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Can Ragdoll Cats Swim? Do They Like Water? Vet-Reviewed Information

Written by: Rachael Gerkensmeyer

Last Updated on April 26, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

Ragdoll cat walking on a leash in the garden

Can Ragdoll Cats Swim? Do They Like Water? Vet-Reviewed Information


Dr. Luqman Javed Photo


Dr. Luqman Javed

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Ragdoll cats are beautiful creatures that get attention for their luxurious coats and independent personalities. Like most cat breeds, Ragdolls are not known for being a big fan of water, but they don’t hate water either. So, can Ragdolls swim, and do they actually like water? Yes, Ragdoll cats can swim, but whether they like water is less easy to answer. Let’s delve into the deep end of this topic now!

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Ragdoll Cats Can Swim and May Like Water, But…

Ragdoll cats can indeed swim, but this doesn’t mean they necessarily want to. Like almost all pet cats, Ragdolls tend to catch on to swimming quickly for life-preservation reasons, not for sport. All cats have their own unique personality and preferences, though, so there’s no telling if two Ragdolls will react the same way to water. While most likely don’t want to be submerged in water, anecdotal evidence suggests that some Ragdolls don’t even mind taking baths! Examples of such individuals are popular on social media.

There are Ragdolls that do welcome the idea of swimming and may jump into a body of water on their own. Maybe they were introduced to swimming when they were kittens. There are also Ragdolls that absolutely detest water and will freak out if so much as a toe touches it.

Overall, it’s not fair to say that Ragdoll cats do not like water because some of them do! It depends on the cat, not the breed. The following video can help one appreciate their individual idiosyncrasies.

In the example above, Lucas doesn’t appreciate water or baths at all. However, another Ragdoll in the family, Goofy, enjoys baths and even follows his “mother” into the bathroom when he knows a bath is inbound in hopes to take part in the activity.

\Image Credit: Serita Vossen, Shutterstock

Reasons That a Ragdoll Cat Might Enjoy Swimming

Most cats are naturally drawn to flowing water (such as that from a fountain), as they understand that it’s a clean source of hydration needed for survival. Ragdolls are no exception to this rule. Individuals with an affinity to water may seem to enjoy the way that water splashes and reacts when played with. Some owners find that they must shoo away their Ragdoll kitties whenever they wash their hands or dishes in the sink.

This affinity for water can lead a Ragdoll cat to enjoy swimming. Cats that have been exposed to water from the time that they are kittens are more likely to enjoy it when they get older, simply because they are not afraid of it. Another reason that a Ragdoll cat might like swimming is simply personal preference.

Reasons That a Ragdoll Cat Might Not Enjoy Swimming

Some Ragdoll cats might not like to swim simply because they don’t enjoy it. However, if a Ragdoll cat doesn’t like water as an adult, they may also have had a bad experience with water in some way. They could have fallen into a body of water unexpectedly or were teased with water by kids in the household. For any cat to like water and enjoy swimming, they must not be scared of it in any way.

Ragdoll Kitten staring
Image Credit: cath5, Shutterstock

Ways to Get Your Ragdoll Cat to Like Water More

Please Note:

These tips may not work for all cats. If your cat is not fond of bathing, it’s best to not force it onto them and seek the services of a professional groomer, if necessary.

If your kitty doesn’t seem to like water or enjoy swimming, there are a few things that you can do to entice them. First, try letting a bathroom faucet run lightly for a few minutes to give them an opportunity to investigate it. If they do get close to the water, keep turning it on each day for a few minutes until they get comfortable enough to interact with it.

You can also fill up a sink or bathtub with enough water to cover your kitty’s paws when they stand in it. Then, gently set your cat down in the water and stroke their coat to provide them with support and an extra sense of safety. With any luck, they will stick around and start getting used to the water. If not, keep trying with love, support, and patience. Never push your cat to like water because your efforts will likely get the opposite results.

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In Conclusion

Most Ragdoll cats do like water and some even enjoy swimming. However, this is not the case for all cats. Therefore, it’s important not to push a cat into liking water, as this will likely make them fearful of it. Start as young as possible, and take baby steps if you really want your Ragdoll kitty to go swimming with you. However, nothing is guaranteed, as your cat’s personality will play a factor in matters like these. Keep an open mind and embrace your pet for their idiosyncrasies if you realize that they aren’t fond of swimming.

Featured Image Credit: absolutimages, Shutterstock

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