It’s a universal notion about our feline companions: they don’t like water. Watching these animals soak in water is strange, and given their behavior at home as they approach the shower doing their best to avoid getting wet, it only reaffirms that this is not the case. is definitely not their favorite element.
By wanting to know more about cats, we end up generalizing with ideas like this. But does this observation apply to everyone, is it in their nature or is it a question of taste, and can felines also like swimming?
There are many reasons that lead us to believe that these are specific biological conditions. They’re practically allergic to even rain, but I’m sure you know a cat who doesn’t fit that stereotype. Well, let us tell you that you are not the only one, and the exceptions are so numerous that they are not exceptions.
The first thing to know is that most cats, both wild and domestic, can swim. This doesn’t mean bathing is their favorite activity. Indeed, this is generally not the case, but in times of vital necessity, they possess this innate ability if they need to escape from a predator, for example. So let’s see what their story says.
It’s not their usual environment, but
Most felines are descended from African wild cats native to hot, arid desert regions. As pointed out Petcube, the great ancestor of the cat did not need to become familiar with bodies of water, so this is not its usual environment. Additionally, most felines are skilled hunters, so they generally don’t need to throw their prey underwater to finish it off.
When the animal is wet, its coat becomes very heavy, which affects its responsiveness, flexibility and dexterity.
Additionally, a cat’s coat is made up of several layers of hair. When the animal is wet, it becomes very heavy, as explained Britannica, which causes a feeling of discomfort, restlessness, and even anxiety. Additionally, “accidentally falling into a full bathtub or swimming pool can be a terrifying experience for anyone, including a cat, which can lead to a lifelong fear of water.”
Nowadays, a domestic cat can deal with this problem quite easily. However, in the wild, a wet coat hinders a cat’s responsiveness, flexibility and dexterity, essential qualities in a constant escape environment.
Although, as we have said, the domestic cat has fewer disadvantages in this regard, we must not forget that, even for him, such wet fur takes a long time to dry, which also generates l humidity which promotes colds or even other illnesses.
However, precisely because of the domestication process, some of them can get used to water and even appreciate it, especially if they are brought into contact with it from a very young age. In other words, if a cat is gently acquainted with water from birth, it will become less anxious as an adult and enter the bath. “Some breeds of domestic cats, such as the Maine Coon, Bengal and Turkish Van, are less afraid of water and even enjoy swimming from time to time. What makes these breeds unique is the texture of their fur, which makes them more water resistant than other breeds.
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