Here’s the deal; according to a UK Register Guard story, this woman has taught her kittehs to swim for their own safety.

Ahn. The eyeballs say it all.


Redonkuloussssss, Doug Q.! Oh, and Sender-Inner Theo D. also sent in more on Swimming cats. [eye roll]



  1. PROSH!


  2. hrh.squeak says:

    Terrified cat does not *care* that his big ol’ eyes match the poolwater. Poor pitty puddy, it’s for your own good (huh?)

  3. Okay, that’s two bleens within a week. Is everyone else getting lazy, or am I just THAT awesome!?


    TOTALLY redonk. The bulging eyes of abject fear! Kinda looks like an iceberg…

  4. Surely a cat would be able to swim if it had to without “teaching”???? Anyone know? Just curious….

  5. I was actually under the impression that all mammals have the ability to swim – not sure if there’s really anything to teach.

  6. I’m not sure how this is for their own benefit.

    Is she throwing them into the pool everyday or something?

    It would make sense if she lived in a houseboat but I’m not really getting this story.

  7. IT’S NOT NATURAL !!!!!!!!!

  8. omg…the eyeballs are CLASSIC.

  9. Oh god, here we go with the commentroversy . . . Please people, just read the friggin’ article attached to the photo before you jump to your shrieking conclusions, would you? The cats are FINE, and someday, if they fall into a tub or a pool, they won’t panic and drown because they’re accustomed to water. Christ almighty . . .

  10. FYI, I have no idea who this “Theo D” is. Ees nawt mee.

  11. why mommy why?

  12. Whiskers curled in an upright position so as not to get them wet.

  13. I don’t think he/she is scared, I think that look is a look of concentration. Must keep muzzle above the water… Kick kick kick

  14. Okay I can get this over with quickly:


    encouraging other people to do such cruelty

    not cruel, cute


    why do you post these pictures

    choc. or vanilla

    I still think its cute…

  15. headscratcher says:

    Reminds me of the video on Planet’s Funniest Animals where the tabby cat was happily swimming alongside his wading human in a shallow lake. That cat looked pretty happy in the water. This one, well, I can’t get over the eyes matching the poolwater!

  16. I think the bigger problem for the cat in trouble is not swimming but being able to climb out of the pool or whatever they’re in. I hope she’s working on that too, or the whole project is pretty useless.

    Never had a pool or taken a cat into one, but I’ve known some who loved to “dig for fish” or just stand with their front feet in the water bowl (and then walk around the house dripping). Some wild cat species enter water– tigers and jaguars included– and the Fishing Cat specializes in it.

  17. Side note, the story is from the Eugene Register-Guard in Eugene, Oregon – not the UK Register Guard.

  18. [This is bizarre]

  19. i think if your cat loves to swim, well why not. if you’re forcing this on them, that’s cruelty. i would imagine that any cat in danger for their lives would get to know how to swim real fast.

  20. I think people need to read the article before they post about this pic.
    The woman isn’t doing it just for her own amusement b/c she likes torturing her cats.
    She’s making sure her cats are comfy enough in the water to swim and not freak out just in case an accident happens and they somehow fall in.

  21. Heeheehee, I’m going to sit back and eat my pudding and not even get into this one…hey, does anyone know if there’s a new episode of Planet Unicorn yet?

  22. DarrylsMama says:

    Nice whiskerage.

  23. the whiskas make me tink .oO cATfiSh ^^

  24. englishwoman says:

    I wonder if that’s a Chinchilla persian (the eyes and colouring are right)? A friend of mine had a chilla called Ziggy who loved to play in water, and would get in the bath given half a chance. Don’t know if that’s a characteristic of them in general, but he certainly liked it!

  25. I’ve never seen a cat’s eyes opened so big.

    Hope the water’s not too heavily chlorinated.


