Animals That Hate Water! (7 Animals Afraid of Water)

Last updated on October 23rd, 2022

What animal hates water? I’m sure this is one of the questions on everyone’s mind, it’s what brought you here today right?

Have you ever tried giving your pet Pomeranian a bath? Cute as these dogs are, they hate taking a bath.

I know this because whenever I see my neighbor trying to bathe her dog, it’s always an uphill battle!

The dog does its best to run away from the clutches of its master. Undeterred, my neighbor does her best to grab hold of her pet.

She tries to entice her with treats, then threatens her, and after much cajoling, she finally convinces her dog to take a bath.

Although it’s kinda fun to watch, it also gets me thinking that dogs can’t be the only creature that dislikes bathing.

There must be other animals that don’t like taking baths or are generally afraid of water.

Animals that don’t like water:

  • Horses
  • Cats
  • Monkeys
  • Bobcats
  • Bees
  • Snow Leopard
  • Donkeys

List of animals that hate water

1. Horses

horses drinking water 18092021

The relationship horses share with water is unusual because horses can swim, but they don’t like water. In other words, you can say that horses dislike or are afraid of water.

If you’re an equestrian, you’ll know that you need to familiarize your horse with water bodies so that he can stride across small streams.

This is because horses are excellent swimmers, but they’ll try to avoid a water body whenever they can.

You’ll find that horses tend to drop and roll whenever they come across a water body.

The primary reason for this is that they become unsure of their footing whenever they’re about to go through a water body.

Horses are fast runners, and they avoid getting hunted by predators with the help of their sheer running speed.

But when they have to step into a water body, they become unsure of their footing since they’re unable to see how deep the water body is and cannot run as fast.

Moreover, the predators in the water, such as crocodiles and alligators, can pose a threat and is also a reason for their hesitation towards the water.

In the wilds, horses are often defenseless against such predators and it’s this ancient evolutionary instinct that has made them afraid of water.

2. Cats

cat on couch looking shocked

You’ll often find that household or domesticated cats are going to great lengths to avoid getting wet.

This in turn makes it very difficult to bathe your pet cat. But this is unlike other feline creatures, who enjoy taking a swim every now and then.

As these cats evolved from species that originated in drier climates with large lakes and rivers, the domestic cat developed an aversion to water.

Even the stray cats that you see have evolved from domesticated cats.

Thus, water is something that the cat doesn’t associate with and finds the element to be unfamiliar to its natural habitat.

Another theory suggests that the domestic cat spends a long time grooming itself.

But if it gets wet, it’ll spoil all its hard work as the water will cause the fur to paste together and this will take a long time for the coat to dry and can make the cat feel uncomfortable.

They need their skin to be dry and clean to help them move. Hence, cats tend to avoid getting wet and seem to be afraid of water.

3. Monkeys

monkey 18092021

Monkeys are afraid of water because they live in tropical regions where there are many predators lurking underwater such as anacondas and caimans.

When it comes to monkeys, they spend more than half of their lives on land and only use water during certain times of the year.

During the rainy season, they get access to plenty of fresh drinking water which helps them survive and stay hydrated.

However, one common trait that monkeys share with humans is the fear of water. This is because human beings aren’t natural swimmers.

Similarly, not all monkeys are natural swimmers. The same goes for all these creatures that belong to the primate family, they just don’t know how to swim.

On the other hand, there are a select few monkeys that can swim, such as the proboscis monkey, squirrel monkey, and snow monkey, most of the other monkeys are bad swimmers and avoid water.

This is because monkeys don’t possess streamlined bodies that allow most mammals to swim.

Along with that, like other apes and primates, they have an instinctive fear of drowning. They feel that if they fall into a water body, they’ll sink.

This natural fear that monkeys develop in the wild has led them to fear water even when they’re domesticated.

4. Bobcats

bobcat afraid of water 18092021

Bobcats, like domestic cats, don’t like water. These elusive animals are known to be great hunters, but like ordinary cats, they avoid water bodies.

You’ll find bobcats in cold climates and surrounded by snow and ice, but you’ll never see them taking a swim.

This aversion towards water makes it difficult for the creature to hunt and find food during winter.

The bobcat, too, like the domestic cat, spends a long time grooming itself. Its glossy fur can lose its sheen if it gets wet.

This is often considered as one of the reasons why bobcats avoid water. You might find a bobcat swimming across a small stream, but it’ll do so only if it has no option.

If there is a log of wood lying across the stream, the bobcat would rather walk stealthily on the log to cross the stream rather than swim across it. 

It’s often advised that in homes near woods that are prone to bobcat attacks, one of the best ways to prevent such attacks from recurring would be to spray the creature with water.

If you can douse the bobcat once with water, it won’t return.

5. Bees

bees afraid of water 18092021

If you ask any beekeeper, he’ll tell you that bees are averse to water, and these insects will never get their little feet wet. They’ll stand at the edge of a water body and never enter it.

You must’ve heard that it’s best to look for a water body and jump into it in case of a bee attack.

The bees wouldn’t be able to follow their victim into the water body and it’s not mere here say because bees can’t swim and are afraid of water.

Bees are afraid of water because they can drown in it. Excessive rainfall, floods, and other similar disasters can destroy a beehive.

Flash floods can wipe out an entire beehive and drown all the bees in it. Unlike other insects, bees aren’t evolved to swim.

Once the bee’s wings get wet, they won’t be able to do much to escape from whatever water situation they find themselves in.

They can drown in water, so sometimes, one way to destroy beehives is by spraying them with soap water.

Evolution has taught bees to be afraid of water. During summer and drought conditions, you might see bees in light rain drizzles trying to find cover, but you’ll never see them near large water bodies. 

6. Snow Leopard

snow leopard 18092021

Like other felines, the snow leopard is an elusive creature and an excellent hunter. The fur and skin of the animal are unique and different from other leopards.

It works as camouflage and blends with the surrounding. The snow leopard’s whitish-grey coat with black spots is perfect camouflage for its hunting grounds.

However, the animal needs to maintain the sheen of its fur. It also has to ensure that water doesn’t adhere to its coat.

For that, they’d not only spend a long time grooming themselves but also avoid getting their fur wet. If a snow leopard gets wet, then its hair will adhere to its body.

Due to the texture and thickness of a snow leopard’s fur coat, the water won’t drain off quickly, making it difficult for the creature to move and hunt.

Snow leopards need to be agile to hunt efficiently. For that, its coat needs to be dry and comfortable.

These are some reasons why a snow leopard avoids getting wet and has an aversion to water.

7. Donkeys

donkey afraid of water 18092021

It’s common knowledge that donkeys can swim; they’re pretty good swimmers.

But in reality, they’ll always try to avoid swimming. The primary reason is that evolution has taught donkeys that they must run away from the place to avoid being hunted.

For that, they must rely on their ability to move and their pace. Another thing that they have is their ability to kick hard, which often acts as a deterrent to predators.

Donkeys are afraid of water because they’re afraid of losing their footing and drowning.

Additionally, when in water, donkeys are unable to defend themselves because they’ll lose their footing and their ability to kick which leaves them vulnerable to predators like crocodiles and alligators.

This evolutionary instinct makes even domesticated donkeys averse to water. This is often interpreted as donkeys being afraid of water.

When a donkey is forced to swim, it feels concerned about its footing and is fearful of getting injured.

What animals hate water?

Animals in the wild often have to swim across water bodies, but they might dislike water and according to experts, some of the animals that are afraid of water are horses, cats, monkeys, snow leopards, bobcats, bees, and donkeys.

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