Are there cat breeds that like water?

Internet articles are misleading on the topic of cat breeds liking or loving water. Is it true as the internet largely states that there are cat breeds that like or love water which means that they like to jump into water and join you in the shower and dive into baths begging to be washed! And Google search finds one website (placing it top) which tells us that eight cat breeds love water including the Sphynx cat. And they say that the Maine Coon, Turkish Van and British shorthair and even the Siamese love being in water.

I just don’t get it because this is not true. I don’t know where they’ve got their information from. Probably right out of their imagination. Perhaps they might have thought that the Sphynx cat likes water because you have to wipe them over with a damp cloth regularly to get rid of the sebaceous oils that are deposited on their skin and which attracts grime. They become grimy and smelly unless you wipe them.

Or they have seen them in baths perhaps being washed. Even if you can see photos of Sphynx cats in baths being washed, does it mean that the individual cat in question is loving it? Or that all Sphynx cats love water? No, I don’t think so, which is why I have created a fantasy picture of a Sphynx in a bath!

It is a fantasy that all Sphynx cats LOVE water
It is a fantasy that all Sphynx cats LOVE water. Image: DALLE E.
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

In general, all domestic cats don’t actively like water because their ancient ancestor is the Near Eastern wildcat that lives in arid conditions. Many or most domestic cats will put up with being caught out in a shower outside. They may well stop going outside when it rains. Or hide under your car even in a light shower. Or they might put up with some rain but these cats don’t dive into a pond to have a swim! Some individual cats like being in water. But these are individuals and generally pretty rare I’d say. They don’t beg their owner to join them in the shower.

F1 wild cat hybrids

However, funnily enough, there are anecdotal reports, which actually make sense, that the high filial wild cat hybrids such as the F1 Savannah cats and F1 Bengal cat sometimes like to join their owner in the shower.

I would argue that the wild cat hybrids, particularly the high filial ones as mentioned, might like water or be predisposed to liking it. And it makes sense because half of them is a wild cat. For the F1 Bengal cat the wild cat element is the Asiatic leopard cat.

This is a small endangered wild cat species living in jungles in Asia and they are going to hunt around watercourses because there are prey animals there. And therefore, they are more tolerant of and even keen to get involved with water where they can find prey. This will be embedded in their DNA.

And I recall when I went to a very large Savannah cat breeder in Oklahoma, USA, that the owners told me that on occasions high filial Savannah cats do like to join their owner in the shower.

But even then, you can’t say that all Savannah cats or all F1 Savannah cats are going to jump into a swimming pool or dive into the shower and thoroughly enjoy getting sopping wet. I do not think that this happens. It doesn’t make sense because domestic cats, even the F1 Savannah cats, are removed from the wild. Their psyche is tuned up to being domesticated.

Turkish Van

The Turkish Van has a myth or legend or even a factually true story of enjoying swimming. When they were imported from Turkey to Europe in a car, they stopped off at a pond and the Turkish Van kittens went for a swim. This story is somewhat shaky in its veracity. Anyway, just because a kitten goes for a swim it doesn’t mean that they like water all their lives.

There is a bit of a myth that the Turkish Van likes water partly because of the reason mentioned and part because they come from the area of Lake Van in Turkey. There is a connection with water. The cat is named after the lake. This conjures up the possibility that these cats have been around water for thousands of years and therefore like it. I don’t think that argument stacks up.

Siamese claimed to love water

As for the Siamese cat, I have never heard about this cat breed loving or even liking water. In fact, the Chewy website states that they love water. They actually state that Siamese cats love water. I am afraid that this simply is not true. There might be an individual Siamese cat somewhere who likes water because that is their individual personality and trait. However, it does not mean that all Siamese cats like water. They simply don’t in my view.

The cat breeds are very similar in personality trait to non-purebred cats. All the basics are going to be the same but there might be some personality traits and some breeds because they been selectively bred to have those personalities. That said, selectively breeding for personality comes 2nd to selectively breeding for appearance.

Maine Coon

Anecdotally, there are stories about Maine Coon cats enjoying slapping water in their bowl and drinking water from their paws. This, I suppose, is indicative that there like or love water. I don’t get the connection myself because playing with water in a bowl is an expression of curiosity and quite different to jumping into water and being submerged in it. If Maine Coon cats loved water, we would see hundreds of photographs of not thousand on the Internet of them jumping into rivers and ponds! They just don’t exist. You will see some swimming in the sea or freshwater ponds or lakes from time to time. Perhaps it is these photos that have given authors the idea that all Maine Coons like water. It is not a connection that you can make.


My conclusion is that a lot of what you read on the Internet about cat breeds loving water is simply untrue. I wouldn’t believe it. You might believe that the high filial wild cat hybrids are predisposed to liking water but that is about as far as I personally will go.

Disagree? Please tell me but please provide a good argument 😎.

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