Why do Cats not like Water near Their Food?

What do Cats hate? Why don’t Cats like Water? Are Cats afraid of Water? Why do They prefer the Sun over Water?
why do cats not like water near their food
Photo by Bonnie Kittle on Unsplash

Do you know, according to the International Cat Association (TICA), there are about 71 breeds of cats on the planet? Overall, there are almost 100 breeds and 38 species of cats but all of them have more or less the same behaviors. You must have seen cats never like bathing, but did you ever wonder why do cats not like water near their food, why do cats not like baths, or why cats hate water? There is a specific reason why don’t cats like water and more specifically why do they prefer the sun over water. So, let’s start and cover all these points.

1. What do Cats hate?

Well, considering the confusing nature of these felines, it seems they hardly like anything. If you are a cat owner you will understand. During their kitten days, they are playful, happy, and curious about everything. But as they move towards adulthood their nature is not easily understandable. Here is the list of things that most cats hate.

  • Bad or spoiled food
  • Changes in their surroundings
  • Competition and comparison
  • Cradled like a baby
  • Taking medicine
  • Groomed by humans
  • Loud or weird noises
  • Low temperatures
  • Not enough attention and too much attention
  • Odors
  • Stared by someone
  • Strangers
  • Tummy rubs
  • Water and bathing.  (See Why Are Cats Tongue So Rough?)

2. Why don’t Cats like Water?

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You may have seen cats drinking water or playing with running water, but as soon as you take them to the bathtub, they wreak havoc. I know, they are like this, and you cannot escape that frenzy of paw attacks at that time. Take a look further to know about the reason for this. (See Why is my Cat Stretching so much?)

3. Why do Cats not like Water near Their Food?

As per the theory of cat experts, in the wild, cats keep their food away from water sources to keep water free from contamination. Cats are smell-sensitive and do not like their water to get dirty. This is the reason why do cats not like water near their food. They mostly prefer their food and water bowls to be far enough from each other, just because of their nature. (See Why do Cats always land on their feet?)

4. Why do Cats not like Water?

To begin with, the domestic cats evolved from their ancestors living in dry, arid, and desert regions, which means they were least exposed to water. Their ancestors did not learn to swim either, which is why modern cats also do not have this skill. They were not exposed to water in their kitten period. There are instances where an adult cat likes water because she was exposed to water as a kitten, and she is not afraid of it. (See Why Do Cats Love Catnip?)

5. Why Cats hate Water?

It would be inappropriate to say that they hate water. Some love water, as you have seen in videos and personally as well. They play with a running faucet or even drink from it. So, how come they can hate water? However, if the water is dirty or the bowl is not clean then they will refuse to drink from it. And this is their hygiene and not hatred toward the water. (See Why do Cats Meow?)

6. Are Cats afraid of Water?

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Photo byTimothy Meinberg

You might think that fear is the reason why do cats not like water near their food. Well, not precisely, but to some extent, if they are newly introduced to bathing, then, maybe. Jennifer Kasten is a veterinarian, and she says that when cats are introduced to something new that they are unfamiliar with, then, their initial reaction is fear. The same is the case with water. If the cat has been scared off with a water gun from getting on the surfaces, they have that fear in mind too. (See Do Cats Really Have Nine Lives?)

7. How does the Bowl matter?

Cats are very sensitive regarding their fur and whiskers. So, if the bowl is too small and narrow, they would have to squish their face to drink from it, and then they will refuse to drink. If the bowl is too deep and the water is not filled up to the brim, then they won’t drink even in this case. They are quite particular about their needs and habits and now you can totally understand why do cats not like water near their food. Also, check out Why are My Dogs Whiskers Falling Out?

8. How do Their Habits affect Water Drinking Habits?

As you already know why do cats not like water near their food, further note that as per the cat experts, cats hate changes. Yes, they even hate it if you change the regular position of their water or food bowl. They do not like it if you shift homes or even rooms. They are less likely to become adaptable to new environments than dogs. This is why if their bowl is shifted, the water level is altered, or any such things, then they will not like it.

9. Why do Cats not like Baths?

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Photo by Eric Han

After getting to know about why cats do not like water near their food, did you know about their bathing habits? They prefer grooming themselves and water on the fur seems like an over-work to them. Yes, they consider bathing as extra work for them because it’s a headache for them to clean and dry their fur from all that water. 

10. Why do They hate Bathing?

Cats hate low temperatures and after a bath their coat retains water for longer periods, making it feel colder. When you bathe a long-haired breed, the water stays in their coat, making it heavier and uncomfortable for them. All these factors are highly disliked by them. Must read What is the Name of Lovecraft’s Cat?

11. How to make Them Used to It?

Now, that is a task. If you have a kitten, then you can train them and make them close to water more frequently to make it a habit and develop their liking towards it. But if you have an elderly cat or an adult cat, you will have to be patient while training them. Do not expect things to turn as per your expectations over a week or month. Sometimes, they will never respond the way you want, but you have to understand that they are the successors of wild cats, and they have their own rules. (See Why do people like cats so much?)

12. Why do They prefer the Sun over Water?

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Photo by Eric Han

Do you think why do cats not like water near their food is related to why do they prefer the sun over water? Well, yes. This may seem odd to humans because we use water to clean and freshen up ourselves. As they evolved in deserts, there were limited water sources. So, instead of playing in the water, cats were more exposed to the sun. This habit is passed on to their new generations also. They lay down in sunspots, groom themselves, and take a nap peacefully.

So, the reason why do cats not like water near their food does make sense, just like the reasons behind why do cats not like baths. Next time, when someone asks you why cats hate water or why don’t cats like water, give them a detailed answer. (Also read  What eats Owls in the Food Chain?)

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