  26. What an adorable photo. Gorgeous kitteh! And nope, not all mammals instinctively know how to swim. I used to also think this, but I learned otherwise when my dog fell into deep water. She’d been around shallow water before, but had no idea how to swim when she couldn’t touch the bottom with her toes. Terrified, she went under two or three times, slapping at the water ineffectually until she could eventually be hauled out. When I was a kid, our cat fell into our swimming pool one night and nearly drowned because he couldn’t find the steps at the shallow end. Kudos to this pet owner!

  27. I have a Turkish Van from the breeders! He’s the greatest cat ever. He doesn’t swim, himself, but has been known to put food in his water dish and bat it around. He also used to wake me up to play catch!

    I’ve actually known quite a few cats, both purebreds and “regular” kitties, who enjoy playing in water. I think the whole cats-being-afraid-of-water thing might be exaggerated.


    Poor kitters…

  29. I love the muzzlepouche action.

  30. once when I was a kid, our cat somehow fell into the pool. We were sitting at dinner, and heard a small *splash* in the backyard. Seconds later, soaking wet cat bursts through the cat door and streaks through the house 🙂

  31. Turkish Vans actually like the water. His eyeballs are big because he sees the bonkers on poolside.

  32. I think the look is more of an “OMG! The dog saw me! I’m NEVER going to live this down.”

    And not all mammals can instinctively swim. Otherwise, Humans wouldn’t need swimming lessons.

    That and last time I checked, chimps couldn’t swim.

  33. Thanks, Michelle for answering my question regarding if cats can swim anyway…. 🙂

  34. “the whiskers are NOT getting wet!”
    “No matter how many times that mean lady throws me in this pool, my whiskers are staying dry.
    oh, and I’m going to scratch the crap outta her when she tries to pick me up too.”

  35. Ok seriously, I’ve read the article and I’m still not sure why she thinks this is for their own safety.

    It’s not like they’re toddlers who can’t be allowed near the pool.

    Does she think they’re going to be swept away by a dam breaking? Does she think rogue pools cruise the neighborhood waiting to drown kitties? Is she going to drop them into the ocean in a NASA capsule?

  36. She didn’t “teach” them to swim, they already knew … maybe how to get out … but mammals instinctively paddle … they hate it but they will still swim to safety. If they drown is probably because they can’t haul themselves on the sides of the pool and get exhausted.

    That being said, the eyes are spectacular … moreso because they match the water.

  37. It’s actually surprisingly common for panicked animals (pets, wildlife) to drown in swimming pools when they fall in. Many of them will struggle to climb out the side of the pool (which is usually too high to get a paw over or leverage to get out) b/c they don’t realize that there is another way to exit, be that ladder or steps. Hopefully cat-swimmy lady is also teaching her kittehs where the best exit point is. If not… maybe she needs one of these:

  38. DejaMew (tx-usa) says:

    We once had a sweet lil dachsund doggie who thought he could do everything the other doggies did. But after jumping into a creek (just following the leader, ya know)
    lil dachsund doggie discovered he couldn’t swim. I was just about to jump in from the bridge above to save him, when we saw him casually walking along the bottom of the creek (underwater) and emerging from it with a big body shake and grin. He had survivor skills we didn’t even know of.

  39. When I was little, down on the farm, I used to “teach” kittehs how to swim in the cowtank. And I have the scars on my arms to prove it… : )

  40. Notice kitty is swimming AWAY from owner. Swim free, kitteh, swim freeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!

  41. Space Cowgirl says:

    Please to be filing this under matchingks. 😀

    I don’t know whether cats can swim instinctively, but when I go swimming my cats stand by the waterside and wail heartbrokenly, as though the crazy human must be suicidal to willingly submerge herself in WATER!

  42. Shannon Johnson says:

    my cats would kill me. They would throw daggers at me with their eyes.

