Skip to main content

Do cats really hate the rain? How to cope with April showers

If you’ve ever seen your cat get caught in the rain, you’ve probably seen him flatten his ears, sink down low to the ground, and run for the nearest shelter available. It’s no secret that most cats hate water and rain in general. But with rain often in the forecast in the spring, your cat is likely to get a bit wet if he spends time outdoors. It’s easy to understand why your cat hates the rain so much when you learn about how his body works. It’s also pretty easy to find ways to help keep him dry, even during those rainy spring days.

Cat looking out through a window covered in rain
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Why cats hate rain

According to Reader’s Digest, there are many reasons why cats hate water and rain. If your cat gets rained on, that water makes his coat heavier and colder, which can be uncomfortable for him. That wet coat can take a while to dry, especially if your cat has a thicker coat that’s drenched through.

The extra weight of a wet coat may affect your cat’s agility and balance, too. While cats are typically fast and capable of jumping, extra weight can affect their ability to move around easily. In the wild, cats’ speed and reflexes are a natural defense mechanism, and getting their coats wet could potentially jeopardize their safety.

Keep in mind that water is also largely unfamiliar to cats. Your cat may spend a large amount of time grooming, but he’s rarely exposed to large bodies of water. If it starts to pour outside, your cat will instinctively seek shelter, so he never really experiences what the rain is all about. As a result, if your cat is ever truly caught in the rain, he may react in fear simply because it’s something he hasn’t experienced.

Cats who don’t mind the water

While plenty of cats will happily head indoors when it’s raining, some cats don’t have this same aversion to water. Big cats, like tigers, are particularly enthusiastic about water and swimming.

But some housecat breeds are also happy to go for a swim. According to The International Cat Association, the Turkish Van is an ancient cat breed that’s often called the “swimming cat.” These cats are avid swimmers, and they may even be happy to join you in the bathtub. Reader’s Digest notes that breeds like the Bengal and Abyssinian are also often willing to get wet. This may be because their coat texture makes them more resistant to water, so they don’t feel the discomfort of being wet like other breeds do.

Cat sitting under an umbrella in the rain
Image used with permission by copyright holder

How to help your cat cope with rain showers

Your cat might not like the rain, but rain showers are a part of life, especially in the spring. Fortunately, there are multiple ways that you can help keep your cat comfortable, even when it’s raining out.

If your cat spends time outside, make sure that you provide him with ways to get out of the rain. Cats will automatically retreat under porches and vehicles, and they’re pretty good at seeking out shelter. You might leave the door to your enclosed porch propped open if you know that rain’s in the forecast that day, or keep your shed open so your cat can head inside if he wants.

If you’ll be leash-walking your cat on a rainy day, consider getting him a cat raincoat. Introducing the raincoat may take some time, and your cat will need to get used to the sensation of wearing the coat. However, the coat can give him some extra protection if it starts to rain when you’re still a ways from home.

You might also consider installing a pet door to give your cat free access to let himself back into your house if it starts to rain. If you’re considering a pet door, make sure that it’s appropriately sized for your cat, and choose a door with a latch that lets you lock it at night. Some doors even pair with a sensor that you can mount on your cat’s collar, ensuring the door will only operate for your cat and not for any wildlife or other pets that happen to come strolling through.

If you’ve ever been unexpectedly caught in a chilly downpour, you can probably understand why your cat isn’t a big fan of water. Unsurprisingly, springtime showers aren’t a whole lot of fun for your cat. If your cat does go outside and gets caught in a shower, remember that chances are he knows how to stay out of the rain just fine, so try not to worry too much about him. If you know that rain is in the forecast, you can see if your cat is willing to stay in the house that day. A nice window seat in a warm spot can be tempting, and your cat will probably appreciate the chance to stay dry and warm inside.

