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Cat's Impressive Swimming Abilities Inspire Owner to Take up Lessons

Newsweek logo Newsweek 9/16/2021 Jack Beresford
a cat swimming in a body of water: Stock photo of a cat swimming - a video of a cat swimming alongside its owner has gone viral on TikTok. © alexsfoto/Getty Stock photo of a cat swimming - a video of a cat swimming alongside its owner has gone viral on TikTok.

Cats are not generally known for their swimming skills but one feline has been bucking the trend—much to the delight of fans on TikTok.

In a video posted by @alyaaamran, a cat can be seen enjoying a dip in the sea alongside its owner.

The pet showcases a pretty impressive doggy paddle to swim to the shore unaided.

The video, which can be watched here, has racked up 2.6 million views since being posted in early September.

According to reports from Malaysian news outlets The Sun Daily and mStar, the video was filmed in the town of Port Dickson, on the west coast of the country.

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The cat in the video is a male called Mei and belongs to a 24-year-old woman called Siti Nur Najihah Azman Shah, who also appears in the clip.

Siti told mStar that Mei has always been pretty fearless when it comes to water and sometimes keeps her company in the bathroom while she has a shower.

However, she only learned of her cat's impressive swimming skills after a trip to the beach last December when, to her surprise, Mei decided to go for a paddle.

Mei has moved on to deeper waters since then, but her owner is hesitant about taking her any further.

"I'm not good at swimming," Siti told mStar. "When I go to the beach, I only swim in waist-deep water. I always bring a swimming float to the beach."

She is hoping to change that soon, however, having been inspired to take up swimming lessons after seeing her cat's efforts.

TikTok viewers were impressed too. Kim thee stallion commented, "Gonna send my cat to swimming class now," while redmugbean wrote, "cat swim better than me."

Daniel Haqiem said: "This cat is on another level." Leannanina added: "My cat can't even touch a drop of water."

Pet owners have often wondered why so many cats hate water.

Writing in BBC Science Focus Magazine, zoologist and science educator Luis Villazon explained: "Cats groom themselves with constant regular licking, and this stops skin oils from building up on their fur.

"As a result a cat's coat is fluffier and less waterproof than a dog's, so they get colder and their fur feels heavier if they get wet."

Villazon did point out that not all cats hate water, however. Breeds such as the Turkish Van and Bengal are known for enjoying swimming.

In other viral cat videos, a pet in the UAE had TikTokers in fits of laughter last week after showcasing a rather unusual meow.

A clip of a cat retching at the sound of their owner touching a comb has also gone viral in recent days.

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