Eloise Hands
By Eloise Hands
Last Updated February 1, 2021

Putting the words ‘water’ & ‘cat’ together has never really made sense – most of them just don’t like it! That old stereotype is about to change with these 12 cat breeds that, apparently, like water. These cat breeds not only tolerate the wet stuff, but enjoy it. Some of these feline fanatics even like to swim. Don’t believe us? Check out our article below! Ranging from small cats to big cats, here’s our list of 12 furry felines that love a good bath.

Young purebred abyssinian cat playing and jumping.

Abyssinian

Abyssinian cats are beautiful felines with plenty of energy. They are game for all sorts of activities, so be prepared to spend your time watching them play, climb, and chase their time away. Because of their high energy levels, they can demand a lot of attention, particularly when it comes to splashing about.

The Abyssinian loves water. If you’ve got a pond, pool, water fountain, or even just a big bowl of water, they are bound to jump right in and play around. This makes for an easy (if not slightly messy) way to entertain your kitty on a hot day.

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Maine Coon cat on white background

Maine Coon

Maine Coons are one of the larger domestic cats that like water, as their long and medium-length coats are water-resistant. These coats also enable them to withstand colder temperatures. The Maine Coon’s love of water has given them a rather messy reputation, as they like to scoop water out of the toilet bowl, figure out how the faucet works on the kitchen sink, or even dip their toys inside their water dish. If you’re considering a Maine Coon, make sure to keep their water dish on an absorbent mat or in an enclosure to help contain the splashing.

The Theory Behind it

Maine Coons are highly intelligent, and researchers believe their affinity for water comes from the breed’s history of being used on naval ships as pest control. Looks like this breed is a sailor at heart!

A photo of funny red american bobtail cats three monthes old on blured background

American Bobtail

This highly receptive domestic cat breed makes for an adorable pet, with their stubby tails, fluffy coats, and beautiful patterns. They are also renowned for being one of the easier cat breeds to train, much like a dog. They respond well to walking on a leash, are adaptable to new environments, and love nothing more than a soak in the tub.

Like every pet, each personality is different. Typically, an American Bobtail enjoys its daily splish-splash when the opportunity arises.

Manx cat out hunting in a field

Manx

The Manx cat is an intelligent and very social pet. They enjoy attention and affection. Like a dog, they’ll carry toys in their mouth and play fetch with you. If you’re looking at getting a cat, but are unsure if felines are the right fit for you, this could be the perfect pet! This breed happily combines the two personalities of a dog and cat.

The Theory Behind it

This breed was originally bred on the Isle of Man, and because of their time spent on an island, they are naturally drawn, and comfortable, with the water.

Junior the Turkish Van Cat

Turkish Van

This is one of the cats that like water so much, they actually swim in it! The Turkish Van swims wherever water is available and emerges relatively dry, thanks to its water-resistant coat. If you own a swimming pool, watch them closely. They’ll jump in like an eager Lab on a hot summer’s day!

The Theory Behind it

The Turkish Van is another breed that was born to love water. They originate from Turkey’s Lake Van region (hence the name), and as a swimming cat breed, have developed large paws to help propel themselves through the water. Almost like a duck!

Gold Bengal Cat Walk on plank outdoor, side view, nature green background

Bengal

The Bengal cat is a cross between a domestic cat and a wild one. Most domesticated Bengals come from Asian Leopard cats, making them more of a fourth-generation mix. Their exotic origin gives them a natural pull towards the water. They love to entertain themselves by swatting at floating objects in a shallow bath!

As domestic cats, the Bengal is loving and energetic. Research your area before purchasing one, as this feline is still considered exotic in many places and could be illegal to keep as a pet.

American Shorthair cat lying on white bed and looking out the window

American Shorthair

The American Shorthair cat loves water and is likely to be very messy for this reason! They are no stranger to liquid living and have a reputation for playing with their water bowl. They’ll scoop out water with their paws and tip their dishes over “accidentally” (you know cats).

Their interest in water doesn’t stop there, either, as they may decide to walk into your shower or sit on the side of your tub while you bathe. You can say these cats are curious about water!

A female Norwegian Forest Cat sits in winter in the snow under a bush

Norwegian Forest Cat

The Norwegian Forest cat is an immensely strong hunter. They possess a thick, water-repellent coat to keep them dry and warm, which is ideal for a dip in the sea. In fact, these felines are widely known as swimming cats. They have even been called fishing cats, as their hunting capabilities come in handy while out fishing. They are probably not the best pets for people with an aquarium or koi pond.

Beautiful Turkish Angora cat with long white hair playing outside

Turkish Angora

Turkish Angora cats are extremely clever, and sometimes stubborn to train. Though working hard also means playing hard. These cats like to be entertained with plenty of interactive play, which is where water comes in handy.

A shallow bath filled with cat toys or even a dripping faucet can keep these cats occupied for long periods of time. These kitties are likely to enjoy a good paddle in the pond or a swim in the stream. They aren’t opposed to a good shower, either.

Japanese bobtail black cat walking in the plantation

Japanese Bobtail

The Japanese Bobtail, like its short-tailed cousin, also enjoys water! As you can see, cats that like water are prone to making a mess. The Japanese Bobtails are no exception. They are sure to pop their paws into their water dish, the sink, the toilet, or even your drink! They are not big on baths, though.

These cats are certainly playful and affectionate, making them great travel companions. Particularly if you’re headed to a water-logged resort!

Now for the Big Cats

Amur tiger walking in the water. Dangerous animal, taiga, Russia. Animal in green forest stream. Grey stone, river droplet. Wild cat in nature habitat.

Tigers

Tigers are best-known for their love of water! They use a good bath to cool themselves down in the humid, rain forest climates they call home. Tigers will bathe for hours to keep cool and will enter the water backwards to avoid getting any in their eyes.

Their strength, sleek body shape, and webbed feet make them powerful swimmers. Did you know tigers can swim up to 20 miles in a single trip? Their fur uses a stream-lined effect while swimming and retains enough moisture to keep them cool on land. This effect lasts for a significant amount of time before needing another dip.

Jaguar, Panthera Onca, Female, Cuiaba River, Porto Jofre, Pantanal Matogrossense, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil South America

Jaguars

One of the lesser-known big cat lovers of water is the jaguar. Jaguars live in the wetlands and marshlands of South America. They adapted to the water, as it is a vital part of their survival and lifestyle.

The jaguar’s spotted coat visually makes it more relatable to the leopard; however, it is believed they are actually more closely related to the tiger. The jaguar’s affinity for water would certainly support that theory. Jaguars will bathe, wallow, and hunt in water. They have been spotted staying underwater for extended periods of time while hunting. Sometimes, they’ll even eat their catch while still submerged.

Why Don’t All Cats Like Water?

There are several theories on why all cats don’t like water. Some say it’s because water weighs cats down, and as they rely very much on being nimble and quick, this affects cats’ typical performance. Though there is evidence to show that if their origin is on dry land, they simply have evolved to dislike water. Some cats have had bad experiences around water, especially when they were a kitten. Typically, they’ll remember this and associate the memory with an aversion to all water.

Whatever the reason, there are still cats out there that clearly love being wet! So, if you are looking to buy a cat that is sure to enjoy your pond, and keep themselves cool in the hot weather, then perhaps one of these breeds would be ideal for you! Though, maybe stay away from the big cats.

Sources:

  1. All Breeds – TICA
  2. CFA Breeds – The Cat Fanciers’ Association

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