fur
  2. Swimming Ability

1. Body Fur

Kelly answers the question – why are some cats afraid of water? It may be that the type of cat’s fur is not conducive to soaking in water. When cat fur gets wet, it takes a long time to dry, which makes it feel uncomfortable. On the other hand, the type of dog fur is such that it dries easily, so the dog does not feel uncomfortable in the water.

2. Swimming Ability

Cats are also more likely to be uncomfortable swimming, but dogs are not. Some dogs swim so well that they are called ‘water dogs’. Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Irish Water Spaniels, Poodles, Newfoundland, Portuguese Water Dogs, German Shepherds, etc. dogs are also quite popular for swinging in water. Of these, Dog Breeds are well-known for their huge jowls.

In this context, Bolen said, the structure of the cat’s paw is such that it can control anything hard, but not suitable for use in water. The structure of the dog’s paw is such that it does not cause any difficulty while swimming in the water.

Beyond these reasons, Bolen said, dogs and cats have been familiar with water for a long time. Besides, the cat has cryophobia.

Why Are Cats Scared of Water (More Reasons)?

  • Formation of Paws – Other practitioners have found several scientific reasons for the cat’s behavior about the afraid of water. According to them, there are described here below. Such as:- The size and shape of the cat’s paw make it suitable for navigation. They lose their balance when they are floating in the water. But that is not the case with dogs. Dog’s paws are useful for floating in the water.
  • Nature of Skin – The nature of dog and cat skin is also different. Cat skin is more sensitive. It cannot adapt very well to water or any other liquid, for example, oil. The cat is a cold animal on it. Wet hair and skin are upset all day long. So they do not like water at all.
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Why Do Cats Hate Water When Dogs Love Water?

Why are Cats Afraid of Water?

Cats’ aversion to water is rooted in their evolutionary history and their natural behavior. Here are a few reasons why many cats tend to be afraid of water:

  1. Natural Instincts: Cats are descendants of desert-dwelling ancestors who didn’t have much exposure to water. Unlike some animals like dogs, cats didn’t need to swim or hunt in water to survive, so they didn’t develop a natural affinity for it.
  2. Fur Management: Cats are meticulous groomers, and their fur is essential to their insulation and protection. Water can mat their fur and make it less effective at regulating body temperature. Additionally, wet fur is heavier, making it harder for cats to move and escape predators.
  3. Sensitivity to Cold: Cats have a higher sensitivity to cold than some other animals. Getting wet can chill them quickly, which is uncomfortable and potentially dangerous for them. This situation is also considered for dogs. If you have a dog, you should learn how cold is too cold for the dog.
  4. Lack of Control: Cats are creatures that typically prefer control over their environment. Water can be unpredictable and can make them feel vulnerable, which goes against their instincts to feel secure.
  5. Lack of Exposure: If a cat hasn’t been exposed to water from a young age, they’re less likely to feel comfortable around it. Early experiences play a significant role in shaping a cat’s behavior and preferences.

These factors contribute to why many cats tend to avoid water whenever possible. However, it’s worth noting that not all cats are afraid of water. Some breeds, like the Turkish Van and the Bengal, are known for their affinity for water and may enjoy playing or even swimming. Individual personalities also play a significant role, and some cats may overcome their fear with proper training and positive reinforcement.

How to Give a Cat a Bath That Hates Water?

It is not right to force the cat to take a bath every day. Wipe their bodies with a dry soft cloth. That will keep the cat’s body clean. You can wash it off with light warm water every two weeks.

At first, he was gently attracted to the bath. Do not rush, remember, bathing is not the cat’s choice. To get started, first, wet his paws. Or when you take a bath, you can put him by your side so that he gets used to the sound of running water. When his paws get a little wet, you can treat him a little. Develop your brain a little more, so that your cat is more attracted. You can float one of your cat’s favorite toys in the water.

How to Make Cats Not Afraid of Water?

Sandra Sawchuk is a clinical instructor at the School of Veterinary Medicine. This well-known female veterinarian made almost the same statement as Kelly Bolen when she was questioned – Why are some cats afraid of water? But how to get your cat to like water? A complete guideline is available about this from her. There are included some tricks and tips by which you’ll be able to cut down the cat’s fear of water according to Sawchuk. All of these instructions are tested and passed the result.

  • Gradual Exposure: Start by introducing your cat to water gently and gradually. You can do this by placing shallow bowls of water around the house and encouraging your cat to investigate them at their own pace and try to show cat affection at different times like morning.
  • Positive Reinforcement: Use treats and praise to create positive associations with water. Whenever your cat shows interest in or approaches water, reward them with treats and affection. This will help them associate water with good things.
  • Interactive Play: Incorporate water into your cat’s playtime routine. You can try using toys that involve water, such as floating toys or fountains. Make playtime fun and engaging to help your cat feel more comfortable around water.
  • Desensitization: Gradually expose your cat to water-related experiences, such as the sound of running water or the sensation of being lightly spritzed with water. Start with small exposures and gradually increase the intensity as your cat becomes more comfortable.
  • Positive Bathing Experience: If your cat needs to be bathed, make the experience as positive as possible. Use lukewarm water and a gentle, cat-friendly shampoo. Speak to your cat in soothing tones and offer treats and praise throughout the process. If you want, you can wash your cat without shampooing through the proper ingredients.
  • Lead by Example: Show your cat that water is nothing to be afraid of by demonstrating calm behavior around water yourself. Cats often take cues from their owners, so your relaxed attitude can help reassure them.
  • Patience and Persistence: Changing a cat’s behavior takes time and patience, so be prepared for setbacks along the way. Stay consistent with your efforts and continue to provide encouragement and support for your cat.

If you occasionally apply the above to your cat, hopefully, your cat will no longer be afraid to look at the water. Maybe you never say that again – why do cats don’t like water?


Finally, from the overall discussion, we can say that the instinct of the cat is to stay away from the water. And that’s why we notice this fear of water from cats. And we ask why cats are afraid of water or why cats hate water. We can reduce its level through practice but it is not possible to eradicate it. So far today we will discuss something else later. Again, this discussion will continue to grow according to your suggestions and needs, so visit our site regularly. Thanks.

Do cats really hate water?

While not all cats hate water, many do exhibit an aversion to it. This aversion is often rooted in their evolutionary history and natural behaviors, such as their desert-dwelling ancestors’ lack of exposure to water and their meticulous grooming habits.

Why do cats drink water but they don’t like water?

Cats need water for hydration just like any other animal. Their dislike of water for bathing or swimming purposes doesn’t necessarily extend to drinking water. This is because drinking water is a vital necessity for their survival, whereas bathing or swimming in water isn’t.

Is it cruel to bathe cats?

Bathing cats isn’t inherently cruel, but it can be stressful for them if not done properly. Some cats may tolerate or even enjoy baths, while others may find the experience highly distressing. It’s important to use cat-friendly shampoos, lukewarm water, and gentle handling to make the experience as comfortable as possible.

Why do dogs like water but cats don’t?

Dogs and cats have different evolutionary histories and natural behaviors, which influence their attitudes toward water. Dogs have been selectively bred for tasks such as hunting, retrieving, and swimming, leading to a higher likelihood of enjoying water activities. On the other hand, cats are descendants of desert-dwelling ancestors who didn’t have much exposure to water and didn’t develop a natural affinity for it. Additionally, cats’ grooming habits and sensitivity to cold may contribute to their dislike of water.

Why do cats hate water so much?

Cats dislike water due to their desert heritage, grooming instincts, sensitivity to cold, preference for control, and early experiences. These factors collectively contribute to their aversion to water, adding to the intrigue of these enigmatic creatures.

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