Myth: Cats are afraid of water.
Debunked: They probably just hate the cold.
I’ve upgraded my little tiger’s bathtub from a plastic tray, to the bathroom washbasin (only once), and finally, into the shower. With me. I noticed how he was more calm during the weekly shower now that I bathe him with the showerhead. All he does is meow loudly once in a while, probably to ask me to hurry up.
When I bathed him earlier, I ran fairly warm water on his body long enough to get him totally wet. It was only when I was scrubbing the shampoo on him that he tried to get away. He kept meowing pitifully, as if I was doing him an injustice. But when I ran the jets on him to wash away the suds, he stopped meowing and lifted his head for me to scrub his neck clean.
We all know that as water dries on our body, it can get pretty darn cold. Imagine what it must be like for the little thing, whose hair is there to insulate him from the chill. So what he’ll do, is find himself a dark corner and spend the next 45 minutes licking himself dry.
On any of the non-shower days, I’d often find him fascinated with water. Whenever he knew I was gonna shower, he would run into the bathroom with me and sit outside the shower screen, just looking at the droplets that are running down the screen. Then when I’m done, he’d run inquisitively into the shower and waddle around, wondering where all that water went to.
So I am almost sure it’s the cold cats are afraid of, not the water. The unfortunate scratching and biting is probably just their way of saying that it’d be too tedious to spend an hour licking themselves later.