Cat breeds that like water may not be the norm, but they’re more common than you might think. While we often consider dogs to be the ones who’ll bound joyfully into the ocean, several of our feline friends are equally smitten with the wet stuff.
It probably shouldn’t come as a surprise given that big cats in the wild will regularly swim or bathe in rivers to cool themselves down and the only reason most domestic cats don’t follow suit is likely because we haven't exposed them to water.
Even if your kitty doesn’t like to get wet because they’re not used to being submerged, you’ve probably still noticed that they have a fascination with water. Whether it’s dipping their paws into a water fountain designed for pets or playing with the kitchen faucet, most cats find fresh flowing water hard to resist.
Cat breeds that like water tend to be outgoing and possess a love of adventure and many of them can be easily trained to wear a cat harness and walk on a lead, so if you’re looking for a pal to accompany you on walks near the water, one of these feline furkids could be just what you’re after!
1. Maine Coon
There’s a whole lot to love about the Maine Coon and we mean that literally - these large kitties can measure up to 40-inches in length and males will often tip the scales at an impressive 18-pounds (8.2kgs).
Known for their distinctive physical appearance and friendly and goofy natures, the Maine Coon is huge in both size and personality. Incredibly affectionate and loving, these cats love to be around their families and they’re also super obedient, happily coming when called.
But most of all, the Maine Coon loves water. Whether it’s playing in the sink or jumping in the tub for a bath, this is one feline fur baby who’s quite content to spend hours around the wet stuff. Thankfully, they have semi-water-resistant fur, which helps them stay warm and dry.
We’re not quite sure if the Bengal is more like a human or a dog, but one things for sure - they’re definitely not your average cat. Bold, sociable, playful, chatty, and affectionate, the Bengal loves adventure and will happily harness up and head out hiking with their owners.
Bengals may have a wild side, but they’re also sweet and loving, which is why they’ve become so popular in recent years. Their highly curious natures extend to the water and it’s not unusual to see these fun furkids joining their pet parents in a kayak or boat.
These cats love to swim anywhere you’ll let them, so don’t be surprised if they try to join you in the bath or jump right on in beside you in your swimming pool. It’s worth bearing in mind though that Bengal cats have a high prey drive and they won’t think twice about dipping their paw into an aquarium to scoop out a fishy friend to play with!
3. Turkish Van
Energetic and fun-loving, the Turkish Van likes attention and lots of it, so it’s a breed best suited to those who have a lot of time to spare. They are outstanding athletes both on land and in the water, the latter of which they have a particular affinity for.
Nicknamed ‘The Swimming Cat’, the Turkish Van has a soft coat that’s water-resistant, meaning they can frolic in the water for long periods of time and come out relatively dry.
When not in the water, these cats are highly acrobatic and will spend hours jumping and somersaulting while playing with toys and attempting to entertain you. But, they can also be rather klutzy, so make sure all your breakables are locked safely away!
4. Norwegian Forest Cat
The Norwegian Forest Cat (or Wegie as it’s often called) is a sweet, calm, and gentle kitty who’s often shy around new people but is known for being sociable and affectionate with those they know well. Responding well to praise, this breed is mellow enough to live happily with children and they love interacting with their owners.
Legend has it that Wegies were kept as ship cats on Viking vessels to keep the rodents at bay and over time they went on to develop water-resistant topcoats and dense and woolly undercoats to keep them warm while out on the cold and stormy seas.
Wegies adore water and will seize any opportunity to get themselves wet. They’ve even been known to hunt and catch fish - so if you’re a keen fisherman, this could well be the companion cat for you.
Spirited and incredibly smart, Abys love people and other animals making them a great choice for any home environment. An active cat who loves to jump and play, the Aby will definitely keep you on your toes, although the good news is they’re quite content to amuse themselves for hours, so you won’t have to constantly entertain them.
With a well-known fondness for water, don’t be surprised if your Abyssinian learns how to turn the faucet on so that they can spend time splashing around in their own water park. Agile and beautiful, they’ll happily swim laps in the bath if given half the chance.
Is this not the best name for a cat breed you’ve ever heard? Adorable in name and in nature, the Snowshoe has one of the kindest personalities of any cat and they’re equally intelligent too.
They’re a very rare breed of cat, which makes them all the more special, and they tend to attach themselves to just the one pet parent, who they’ll frequently seek out love, attention, and affection from.
Snowshoes love to swim, but they always want to do it on their own terms, so never try to force them into the water. Instead, fill up the tub or leave a shallow container of water around and let them splash about when they feel like it.
Interactive cats that are devoted to their families, the Manx is independent while at the same time being fiercely loyal to the humans in their pack. They’re placid cats with sweet temperaments and although they’re gentle and laidback, they love to run and play.
They have a short, double-haired coat that’s thick and dense, so you’d think that the time it takes them to try off would make them adverse to water, but it’s quite the opposite.
Island-born, Manx cats hail from the Isle of Man, which is probably where they inherited their love of the wet stuff from. Water has always been a familiar element for them, so you won’t have any problem coaxing these often tailless kitties into the bath.
8. Japanese Bobtail
Outgoing, charming, and people-loving, the Japanese Bobtail adores everyone from adults and children to other cats and even dogs. Bobtails aren’t easily intimidated and no matter who else is in their household, they assume they’re in charge.
They have a soft and sweet sing-song voice that they use to get the attention and affection that they crave and most people can’t help but fall in love with this endearing feline.
Like the Manx, the Japanese Bobtail is island-born, so their love of water is deeply embedded in their genes. They’re fascinated by faucets, ponds, streams, and any other moving body of water and if you have a koi pond or aquarium, you’ll need to watch them as they won’t think twice about raiding it!
9. Turkish Angora
A cousin to the Turkish Van, the Turkish Angora has a kittenlike playfulness that sticks around well into old age and a beautiful temperament that sees them form strong bonds with their people.
Renowned for its gorgeous, silky coat that takes on a shimmering quality when it moves, the Turkish Angora has a dainty build and a delicately boned face, but don’t let that fool you - this kitty is one Chatty Cathy so be prepared for lots of vocalization if you welcome one of these felines into your family.
Turks have an agile body that makes them strong swimmers and because they’re super intelligent and love to teach themselves new tricks, there’s a strong chance they’ll quickly figure out how to turn the faucets on and off.
Given that Siberian cats are slow to mature both physically and emotionally (it can take up to five years for this kitty to reach adulthood), it’s the perfect breed if you’re wanting a feline whose kitten phase is extended well past 12 months.
Personable, fearless, easygoing, and devoted, Siberians will blend seamlessly into any home environment, but you’ll want to create plenty of room as these stocky kitties can weigh up to 20-pounds and have powerful hind legs and bushy tails.
Because they hail from the dense forests of Siberia it’s no surprise that they love climbing and leaping all over the show and their water-repellent coats have gifted them with a huge affinity for water - so much so that many owners report their Siberian jumps in the shower with them!
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Kathryn is a freelance writer who has been a member of the PetsRadar family since it launched in 2020. Highly experienced in her field, she's driven by a desire to provide pet parents with accurate, timely, and informative content that enables them to provide their fur friends with everything they need to thrive. Kathryn works closely with vets and trainers to ensure all articles offer the most up-to-date information across a range of pet-related fields, from insights into health and behavior issues to tips on products and training. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with her family (which includes one super sassy cat), drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.