  43. Renee - another Oregonian says:

    Oregonian – Thank you for pointing out that this is an article from Eugene, Oregon, not the UK. I live in Eugene and I forwarded this link to my friends who live in Cottage Grove (a town 20 minutes down the highway from Eugene). Hehe. 😛

    Kar – There are opportunities (although they’re probably rare) for kitties to fall into pools, such as when they’re not paying attention while playing with their kitty friends or while escaping a dangerous situation (like being confronted by a neighborhood dog on the loose). Also, we do have occassional floods in Oregon. A fork of the Willamette River that runs directly through Cottage Grove flooded a number of years ago. People and animals can get stranded by slowly rising flood waters (like with Hurricane Katrina) and before they know it, they have to swim to safety.

    On another note…

    *sqeee!* – I want to cuddle that white, whiskery, wet kitty.

  44. She is not going to help her cats from not drowning, Cats do not need to be taught how to swim. Cats drown in pools because they cant get out. Not because they cant swim.

  45. Hahah! I remember my kitty Feathers was once so desperate to be petted he jumped into the pool and swam to the center to climb on my shoulder.


  46. Mary (the first) says:

    those crazy Oregonians 🙂
    BEAUTIFUL kitteh. I’ve had cats that would probably have enjoyed swimming but I have never had a pool.

  47. All cats can swim. Period. It’s as instinctive as is burying their poo (to hide their tracks from preditors) or purring when they’re happy. They don’t like to swim. Think of what it was like for their ancestors. The only time they swam was when there were floods, or they needed to escape a preditor. Trust me, they’ll swim if they have too.

  48. Villy-
    your kitteh was probably trying to save you!
    They cant believe anyone would intentionally get submerged in water. 🙂

  49. That’s really neat! My best friend lost her childhood kitty when it fell in her pool and drowned and it took her 10 years to get over the grief and adopt another one. It’s definitely not cruel.

  50. DejaMew (tx-usa) says:

    I once had a kitty that loved the water, although I never got to see her swim in a pool. She loved to sleep in the bathroom sink, but only with the water dripping on her tummy. And she took a shower with me each day. Also, whenever she got super hyper, I would take her outside and run the water hose on her tummy and she calmed right down. She also like riding in the car with me, and once tried to explore the pneumatic tube at the bank’s drive-thru teller. She was quite a character! ;))

  51. Cats can swim naturally. When my kitteh’s kitten fell in, she jumped in after it, rescued it, and thwapped it over the head so it would NEVER get near the canal again.

  52. She is actually an Oregonian. Here’s the local tv coverage link

  53. I really, really want this as a desktop wallpaper. So cute, and the expression is just priceless!

  54. All mammals instinctively know how to swim?!? I don’t…

  55. wHAT IS THAT

  56. It had a different (and also great) front page picture:

    Closer upper:

    Thanks to the others who correctly mention it is a Eugene, OR, USA newspaper, not a UK one. Hi other Eugenians!

  57. I did not expect to see some old lady’s wet pussy when I browsed here.

    (Poor kitten)

  58. It’s great that they know how to swim and get out of the pool (I have never mastered the getting out part)…but I can’t help but feel that expression in that picture is one of ‘help!!!!’ He’s probably making a beeline for the side…

    I also, as a child, had a cat that loved to take baths..which was necessary because he liked to roll in a nearby patch of wild garlic…..he would roll over and purr in the plastic tub he used for bathes as Mom would soap him down and wash him off…

  59. This kitty looks like he knows where to go. I hope she has a ramp installed for him to get out of the pool. There are several companies that make ramps especially for animals to get out of pools. I had a bunny who loved to swim too.

  60. I once had a cat who would crawl into the bathtub with me & sit on my chest, half-submerged.

    This meant that I sat there in terror, hoping nothing startled her & turned my torso to ribbons.

  61. My roomie had a kitten named Jack who liked to get in the shower with me. his little face would get all wet and blinky from the spray and he’d just look up at me with the sweetest confusion. I miss Jack Jack.

