Why Are Cats Afraid of Water? How to Solve It?

Last Updated on March 12, 2023 Ashley Camelia

If you want to know why your cats are afraid of water? Read on carefully!

Cats are one of the most popular pets in the world and for good reason. They’re cute, playful, and make great companions.

There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about cats out there. One of the most common is that cats hate water.

But why do cats fear water? And is there any truth to the myth? There’s no definitive answer to this question, but we can explore the possible reasons with solid explanations.

In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at why some cats are afraid of water, and what you can do to help them get over their fear.

why are cats afraid of water

9 Reasons Why Cats Hate Water

Some cats are born scared of water, while others develop a fear later in life. Following are some reasons why cats hate water?

  1. They don’t like the feeling of wet fur

When cats get wet, their fur can feel heavy and uncomfortable. It can also take a long time for their fur to dry completely, which can be frustrating for them.

  1. They’re afraid of drowning

Unlike dogs, who are natural swimmers, cats have no instinct for swimming. This means that if they fall into deep water, they could easily drown.

  1. They don’t like the smell of chlorine

Most cats dislike the strong smell of chlorine, which is often used in swimming pools and other bodies of water.

  1. They’re afraid of unfamiliar environments

Cats are creatures of habit, and they don’t like changes to their routine. When they’re introduced to a new environment, such as a pool or lake, it can be scary for them.

  1. The noise of running water scares them

Many cats are afraid of the sound of running water, as it’s unfamiliar and can be quite loud. This is one of the reasons why some cats may be hesitant to drink from a water bowl that has a running tap.

  1. They’re afraid of being thrown in or falling in

One of the most common fears among cats is the fear of being thrown in or falling into the water.

This could be due to a traumatic experience, such as being dropped into a bathtub as a kitten. Or, they may have simply witnessed another cat having a negative experience with water. Either way, this can make them very scared of getting near any type of water.

  1. They associate water with getting sick

Some cats may be afraid of water because they associate it with getting sick. This could be due to a previous experience of vomiting after drinking too much water, or from seeing another cat get sick after being in the water.

  1. They’re just not used to it

Some cats simply haven’t been exposed to water very much, so they’re not used to it.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as it just means they may need a little more time to get comfortable with the idea of being in or around water.

  1. They’re just not natural to be in the water

Unlike dogs, cats are not natural swimmers. This is because they don’t have the same instinct to swim that dogs do. For this reason, some cats may never feel completely comfortable in the water, no matter how much exposure they have to it.

If your cat has always been afraid of water, it’s likely due to one (or more) of the reasons listed above.

However, if your cat used to enjoy playing in the water and suddenly stopped, there could be an underlying medical condition causing their aversion. If you’re concerned about your cat’s sudden fear of water, it’s always best to consult with your veterinarian.

So, the question in your mind must be “How to help my cat get over the fear of water?” Or “what do I do if my cat doesn’t like water?”


How Do I Get My Cat to Like Water?

How Do I Get My Cat to Like Water?

There are a few things you can do to help your cat get over its fear of water.

  1. Introduce them to water gradually

If your cat has never been exposed to water before, it’s important to introduce them to it gradually.

Start by placing a bowl of water in their environment and letting them approach it at their own pace.

Once they’re comfortable with that, you can try slowly adding more water, or moving the bowl closer to them.

  1. Use positive reinforcement

When your cat shows signs of bravery around water, be sure to praise them and give them a treat.

This will help those associate good things with being near water and may make them more likely to approach it in the future.

  1. Make it fun

Add some toys or floating objects to the water so your cat can have fun while they’re in it. This will help them associate water with positive experiences, and make them more likely to want to play in it.

  1. Try using a kitty pool

A kitty pool is a shallow, plastic pool that’s specifically designed for cats. They’re often filled with toys and other objects to help make the experience more fun for your cat.

  1. Consider having your cat professionally trained

If you’ve tried all of the above and your cat is still afraid of water, you may want to consider having them professionally trained.

There are trainers who specialize in helping animals overcome their fears, and they may be able to help your cat get over its fear of water.

While it’s not always possible to completely overcome a fear of water, there are things you can do to help your cat become more comfortable with it.

With patience and positive reinforcement, you may be able to help your cat enjoy the experience of being in or around water.

You will be amazed to hear that there are few cats that actually enjoy the water. So, which cat likes the water? Or what domestic cat likes water?


Which Cat Breeds Like Water?

There are a few cat breeds that are known to enjoy the water, such as the Bengal, Turkish Van, and Maine Coon.

These breeds often have a strong instinct to swim, and may even enjoy playing in the water on their own. If you’re considering getting a cat that likes water, be sure to do your research to make sure they’ll be a good fit for your lifestyle.

While there are some cat breeds that like water, the majority of cats don’t share this same interest. This is due to their natural aversion to water, as well as their lack of instinct to swim.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. How long can cats go without water?

Cats can typically go for 24-48 hours without water, but this will vary depending on the individual cat. Factors that can affect how long a cat can go without water include age, health, and activity level. If you’re unsure how long your cat can go without water, consult with your veterinarian.

  1. What are the signs of dehydration in cats?

Dehydration can be serious, and even life-threatening, for cats. Signs of dehydration include lethargy, sunken eyes, dry mouth, and increased thirst. If you think your cat may be dehydrated, consult with your veterinarian immediately.

  1. How can I force my cat to drink water?

There are a few things you can do to encourage your cat to drink water, such as adding wet food to their diet or placing a bowl of water in their environment. You can also try using a pet drinking fountain, which is designed to make drinking water more appealing to animals.

  1. Do cats need baths?

While cats typically groom themselves, there are times when they may need a bath. If your cat gets into something dirty or sticky, or if they have a medical condition that requires it, they may need to be bathed. Consult with your veterinarian if you’re not sure whether or not your cat needs a bath.

  1. Is it OK to bathe a cat?

While some cats enjoy baths, the majority of them don’t. This is due to their natural aversion to water, as well as their lack of instinct to swim. If you do need to bathe your cat, be sure to use a cat-specific shampoo, and avoid getting water in their ears, eyes, or nose.



So, why are cats afraid of water? And how do I make my cat not scared of water? There are many reasons – some behavioral, others instinctual.

And while you may never be able to get your cat to love swimming as much as they love chasing a laser pointer or sleeping in the sunbeam, understanding why they’re afraid can help you make peace with their reluctance and keep them safe when water is unavoidable.

Have you had any success getting your cat to like water? Tell us about it in the comments below!