Scientists have explained why cats do not like to swim, and the fear of water has nothing to do with itBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/en/article/scientists-have-explained-why-cats-do-not-like-to-swim-and-the-fear-of-water-has-nothing-to-do-with-it
Everyone knows that cats don't like to swim. But the reason for such a negative attitude to water procedures remains a mystery for many. Most often this is explained by the fact that animals are simply afraid of water. However, scientists have refuted this and named other reasons.
Although domestic cats live in relative safety, natural instincts force them to be constantly on the alert. A cat with wet fur is less adapted to defense and therefore feels vulnerable. Wet wool is heavy, poorly protects against bites, bumps and scratches, and does not save from cold and wind at all. It takes time to dry the wool and this is not the most pleasant period of a cat's life.
Any cats, including domestic ones, feel good only when they are in full control of the situation. Immersion in an alien element, when there is no support for the paws, scares the cat and forces her to make attempts to bring everything back under control. Kelly Bollen, director of Behavioral Programs at Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine, puts it this way:
And this is normal, because a person who does not know how to swim, having lost the bottom under his feet, panics in the same way.
Cat ears are an extremely delicate instrument that requires gentle handling. At the same time, the ear canals of these animals are very deep and located almost vertically. Because of this, water gets into the ears when bathing, which is very difficult to get rid of. Water remaining in the ears is a common cause of serious diseases and cats try to avoid situations that put their hearing at risk.
For us, tap water has no smell or, in the worst case, it gives off quite a bit of bleach. But cats' nose is 14 times sharper than a human's. Therefore, the water for them stinks terribly with chemical compounds for purification. The animal's desire to avoid contact with unknown substances with a pungent odor is completely natural – we will also not climb into the bath, from which it smells unclear what.
Finally, it is worth noting that not all cats avoid bathing – there are exceptions among them. Most often, lovers of splashing in the water for some reason are found among the largest of the domestic cats – Maine Coons.
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