By Elisa Black-Taylor
A few days ago I came across this video of a cat playing in water. It was so cute, I knew I had to share it with the readers here. I’ve seen cats drinking from a dripping water faucet, but never seen one who actually appears to enjoy wading in a shallow bathtub of water.
I decided to do a little online research into which cat breeds enjoy water and why they enjoy it so much.
The Bengal cat is one breed that is well known for it’s love of water. I wonder if perhaps the wild cat ancestry has something to do with this. Large jungle cats have been known to swim and play in whatever body of water they live close to. Especially in the more humid environments, where water cools them off.
Some Maine Coons also have a passion for water. One reference stated their fur is made to deter water. Water slides right off so a Maine Coon playing in water doesn’t get soaking wet. I’m sure our cat Furby would disagree. He hasn’t complained about the few baths he’s been given, but he’s never jumped in the tub looking for water either.
The Turkish Van is one of the best known cats for enjoying a dip in the water. They’re reportedly good swimmers. The breed originated around Lake Van in Turkey, where some Turkish Van’s have been known to swim out to meet fishing vessels that are returning to shore.
I would imagine it’s not just the breed that determines whether water is worth playing with, it’s the entire personality of the individual cat. The more energetic, curious cats would probably find water as something to chase. Especially as the cat makes ripples in the water.
Some cats drink their water by dipping their paw into the water bowl then licking the paw. These cats may enjoy their water in this manner, or it may have been handed down in their DNA. If a cat cannot take his eyes off of his environment long enough to drink, then the paw is used. This way any danger can be watched for without the cat having to lean his head forward to drink. Self preservation is a strong inborn instinct for many cats.
I believe there’s a big difference in cats who play in their water bowl and cats who enjoy a good romp in the bathtub. We have several cats who love to drink from a dripping faucet. Someone is always waiting anytime I fill my glass with filtered tap water. The filter tends to drip a few seconds and it’s a competition to see which cats gets to drink from it.
Whenever we’re due for a freezing cold night, we leave the faucet barely dripping so the pipes don’t freeze up. It’s funny to get up in the morning and find half a dozen cats sitting around the various countertops waiting for their turn to drink.
There are many YouTube videos showing cats playing in water. Just search for that topic, and you’ll find enough to keep you entertained for hours.
I hope everyone enjoys my collage of our water lovers. I wanted to show that in my house it’s not breed specific. I just wish I had a cat who wanted to have playtime in a shallow bathtub of water. I’d LOVE to film that. Tom is no longer with us, and Jethro found a home of his own back in January. They both loved the bathroom sink, whether for a drink or a nap. Lola is the chief faucet watcher these days.
Do any of you have water loving cats. Do they only enjoy a dripping faucet, or do they like playing in their water dish or the tub?
P.S. from Michael. A good number of wild cats like water. They hunt in it or around it because there is food there. All the wild cats are at least comfortable with water. The domestic cat has become distanced from his ancestors and his roots. A lot of domestic cat don’t really like water. Some do but a lot are not sure about it. It appears that this is the result of 10.000 years of domestication.