  62. Something for the people to think about who are STILL upset about seeing the cat swimming in the water: two words – hurricane flooding. If not for the reason of accidentally falling into the pool, there’s always the case of a hurricane flooding. If you have not ever experienced flooding from a hurricane, considered yourself blessed. But think about it: if your house flooded for whatever reason, and you couldn’t find your pet, wouldn’t you feel some sense of comfort if you knew your pet knew how to swim? Pesonally, I think cats know how to swim. The issue basically is getting them into water often enough so the instincts will kick in quicker. Learn to look through a window from different angles before you start screaming about something that is more than likely the exact opposite of what you think it is. Besides, you should know better by now that this website is about posting upbeat pictures and stories. So chill out,and enjoy the weekend! Peace!

  63. That cat looks fake … the eyes just look painted on.

    I know it’s a real cat, guys, srsly. But look at it. Does it not look like a fuzzytoy with big painted eyes? O___O

  64. Uh…it doesn’t say she’s trying to teach them anything for their safety, it just says they like to swim. I think it’s cute…kinda..except for those big ol’ scared eyes…

  65. This isn’t the UK, it’s from Eugene, Oregon! w00t for my hometown!

  66. Yes, englishwoman… I believe that IS a Chinchilla persian. The “eyeliner” and “noseliner” are characteristic of the breed…. as well as the stunning coat and eye color. Those are the ones you always see on the “FancyFeast” ads (at least, here in the US.)

    As for the rest of the “catroversy”… I’m kinda 50-50 on it. I could go either way.

  67. Amazing eyes!

  68. Kitties seem to always know how to swim. Our kitties used to drink from our swimming pool no matter how much water we put down for them throughout the house and outside. They always preferred the pool water even if it was choppy cuz we’d just gotten out of the pool…

    They looked real funny climbing out of the pool afterwards, wet hair all stuck to their surprisingly thin bodies.

    It took them awhile to lick themselves dry so where’d you see them later?

    Drinking water from … the … pool….

  69. MOST CATS CAN SWIM. Some even enjoy it: tigers love water, as do Turkish Vans and Bengals, plus a few other random sports. But whether they do it for pleasure or not, virtually all cats are superb natural swimmers. I am not sure what this woman was so friggin’ worried about. We have always taken our cats boating, which they like, but every once in a while one decides he’d rather be on shore. Not one has ever had a problem swimming several hundred yards or more to land. How pissed off they were about it is a different issue.

  70. I know it’s a real cat, guys, srsly. But look at it. Does it not look like a fuzzytoy with big painted eyes? O___O

  71. The cat really stands out in the picture because of the shading of the water.

  72. HALLLLLP! 🙂

  73. New York Michele says:

    I know how to swim- but one time, when I was swimming near a boat as a teen ager and had no bottom to kick off from, I panicked and almost drowned. Why? I don’t swim much, and couldn’t figure out how to get back in the boat.

    I think that’s why she’s doing this. She doesn’t want the cats to panic in an emergency situation. The article states pretty much that- it’s not the swimming part that’s the problem, but the getting out of the pool when exhausted from panic. And numerous pets (and small humans) die every year from drowning if they are outside near a pool and frightened by something than makes them back into/fall/jump into the pool(these might be partially outdoor cats).

    by the way- cats know how to walk on grass and climb trees, too- but how many cats have gotten stuck in trees and then panicked? And how many indoor cats have decided to make a break for it outside, and ended up getting killed by a dog or a car because they freaked out and ran instead of walking calmly back home?

  74. i think the issue is the picture. the cat is beautiful and it’s eyes – wow. BUT – when i see this picture, i don’t see concentration, i see terror. and thus my protective instinct that declares this as *not* okay kicks in.

    were it to be a pic like the one in the link –
    the kitty looks sad, but not hideously afraid. i wouldn’t have dug on that pic, but the protection instinct would be ~far~ more subdued.

  75. its eyes. not it’s.

