Reasons Why Cats Hate Water
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Why do cats hate water so much?
Not all cats like water. Cats that have had positive experiences around and in the water, especially during their key socialization period (early socialization occurs between 3 and 8 weeks, late socialization between 9 and 16 weeks), often like water.
There are also specific breeds that love water! It is important to treat your cat as an individual without expectations.
Many cats have evolved to dislike water.
Cats are believed to have been domesticated 9,500 years ago in the Middle East. They evolved in arid and desert climates and were not exposed to rivers, lakes, and rain.
This has resulted in today's cats primarily avoiding bodies of water. Even community cats often seek shelter from rain and thunderstorms.
Hiding from the water has become an instinct in today's cats.
This is not true for all breeds, as some cat breeds like to be in the water due to their own evolutionary path. The Turkish Van and the Turkish Angora, for example, are known for their love of water and swimming.
They adapted to their climate in the Lake Van region of Turkey by shedding their hair in the summer to swim and fish. Some other breeds that are more likely to enjoy the water are the Bengal, the Maine Coon, and the American Bobtail.
Cats are sensitive to smells.
Cats have an extraordinary sense of smell, fourteen times more sensitive than ours. The strong scents associated with shampoos and conditioners can contribute to cat dislike of water and baths. Some have also speculated that your cat might not like the smell of chemicals in tap water.
Cats love to be clean and warm (the wet factor)
Cats are meticulous in their natural cleanliness and spend much of their time grooming themselves, keeping their fur clean, untangled, and well-conditioned.
Cats also maintain a higher body temperature and cleaning helps maintain and regulate their body temperature. When a cat's fur gets soggy, it becomes quite heavy, preventing it from quickly returning to a dry, warm state.
A wet coat can also make the cat slow and less agile than usual, creating an uncomfortable feeling that it cannot get out of a situation quickly.
Aversion to water
Many cats' experiences with water are not positive - getting caught in a downpour without shelter, being doused with water, and taking forced baths are just a few examples, so understandably many cats dislike it.
Do cats need baths?
As mentioned above, cats do a great job of keeping clean and can spend up to 40% of the day cleaning themselves, so you may never need to bathe your cat.
Cats may need a medical bath due to a skin problem, and older, arthritic, and overweight cats may have a hard time reaching parts of their body. A bath may also be necessary if the cat curls up in a sticky or smelly object.
How can I get my cat to enjoy baths?
Before the bath
Acclimatize to space. To get your cat comfortable in the water, try to acclimatize him to the bathtub weeks before the bath so that he gets used to space.
Place your cat in an empty bathtub or sink with toys, catnip, or treats to make positive associations with the place. Try spreadable treats, such as a small amount of cheese, whipped cream, or anchovy paste, and spread it out in the tub for your cat to lick it off.
Once your cat is comfortable playing and eating treats in the sink or tub, fill the tub with an inch or two of warm water and spread the toys around the tub so it can rest.
Encourage your cat to play with toys and reinforce her with praise and treats when she does.
Prepare everything before bathing the cat. Make sure you are ready with everything you need. This includes a specially designed shampoo for cats, special treats and toys that your cat loves, hot towels, a plastic cup to pour water on your cat, and a non-slip surface, such as a rubber lining, and a mat of bath or towel to place. . in the sink or tub so your cat can stand up.
Create a calm environment. Close the door and keep the noise to a minimum. Stay calm and speak quietly. If your spray attachment is noisy, rinse your cat with cups of water. If you are stressed, your cat will be too!
Use minimal restraint and positive distractions. Avoid rubbing and holding your cat. Instead, be polite, watch your cat's body language, and offer positive distractions, such as a special treat to spread and/or a toy wand.
Be very careful not to spray on the face or get water in the ears or eyes. Avoid washing whiskers. A cat's whiskers are where many of the cat's touch receptors are found, and it is natural for cats to hate when these receptors are brushed against by water, food, and dirt. Make sure to rinse out the shampoo well to avoid skin irritation.
Towel dry. Gently remove your cat from the water and immediately wrap it in a warm towel to dry it or, if your cat does not prefer being held, let the water drain off and towel it dry while it is still in the tub. Your cat will dry naturally within a few hours and during this time it should be kept warm and free from drafts. Finish off with a cuddle or play session with the cat and your cat's favorite treat!
Enjoy The Video Tutorial about Why Do Cats Hate Water?
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