Cat Breeds That Like Water: No More Getting Torn to Ribbons During a Bath

cat swimming in water
Steve Corelli
Written by Steve Corelli

As many cat owners and lovers can attest, cats and water are two things that do not go well together. With most fur babies, trying to get them to take a bath or even sprinkling them with water may earn a few scratches. Even for cats who love the outdoors—the rain comes out, the cat comes in. With this in mind, you may be surprised to learn that there are actually some cat breeds that like water.

These are breeds that love to play in the water. They don’t fear getting their fur wet or drinking from unconventional sources. These are furry friends who will jump into the pool and swim beside you or join you in the shower. Others will be comfortable lapping up water from the faucet even if their fur has to get wet for it.

To help you know more about these breeds, we will look at different aspects that pertain to them. Read on to find out their histories, physical characteristics, and personality traits. You will also find out more about how to take care of them and keep them well groomed.

#1: Bengal

bengal cat in water

Bengals are best known for their gorgeous and wild looking coat markings. Apart from their looks, these beauties love water and won’t mind playing around in rain puddles or joining you in the tub as you take a bath.

If you are planning to camp out and you think that it might get soggy, don’t leave your fur baby home; they will enjoy the outing. These cats are not afraid to get their paws wet, and they are happy drinking from streams while perched on boulders.

The Bengal is athletic, agile, and can never be mistaken for a delicate pet. They look like they belong in the jungle from their muscular body to excellent hunting skills. Their coat comes in a mixture of colors and patterns including silver tabby and black silver tabby among others. It’s also possible to find a Bengal with a ‘glittering’ coat that shimmers when light falls on it.

The breed traces its origins to Jean Mill, a Californian breeder who let her leopard cat be kept company by a black tom. The result was a spotted female whom she took a liking to. Breeding the kitten back to the tom gave rise to more kitties with spotted and mixed patterns, and just like that, a new breed took shape.

Bengals are large and can weigh up to 15 pounds. Their size does not, however, stop them from being active around the house.

They are highly intelligent and enjoy being kept busy. Learning new tricks is up their alley; they love playing fetch, turning light switches, and playing puzzle games. However, they can also be destructive especially when bored. This can manifest in swinging on drapes, chandelier, hogging the remote, etc.

They do well with weekly grooming to keep them clean and pest free. Combing will remove dead fur and avoid matting of their short, thick coat. Bathing is rarely necessary, unless their coat is dirty. That said, don’t be surprised to find them swimming, comfortably in the pool or the tub.

#2: Manx

manx cat

The most distinctive feature of the Manx cat is their lack of a tail. However, not every Manx is tailless. Some actually have normal tails, short tails, or a bone that rises at the end of the spine. These are referred to as “risers.” While all can be used for breeding, only the tailless and the risers are used in shows.

Another distinct feature of the Manx is their short front legs and long rear legs. These do not hamper the breed’s agility in any way.

It’s common to find a Manx dabbling their feet in their water dish, playing in the sink, or even joining you in the shower. They cannot resist any play that involves water. They love to ‘fish’ in water fountains and faucets.

A Manx has a double coat which can be either long or short. The long-haired Manx is referred to as Cymric by some cat registries while others just consider it as a variety of the Manx.

The coat comes in various colors and patterns which may include solids, tabbies, tortoiseshells, and calicos. They weigh 8 – 11 pounds and mature slowly. They may not reach their full size until they are five years old.

The breed is believed to date back to 1750 in the Isle of Man off the coast of Britain. These cats are believed to have been born there or to have arrived in a ship, after which the tailless gene spread throughout the island. The island soon became home to many tailless cats, and that is how the name Manx was created.

The breed is recognized by The International Cat Association, Cat Fanciers Association, and other cat registries.

The Manx is a natural mouser and is very protective of anything and anyone that they consider theirs. When not feeling threatened, the cat is sociable and affectionate. They like to snuggle in your lap but would also enjoy a quiet spot where they can watch you. They like attention and so would not be a great fit if you do not have plenty of time to share.

When introduced early, the cat gets along with children and other pets. An adult one may take their time. They can adapt to new surroundings with time and can easily learn tricks.

Apart from the normal cleaning of the ears, eyes, and teeth, a Manx needs a weekly coat brushing, regular nail clipping, and a bath once in a while.

#3: Maine Coon

maine coon swimming

The Maine Coon is a large cat breed that has come to be known as the gentle giant of domestic felines. They are robustly built with well-horned climbing skills that enable them to perch in high place. Their skills are enabled by strong averagely long legs and large round paws that can comfortably walk on snow during winter.

The Maine Coon is captivated by water. They are actually able to scoop water using their paws and can turn your bathroom into a mess if you happen to leave your toilet seat open or loose.

The breed comes in various solid colors, tabby colors, patterns, and bicolor. The eyes may be gold, green, greenish gold, or copper. Sometimes, the cat may have blue or odd eyes. This is especially so for white or bicolored Maine Coons.

