There are a number of characteristics which make the Maine Coon breed a special kind of cat. One of these is the breeds tendency to love everything to do with water! Many people who own Maine Coon cats will testify to this most unusual of cat behaviours.
The breed is known for enjoying playing in running water, joining their owners for a nice bath or shower, making themselves a nuisance by tipping over their water bowl or splashing in the toilet.
While this behaviour can be thought cute when the cats are young and still quite small, it is a lot less adorable when the breed has matured to its full size, which can get to sizes weighing more than 15 pounds. Maine Coons are a playful and active breed, and they will certainly entertain you with their antics, especially when it comes to finding a new way to playing in the water.
There are not many breeds of cat that seem to like water, but Maine Coons are definitely not alone in this typically uncommon cat characteristic. Some other breeds of cat which seem to share in Maine Coons’ love of water include the following;
Norwegian Forest Cat,
It is interesting to note that two of the other cats on this list, the Turkish Angora and the Norwegian-Forest Cat, are the two breeds of cat most commonly thought to be the ancestral root of the Maine Coon.
While it is not conclusive how the Maine Coon cat evolved or came about, there are stories and theories that suggest it is descendant of either the Turkish Angora or the Norwegian-Forest Cat. These theories are much more likely to be true than the stories which suggest the Maine Coon was descendent of raccoons, and could partially explain why the Maine Coons seem to have inherited the affinity for water.
The Turkish Angora was the favorite pet of Marie Antoinette, who had six of these beautiful cats. Before she was captured and executed during the French Revolution, she was preparing to escape by boat, and she loaded her six beloved cats onto a ship bound for North America.
While Antoinette never made it to the New World, her Turkish Angoras did, and it is possible that Maine Coons are descendants of these royal cats. Turkish Angoras and the Turkish Vans both evolved around Lake Van, which would have been a good place for the cats to swim and catch fish, and could be the reason that these cats evolved to enjoy water so much.
On the other hand, it is possible that Maine Coons evolved from a shared ancestor with the Norwegian Forest Cat. The Norwegian Forest Cat is descended from cats that were kept by the Vikings, who were famous for their journeys across the ocean on huge boats. The cats were good mousers, capable of surviving in the cold, wet, Northern climates and great for keeping as ship cats because of their ability to swim.
Both the Norwegian Forest Cat and the Maine Coon have thick, dense as well as water-resistant coats that can keep them warm in freezing temperatures, and keep them dry when walking through snow or ice. Their coats are thicker and more coarse around their undersides and their behinds, so that there is extra protection from snow or ice when sitting or laying down. They also have thick tails, which are resistant to sinking in snow. They use these tails to wrap around their faces and kitty-toes to shield them from the harsh winter winds. Norwegian Forest Cats love to catch fish in streams or lakes, which could account for why these cats like to play and dig in water.
Instinct is another huge reason why Maine Coons have a tendency to play in water. It is part of the Maine Coons’ instinct to splash or swirl the water in their water bowls in order to check its freshness. Cats know that fresh water is best, and that stagnant water, or water that has been standing for a while, can develop bacteria that could make them sick. So even though you know that the water you put in their bowls is okay for them to drink, their instincts are telling them that they need to check it out for themselves!
When you first get a Maine Coon kitten and you find them splashing about in their water bowl, you might think it is adorable. And really, of course it is! Everything that your kitten does is adorable because they are a kitten, but especially because they are small and the consequences are pretty manageable. But once your kitten grows into an adult sized cat, and they have become a little more capable of making a mess or getting into things they shouldn’t, it can become a lot less cute pretty quickly.
It would not be uncommon for you to discover that your Maine Coon cat has figured out how to turn on the faucet, and now likes to sit underneath the stream, drinking to their hearts content. Maine Coons have also been known to enjoy tipping over glasses full of water, in order to better play in the puddle they have created. They will not hesitate to tip over their own water bowl, or dig in their water bowls, splashing the water all over the floor.
Maine Coons will be curious about the water in the bottom of the toilet bowl, so unless you want to find an unpleasant mess in the bathroom, you better start keeping the lid of the toilet closed shut! You also shouldn’t be surprised if you receive a surprise feline guest in your bath or shower. Your kitty might not be able to resist a quick swim with their favorite human, especially since they are known to be pretty clingy and desiring of attention as pets. If you have a Maine Coon, you may find yourself quickly tiring of walking around your house with wet feet, or finding puddles appearing all over the house.
