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Do Maine Coon Cats Like Water? The Surprising Vet-Approved Answer

Written by: Kathryn Copeland

Last Updated on June 16, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

blue tabby maine coon cat playing with water coming out of a garden sprinkler

Do Maine Coon Cats Like Water? The Surprising Vet-Approved Answer


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Dr. Luqman Javed

DVM (Veterinarian)

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

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

Anecdotal evidence and observations seem to point to the fact that most Maine Coons absolutely love being in or near water! However, that does not mean all Maine Coons enjoy it. However, for the most part, Maine Coons seem to love the water.

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


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 the frigid and snowy winters, Maine Coons have developed immensely thick coats.

In fact, Maine Coons have three layers of fur! Two of the layers are the undercoat, which is thick, short, and water-repellent. The outer layer is called the guard layer, which contains oils that make it semi-water repellant. They 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 ships’ food storage.

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

The ships arrived in Maine, where the longhaired cats started breeding with the shorthaired felines 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 cats that love exploring. They’re also rather fearless, so it isn’t too surprising that they’re 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, other breeds anecdotally seem to be comfortable around water. However, please keep in mind that ultimately, whether or not your cat appreciates water will come down to their past experiences with water, their personality, and their own idiosyncratic tendencies.

1. Abyssinian

Abyssinian cat
Image Credit: Pandora Pictures, Shutterstock

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

2. American Bobtail

red american bobtail cat
Image Credit: Ievgeniia Miroshnichenko, Shutterstock

The American Bobtail has a short tail but a big personality. They are intelligent, affectionate, sweet, and sometimes a little zany.

3. American Shorthair

American Shorthair Cat
Image Credit: Lalandrew, Shutterstock

The curious and friendly American Shorthair loves their family and enjoys energetic playtime and cuddles.

4. Bengal

Bengal cat sitting on the bed
Image Credit: Shvaygert Ekaterina, Shutterstock

Bengals are incredibly energetic, curious, and outgoing cats. 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 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 others on our list and, like the Bobtail, is tailless. They’re quite loving and gentle, but 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, energetic Savannahs can get bored easily, so they need plenty of playtime and can even walk on a leash. Their curiosity and persistence can get them into trouble occasionally, but they form strong bonds with their families.

9. Turkish Angora

White Turkish Angora
Image Credit: Aymara Herrera, Shutterstock

Turkish Angoras are 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 snuggling with the family members they adore.

10. Turkish Van

Adorable young Turkish Van cat sitting side ways
Image Credit: Nynke van Holten, Shutterstock

The Turkish Van is known appropriately as the “swimming cat,” so they’re 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 cats will avoid it. They might have had a negative experience with water or were never introduced to it when they were young, so they might be like most cats and prefer to drink from it and nothing else.


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We can only assume that the 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 what they do. Truly curious breeds seem more likely to appreciate water than other cats. However, 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 will likely find them knocked over and puddles of water on your floor around other water sources. But living with any cat is an adventure!

Featured Image Credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock

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