The little black cat who loves to swim in the sea

Nathan loves to swim in the sea
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Nathan loves to swim in the sea

You know that myth? The one that says that domestic cats don’t like water. Well, you know that it is not exactly true. Check out Nathan first…

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The thing is this: a lot of domestic cats demonstrate to us that they are not that keen on getting wet. When water is dropped on them accidentally, they run off as if some sort of disaster has occurred. I have two observations about that. Cats are individuals so some dislike water, some don’t mind one way or the other, and some like it. Perhaps the ‘default mentality’ towards water is a dislike of it because the wild ancestor of the domestic cat lived and still lives in arid places in North Africa and the Middle East.

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That particular species of wildcat (N. African) would not have met water an awful lot and was and still is attuned to dry conditions and a scrub habitat. Perhaps it is this which gives our domestic cats a general dislike of getting wet. But the argument that domestic cats hate water does not hold water!

There are many domestic cats who like water. The well-known F1 Savannah cats (the father is a serval) are said to join their owners in the shower. Some Bengal cats do this too. Perhaps when a domestic cat is nearer his wild nature he is more likely to be comfortable in an around water.

Many wild cats actively like being in and around water and are excellent swimmers. The tiger is an example. The lion is less keen on water because they live in drier habitats. Tigers live in forests and jungles where there is more rain. Tigers have been seen swimming 4 miles offshore in Indonesia. And the fishing cat is a species which relies on water for food.

So little Nathan in the video is a tiger at heart. He just happens to be one of those cats who enjoys being in water. There are many others and all domestic cats when called upon to swim do so with skill and resilience.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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1 Response

  1. Jane says:

    Nathan looks much happier in the water than most of the terrified dogs I’ve seen perched on and falling off of surfboards.

    The Turkish Van is another breed that has a reputation for enjoying water.

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