Can Cats Swim

Can Cats Swim? Everything You Need To Know Leave a comment

Cats are lovable creatures. Every cat owner wants to see his/her cat enjoying good health. Many cat owners ask questions about the cat swimming. For example,

Can cats swim?

Is it safe to do swimming with cats?

Do cats love being in the water?

What is swimming safety?

How can I expose my cat to water for the first time?

In this blog, we will discuss “Can cat swim” and other related facts under the light of scientific literature and general field experience.

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Can Cats Swim?

Yes, cats can swim. However, some breeds of cats love being in the water than others. This is the general experience that domestic cats don’t enjoy swimming at all. The unique, robust body structure of cats makes them the natural swimmers once they get in the water.  

Why my cat is afraid of swimming?

This is a general observation that domestic cats usually become scared when they are instructed to swim. There are different important reasons behind this fear. Here, we have summarized a few important reasons:

  • Breed:

This is one of the major reasons. As discussed earlier, some cat breeds don’t enjoy swimming. On the other hand, some cat breeds enjoy swimming and take it as great fun. For example, the Turkish van cat loves swimming. This is why; this cat is known as the “Swimming cat”.

Note: Some cat breeds which are basically originated from hotter regions love swimming to keep them cooler.  Hence, swimming is part of their natural instinct.

  • Lack of previous exposure:

This is also an important cause that provokes swimming fear in cats.  It usually happens with the domestic cats that spend most of their lives without coming in contact with the water. If you suddenly expose such cats to water, they become afraid.

  • Water logging in the fur:

This is also an important reason that scares a cat from swimming. When a cat submerges herself in the water her fur becomes heavy due to logging of the water. The sudden increase in weight makes them terrified. So, they make attempts to escape from the water. However, some breeds of cats enjoy this waterlogging.

How Can I Get My Cat Acclimated To Swimming?

This also depends upon the breed of the cat and her previous water experience.  However, it is easy to accustom a young cat to swimming as compared to an older one. A kitten grown in the presence of water will tend to easily accept the swimming. Before exposing a cat to water, you need to keep the following things in your mind.

  1. You must try to keep the water splashing and noise to a minimum level. This will make your cat feel secure.
  2. Never force your cat to swim in a pool that is too deep and has no entry and exit points.
  3. Try to keep the water warm.

What Are Important Guidelines Regarding Cat Swimming Safety?

This is clear that some breeds of cats know naturally how to swim. But there are some points which you need to consider regarding the swimming safety of your cat.

  • Maintain pool chemicals

This is a very important point that you need to consider. Keep the water chemicals in a balanced ratio in your pool. You must give special attention if you have many other animals which swim in that pool as well. Keep in mind, too much chlorine and other disinfectants present in the pool could become dangerous for your cat. So, you need to monitor them on regular basis.

  • Make sure the pool has an exit

If your cat is swimming for the first time, it is important to make sure that the pool has an exit point. Whenever your cat will feel uncomfortable in the water she will climb up on the ramp and escape from the water. Hence, this point is very crucial with respect to the overall safety of your beloved feline friend.

  • Dry your cat ears

As you know, cats have long ear canals. There are greater chances of ear infections in cats due to the entry of water inside them. Being a responsible owner, you should thoroughly dry your cat’s ear. So that she should feel comfortable being in the water.

Which Breeds Of Cats Love Swimming?

Here we are going to enlist the names of some important breeds of cats that love swimming.

Is It Fine If My Cat Drinks Water From The Pool?

No, the pool water may contain harmful chemicals and pathogenic bacteria which can make your cat ill. Being a responsible owner, you should keep an eye on your cat. Discourage her to drink water from the pool. This is a very important point that every cat owner must consider with respect to the overall safety of his/her cat.

Can My Cat Learn To Swim?

As a matter of fact, the domesticated cats are the descendants of the wild cats that used to live in dry arid areas. Modern domesticated cats also have the same tendency as their ancestors. They don’t know to swim but with the proper training, it can become possible.

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Cats can swim and this behavior depends upon the breed of cat. There are several breeds of cats that don’t like being in the water and try to escape from the pool as soon as possible. On the other hand, some breeds of cats are called “natural swimmers” and literally enjoy swimming. For example, Turkish van.

There are also some other factors that influence the swimming behavior of a cat. Usually, domesticated cats with no previous water exposure don’t like water. There are different strategies that can help a cat to get acclimatized to the water.  Be patient and adopt all swimming safety measures as directed by your vet. In case of any emergency, do talk to your vet and get suggestions.


Erat, S. and Arikan, Ş., 2012. The hair characteristics of Turkish Angora and Van cats. Turkish Journal of Veterinary and Animal Sciences36(3), pp.215-221.

Singh, B.R., Pawde, A.M., Singh, S.V., Agri, H., Sinha, D.K. and Vinodhkumar, O.R., 2019. Ear Infections in Animals in Bareilly: Common causes and Effective Antimicrobials. Austin J Vet Sci & Anim Husb6(3), p.1061.

Nikaeen, M., Hatamzadeh, M., Vahid Dastjerdi, M. and Hassanzadeh, A., 2009. Predictive indicators of the safety of swimming pool waters. Water Science and Technology60(12), pp.3101-3107.

Zimoch, I. and Paciej, J., 2020. Health Risk Assessment of Swimming Pool Users from the Effects of Legionella Spp. Contamination of Water. Journal of Ecological Engineering21(2).

Voisin, C.F., Sardella, A., Marcucci, F. and Bernard, A., 2010. Risks of allergic sensitization associated with infant swimming. In D57. PEDIATRIC AIRWAY DISEASES: MANAGEMENT (pp. A6238-A6238). American Thoracic Society.


Greathouse, E.A., March, J.G. and Pringle, C.M., 2005. Recovery of a tropical stream after a harvest‐related chlorine poisoning event. Freshwater Biology50(4), pp.603-615.

Gunther, I., Raz, T., Even Zor, Y., Bachowski, Y. and Klement, E., 2016. Feeders of free-roaming cats: personal characteristics, feeding practices, and data on cat health and welfare in an urban setting of Israel. Frontiers in veterinary science3, p.21.

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