The aversion of cats to water is well known to everyone. But is this an aversion and what causes it? Genetic studies conducted on the ancestors of the current domestic cat conclude that the trajectory of the interactions these animals have maintained with watermarks their behaviour with that medium.
The African wild cat or the Chinese desert, from which the current mining comes, were developed in desert areas where water was testimonial. Thus, in these more than 9500 years of history, the feline has evolved little in its relationship with water, feeling great respect, and some magnetism, towards it.
Why do cats avoid water?
As we say, and although, in general, felines are good swimmers, their experience with water throughout their existence has been discreet. The brains of the minors we live with today continue to process the reality around them in a way very similar to that of their ancestors.
By their survival instinct, they avoid water because when they get wet their fur, they become cumbersome and detract from agility and movement freedom. Likewise, if all its coat is wet, its body temperature drops, decreasing its ability to react to possible predators.
Felines prefer to maintain a discreet relationship with water. They can spend hours looking at the bottom of a hole full of water, sniffing it and even inserting a leg, but diving without a clear purpose does not go with them. Therefore, specialists advise habiting them in the bathroom from puppies.
There are feline breeds that much enjoy submerged in water. They are native to forests or areas with swamps where they have been naturally related to water. We refer to Maine Coon, the Norwegian Forest, the Siberian Forest, the Turkish Van, or the fisherman’s cat from India and Indonesia’s swamps.
All of them enjoy playing with water and will not hesitate to dive if they spot a fish they can catch. Therefore, adaptation to the environment to survive conditions and the memory these felines have in their DNA concerning water.
Do they need to be bathed?
We can say that minions only need water to stay hydrated and to promote saliva production. Therefore, unless filthy or dirt is potentially dangerous to the animal, cats do not need to be bathed.
On the other hand, long-haired breeds require bimonthly baths to maintain the shape and texture of their hair in optimal condition. In these cases, familiarising them from a young time to the bathroom routine is convenient to associate this experience with something positive. That the first bathroom is done by a professional will help you many clear doubts.
Generally speaking, thanks to grooming, to which they spend a third of the hours they are awake, they manage to remove the dirt attached to their mantle. Not for nothing, his tongue is rough precisely for that purpose, and his saliva incorporates a natural detergent capable of making the fat disappear. Therefore, bathe it only if strictly necessary.
How should I bathe my cat?
You don’t want to bathe your pet if it’s too young, as you could dry out his skin and strip him of the pheromones he needs to communicate with his peers. It is generally recommended to do so from 3 months of age, and its frequency will depend on the degree of dirt and the length of your hair.
As it is another routine to incorporate, you must face it as new learning in which you will have to be patient and use positive reinforcement to consolidate the achievements achieved. Take note of the steps you will need to take to bathe your mining for the first time:
- Take a recent plastic depth and fill it with a finger of warm water, about 37-38 oC. Let me look at it and sniff it.
- Protect your arms with a long-sleeved garment and towel, so you don’t hurt your arms if you scratch.
- On this first occasion, you should soak it, not bathe it thoroughly. Choose a hot day, or unless it’s not cold, and find yourself in a room where there are no air currents.
- Once the fur is moistened, pour a walnut of cat shampoo into your hand and apply it by giving it a light massage. In the summer months, experts advise opting for antiparasitic shampoos.
- Using a jug of warm water, remove the soap, making sure neither soap nor water splashes on your face.
- If it were too dirty, you’d repeat the soap. If you have long hair, it will be time to give the conditioner. It will facilitate brushing by decreasing the number of knots and tangles.
- You will need to use two towels. One to suppress as much water as your hair has accumulated, and one to complete the drying. Dry with small blows, without rubbing.
- The last step will be to brush it. If it is a winter’s day, you should end up with the dryer, always at half power and at a certain distance to prevent burns.
Dry shampoos, when to use them
There are situations where you’ll appreciate having a dry cleaning shampoo for cats. We mean those cats for whom bathing is a battle or, for example, if 15 days have not elapsed since it was vaccinated. In these cases, you will need to hygienise your pet with detergent powders or dry foams.
All you have to do is apply it to your face or genitals, and wait a few minutes for it to act. Afterwards, you will need to brush your hair to remove both dirt and debris from the product. In the case of foam, you must first pass it a suede and then brush it.
As you can see, it is not so true that cats hate water, but they have some respect for it, in large part, for the conditioning of their past experiences. Provide it with clean, fresh water daily and enjoy your incomparable company.