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Which animals can swim

Our definitive guide to which animals can swim and which ones can't. Just like humans, other animals vary in their abilities. Just think about how many people can't swim where as some are super fast swimmers. A lot of animals have the ability to swim (in theory) but are not strong swimmers.

Can Cats Swim?

Yes. Cat's can swim, but mostly they tend to stay away from water, there are the odd cat who might like a paddle but generally they are not fond of the water - but they can swim. Here is a cat swimming like a BOSS in a paddling pool - likes quite at home in the water.

Can Tortoises Swim?

No. They live on land, unlike turtles that can swim unfortunately Tortoises cannot swim so don't go putting Terry in the bath any time soon to test it out.

Can Chickens Swim?

Technically Yes. They can swim but a bit like cats are not really fond of it or particularly good at it - but they can paddle enough to stay afloat.

Can Horses Swim?

Yes! Horses are actually pretty good swimmers. In fact if you are looking for proof here is a cool video of a horse doing some rehabilition in a pool.

Can Pigs Swim?

Yep. Piggies are pretty good little swimmers. Obviously there are lots of different breeds and therefore sizes of pig so some are better than others. 

Can Rabbits Swim?

Yes. A bit less obvious this one and pretty cool actually to see a rabbit swim (see the video below). Although like any domesticated animal - rabbits in the wild are probably more likely to be able to swim.

Can Elephants Swim?

Yes. It's fairly widely known that Elephants are actually pretty good swimmers.

Can Hippos Swim?

Not really no. They actually get around by walking across the bottom of the pools they spend a lot of their time in. It's kind of bouncing ( a bit like walking on the moon) so I mean you could say it is a kind of swimming but really its just kind of walking or bounding.


Can Spiders Swim?

No is the answer you are probably hoping for if you are researching this. But some spiders can swim. There are lots of different Spiders in the world and it kind of depends where you live.

In Australia there is a Spider that swims and actually catches fish. Most household Spiders in the UK can't swim really - they can maybe float a bit but not really move through the water - it can take them a long time to drown in water and it is kind of a cruel way to go really.

Can Cows Swim?

Yes! Cows are actually pretty good at swimming believe it or not. Probably more graceful than they are on land to be honest. Most of these types of mammals have evolved in areas where they need to cross lakes/rivers so swimming is a matter of survival.

Can Guinea Pigs Swim?

Yes. Don't expect all Guinea Pigs to enjoy swimming - just like any animal - even if they technically can swim - it doesn't mean they will enjoy it when you chuck them in the bath tub! But having said that - Zuzu in the following video is a pretty sick swimmer - probably faster than most humans!

Can Mice Swim?

Yes. Like a lot of rodents Mice can swim fairly well. Apparently mice can swim and tread water for up to 3 days. When fully submerged, mice can also hold their breath for up to three minutes. Pretty impressive right?

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