Do you know why cats hate water?

By May 30 | See Comments

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Cats – poised, elegant and ever so self conscious! They keep bathing and preening themselves to such an extent that one might think they are the most cleanliness-conscious among us all! Then logic demands that they should enjoy a proper bath with water, soap and all the associated paraphernalia. And yet, if you try taking your kitty to the bath tub, chances are that you will come away with a scratch (if not many)! Your feline will be none the too happy for the experience. In fact, it might take a while for you to win back your pet’s trust after that!Even our nursery rhymes – remember, “Ding dong bell”? – educate us that cats and water don’t do “well” together! Most felines, though not all, hate water with a vengeance. Why?

The evolution theory (Not the Darwinian one!)

Some say that felines owe their hydrophobia to their origins. Cats are said to have been first tamed by humans in the arid settlements of the Middle East. As water was hard to come by in these areas, the domesticated cats simply weren’t used to seeing it around. As the modern felis domestica evolved from these “aqua-averse” ancestors of theirs, they retained this trait of keeping a safe distance from water.

The odor theory

Having highly refined olfactory senses, cats are smell-sensitive to a fault. Though our noses can hardly discern the difference between water from natural sources and tap water, cats can. So another theory is that cats dislike and distrust the treated water from our household taps. As far as they are concerned, tap water reeks of strange chemical smells – not a scent they would be comfortable carrying around!

The stick-in-the-mud theory

Yes, we love our cats. But let’s be honest. Compared to canines, felines can be quite resistant to changes. They love their routines and like to explore things at their own pace. As any cat lover knows, these fur balls loathe surprises, hate infringements into their personal freedom and generally like to be left in peace. If you startle her with a nasty and unfamiliar experience like a bath, you can’t really blame her for the reaction she gives!

The soggy fur theory

Many dogs have a natural water-repellant coating on their fur which makes it comparatively easier for them to dry off with the famous doggy-shake! But things are not so easy for cats. Though the top layer of their coat may be water resistant, if drenched, their fur becomes water-logged and naturally, quite heavy. Cats are usually nimble on their paws and they prefer staying warm (Haven’t you noticed your pet’s love for a nap on your laptop when colder months come by?). So a soggy coat not only weighs down your kitty and compromises her agility, but it also lowers her body temperature. Small wonder then why cats hate baths!

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