In spite of their reputations as land lovers and lap loungers, some cat breeds truly enjoy water activity, ranging from pawing water from bowls, drinking from a dripping faucet, joining you in the shower to even doing a few laps in the pool. Vetstreet spotlights a handful of felines who love to make a splash — literally!
This all-American breed ranks as one of the first five breeds registered by the Cat Fanciers' Association — way back in 1906. The athletic and agile American Shorthair is drawn to water play, particularly scooping water out of his bowl, intentionally spilling his water bowl and never apologizing for creating such a mess. Don’t be surprised if he perches on the side of a bathtub or walks into the shower when you are bathing.
A true working cat, the American Shorthair has powerful jaws that make him one of the more feared felines by mice and other rodents.
Meet the Michael Phelps of the feline world! The Turkish Van is often called the “swimming cat,” because, according to folklore, two Turkish Vans were allegedly onboard Noah’s Ark but jumped into the water and swam for shore in what is now Turkey. Growing up in this hot, arid land, the cat cooled down by swimming in Lake Van.
Modern Turkish Vans love swimming and playing in shallow water but merely tolerate being bathed with soap. Warning: This creative, play-minded breed may view the toilet bowl as an indoor fishing hole or figure out how to turn on the faucet with his paw.
You can keep your TV shows featuring animals and nature. The super smart Bengal prefers stalking and swatting at anything that floats in water — be it an ice cube in your glass of iced tea or a rubber ducky floating in your bubble bath. Don’t bother closing the bathroom door, because Bengals hate being shut out of fun and will either figure out how to paw open the door or yowl until you concede and let them in.
Descendants of the water-loving Asian Leopard Cats, Bengals revel in the spray from your shower head or may even boldly join you in the bathtub.
Flashing a silky coat and a long body, the Turkish Angora is animated, agile and always up for water play. Indoor TAs will fight boredom by splashing water out of a sink and hopping in the shower with you. And when they hear the sound of water, they will come running. Some outdoor TAs have been known to paddle around in ponds and shallow streams.
Turkish Angora cats can be stubborn and chatty, and though they are not known for being lap cats, they are extremely loving and loyal to their favorite people.
Shaggy, strong, sweet and large, the Maine Coon has earned its nickname: gentle giant. Around water, however, this breed takes on raccoonlike behaviors such as scooping water with his front paws to quench his thirst or dunking his favorite toys in his water bowl. Savvy Maine Coon owners have learned to park the water bowl inside a larger, high-sided container like an empty litterbox.
Keep the lid down on your toilet bowl; otherwise your Maine Coon is apt to engage in a one-cat toilet-pool party and leave a watery mess on your bathroom floor.
Dubbed the Golden Retriever of the cat world, the American Bobtail shares the canine’s love for water. Don’t be surprised if your Bobtail happily dunks his toy mouse in his water bowl. But that isn't the American Bobtail's only doglike behavior. This cat may hound you from room to room and some even wag their short tails and delight in walking on leashes for short strolls.
This is a big, muscular cat with a reputation for welcoming friendships with other cats in the house, guests and even dogs.