The cat breeds that are more likely to accept getting thoroughly wet and even enjoy water are those that are nearest to the wild ancestor, the wildcat. These breeds are the wildcat hybrids such as the Bengal and Savannah. I believe that statement is a good starting point as it is logical and not based on anecdotal stories which are unreliable.
Once again, I’d caution internet surfers to be careful when researching information like this. There are too many websites making stuff up or passing the same information around without critical analysis. They produce lists of the top ten cat breeds that like water. I don’t believe it. It is illogical. Breeders don’t selectively breed cats to like water! It is not on their radar. They breed for appearance and secondarily for character. If it was true that some non-wildcat hybrid breeds genuinely liked water it would imply that all the breeders of that cat breed were selectively breeding their cats to like water and it isn’t true.
It is ironic that you’ll also see website stating that cats hate water. Not true either. On the one had cats hate water and on the other ten cat breeds love the stuff! Inconsistent. The truth is in the middle ground. And it is more to do with individual cat traits not generalisations.
ASSOCIATED PAGE: Is it true that cats hate water?
Also, I think you have to declare what liking water means. They (the website owners) say that Maine Coons like water but what they mean is that some individual Maine Coons like to play around with their water bowl and flick water around or scoop it up in their paws. I am not sure that this is liking water per se. It is more an interest in its properties driven by boredom probably.
I am interpreting ‘liking water’ as meaning liking to get wet or not being averse to getting wet. And I think that you’ll find that the wild cat hybrids such as the Bengal are the kings of water sports. Well, not quite ‘sports’ but I’d argue that the fifth filial Bengal (the higher the filial the better) may even occasionally get into to the shower with their owner.
But you can’t generalise. I don’t believe that you can say that all Bengal cats love water. There will be personality differences between individuals which is to be expected. I don’t like websites that say ‘Bengal cats love water’.
ASSOCIATED PAGE: Water cats.
Another mistake is that there is a general misapprehension that Turkish Vans love water. This comes from the image of the first Turkish Vans being imported from Turkey by two English women, Laura Lushington and Sonia Halliday, who started the breed in the West in the late 1950s. She carried some kittens back in a car. She stopped off at a lake and they swam in it (see above). Does that mean that all Turkish Vans 60 years later love water? I think not. There’s been decades of selective breeding since then. The modern Turkish Van has little or no connection with the original Turkish cats. They are human-made in a breeding cattery.
You will see individual cats enjoying playing around in the ocean with their human caregiver (see above). They might be a cat breed or a moggie. It doesn’t matter because this is an individual trait and these cats have also been indoctrinated into the outdoors life which is great. They like being with their owner and their owner likes surfing. Bingo the cat goes surfing with a bit of training. These stories tell us that all domestic cats have the potential to not be averse to water and even enjoy messing around in it. This is because they are domesticated wild cats and the wild cat ancestor to the domestic cat often hunts near water where there is more likely to be prey animals.
So, what is my answer to the question: Which cat breeds like water most? It has to be the Bengal, Savannah, Safari and Chausie to name three wild cat hybrids. There are others. And the higher the filial – the nearer they are to the wild counterpart – the less water-averse they’ll be. The ‘wild counterpart’ of the Bengal is the Asiatic leopard cat. The serval is the wild cat half of the Savannah. Click this link for a list of wild cat hybrids.
SOME MORE ON WILD CAT HYBRIDS:
Wildcat hybrids were created to bring us closer to nature but we are going in the opposite direction