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Can Cats Swim? Find Out Here!

Have you ever wondered if felines are capable of swimming? Is it possible? Read to find out: can cats swim?

Most pet owners think cats are incapable of swimming. They think that it is simply out of their league. The reason is that they usually hate water and don’t like being around it. However, it is a big misconception as cats are natural swimmers and some actually love it. This article covers everything related to “can cats swim?” Read on to know more.

Tabby Cat Unhappy About His Bath

Why Cats Hate Water

If cats can swim then why do they hate water? Let’s understand this.

Actually, felines are complex animals and have been domesticated for so long. Despite being capable of swimming, here are some reasons why they hate water:

No Experience

Most cats don’t like water because they were never exposed to it. They never went deep in the water as a kitten and developed an aversion towards it.

They Belong To A Breed Which Doesn’t Like Water

There are many breeds of felines which are comfortable with water and really enjoy swimming. Maybe your cat belongs to a different breed and that’s why they hate water.

They Don’t Like Their Coat Getting Wet

Another reason why cats hate water is that they don’t like their coat getting wet due to waterlogging. In most breeds, their fur is not actually designed to get wet. It becomes very heavy and very cold for them.  The coat helps them stay warm in the cold season.

Fearful tabby kitten on the edge of a bathtub.

Which Cats Love Water?

There are certain breeds of felines that are comfortable in the water. If your kitty belongs to any of these breeds or is mixed with them, then she may be able to learn to swim better than other breeds naturally.

Turkish Van

Popularly known as a swimming cat, the Turkish van is beautiful, rare, and has a playful and athletic personality. They have powerful hind legs and large paws which helps them jump higher. It has an unusual and notable fascination towards the water.

Turkish Angora

Turkish Angora is a gorgeous and delicate white breed of felines. They are athletic, intelligent, and fond of water. Angoras are strong, loves to splash in sinks and paddle in ponds.

American Bobtail

American bobtails are extremely active and intelligent felines who love to be around water. They feature distinctive wild appearance and have a bobbed tail.


Native to the United States Bengal cat is athletic, agile, and boasts a strong body. They are highly active, intelligent, and fond of playing in the water.

Maine Coon

Maine Coon is native to New England and one of the largest breeds of cat and has a water-resistant coat. They are affectionate towards the water and love dunking toys in water dishes for fun.

Calico kitten at the edge of the pool

Teach Swimming to Your Cat

You can teach your cat how to swim easily. Though it will take some time and effort as not every kitty is a natural swimmer.

  • Start by teaching swimming in an air-inflated kid’s pool. It is small, safe, and not too deep.
  • Safely get the cat in the water and hold her if she panics.
  • Comfort the kitty in the water by patting on the back or holding her in your arms if she looks scared.
  • Now carefully place her back in the swimming pool and let her get used to the water.
    Let her paddle on the water and learn swimming naturally. However, always hold her from above until she becomes familiar with the pool.

Final Thoughts

Cats are natural swimmers and can swim easily.  They just don’t like water.  However, if your cat is afraid of water and doesn’t like being around it naturally, then you should not teach her swimming.  If she panics and fights, she can inhale water or possibly drown.

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The Fluffy Kitty is a blog about cat travel and eco-friendly cat care. We share our best pet travel tips from living in 7 countries with Yoda, teach others how to become sustainable cat owners, and offer in-depth guides about cat nutrition, health, behavior, and more!


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