Cats and Water







What started out as a lazy Sunday afternoon, I decided to rummage through some research materials for a topic to write about, when I came across an article on cats and water.

I started reading it and became fascinated.

Not about the fact that cats really don’t care about water one way or the other, but by the fact that there are fishing cats.

Have you ever heard of fishing cats?

Do you even care about fishing cats?

Probably not, but just think about your next cocktail party, the conversation is boring and you nonchalantly ask someone their opinion on “fishing cats.”

First off, they will think you have had a bit too much to drink, but don’t let that deter you.

With an air of authority, you can tell them about this species of cat that lives in southern and Southeast Asia, India and several other places such as Thailand, Viet Nam and other neighboring areas.

This is a real cat, a little bigger than our domestic cat, that fishes for its dinner.

Okay, it fishes also, for its breakfast and lunch, too.

The proper name for this cat is Priomailurus viverrinus, in English “the fishing cat.”

It is a medium sized cat that is olive-gray in color with dark spots, a flat face and looks somewhat like a leopard cat.

The males weigh between 25 to 30 pounds and the females are close to 15 to 18 pounds.

Their fur is really double layered with two different types of fur and because of this, they do not get “soaked to the skin.”

It was thought that they had “webbed feet,” but their feet are really no different from that of other animals or our own domestic cats.

From what I have read they have been known to dive from trees straight into the water.

They go underwater to catch the fish and they also, eat frogs, crayfish and other water creatures.

If that isn’t enough to keep them full, they also eat birds, rodents, small mammals and have been known to attack dogs, calves and other large prey.

The reason they are one of the best kept secrets is that they live in places you and I have no real reason to visit.

Their residences of preference are swamps, areas with dense vegetation near water, marshes, rivers and streams.

Little is known about their living habits and according to research they are becoming a threatened species.

It is hard for me to believe that Asia is growing and the wetlands that these cats love are slowly disappearing.

The other reason there are so few is that they are being killed for food and also because they do hunt and kill livestock.

I found by going on the Internet and listing “fishing cats,” I was able to find a group of sites that had great pictures, the Smithsonian Natural Zoological Park has a website that will show you a video of the cats catching fish. You can find it at http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Animals/AsiaTrail//fishingcats/, (you need to have the word "cats" on the end even though the URL is not showing it,) then click on the left side of the screen for a prompt that will take you to see the cats fishing.

Now that I have given you some real neat cocktail party dialogue, let’s return to domestic cats for a moment or two.

Most of us believe that cats do not like water. My experience from trying to give a cat or two a bath several years ago, cemented that thought in my head. However, there are some cats that are intrigued by water and will jump in the shower or tub (I am told.)

The Turkish Van cat is a water lover and anyone who has one should keep the toilet lid down as the cat’s curiosity will have it swimming in the bowl.

It is said that in Turkey the Turkish Van's would swim out to meet the fishing boats as they came to shore.

Some cats love to drink water that is running out of the faucet, while others have a cold indifference to anything that is wet.

Show cats are used to baths, as they have been trained from kittenhood.

One thing is certain you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink, that’s true of cats, too. A cat does what a cat wants to do and that is that.

I hope you enjoyed this bit of silliness, I just found the “fishing cats” so interesting I had to share it and I hope you enjoyed it, too.



The thought of the day courtesy of Wayne W. Dyer‘s Book “Everyday Wisdom for Success: Did you ever notice how difficult it is to argue with someone who is not obsessed with being right?