Do Maine Coon Cats Like Water?

About This Messy, Cute Trait

Do Maine Coon Cats like water? Oh, yes, this is definitely a water cat. Of course, other types of cats like the water, too.


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When you think about it, their relatives, the "big cats" go fishing in lakes and rivers, and it's no problem for them. Maybe your cat loves water, too!



One of the first things we had to remember with our kittens was to always shut the toilet. Their balance wasn't great yet, and they both kept trying to hop up, balance on the seat and look in!

One day, they both fell in! And, our Leo has been known to visit a person in the shower from time to time. He's definitely not the only cat to do this.


big maine coon cat waiting for bath water to be turned onLeo the big Maine Coon cat waiting for bath water to be turned on

Other breeds known to have a love of water play are the Turkish Van, Norwegian Forest Cat, Turkish Angora and Bengal Cats.

They may even take the concept of water play to a whole new level! Of course, many Domestic Housecats love to play in the water, as well!


Common Stereotypes and Misconceptions About Cats and Water

Felines are often stereotypically associated as having an aversion to water, a notion perpetuated by popular culture and anecdotal experiences.

While it's true that many domestic cats may show hesitation or even disdain when it comes to water-related activities, these reactions can vary widely among individual cats and breeds.

Independence and Grooming: One prevalent stereotype suggests that cats, known for their meticulous self-grooming habits, inherently dislike water.

The assumption is that they are so adept at cleaning themselves that they have no need for external assistance, especially involving water.

This perception oversimplifies the complex relationship cats have with grooming and doesn't account for variations within different breeds.

Instinctual Fear: Another common belief is that cats, being descendants of desert-dwelling wild cats, have an instinctual fear of water.

While it's true that many wildcat species are not naturally inclined to aquatic environments, domestication and selective breeding have led to diverse traits among house cats.


female white and brown maine coon drinking from sink faucetLexie Having a Drink

The Instinctual Reasons Behind Cats' Reluctance Towards Water

Self-Preservation: Cats, in general, exhibit a strong instinct for self-preservation. Wet fur can weigh them down, making swimming challenging and compromising their ability to escape predators.

This evolutionary trait may contribute to a cat's initial resistance to water-related activities.

Temperature Sensitivity: Cats are highly sensitive to temperature changes, and wet fur can make them feel uncomfortable and cold.

This sensitivity may explain why some cats recoil from water, associating it with discomfort.

Lack of Control: Cats are creatures of control, and water can disrupt their sense of control over their environment.

Being placed in water can be perceived as a loss of control, triggering anxiety and resistance.


The Maine Coon Cat Breed: Water-Loving Myth or Reality?

These gentle giants, known for their large size, tufted ears, and luxurious coats, often spark curiosity regarding their relationship with water. So do Maine Coon Cats like water?

While each cat is unique, this breed tends to defy the stereotypical aversion to water we usually think of with felines.

Natural Water-Resistant Coat: One of the distinctive features of these beauties is their semi-longhair, water-resistant coat. 

This unique fur, consisting of a dense undercoat and longer guard hairs, evolved to protect them from the cold temperatures and harsh weather conditions of their native New England.

This characteristic suggests that Maine Coons may have a higher tolerance for water compared to short-haired domestic cats.

Historical Context: Maine Coons, believed to be one of the oldest natural breeds in North America, might have adapted to their environment, which includes dealing with cold winters and water sources like lakes and rivers.

This historical context could contribute to the breed's potential comfort or curiosity towards water.

Anecdotal Evidence of Maine Coon Cats Enjoying Water Activities

Playful Water Interactions: Many Maine Coon owners report instances of their cats displaying playful behaviors around water.

This could include batting at water droplets, playing with dripping faucets, or even attempting to join their owners in the shower or bath.

Affection for Puddles and Bowls: Some Coonies show a fondness for puddles or water bowls, dipping their paws in or even sitting beside them. This behavior suggests a level of comfort or curiosity regarding water that goes beyond interactive play.

Positive Bathing Experiences: While not universal, there are Maine Coon cats that tolerate or even enjoy bath time.

This contrasts sharply with the common perception that cats universally detest being immersed in water.

Positive bathing experiences may result from early socialization or the breed's playful nature.


Do Maine Coon Cats Like Water? Our Experience:

red coon cat drinking from sink tapDrinking water from the sink tap

Many times we have found wet paw prints all over the stairs, leading in to the bathroom and so much water splashed all around the bathroom!

Always fresh, clean water of course!

Cats really seem to have a thing for running water. Leo likes us to turn on the faucet, and he'll stick his head right in, letting it run all over the top of his head. He does this in the tub, too.

If you have a decorative water fountain or even houseplants, you've probably seen your cat gravitate toward these areas.

Cats instinctively know that running water is fresh. Fresh water has oxygen in it. A stagnant body of water runs the risk of growing bacteria. We've all seen our water cat swirl their paw around in the water bowl before taking a sip, right?


big maine coon cat with his head under the faucetLeo puts his whole head under the faucet!

Things can be made more difficult by a cat who constantly spills his water by scooping it out, or dumping the dish! We ended up buying a heavy-duty bowl fit for a German Shepherd. But at least they couldn't dump it!


big red maine coon cat curled up in the sinkBig boy curled up in the sink

Tips for Introducing Maine Coon Cats to Water

Introducing a Maine Coon cat to water can be a gradual and positive experience with the right approach. While not every cat may become a water aficionado, these tips can help foster a more comfortable relationship between Coonies and water-related activities:

cat drinking fountain

Start Early and Gradual: Ideally, begin introducing water to your Maine Coon kitten at a young age. Young kittens are generally more adaptable to new experiences. Start with small, positive interactions such as letting them explore a shallow container or wetting their paws.

Positive Association: Associate water experiences with positive reinforcement. Use treats, praise, and affection to create positive associations with water-related activities. This helps build trust and reduces anxiety.

Water-Friendly Toys: Introduce water-friendly toys to make the experience enjoyable. Floating toys or objects that create ripples in the water can engage their curiosity. Playful interactions can gradually desensitize them to water.

Use a Calm Demeanor: Remain calm and composed during water introductions. Cats are highly attuned to their owners' emotions, and a relaxed demeanor can help alleviate any apprehension your Maine Coon may feel.

Gradual Wetting: Slowly introduce wetting their fur with a damp cloth or sponge. Gradual exposure allows them to acclimate to the sensation of water without feeling overwhelmed. Monitor their body language for signs of stress and proceed at their pace.

Consider Water-Friendly Grooming: If bathing becomes necessary, use cat-friendly shampoos and make the experience as stress-free as possible. Consider using a handheld showerhead or a gentle stream of water to minimize the sensation of being submerged.


Do Maine Coon Cats Like Water?

Some cats are actually quite obsessed with water play! One option in this case is to put their water dish into a larger bin for the cat to jump in to. Then he can play to his hearts content.

Have you ever noticed a favorite cat toy in your cats water dish? In the wild, a cat will save their "catch" for later, often burying it in a safe place. In a house, your cats food and water dishes serve that purpose!

And a great alternative is a cat water fountain. They are a big hit with many cats because they provide fresh running water all the time, providing a water cat with hours of entertainment, and a supply of healthy fresh water.

Alice and Leo are obsessed with their cat water fountain. It's perfect for a water cat - the cats meow!


black ceramic cat water fountain
top pick for cat bed

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top pick ceramic water fountain

Disclosure: this site is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you. 

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