Maine Coons are the biggest domesticated breed of cat in existence (apart from the Ragdoll), and come with a massive personality to match their size. This mischievous cat breed is really quite unique, so when I’m asked ‘do Maine Coon Cats Like Water’, I often chuckle. Until you are a Maine Coon owner, you will never really appreciate that the word ‘like‘ really doesn’t cut the mustard on that question. It’s more realistic to say that Maine Coon’s LOVE water. Let’s discuss this more quirky antic below.
Maine Coon cats love playing in water, unlike most breeds of cat. They are fascinated with water, spending many minutes flicking water from their water bowl each day, or licking a leaky bathroom tap. They also enjoy playing in a bath of water, possibly because their fur is water repellent.
Here’s a quick video of a Maine Coon licking a leaky bathroom tap! Credit for video given to ‘Fluffy Ears’ (source).
Why Do Maine Coons Like Water?
Maine Coons love to play in water and can often be found splashing their paws repeatedly through the water in their water bowls. They love playing in a bath of water, or licking the fresh water from a running faucet. Some Maine Coons are so intelligent, that they have even taught themselves to turn on a faucet, to enable them to play with the running water!
But why do they love water so much? Let’s consider some of the possible reasons below:
- Their Heritage
- Some Cats Just Love Water!
- Maine Coons Prefer Fresh Water
- Natural Swimmers
- Very Curious
- Water Repellent Fur
1. Their Heritage
The History Of The Maine Coon Cat
Whilst the true roots of the Maine Coon cat are still shrouded in mystery, the historical myth suggesting that Maine Coons are related to the raccoon have been debunked. Scientists refuse to accept that a semi-wild domestic cat mated with a raccoon, creating the Maine Coon that what we now know and love today. The myth is regarded as fantasy, because it is considered biological impossible.
To this very day however, two other popular myths linking the Maine Coon to the Turkish Angora, or the Norwegian Forest Cat remain.
Myth A: Marie Antoinette’s Turkish Angora
Many argue that whilst Marie Antoinette (former Queen of France) desperately tried to flee France during the French Revolution, she took six of her treasured Turkish Angora cats onto the ship with her.
Whilst her own journey to United States was in vein (ultimately seeing her executed in 1793), her precious cats were more fortunate. These adored cats arrived safely in Wiscasset, Maine. It is thought that these six Turkish Angora cats then bread with the short-haired domestic cats residing in Maine at the time, producing the Maine Coon we know and love today.
The adored Maine Coon is so popular in the United States, that it has been named the State cat of Maine!
Myth B – Viking Ship Cats
The second myth supports the theory that Norwegian Forest Cats descend from ship cats, whom Vikings kept on their ships to help control the mice population. It is thought that these long haired ship cats were allowed off the ship when it docked, resulting in a long haired cat mating with a pre-existing short haired domestic cat already residing in Maine, producing the Maine Coon (source).
If this myth is true, it is possible that the Maine Coons love of water descends from its historical roots as a ship cat.
Norwegian Forest Cats enjoy catching fish in water. If Maine Coons origins link back to the Norwegian Forest Cat, it may explain why the Maine Coon often likes to play and dig in water.
2. Some Cats Just Love Water!
Which Cat Breeds Like Water?
Maine Coons aren’t alone in their bizarre love of water. According to ‘The Cat Fancier’s Association, the cat breeds listed in the table below also enjoy a quick play in water (source).
|Cat Breed Name|
|Norwegian Forest Cat|
If you take a closer look at the table above you will notice that the Turkish Angora and the Norwegian Forest Cat have been highlighted in Italics. It is interesting that these two breeds of cat are also known for liking water, since they have both been linked to the Maine Coon’s possible lineage. See above for more details (click here).
3. Maine Coons Prefer Fresh Water
Whether it is due to their natural instinct, or not, Maine Coons always prefer to drink fresh water. This is why you will often see a Maine Coon sticking its massive paw into its water bowl, before taking a drink. They then tend to quickly pat the water, to get it to move around, before lapping at the fresh drinking water with their tongue.
If you’ve lived with standard cats all your life, you will watch this bizarre routine with a degree of amazement, before grumbling at the water mess discarded all over the floor!
Maine Coons are not bothered whether you have just poured fresh water into their water bowl, or not. They will still instinctively pat the water to ensure that it is definitely fresh, rather than stagnant.
If you are not a fan of getting wet feet, consider purchasing this cat water fountain, currently on offer at Amazon. I love using a cat water fountain because fresh water is always available to our Maine Coon, whenever he wants. The fountain also reduces the amount of water mess over our utility room floor, because our cat accepts that the moving water is fresh, so does not feel the natural instinct to pat and splash the water everywhere.
4. Natural Swimmers
Do Maine Coon cats like water?
Rather than fearing it, Maine Coons actually tend to love water! Some think the fascination with water stems from this cat breeds heritage, whereas others think it is due to their immensely thick fur, which is partially water repellent.
Maine Coons are confident swimmings, and love nothing more than jumping into a bath full of water, or joining their owner under a running shower. So if you aren’t too keen on the idea of your Maine Coon jumping into the shower with you, you better close the door behind you.
A Maine Coon is never happier, than when they are getting to play with water. In fact, if you’re thinking of trying to train your Maine Coon cat not to do certain things, spraying them with water will be 100% pointless!
5. Very Curious
The Maine Coon is a naturally curious breed, which may account for why they love water so much.
They love getting into mischief. You should make sure you don’t leave any facets on, or toilet lids up, because the Maine Coon will discover them and start splashing and digging in the unattended water!
6. Water Repellent Fur
Have you ever noticed how thick and water repellent the Maine Coons fur is? If not, take a closer look!
The Maine Coons thick fur helps to keep them warm and snug because it is a mixture of two layers. On the outside you see the long outer hair which the Maine Coon breed is known for, whereas, the inner hair is more dense and short. These two layers of fur are extremely effective at repelling water, and keeping the Maine Coon cat from feeling the wet of the rain, or a bath!
This dense wool like hair is likely to be another reason why Maine Coons enjoy playing with water so much.
It is important to make sure that you groom your Maine Coon thoroughly, at least two times a week. This process is important because the dense fur can easily become matted and tangled, which your cat will find stressful. We’ve tried all different kinds of cat brushes on our Maine Coon, but found the best brush to be this one. It’s great value on Amazon, and helps to remove loose hair and knots, without upsetting our treasured Maine Coon.
It is also worth noting that the food you feed your cat will also play a large part in the quality of your cats fur. So, make sure you feed your Maine Coon a high protein diet, full of the vitamins, minerals and nutrients that their bodies need. This large bag of dry food is particularly designed with Maine Coons in mind. It might feel like a pricey upfront purchase, but literally lasts for months, and is competitively priced on Amazon (link here so you can check).
Maine Coons are a fabulously loving and kind breed, with their own unique quirks and personality traits. Their love of water borders on fanatical, and many have tried to determine where this natural trait derives from.
If you are still not sold on the idea that Maine Coons love water, and continue to wonder ‘Do Maine Coon Cats Like Water’, then take a quick look at these Youtube videos, showing Maine Coons playing in the bath.