  76. Thank you Meg. This made me smile. And thats what matters most.

  77. if that kitty was freaked, its pupils would be huge instead of small. that’s what happens when they’re scared or it’s dark…and something else, i’ve forgotten.

    anyway, very cute cat. i think it was a good idea to make sure her cats won’t panic in the water, instead of waiting for a real emergency!

  78. Ok this is totally not a UK Register Guard story like the link says. It’s the Register Guard in Eugene, OR and an acquaintance of mine wrote the article! crazy!

  79. Poor thing. Still oh so cute though.

  80. This should be sad or cute D:

  81. Puddin’? or perhaps a cool refreshing beverage?

  82. This cat looks terrified! Should this be forwarded to the Humane Society???

  83. peas and carrots says:

    That is so cute! I don’t know what I’d do if I was swimmin’ in the pool and my kitty jumped in after me for some lovin’. That would be crazy.

  84. you’ve got to be kidding Anne..

  85. I have to say that I think this woman is doing the right thing. I have known a few very ‘smart’ cats drown in neighborhood pools because they either didn’t know how to swim or freaked out. A good friend of mine lost her favorite cat in a neighbors pool because the pool was not covered properly.
    If I ever have outdoor cats I think I may consider doing just what she is doing.

  86. Catsquatch says:

    Wow, her eyes are the same color as the pool water.

    “Must get to land…. EHN!!”

  87. I too had those thoughts upon seeing this…yes, I believe cats can swim instinctively, and I questioned the need for water-training these cats, BUT – I recall that as a (young and foolish) child, I thought it would be neat if my cat took a bath with me, so I used to put her in the bathtub. And what happened was that the cat was so shocked at being in the water, she would freeze up and go all rigid. She would slowly start to tilt to one side, and on several occasions I had to right her so she didn’t start inhaling water through her nose. So I would suggest that although these cats may have the instinctive ability to swim, it’s still not a bad thing to get them used to being in the water, so that they’ll be able to cope if the need ever arises. That being said, I’m still not sure exactly what this lady thinks is going to happen. Is her area prone to sudden floods or something?

    In the big picture, I’m sure there are worse things that could happen to her cats, and I’m sure she is an attentive and loving cat-mommy, if possibly a tad misguided.


  89. ooohhh yeah lets send them all back to the wild to get eaten by mountain lions, coyotes,bob cats or get rabies or starve to death or get intestinal parasites… it’s A HOUSE CAT. !

  90. “Mary Ellen began taking her cats in the water three summers ago as a way to prevent an alarmingly common tragedy, she said, having heard of several cat owners whose animals ventured into a pool without knowing how to get out.

    “For their safety, 100 percent,” she said of her motivation in encouraging them to swim. “We wanted to know that they could swim, and we wanted them to know that they could swim.””

    There’s the quote on the article. And obviously it’s because she has a swimming pool 🙂

  91. “if that kitty was freaked, its pupils would be huge instead of small. that’s what happens when they’re scared”

    Exactly what I was going to say. This cat is concentrating, not terrified. If it were terrified, its pupils would be HUUUUUGE, and the top of its head probably wouldn’t be so pleasantly fluffy and dry what with the terrified splashing. Kitty’s just calmly going about its swimmy business.

  92. bunnyslave says:

    Jamie, neverfear, I got the joke and I laughed.

  93. hadn’t really analyzed the pic. but quite true on the pupil dilation part (caris/the_becca).

    he still looks oh so very concerned/not happy to me. but – that’s subjective as is any moment in time caught by a pic. if they had waited a minute, it could be a pic of the kitty getting the happy squinty eyes. who knows.

    either way, holy beautiful cat.

  94. When did Oregon end up in the UK?

    I live in Oregon…I think I would’ve noticed a geographical shift ala Pangea.

    I went into work with this picture on the front page and though “Cute way to solve a slow news day.”

  95. Some ordinary cats seem to take to it by themselves.

  96. the colors with the eyes.
    its actually really beautiful.