The breed hails from Maine, New England where it was popular as a mouser, ship cat, and farm cat in the early 19th century. Its other name, Coon, comes from the cat’s resemblance to a raccoon. While there are different theories surrounding this breed’s origin, none has anything to do with a raccoon whatsoever.

The Maine Coon was registered when the Cat Fanciers Association was formed in 1908. The breed gained popularity and became common in cat shows during the late 19th century.

It was soon edged out of the spotlight by the Persian and the Siamese breeds from England. However, the formation of Maine Coon Breeders and Fanciers Association in 1968 saw the breed making a comeback. Today, the Maine Coon is one of the most popular cat breeds. They are also the official state cats of Maine.

The cat suits people of different personalities and lifestyles. While they adore the company of their human companion, they are not your typical lap cat. They are content just sitting near you and watching you do your stuff. Since they are a mouser, no mice can survive in a homestead with a Maine Coon.

They also sharpen their skills by chasing imaginary mice and toys. They enjoy playing fetch and other brain-teasing games. Their friendly and lively nature makes them perfect for a household with children and pets.

A Maine Coon’s coat is silky in nature; it, therefore, doesn’t matt easily. Combing it twice weekly should be enough to get rid of dead hair and distribute skin oils. Their eyes, ears, and teeth need regular cleaning as well.

If their coat becomes greasy to the touch, it is time to give them a bath. Keep their nails trimmed and keep them indoors to protect them from attacks, theft, and accidents.

#4: Snowshoe

Snowshoe cat

The Snowshoe is a pointed cat. This means that they come in a light color with dark areas around the extremities. The uniqueness of the Snowshoe comes with four white paws that look like white boots, hence the name Snowshoe. The kittens are born white; the dark areas start developing after a few weeks and continue to darken.

The breed is a bit on the chunky side with a strong build. Their size, however, does not stop them from being buoyant in water. You will find them swimming comfortably or dabbling in tap water. Getting their feet or fur wet is not a problem for them. They will be the first to run around in puddles.

The Snowshoe is an active and intelligent feline. With training, they can learn tricks fast; this includes walking on a leash, opening doors, playing fetch, running feline agility courses, playing puzzle games, and engaging in other interactive activities. They will comfortably perch on top of the TV or refrigerator where they can keep an eye on what’s happening in the house.

The breed is quite vocal, which can be traced to their ancestors—the Siamese cats. Their voice is, however, mellow. So it’s pleasing to hear them talk throughout the day. Expect them to inquire about your day, work, and even voice their displeasure if meals are delayed.

The history of the Snowshoes can be traced back to the Victorian era. There are photographs of kittens with the characteristic white paws and coats resembling the Siamese from the time period. The current breed was, however, developed in the mid- 20th century.

Dorothy Hinds-Daugherty, a Siamese breeder from Philadelphia, created the Snowshoe by aiming for a moderately built Siamese-like feline with white paws. This she achieved by crossing a tuxedo domestic shorthair male to three white-pawed female kittens. The result was beautifully coated cats with the intelligence and a cool nature to match.

Due to its Siamese ancestry, the breed may come with kinked tails and crossed eyes. With this in mind, it’s advisable to be on the lookout for these flaws before acquiring a Snowshoe.

These flaws, however, do not affect their health or grooming needs. Keep them healthy by watching their diet and brushing their coat at least weekly. You should also clip their nails and clean their eyes and ears periodically.

#5: Abyssinian

Abyssinian cat drinking water

Abyssinians are known for their love of height, whereby they prefer to perch in high places including trees in the backyard or just hanging out in ceiling-high places. While height is their first love, water follows closely.

These cats love to play in the water and won’t shy away from turning on taps to quench their thirst or even drink right from the tub or toilet bowl. Abyssinians like to make a splash, so you may need to keep your water jars covered at all times. The same goes for fish bowls and aquariums.

Abyssinians are highly intelligent, agile, and quite inquisitive. These traits make them fun companions to be around. Nothing escapes their sight, and they will be by your side as you go about your day.

They also love to keep tabs on what is going on outside and will perch on window sills looking over birds, squirrels, or other pets playing in the backyard. Their endless energy can be kept in check by providing them with interactive toys, ping pong balls, feathers, puzzle toys, and toy mice.

The breed is thought to have originated from Ethiopia and is aptly named after the country’s pre-colonial name. Abys, as these cats are lovingly known, are among the oldest cat breeds. In the western world, they made their debut in the Victorian era where they were exhibited in cat shows in the late 19th century.

There are claims that Abys were kept by the pharaohs (ancient Egyptian kings). Other theories hold that the breed originated from Southeast Asia. Traders from Britain or Netherlands could have brought them home from Indonesian islands or the port cities of India.

