My dog, Griffin, views being sprayed by the backyard hose as the greatest game of all. I can’t water my flowers without spending at least 10 minutes allowing Griffin to run back and forth through the water spray. Try that with a cat? I don’t think so!
Cats are known for their dislike of getting wet. For many cats, their only exposure to water comes in the form of drinking it from a bowl or being stuck outdoors in the rain. If you ever tried to bathe an adult cat without having spent time acclimating them to the process when they were younger, you know it’s not a positive experience for the cat or for you. Based on that negative memory or maybe due to all the cat bathing horror stories you may have heard, you might’ve concluded that cats just hate water. That wouldn’t be accurate though. It’s just that a cat’s relationship with water isn’t so simple.
Not all cats dislike water. Large cats who live in warmer climates, like lions, leopards, tigers, jaguars and ocelots, will often go into bodies of water to cool off. They have also become good at swimming in order to hunt in water or cross it to access prey. Tigers are particularly known for being excellent swimmers. Domestic cats though, don’t typically have to face such water challenges in daily life.