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Do Maine Coon Cats Like Water? The Surprising Answer!

cream tabby maine coon cat playing water
Image Credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock
Last Updated on November 16, 2023 by Kathryn Copeland

The gloriously beautiful Maine Coon cats are renowned for their calm temperaments, enormous sizes, and those telltale ear tufts. We know that most cats seem to go out of their way to avoid water, but how about Maine Coons?

Maine Coons absolutely love being in or near water! However, this does not mean all Maine Coons enjoy it, as there are individual cats that don’t. But for the most part, this is a breed that seems to love the water.

Here, we discuss the reasons that Maine Coons have a preference for water, and we also take a look at other breeds that share an affinity for the wet stuff.


Why Do Maine Coons Seem to Like Water?

Here are a few reasons that it’s thought that Maine Coons like water.

1. Origins

Maine Coons come from Maine, which shouldn’t come as a surprise given their name. Maine has cold winters and is the third coldest state and second snowiest state in the U.S. To cope with these frigid and snowy winters, Maine Coons have developed immensely thick and weather-repellent coats.

In fact, Maine Coons has three layers of fur! Two of these layers are the undercoat, which is quite thick, short, and water repellent. The outer layer is called the guard layer, which contains oils that make it semi-water repellant. Basically, these cats have dense fur that helps keep them warm and is effective at keeping water from soaking in, at least for a little bit.

Maine Coon cat sits on snowy frozen path
Image Credit: Konstantin Zaykov, Shutterstock

2. Ancestors

The history of the Maine Coon is filled with myths and legends, and no one truly knows where they came from. However, it is thought that their ancestors were brought over from Europe to North America by sailors (and some legends say Vikings), where they were used to eliminate the mice that depleted the ship’s food storage.

It’s also said that these cats were Norwegian Forest Cats, which is where the Viking legend probably comes from. Both these breeds are large cats with dense and long coats.

The ships arrived in Maine, where these longhaired cats started breeding with the shorthaired breeds in the area, which eventually resulted in the Maine Coons that we know and love today.

This could also help explain why Maine Coons are so comfortable around water. If their ancestors were ship cats, Maine Coons could have inherited this comfort level.

3. Personality

Maine Coons are curious and inquisitive cats that love exploring. They also tend to be rather fearless, so it isn’t too surprising that they will be curious about water, particularly running water. Many Maine Coons love playing with water with their paws, and some even enjoy going for a swim.

blue tabby maine coon cat playing with water
Image Credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock

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Other 10 Cat Breeds That Like Water

Besides the Maine Coon, there are other breeds that seem to be comfortable around water.

1. Abyssinian

Abyssinian cat on kitchen
Image Credit: Ingus Kruklitis, Shutterstock

These beautiful cats are thought to be among the oldest cat breeds and are alert, loyal, and quite playful. This play can also include time in the water.

2. American Bobtail

red american bobtail cat
Image Credit: Ievgeniia Miroshnichenko, Shutterstock

The American Bobtail might be short in the tail area but is big in personality. They are intelligent, affectionate, sweet, and sometimes a little zany.

3. American Shorthair

American Shorthair Cat
Image Credit: Lalandrew, Shutterstock

Quite curious and outgoing, the American Shorthair loves their people and enjoys plenty of energetic playtime and especially cuddles.

4. Bengal

bengal cat standing by the window
Image Credit: Elena Borisova, Pixabay

Bengals are highly energetic and active cats that are also quite curious and outgoing. They are affectionate and enjoy lap time, but their favorite things to do are investigating, climbing, and playing.

5. Japanese Bobtail

Japanese Bobtail Cat
Image Credit: slowmotiongli, Shutterstock

Japanese Bobtails are chatty, intelligent, and energetic. They love exploring and are extremely curious cats that are known to play fetch and play with water.

6. Manx

tricolor manx cat
Image Credit: PradaBrown, Shutterstock

The Manx is a calmer cat than some others on this list and like the Bobtail, is tailless. These cats are quite loving and gentle, but like all cats, they enjoy a good play session and tend to throw their toys in their water bowl.

7. Norwegian Forest Cat

Norwegian forest cat walking outdoor
Image Credit: Elisa Putti, Shutterstock

It’s no surprise that the Norwegian Forest Cat is on this list because it’s thought that Maine Coons might be related to them. They are large, gentle, and loving yet playful and curious.

8. Savannah

savannah cat sitting on couch
Image Credit: Kolomenskaya Kseniya, Shutterstock

Curious and high-energy cats, Savannahs can get bored easily, so they need plenty of playtime and can even well walking on a leash. Their curiosity and persistence can get them into trouble from time to time, but they form strong bonds with their families.

9. Turkish Angora

White Turkish Angora
Image Credit: Aymara Herrera, Shutterstock

Turkish Angoras are quite agile and energetic but are known for their friendly and outgoing natures. Their intelligence and curiosity can sometimes get them into trouble, but they enjoy a good snuggle with the families they adore.

10. Turkish Van

black smoke with white Turkish Angora cat
Image Credit: Nynke van Holten, Shutterstock

The Turkish Van is known quite appropriately as the “swimming cat,” so they’re clearly a fan of water. They are clever yet mischievous but also loving and active. They have been known to turn on water faucets and play with the water, so expect the occasional mess with this breed.

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Do All Maine Coons Like Water?

While many Maine Coons seem to enjoy the water, some individual cats will avoid it. They might have had a negative experience with water or if they were never introduced to it when young, so they might be like most cats and just prefer to drink from it and nothing else.

Each cat is unique and has their own individual personality, so while Maine Coons as a whole seem to like water, not every cat of this breed does.

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We can only assume that the given reasons that Maine Coons love water are accurate, as we can never know for sure. There’s no question that cats can seem mysterious at times, and sometimes we can only make educated guesses as to why cats do the things that they do. It’s even possible that Maine Coons only like water because we heard that they did and introduced it to them when they were kittens.

It also seems that truly curious breeds are more likely to appreciate water than other breeds. That said, it could be argued that all cats are curious. Perhaps it’s all about having a fearless and inquisitive personality.

In any case, if you have a Maine Coon, you might want to be careful about leaving water glasses around the house. You are likely to find them knocked over, as well as puddles of water on your floor around any other water sources. But living with any cat is an adventure!

Featured Image Credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock

About the Author

Kathryn Copeland
Kathryn Copeland
Kathryn was a librarian in a previous lifetime and is currently a writer about all things pets. When she was a child, she hoped to work in zoos or with wildlife in some way, thanks to her all-consuming love for animals. Unfortunately, she's not strong in the sciences, so she fills her days with researching and writing about all kinds of animals and spends time playing with her adorable but terribly naughty tabby cat, Bella. Kathryn is hoping to add to her family in the near future – maybe another cat and a dog.

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