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Do Maine Coon Cats Like Water? Surprising Facts!

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By Nicole Cosgrove

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Cats generally have a reputation for not liking water, except for Maine Coons. Breaking all the stereotypes commonly associated with cats, the Maine Coon tends to enjoy water and are often fascinated by it. If you are curious to learn more about the Maine Coon and why they like water, read on!

About the Maine Coon

Maine Coons are a large domesticated cat breed and one of the oldest breeds in North America. They’re “gentle giants” and popular for their friendly, easygoing personalities.

Originating from Maine, these cats are adapted to cold climates and boast a thick, luxurious coat that helps them weather cold temperatures. This may be part of why they enjoy water, in fact.

Maine Coons have thick, water-resistant fur that’s not only good for harsh climates but helps them float on water. They can stay warm and dry, allowing them to play in water and bathe themselves as they please. They’re also exceptionally strong swimmers.

silver maine coon cat
Image Credit: Olga Korvinuss, Shutterstock

Do Maine Coon Cats Love Water?

All of this points to Maine Coons enjoying the water, but that’s still an individual preference. Owners of these cats often report behaviors like patting water from the water bowl, drinking water from a leaking faucet, and bathing in full tubs, pools, or puddles.

Of course, some individual Maine Coons may not enjoy water. This could be because of their personality or a previous bad experience that made them fear water. It’s important never to force your cat to swim or play in water if it’s uncomfortable.

cream tabby maine coon cat playing water
Image Credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock

What Other Cat Breeds Like Water?

Maine Coons aren’t alone in their love of water. Many other cat breeds like to play in water or get wet to different degrees. According to The Cat Fanciers’ Association, other cat breeds that like water may include the Turkish Angora, Japanese Bobtail, Norwegian Forest Cat, Manx, American Bobtail, American Shorthair, Turkish Van, and Bengal.

This isn’t limited to the domestic cat world, either. Some wild cats are known to swim or bathe in rivers and lakes in hot climates, including tigers. Cats are also attracted to movement, which explains why some cats enjoy playing with running water but don’t enjoy baths.

Norwegian forest cat sitting on a log
Image Credit: Elisa Putti, Shutterstock

Why Do Some Cats Hate Water?

Domestic cats are descended from desert species, so they tend to be comfortable in hot, dry climates. Furthermore, they were mostly bred inside, shielded from the elements, so they don’t need to bathe to escape the heat.

Cats also have the ability to groom themselves with their tongues, so they don’t need water to stay clean. Cats put a lot of work into keeping themselves clean, and any interaction with water can undo all that time and effort. A wet coat also weighs cats down, making them less agile for hunting and pouncing. In the wild, this could be a serious disadvantage.

Then, owners may try to bathe cats with water, creating more of an aversion to the experience. Another possibility is getting sprayed with a water bottle. Some people use this as a training aid, but cats have much stronger senses of smell and touch than we do. As humans, we don’t like to get sprayed in the face with water, so you can only imagine how much stronger that sensation is for a cat.

bengal cats licking eachother
Image Credit: Ilona Koeleman, Shutterstock

Conclusion

Despite a well-known reputation for hating water, Maine Coons are an exception to the rule. These cats usually love spending time playing in water or bathing and swimming. Each cat has its own personality and preferences, however, so you may find that yours prefers life on dry land.

 

Featured Image Credit: Lita Keire, Shutterstock

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