Why don’t cats like getting wet?

Simba Asleep

Our pet cat likes to dip his paw into his water bowl before he drinks. I think he does this to check that there is actually some water in his bowl and to see how deep it is. But lots of cats don’t like water and my 7-year-old wants to know why.

Cats like to drink water because it helps to keep their bodies healthy. My cat laps water from his food bowl (or sometimes from the bird bath in the garden) but some cats prefer to drink running water from a tap or water fountain.

Cats also like to keep themselves clean but they don’t usually like to have a bath or a shower. Although some wild cats in hot countries will sit or swim in pools of water to keep themselves cool, many pet cats prefer to stay dry. Vets think this is because having soggy fur makes cats feel heavy and uncomfortable.

So if they won’t have a bath, how do cats keep clean? Well, they wash themselves by licking their fur. Cats’ tongues feel rough and scratchy because they have spiky bits called ‘papillae’, which are great for getting the dirt out of fur and for pulling the meat from bones. And licking or ‘grooming’ like this doesn’t just make a cat’s fur nice and clean – it also makes it smell of them. So, if a cat gets very wet, then its cat smells will be washed off, making it feel upset. And, don’t worry if your cat licks you too – it’s just trying to make you smell like one of the family (even if it feels a bit weird)!

So, cats don’t like to get wet because it makes their fur feel heavy and uncomfortable and washes away their normal cat smells.

And if you enjoyed reading this post and want to find out more about cats, check out these fun cat facts I found.

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