  97. I like his face, he is really terrify. Poor little thing!!!!
    He is in total panic!!!

  98. ThreeCatNight says:

    He’s swimming away from her as fast as he can because he just used the pool as his personal litter box, and wants to get out of there before she notices unduly warm water nearby!

  99. oh snap! my kitty boys saw the photo of the cat swimming and now THEY want swimming lessons. so i signed them up at our local Y and went shopping for bathing trunks, nose clips, goggles and a swimming cap. jee whiz!

  100. If you start cats swimming as young kittens, they not only learn to do it, but actually do enjoy it. One of my friends started all his kittens out that way, and ended up filling a plastic wading pool for them in the summers–they regularly went swimming to cool off.

  101. Looks cute! Most cats avoid water! Wnder why? 🙂

  102. Just another lap or so…then I will retire…to the gazebo….where the human will have provided me with delectable dishes.

  103. Wow…awesome photo 🙂

  104. theCat is not amused

  105. COOL!

    Pet torture to sastisfy human urges of anthromorphism!


  106. Well I know *I’m* sastified, sho’nuff. Boy howdy.

  107. Because the cat REFUSES TO DROWN does not mean it enjoys it.

  108. I’ll bet he enjoys not drowning immensely. You wanna talk about torture, check out the Purrito – they’re eating the kittehs up over there!

  109. This woman is taking the overly complicated approach to cat ownership, I’ll say that. Because not only can cats instinctively swim, but they can get out so fast you can barely see the blur. I’ve seen cats fall into pools and lakes, and they shot straight back out as though levitating. The examples people cite of pets having trouble in water involve certain breeds of *dogs*. With cats, all she’s doing is making them wet… and irritated.

  110. I can has dry land nao, please?

  111. I don’t think that woman’s crazy. As a pool owner I think she’s doing the right thing. Every years personal pools kill.. but not only young humans, also alot of wild life and.. pets.
    It’s true most cats should be able to swim, and I don’t know for you guys, but the few times I had to wash my two cats it was pure horror. They were totally panicked despite my best efforts to calm them down..
    One summer we went on vacation with them to my brother’s house. He has a neat pool, which we enjoyed alot. One sunny afternoun, I was quietly standing at the balcony upstairs when I heard a small *splash*. I didn’t pay attention really. But after 1 minute or two… I kept hearing splashing noises. But I couldn’t see the pool from where I was. Intrigued I went to another window and there.. I saw my precious kitty in the water… I got amused for a second. Only one. I flew downstairs and when I got there it was clear. Poor girl had -NO- Idea how to get out. She was swimming in despair, trying to keep her head out. I fished her up quickly..
    She was terrorized, held on me all claws out (still got a few scars), totally exhausted.

    Never noticed how sometimes in swimmingpools, mostly if you don’t take the stairs you have to make an effort to get out from the sides? Now imagine for a cat.. a panicked cat, which has no idea due to inexperience.

    Had I not been there I fear the worst would have happen.. Everyone else was napping..

    The main problem ain’t swimming. It’s the panick..
    Even people who are able to swim can drown from panick.
    This cat looks perfectly fine to me. First because of the whole pupil thingie.. he’s not scared. Doesn’t mean he likes it tho!
    But if you readed the article the lady says she only does it a few times in the summer. Not like she toss them in every week-end. I wish I could have had the same safety she has with her cats with mine back then.

    I lived in terror for my cats for the remaining 2 weeks at my bro’s.

  112. ::shameless plug::

    Did you see the follow up vid that Meg posted?

  113. this was on the news in miami. people were amazed that cats can actually swim. duh. all animals can instinctively swim, even those that dislike water. But poor kitty dont like it at all.

  114. (just 1 click on the “Post” button, Mish… even if it looks like nothing’s happening)

  115. Aw, as much as i ADORE cats, that is kinda,,mean. i have tried to throw my cat in the pool (eheh..) but he goes mental and i end up with scratche all over my face !!

  116. oh! shit!!