The Reason Why Most Cats Hate Water

Cats enjoy swimming about as much as Spirit Airlines enjoys punctuality. They find it oppressive and repugnant, as if each H20 molecule contains the sound bite of a baby bawling and a flight delay. Yet, cats need water to survive, making their relationship a bit complicated.

So what gives? The main reason is simply one of evolution. MNN says that domesticated cats were originally descended from Arabian wild cats, whose habitat had few bodies of water. Basically, there wasn't a lot of water around, so cats had no interest in swimming since there was no evolutionary advantage to it. They might get eaten by a croc, after all. 

Another study from a team of researchers at Washington University School of Medicine and Texas A&M posits that since cats are only halfway domesticated, retaining many aspects of their wilder days (you know, leaving you presents in the form of dead animals and spontaneous "love" bites,) their fight or flight response is still on high alert. This translates to a desire to stay fit and mobile at all times. Wetness equals decreased mobility, which a cat concerned about safety would avoid like the plague.

Pet Health Network also points out that cats are very meticulous self-groomers, and a doused coat is one that's going to take a lot of licking to sort out. It can mess with their temperature regulation, and Cat Health adds that cats enjoy a "sense of control," which they lose in the water, and their incredibly sensitive noses may not like what the water does to their personal bouquet of aromatic glands.

However, not all cats hate the water. Exhibit A is the Turkish Van, a '67 Mustang of a kitty that has developed a strong affinity for swimming, which PetMD postulates is a behavioral adaptation to help it cool off. Norwegian

The forest cats is another cat species that's also not averse to the water, supposedly having lived alongside Vikings on their boats, according to Pet Health Network.

So, while not all cats hate water, most do because it's an evolved characteristic. To cats, water poses more danger and an increased risk of things getting out of hand. Plus, it's just not fun being soaking wet when you're so heavily into fashion.