If there’s one thing internet videos have taught us, it’s that cats can be skittish around water. But why do animals that spend seemingly all day grooming themselves freak out when their tail gets a bit wet? And why do some cats seem to be obsessed with the bathtub?
Japanese site My Navi put their investigative hats on and came up with a three-part theory for cats’ apparent love of the shower room, but fear of water. Today, we take a look at their findings, and add a few suggestions of our own!
Reason 1: Cats don’t like places they haven’t marked with their scent
“Cats can relax in places they’ve successfully marked. Their scent gets washed away in the wet room, so the bathroom remains unknown territory.”
▼ What your cat wants to say.
“On the other hand, for cats who don’t like being shampooed, the bathroom is a scary place.”
When your cat stands in the bathroom doorway staring at you, therefore, he’s (probably) not trying to freak you out. He’s just bothered that the bathroom – unlike everywhere else in his home – doesn’t smell like him, but conversely scared to enter in case you start getting him wet.
Reason 2: the bathroom is warm
“Especially when you’re running the water, maybe your cat likes to come and hang out in the bathroom with you? She can drink as much water as she wants, and the bathroom is nice and warm, too.”
Cats in Japan, apparently, particularly like to lie on the bath lid. (What d’you mean, your bath doesn’t have a lid?) If you don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s an example of a Japanese bath cover:
▼Fact: 8 out of 10 cats prefer a bath lid to a hot tin roof.
We’ll add our own reason 2.5 here: cats love running water! Even if they hate getting in it, many cats are fascinated by dripping water, whether it’s accompanied by the sight of their owner taking a shower, running a bath, or just water falling straight into their mouth like this little dude:
Reason 3: Your bathroom smells funky
The trouble with the bathroom – from a cat’s perspective, anyway – is not only that it can’t successfully be marked up with territorial scent, it’s also that the bathroom has all kinds of weird-smelling chemicals:
“In the bathroom you use shampoo and conditioner in a hot environment, so there are different smells wafting around. Your cat gets wind of these intriguing scents and comes to see what’s up.”
It’s even possible that cats can sniff out the chemicals in tap water itself. Now that’s impressive!
Finally we bring you RocketNews24 reason 3.5: cats are just kind of weird. They want to play with the water, but not in the water; get in the box, but then freak out about being in a box. They are contrary, perverse creatures. And that’s why we love ’em.
Here’s a little cutie that doesn’t let curiosity get the better of him:
Enjoy the weekend!