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Why house cats hate water while wildcats love water?
04-27-2012, 09:45 PM,
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Ram Offline
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Why house cats hate water while wildcats love water?
It is well known that house cats hate water, or at least they hate to become wet.

Recently I came across some information on wildcats. Savannah cats for example, as a crossbreed of house cat and wild African cat, they love to play with water. From some videos of pure wildcats, it seems many wildcats are good at fishing. They have no problem get themselves wet in order to catch some fish for food from streams.

What happened to the house cats? Why have they become so hateful of getting themselves wet?



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04-28-2012, 01:33 PM,
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Mantis Offline
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RE: Why house cats hate water while wildcats love water?
That's pretty interesting. I guess it's due to the fact domesticated cats have been in the company of humans for many a millenia. As such, their characteristics have changed. A feral cat would probably act extremely aggressively towards us. Feral cats have had their same way of living for a very long time. Where do you think they hydrated themselves? That's right—various sources of water. Domesticated cats on the other hand have simply drank water from bowls. It's no wonder they're scared to death of water. That's my take on it, anyway.
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04-28-2012, 06:30 PM,
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Karenskatz Offline
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RE: Why house cats hate water while wildcats love water?
I think you're confusing the term "feral" with the term "wild". Wild refers to a wild species. Feral refers to a domestic species animal that has reverted to wild behavior.

It's an interesting question. Off the top of my head, I think many wild cats would dabble in water, maybe wade in a little and possibly fish. The only wild species I can think of that actually gets completely into the water is tigers. Then again, Tigers come from a rather hot climate with plenty of water in the jungle to cool off in. Among domestic cats, The Maine Coon is reputed to "wash" their food. I've heard some Main Coon owners tell how their cat will drop food in their water dish and then fish it out. It's this trait (and others) that caused early New Englanders to think the breed was the result of cats cross breeding with racoons. We now know that's not possible, but the name stuck anyway. Then there's the Turkish Angora, which is also known as the "swimming cat" because they do actually swim. And then there's a few oddball individuals. My mixed breed Chelsie will sometimes lap water from her bowl, and other times dip her paw in the water and lick it off (and then walk on my bed with her wet feet). And then there's a mixed breed calico who likes swiming in the back yard pool so much that her owner made scuba gear for her. She was in a TV comercial and also on a program on Animal Planet (Cats 101?). I CAN tell you from personal experience that most domestic cats do not care for baths! But show cats that have been bathed frequently from an early age do get used to it. All I can guess is that getting COMPLETELY wet, all the way to the skin, causes their coat to lose it's ability to insulate, at least until it dries. So maybe their survival instincts tell them not to get soaked to avoid hypothermia? That's my personal theory, what do you think?
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04-29-2012, 12:32 PM,
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RE: Why house cats hate water while wildcats love water?
I know the difference between "feral cat" and "wildcat". Smile
The wildcats I talked about are the true wildcats in the wild. Not the escaped or abandoned domestic cats.

Tiger certainly love water. Not all tigers are from hot places. Siberia tigers for example, come from places with heavy snow in the winter.

Although I was talking about true wildcat species. Many of them will running around in shallow water to catch fish for food. From one of the Savannah cat video, the owner said his cat will jump into water every time they pass a pool of water if he doesn't stop him. It sounds like wildcats love water to me.
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