For the longest time, I have heard that cats don’t like water let alone swimming. Its always been a stigma and for some reason, people actually keep their cats away from water.
The truth is that cats have the ability to swim and they don’t hate water. Some cats may enjoy swimming while some cats may not. In general, cats are very well developed for swimming but are scared of the water. To get them to swim or like water, you need to help them get over their initial fear.
Personally, I feel that it’s great for cats to learn how to swim since it serves as a safety measure especially if you have a pool in your home or if you intend on adventuring. Wildcats like jaguars and tigers love swimming as it’s a way for them to cool down. Domestic cats are not very different and can be trained to like water.
One of the main reasons why cats don’t like swimming or water, in general, is because humans have domesticated them to the extent that they have lost their true nature in the process. Also because domesticated cats descended from areas that lacked water sources. This inhibited them from naturally learning how to swim.
The original intent was for cats to be out there in the wild discovering, exploring and hunting. But for some reason, humans found a way to keep theses beauts indoors.
The point I’m trying to make is that cats actually like water but since they aren’t exposed to it as much they tend to dislike it, adapting to the indoor lifestyle you have provided. At home, the cat is left indoors and isn’t exposed to rain and storms and stuff.
However, if the same cat was out there living in the wild being exposed to natural conditions including rain, the cat would actually adapt to it and start to like it since it becomes apart of their normal routine.
Cat Breeds that love water.
2. American Bobtail.
4. Turkish van.
5. Japanese Bobtail.
How to Teach a Cat to like water and Swim?
Teaching your cat to swim is really easy but it requires patience and some effort. If you have a cat that dislikes water it may be more difficult but totally possible. Afterall it’s their preference.
Teaching a cat to swim that dislikes water often requires a gentle transition to swimming. You cannot just rock up by the pool and throw kitty into the water and expect them to swim. Rather you want to introduce swimming to the cats daily routine.
First, you want to start by going to the pool often, it will be much easier if you have a pool in your backyard. The purpose of this is eliminate the fear of water in them.
- You just have to go and enjoy your swim and let the cat watch from a distance . You really want to just make the cat feel comfortable with the surrounding. You will know when the cat is used when they walk around becoming inquisitive.
- Once the cat is comfortable and doesn’t feel that the pool is a threat. Now you can go ahead hold kitty and slowly go into the pool. be observant and see how the cat respond. If kitty is calm and cool take it a step further and allow the cats belly to sit on the surface of the water while still holding on. If not only allow the cats paws in the water.
- After several attempts the cat will adjust. Once kitty is relaxed, loosen your hands without removing them and allow the cat to take off. You will find that the cat will naturally start kicking.
- When the cat starts to move, remove your hands but remain close by just in case. Help your cat to move around and turn as it will be difficult at first.
- Now that kitty can balance in the water staying above the surface, your job is almost done. You only need to practice more so that the cat’s arms and legs can strengthen to the motion of swimming.
- After much practice the cat will gain muscle memory and swimming will become second nature.
What if my cat becomes aggressive?
It’s possible for some cats to show aggression while trying to swim, often its those cats that aren’t very well adapted to water. When handling these type of cats you want to patient and give them space. It’s also possible that the cat might not prefer water,in this case you have to respect your cats decision.
But for the more adventurous cats, provided that they have a life jacket on, leave them in the pool to just linger around. By giving them this space they can get over their anxiety and their fear of water. If you see them totally distraught than remove them from the cat and help calm them down.
Cats are also very grumpy and it’s very difficult to handle them. A good tip is to catch them while their in a good mood, this will make your life much easier.
Swimming in Pools, Lakes and Ocean.
Swimming in pools is much safer and more reliable compared to the ocean. Pools are normally very controlled, calm and relaxing and you can swim according to your liking. However, pool water contains a lot of chemicals which could cause a reaction to your cat’s skin.
Swimming in the ocean is much more rough and unpredictable. You are subject to tides and wave currents. If your cat is just starting out you probably want to stay away from the ocean until kitty is able to swim well.
Lakes are a good alternative if the ocean is too rough or the pool water is just too strong. Swimming in lakes is pretty cool and adventurous since a variety of sports are done here.
You can swim, ski, kayak and even relax on a boat. It’s important to remember that you should never let your cat swim on their own, a lot of things can go wrong. In America, there are many reported cases of pets drowning and you don’t want to add to the statistics.
Here are some guidelines and safety precautions to follow:
- When swimming in pools make sure the chemicals in the water is right and well balanced.
- Never allow the cat to drink pool or seawater.
- If you have a pool at home, always cover it with a safety net.
- Do not allow your cat to swim in a pool if they have sensitive skin. The chlorine could irritate kitties skin.
- If your cat is hairless like the Sphynx, use a good sunscreen.
- Never swim on a very hot day, your kitty could get dehydrated and also there is a possibility of solar dermatitis.
- When swimming in the ocean with kitty always keep an eye on, waves can be very rough at times.
- Invest in a good life jacket for your cat. Which can help in unforeseen events?
- Swimming in lakes is great but be on the lookout for choking hazards as cats are very curious and may tend to put things in their mouth.
After the Swim.
After the swim give your cat a quick rinse so that all the chemicals or salt that is in the water wash off the cat’s body. Cats have a lot of fur and the fur can absorb these chemicals and can cause lesions on kitties skin.
You also need to air dry them until they are completely dry. If not the cat can catch the flu and you will end up with a sick cat.
Swimming gear for kitty.
When swimming with cats you want to be safe and provide the best possible care. When you with your cat in the water it can be very nerve-wracking because you don’t know what can happen, therefore you want to get all the right products,you will need:
- Life jackets.
- Safety leash.
- Cat sunscreen.
- Small surfing board.
- Freshwater and food.
- Kitty Cats swimwear.
1. Can cats really swim in salt water ? Yes , cats can swim in salt water, however you must rinse kitty once they are done swimming to prevent any skin irritation.
2. Can cats drink salt water ? Yes , cats can drink salt water because they are able to filter out the salt from the water. Too much of salt water can be dangerous , fresh water is preferred.