Do Ragdoll Cats Like Water

Do Ragdoll Cats Like Water?

It’s commonly thought that all cats despise water, but that’s not necessarily true. Some cats are more likely to enjoy it, especially those that have less commonly “cat-like” characteristics.

Often called dog-like cats, Ragdolls are one of the few cat breeds that don’t have as much in common with their feline friends. So do Ragdoll cats like water? Read on to find out.

Do Ragdoll Cats Like Water?  

Ragdoll cats typically enjoy water, especially running water. Unlike many other cats, Ragdolls are known to enjoy being in water and playing with it freely.

Do Ragdolls Like Water Naturally?

Yes, Ragdolls are likely to like water more than most other cat breeds. Specifically, it’s running water that they have the most fascination with. When they hear water running, splashing, or trickling, they come running with curiosity.

You may see Ragdolls play with water by flicking it with their paws or even walking partially underneath taps and hoses.

More enthusiastic Ragdolls will jump right into a water source excitedly, especially if there’s movement in the water, like waves or ripples.

Can Ragdoll Cats Swim?

Some cats naturally have special webbing between their toes that benefits swimming, making them more adapted to the sport. Ragdolls are not one of them.

However, most domestic cats naturally have swimming instincts, just like their fellow cousins in the wild. This is a survival instinct that allows them to tread water to avoid drowning for as long as they can.

Essentially, yes, Ragdoll cats can swim, and you’ll see that if your Ragdoll eagerly jumps into water when it gets the chance.

However, you should always make sure that your Ragdoll is not left unattended while swimming or interacting with water that is too deep for it to stand-in.

Numerous things can happen in a matter of seconds to endanger your cat, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Why Is My Ragdoll Afraid Of Water?

No individual cat is guaranteed to bear the typical characteristics of its breed. As with all breeds, genuinely known features are just that: generalizations!

There are always exceptions to rules anyway, and your Ragdoll might just be one of them.

Cats are often skittish, and unfamiliar things can be frightening to them. 

Cat fur, unlike dog fur, is also known to hold and absorb water when wet. This can make a cat feel very heavy and sluggish after being in water, and trying to dry off on its own is often difficult without the aid of its human owners.

Of course, there could be other reasons that a Ragdoll doesn’t like water, despite having the potential to avoid it before. It may:

  • Dislike the feel of being wet or the texture of its damp fur
  • See reflections in the water as frightening or threatening
  • Feel that the transition between walking on the ground and floating in water awkward
  • Have had past negative experiences with water, such as almost drowning, being forced to go into water, or being punished with spray bottles
  • Be predisposed to skittishness or anxiety, making new things more frightening

How To Introduce Your Ragdoll To Water Safely

Acclimation to water is best done when a Ragdoll is still a kitten. If your Ragdoll is older than that, it may be harder to convince them to tolerate water.

With that being said, you can safely introduce a Ragdoll cat of any age to water with the following steps:

·      Step 1

Sit inside a kiddie pool, bathtub, or similar private body of water. Call your cat to you and be ready with treats and toys.

Encourage your cat to hang out with you around the vicinity of this body of water and show yourself to be happy and relaxed.

You can also do this by allowing your cat to watch you while you bathe or shower, though offering toys and treats in that scenario may be less convenient.

If your cat decides to jump right into whatever body of water you have, reward them quickly! You should also reward any positive interactions your cat has with the water with treats and praise.

·      Step 2

Once your cat starts eagerly hanging out around you while you’re in the water, reduce the amount of water in the vessel you’re using. Go for something that’s about an inch in depth. Encourage your cat to walk in with you.

You can place floating toys in the water or make ice cube treats from chicken broth to further encourage it to enter.

If your Ragdoll is relaxed, as Ragdolls tend to be, you can carry your cat into the water or set it on your lap and allow it to sniff and paw at the water around you.

Once again, reward it for any interactions. If your cat happily stays in the water, praise it and play with it in the water.

·      Step 3

Once your cat tolerates being in paw-deep water, gradually increase the volume of water bit by bit. Continue rewarding positive interactions.

Allow your cat to start paddling around the water. Keep rewarding it, playing with it, and praising it while supplying toys to enrich its water experience.

·      Step 4

If your cat still hates water and never progresses in the water, get them used to the feeling of being wet using a damp washcloth that you wipe over its body. Remember to reward with treats and praise!

Remember to never force your Ragdoll to do anything they don’t want to do. This will only make it dislike water even more.

Cats need to feel in control to feel safe and encouraged. You should also never use water as a punishment for your cat.

Fun Activities To Do With Your Cat Around Or In Water

Aside from simply putting toys and treats in water, here are some activities you can do with your Ragdoll!

1.   Water Park Course

Fill a kiddie pool or bathtub with a comfortable amount of water for your Ragdoll, preferably little enough that they can stand in it.

Put a couple of sturdy platforms in the water, using things like strong dishes, pots, or even special cat platforms that won’t be damaged in water.

Tie and place toys to various parts of the platforms so your cat can explore the water park you’ve made!

2.   Water Fountains

Purchase a cat water fountain from a pet store and run it, allowing your cat to play with it. If your cat is very much a fan of even erratically moving water, you can also turn a hose upside down or turn on a sprinkler for them to enjoy.

Cat and water faucet

Do note that not all cats enjoy sprinkler-style water play, so a water fountain is your best bet. Watch your cat stick its paws in the water!

3.   Go Fish!

Get some heavier but water-safe cat toys and show them to your cat. Then, drop the toys into water and allow them to sink to the bottom.

Encourage your cat to go batting or bobbing for those toys! You can also do this with treats or toys that contain treats.


Ragdoll cats typically like water and love investigating running water or jumping into pools of water. However, this isn’t the case for all cats of the breed.

You can encourage them to engage in water in small, incremental steps and be making the experience enjoyable for them.