Their love of water makes it easy to groom them. They will enjoy the occasional bath and daily teeth brushing. Frequent baths are especially recommended when the cat is shedding; this ensures that you and your furniture remain fur-free.

While at it you should check their nails and trim them to avoid overgrowth or debris collection which can cause pain as they walk. With good care and grooming, the breed can weigh up to 10 pounds and live to up to 15 years.

#6: Savannah

Savannah kitten

Savannahs are domestic cats that closely resemble wild cats. The breed is known for being challenging, owing to its intelligence and high energy. They love playing with water and actually enjoy being bathed or joining the fun as kids play with water hoses or water guns.

The breed has very beautiful coats and striking facial features. Their fur is short to medium and comes in different colors and patterns; these include brown, black, black smoke, black silver tabby, and black spotted tabby. They have solid markings which come in all shapes such as oval, round, and elongated ones which some cat lovers say resemble bull’s-eyes.

The breed has a triangular head with a long neck and large, wide eyes. They are tall and athletic—features that add to their exotic and wild look. It may take them several years, usually three, to reach full size. But at around four months the breed suddenly rockets from short to tall. At maturity, they weigh 8 to 20 pounds, with the males being larger than the females.

The athletic body allows the breed to play for long and often by jumping all over the house. This can see them knocking over flower pots or anything placed on the table or kitchen counters. Simply put, with a Savannah in the house, cat proofing is usually a must.

They are intelligent and can be trained to comfortably walk on a leash or engage in interactive games. Their energy can be redirected by providing them with toys that will keep them moving. Laser pointers, toy mice, and puzzle games can be handy in this.

Savannahs can be traced back to Servals which are wild African cats. The current breed was developed after a Serval was crossed with a domestic cat. The result was a kitten named Savannah that was born in the mid-1980s.

Breeders have also used other spotted cats like Bengals, Oriental Shorthairs, and Egyptian Maus to reach the same breed standard. The breed came to be recognized by International Cat Association (TICA) in 2001 and got champion status in 2012.

Their coat does well with weekly brushing to remove loose fur and debris. Bathing them is also recommended especially during the shedding period or when they have dirtied themselves.

#7: Turkish Van

Turkish Van swimming

Among cats that love water, the Turkish Van stands out. Their love for water knows no bounds; they will play in the water every chance they get. Whether it’s the toilet bowl, fish tank, swimming pool, rain puddles, streams, or bath water, they will find a way to get themselves playing in it. They love water so much that they are actually nicknamed the ‘swimming cats.’

The breed’s history is also tied to water. Legend has it that the ancestor to these beauties was among the two cats inside Abrahamic religion’s ‘Noah’s Ark.’ He swam to shore before the ark came to a stop at Mount Ararat. He ended up on the shores of Lake Van in Turkey, which happens to be near the mountain.

In Turkey, the breed is considered a national treasure and is preserved by the government through the Ankara Zoo and the Turkish College of Agriculture.

The breed’s unique spotted coat is also explained by the legend; it’s said that when in the ark, a door slammed shut on the tail of the formerly white cat and it turned red due to pain. Yahweh, or Allah, depending on the religion, was merciful and reached out to touch the cat’s head (or back), leaving the characteristic spots that make these felines so attractive.

Over the centuries, these cats were given out as gifts, which is how they found their way to most countries. The first recorded Turkish Van made its way into the US in 1970 where breeders maintained its natural traits. TICA recognized the breed in 1985, and the Cat Fanciers Association followed suit in 1988.

Turkish Vans are intelligent and very social. They easily get attached to family members especially those who are kind to them; rubbing their bellies, engaging them in play, and grooming them will make you their favorite.

The breed is quite big and can weigh up to 18 pounds at maturity. Their size does see them being clumsy. This, however, does not keep them from being playful and fun to be around. Keep them occupied with hunting games, laser toys, playing fetch, and puzzle games.

The breed does not require any special care or grooming. Normal brushing, baths, dental, ear, and nail care will do for these cats.

Wrap Up

cat playing with water

Many cat breeds are known to shy away from water. In fact, one trick that is very effective in discouraging cats from undesirable behavior is spraying them with water. That is not the case with the above breeds; they love playing in the water. If you spend some time around water either swimming, farming, fishing, or walking in the rain, any of these cats might prove to be a worthy companion.

As with any other cats, the trick to a lasting relationship with your feline friend is ensuring that they live a fulfilled life. If this means providing a small pool in your compound or having some water-gun play with them, go right ahead—they are worth the effort.

Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section below. Do you know of any other water-loving breeds that we didn’t mention? Did you find this article helpful? You might also be interested in reading our next article on why do cats hate water. This will help you understand why cats that love water are special.

About the author
Steve Corelli
Steve Corelli

Steve Corelli is a Pet Nutrition Expert from Allentown, Pennsylvania. He is the author of many nutritional strategies for different breeds and a member of some Pet Food development teams. His Maine Coon Stephan, as you might guess, is always well-fed.