Changing the perception of swimming cats

Kendall De Menech said it can be done for rehabilitation or recreation

Kendall De Menech uses a float board as she takes this cat for a swim.

Kendall De Menech uses a float board as she takes this cat for a swim.

Cats and water don’t mix.

That may be a perception many people hold, but Kendall De Menech wants to change that. She runs K9H20, a hydrotherapy program for dogs, but the list of her animal clients extends beyond that to many enthusiastic feline swimmers.

It’s the idea of swimming cats that De Menech will present at the Urban Animal Summit, held on Oct. 22 to 24, in Lake Louise.

The summit is intended to bring together innovators in the pet industry, looking at the entire spectrum of store owners, breeders, veterinarians, trainers and more, to help increase communication.

De Menech was one of eight speakers at the regional conference and one of two chosen by the attendees to present at the national summit.


“Swimming cats is an innovative program. No one is doing it.”

She said that even people in the industry think that cats don’t want to swim.

“But it’s not ‘should you swim a cat?’ It’s ‘how do you swim a cat?’”

De Menech said she does it humanely and it is tailored to the way a cat thinks. She said she sees cats who are open-minded about water and those cats swim for recreation. Others can use it as a form of exercise and therapy.

She said a cat that came had a smashed pelvis and went through surgery to repair damage. Swimming became a rehabilitative therapy.

“He has recovered almost 100 per cent. He’s my best swimmer in the pool.”

De Menech said while dogs are often offered physiotherapy and rehabilitation, cats are often euthanized. She wants to encourage people to think that cats require the same care.

For more on De Menech visit