I bet when you first think of a lake or swimming pool, your first thoughts are not related to the Maine Coon cat, wondering ‘can Maine Coon cats swim?’. Yet, here you are reading my article about this very subject! Maybe you are reading this because you have an inquisitive mind, or is it because you have heard unusual stories about Maine Coons loving water. Keep reading to find out more.
Technically Maine Coon cats can swim, though many will not decide to do this out of choice! However, it is true to say that Maine Coons are literally fascinated with water, spending copious amounts of time playing with it everyday. Their impressive thick fur is not waterproof, but is partially water-repellent.
Can Maine Coon Cats Swim?
Everyone’s so used to seeing pet dogs jumping into the water to collect a stick that the owner threw. Or, more often than not the cheeky dogs just cannot resist an opportunity to go for a quick paddle in the lake! Whichever way you look at it, dogs swimming in water is an accepted norm in life.
So what happens when someone throws a curveball at you, and asks can Maine Coon cats swim? I bet you didn’t see that question coming, and are probably a little taken aback because most people do not usually associate the idea of swimming with cats. For starters, doesn’t everyone know that cats hate water?!
The truth of the matter however, is that although most cat breeds despise water, owners of Maine Coon cats might not be able to respond straight away to this question. The main reason for this delay is likely because Maine Coon owners know deep down that their large cat isn’t like other cats. Instead, rather than being fearful of water, the Maine Coon breed is well known for loving water. So owners might logically question whether their cats love of water, extends to swimming in water?!
So, can Maine Coon cats swim? The simple answer to this somewhat bizarre sounding question, is a definite yes! In fact, Maine Coon cats revel in playing with water because they are far more dog-like in their nature than other cat breeds. For more fascinating traits of the Maine Coon cat, take a look at my article ‘Maine Coon Characteristics‘.
If you don’t believe that Maine Coon cats can swim, take a look at this short Youtube video of a Maine Coon cat swimming in the bath:
Do Maine Coon Cats Like To Swim?
Whilst Maine Coon cats might be physically capable of swimming, does this naturally mean that they actually LIKE to swim? Since none of us speak cat language, we will never know their inner thoughts on this subject (if they even have such a thing?!). However, since many older Maine Coons protest at the idea of being washed in the bath, it is fair to assume that not all Maine Coon cats are interested in swimming!
Think of it this way, whilst most humans are gifted with the capability of running, does this automatically mean that we all actually enjoy running? The simple answer is no, and Maine Coon cats appear to be no different to us humans in this respect.
In most cases, the Maine Coon only tends to be open to the concept of swimming or bathing if an owner has introduced such ideas to their cat whilst they were still a kitten. Owners trying to teach an older Maine Coon to have a bath (let alone go for a swim in the local lake) is far less likely to be successful, if the cat did not first experience swimming whilst they were a kitten. The reason for this is that older cats are far more set in their ways, hence the phrase ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’. Whilst this phrase might not refer to cats specifically, it is true of cats too.
Take a look at my Youtube video, shown on channel ‘Maine Coon Central‘. When we first purchased our Maine Coon cat, I didn’t even realise that cat bathing or cat swimming was even a thing. Consequently, I never introduced our male Maine Coon to water whilst young, other than to his water bowl. Out of interest though, I tried to introduce our 7 year old Maine Coon to bathing in the bath, but as you will see he wasn’t a fan! This video therefore rather amusingly shows how you cannot assume that all Maine Coon cats will want to swim.
Introducing Maine Coon Swimming
The best time to introduce swimming to a Maine Coon cat is when they are still a kitten. This is because younger Maine Coon kittens are far more trainable than their older counterparts, and therefore open to different activities.
If you are keen to encourage your Maine Coon to swim, start by introducing them to bathing in the bath first, since the bath is far smaller and contained. Introducing a Maine Coon kitten straight into a large lake might frighten your kitten.
Although some older cats will be accepting of bathing or swimming, your chances of success are far lower since older cats tend to be set in their ways.
Maine Coon Bath
Many owners bathe their Maine Coon kittens and cats in the bath. The main reason this is done is to keep their feline friends fur clean and healthy. An additional benefit of bathing a Maine Coon, is that it helps to reduce shedding, whilst also loosening fur that has become knotted and difficult to brush out.
If this is a route you plan on taking, make sure you only clean your Maine Coon with shampoo that has been specially designed for cats. This is very important, since human shampoo contains chemicals that would harm your Maine Coons skin and body. This cat shampoo would be ideal for the job, and is available from Amazon.
Once your cat is dry, gently brush their fur to remove knots and lose hairs with my favourite grooming brushes.
Below is a short video of a Maine Coon kitten named Molly, having her first bath.
Cat Breeds That Love To Swim
If you were surprised to hear that Maine Coon cats can swim, you might be even more shocked to learn that they are not the only cat breeds that love water.
In fact, according to ‘The Cat Fancier’s Association’ the Maine Coons obsession with water is shared with the following cat breeds too (source):
- American Bobtails
- Norwegian Forest Cat
- American Shorthair
- Turkish Van
- Turkish Angora
- Bengal Cats
- Japanese Bobtail
Do Maine Coons Like Water?
Maine Coon cats love water, and will spend many minutes each day playing with their water bowl.
Here are a few reasons why many owners report that their cats has a Maine Coon water obsession:
- Natural swimmers
- Water repellent fur
- Very curious
- Maine Coon heritage
Maine Coon cats are well known for their fascination of water, which might help to explain why some owners report that their Maine Coons like to go for a swim from time to time!
So in conclusion, can Maine Coon cats swim? The quick answer is yes, but despite this particular cat breed being obsessed with water in general, this does not mean that they enjoy swimming, nor even want to go for a swim.