The Real Reason Cats Hate Baths

Cats are amazing pets. They communicate with their humans with meows and purrs, and they bond and show affection when they find their human, per The Spruce Pets. Like any other pet, there are some important things to note when you decide to add a furry feline to your family. One commonly known fact about cats is that most of them tend to dislike water. While cats in the wild like tigers and mountain lions may for an occasional swim, household cats would prefer to avoid the bathtub at all costs, according to Britannica.


There are several theories on why cats have such a strong aversion to getting wet, and some even think that the desire to stay dry dates back to the genetic makeup developed in cats throughout evolution. More modern studies theorize that cats prefer to stay dry because, to put it simply, it just doesn't feel good for them. The discomfort tends to be a learned behavior, and early exposure can get a cat used to the feeling early on, according to HowStuffWorks.

Cats just want to be comfortable

One of the reasons cats tend to avoid water is their fastidious tendency to groom themselves. Felines are constantly self-cleaning with great attention to detail, making submerged bathing unnecessary, according to Britannica. The texture of their fur works much better with this dry grooming method, as the heavy weight of wet fur can cause extreme discomfort for a cat. This is because the self-grooming habit leads to a lack of oils, causing water to soak deep into the coat of the cat and necessitate a longer drying time, per HowStuffWorks.


For the most part, you shouldn't find it necessary to give your cat a bath in the tub. Cats are unpredictable, however, and if you find yourself needing to bathe your cat after he takes playtime in a pile of something sticky, there are steps you can take to make the experience less harrowing. Being extremely gentle and using a cup or bucket to rinse your cat is best, and they may be calmer if you give them a towel or something to hold on to with their paws, according to Pets Best Pet Insurance. Be sure to give your cat plenty of extra treats and pets once he or she dries off!