Editors' Recommendations

Paige Cerulli
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Paige's work has appeared in American Veterinarian, Business Insider, Healthline, and more. When she's not writing, Paige…
Lap time, nap time: Why your lap cat chooses to sit on you
Find out the real reasons your cat lies in your lap
Cat sitting in a lap

As a pet parent, nothing is better than when your cat decides to curl up for a nap on your lap. Sometimes it can be slightly irritating when you need to get some work done, attempt to move your fur baby, and they look at you like you've not only offended them, but also the entire domestic cat species. But it's impossible to say no to their adorable noses and whiskers, so you let them stay. Have you ever wondered why so many of our feline family members become lap cats? We'll tell you everything you need to know about why cats love to sit on you.

Reasons your cat loves to sit on you
Wonder why your lap is your cat's favorite place to sleep? Here are some of the most common reasons.
Cats sit on you because they seek connection and attention
Despite their reputation for being aloof, most cats crave attention, especially from their favorite people. Cats get lonely when you’re not around and will beg for attention when you are. One way they do this is by sitting on your lap; it’s hard to ignore them when they’re right on top of you! They also come to you for connection and love. Usually, a cat on the lap gets affection, so your cat may come to you when they want to be petted and feel loved.
Cats get on your lap because you’re warm
Whether it’s by the radiator or in a sunbeam, kitties love napping in warm spots. One of the coziest places in your home happens to be wherever you are because of the heat your body emits. This could be why your cat likes sitting with you. They may choose to sit on your lap because they want to soak up all your body heat. Luckily, it’s not a one-way street; your cat’s body heat and fur can help keep you warm, too. With your lap cat, you’ll both stay nice and cozy.
Cats sit on you because they trust you
Sitting on top of you is a cat's ultimate sign of trust. Cats only sit in the laps of people they really feel safe with. This is especially true if they nap on you. Your cat is essentially saying they trust you to protect them from any predators while they're napping. To build even more trust with your pet, make sure you’re not forcing them to sit on your lap, and you’re giving them the option to walk away when they want. By acknowledging their freedom and leaving your lap open to your kitty, you're encouraging them to trust you even more.
Cats like the way you smell and sound
Your body is like a white-noise machine for cats. They find the noises human beings naturally make, like breathing and heartbeats, to be very soothing. It helps them relax into an easy slumber. Your cat may also be attracted to your unique scent. Smelling you may make your cat feel safer, making it easier for them to fall asleep. This can also explain why your cat always seems to love sleeping on your clothes, bed, and other possessions.

Read more
Video: We’ve seen some weird cat sleeping spots, but this feline’s is the strangest
Ever wondered why cats sleep in strange positions? We have the answer
Cat curled up in a ball while sleeping in grass

Cats sleep in the weirdest positions — this fundamental fact of feline life takes over the internet on a regular basis. We've seen kitties in boxes, baby bouncers, and sinks, but we may have found the new best cat-napping spot. Ever spotted a cat sleeping inside a pot? You're in for a treat with this viral video.

sephera._ posted this hilarious recounting titled "Orange cat behavior," and it went well beyond the hilarity of the usual antics we see from mousers. It opens with an orange kitty sitting in a pot on a counter in the kitchen. But that's just the beginning. We get to see him try out just about every cat sleeping position while staying inside his snug hidey hole. The text says, "When your cat's favorite spot is inside a pot," and takes us through the favored resting contortions, including curled up with his head poking out, squished all the way in, and with head in and butt up. It doesn't look particularly comfy to us, but we don't have this cat's flexibility.

Read more
Why is my cat peeing on my bed? The real truth (and how to stop this gross habit)
Causes and solutions for when your cat pees where you sleep
Striped cat sitting on a bed in the bedroom

No one likes to ask, "Why is my cat peeing on my bed?" but here we are. It can be so frustrating! Noticing that your cat peed on your fresh-out-of-the-washing-machine sheets is one of the most irritating things that can happen. There are a lot of different reasons besides your cat just being a jerk that explain why she would do such a thing. Understanding the "why" will help you figure out what is really going on inside of your furry feline’s head, so you can then determine how to stop this unwanted behavior.

While many believe the primary reason cats pee on the bed is because they're just being sassy, this is usually not the case. Read on to learn why your cat has picked up this undesirable habit and what you can do to put an end to it.

Read more