The water obsession might have some annoying side effects, but one real benefit to having a cat that loves water is that grooming can be a little easier without that typical kitty fear. You should still start bathing your cat while they are young, so that they can get used to being groomed. There is definitely a difference between choosing to go for a swim and being held in a bathtub full of water, especially with the added use of soap and/or brushes. You don’t want to traumatize your cat by not exposing them to the whole process early enough in life. Kittens might not need to be bathed, because of their finer, softer kitten fur, but once your Maine Coon reaches teenage status, you should start introducing them to the bath.
With that in mind, Maine Coon cats are far less likely to have a violent reaction to being put in the water than most breeds of cats, which will come as a relief to anyone who has ever tried to bathe a cat who hates water. No one likes to be scratched or clawed by a frantic cat trying to escape a full bathtub, and the aftermath of that chaos is usually a sopping bathroom and plenty of scratches. Maine Coons have thick hair that can collect a lot of dirt, and can become matted if not properly taken care of, so regular grooming is a must. The breed also has a tendency to get hot in the summer months, and a bath can help alleviate some of their suffering in the heat helping to shed extra weight and thin out their heavy undercoats.
If your Maine Coon cat is wreaking havoc with your sanity by constantly finding water and splashing it all over your house, there are a few things that you can do to reduce this. Maine Coons are smart and active, and like all cats they are naturally very curious. They need to be kept busy with toys and games that you have approved for them or they will find a way to entertain themselves that you probably are not going to like.
By exercising your Maine Coon cat through play and giving them toys that will make them solve puzzles and keep them focused, then they will be more likely to get tired out and less likely to want to get into trouble by playing in water when you’re not paying attention. Some people may decide to let their Maine Coon cat go outside in search of water sources and mice. Maine Coons are generally very trusting and friendly, and they may not have the right temperament to survive in the dangers of the outdoors.
A large reason that Maine Coones splash in their water bowls is because they are checking to see if the water is fresh. If you want your cat to splash in the water less, you can invest in a kitty water fountain, so that your pet always has a fresh stream of water to drink from. The running water contains more oxygen and less bacteria, and their kitty instincts will let them know without having to test it. If you don’t feel like investing your money in a water fountain for your cat, or you don’t feel like having to run an incessant stream of water in their home, you can also just decide to set your cat’s water bowl in a larger tray or bin of some sort.
This will allow your cat to splash and spill their water bowls as much as they like, while containing some of the mess and keeping it off your floors. Make sure that you are keeping the lid of your toilet down with a Maine Coon in your house if you don’t want to find the water splashed out all over the floor, and don’t leave running faucets or drinks unattended. Maine Coons’ paws are able to be used to scoop water, so they are able to create even more of a mess than might be expected. Constant vigilance is required when you have an adorably mischievous Maine Coon in your home!
There are so many things that make Maine Coons uniquely suited to being able to enjoy water. Their scoop-like paws which are great for splashing and make them particularly efficient swimmers, their water-resistant coats, which also aid in keeping them warm and protecting them from the elements, and their curious nature which so often propels them into mischief are the most obvious of these.
While their ancestry is not entirely known, it is believed and very probably that this contributed to their natural affinity for the water as well. However, not every Maine Coon cat is automatically going to gravitate towards the water. If your Maine Coon doesn’t like water, that doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with them. All cats are different, just like all people are different, and they all have their own unique personalities. If a cat has ever had a bad experience in water, or if they haven’t had a lot of experience with water in general, they might be less keen on it than other cats of their breed.
There are so many reasons to love this breed of cat. Maine Coons are already so unique, and they generally steal the hearts of anyone who spends any time in their presence. They are one of the most popular breeds in North America for a reason. They are beautiful, affectionate, loyal to their families, and they have great personalities that stay young and playful way past kitten-hood. You will never be bored with a Maine Coon cat in your house.
While at first you will be amused by their clever antics and even sometimes frustrated at their seemingly incessant efforts to find whatever water source they can and make a mess, you will eventually train yourself to be extra aware of temptations for your curious water cat, and find ways to accommodate them when necessary. After all, it is hard to be upset with your kitty when you can see how happy it will make them to be joining you in your morning shower or lapping from a water fountain that’s just for them. And who wouldn’t enjoy making their favorite feline as happy as they make their owner?