Wednesday, May 12, 2010 11:45 AM

More on Cats and Water

For an animal that supposedly doesn't like getting wet, many cats actually do have an affinity for water. After writing yesterday's post, I started thinking about this fact. Sure, you don't generally see cats jump into bodies of water like dogs do, but cats have not been trained for centuries by humans to track and retrieve game, either. Even if they had, though, I doubt the training would have had any effect!

Neither do cats usually enjoy bathing, at least the type that we perform on them. Of course, cats are self-cleaning and therefore don't really need baths, anyway. All the same, many house cats love to play in water, at least on occasion. For instance, Sweet Pea would often walk around the edge of the tub as I was exiting the shower, all the while playing with the drips of water she found there. Black Bear loves to play in the large water dish in the cellar, and his splashing around makes quite a mess. Miss P.'s new kitty, Libby, will immediately jump into the kitchen sink as soon as she hears the water running. This is very amusing, and if I let the faucet do a slow drip, she will get soaked as she tries to catch each drop as it falls. Miss P.'s countertops are now sprinkled with dried little paw prints, courtesy of Libs.

There is even a particular cat breed that loves water: The Turkish Van. I remember reading somewhere that these cats become avid swimmers if introduced to this activity as kittens. Candida Frith-Macdonald notes (in her book, The Ultimate Guide to Cats) that the original breeder, Laura Lushington, commented on the fact that these cats, "...have been known to enter ponds and even horse-troughs for a swim". If you have never seen these cats, you may be surprised to see that they have long, fluffy, thick coats, and resemble the Ragdoll. Personally, I would expect a swimming cat to have a sleek coat, but this is not the case with this breed. I will add that these cats are exceptionally sweet-looking, and look extremely cuddly.
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Amanda has worked with animals for many years and has always had cats in her life. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two excellent cats.
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