It is commonly thought that cats hate water, but in reality cats can react to water in many different ways. One domestic breed, the Turkish Van cat, actually enjoys getting wet. Many larger wild cats regularly swim and bathe to hunt or to cool down.
One reason domestic cats may not enjoy water is because their experiences with water have been limited to full immersion baths, soaking rainstorms, or being sprayed with water as discipline. Additionally, humans have been shielding pet cats from the elements since early domestication. However, despite not enjoying full-immersion, many cats will be mesmerized by a dripping faucet, a water bowl, or other more playful or passive situations involving water.
Most cats do not require regular bathing because they engage in so much self-grooming. If your cat does require a bath, you’ll want to keep the experience comfortable–start slow, use warm (but not hot) water, and make sure shampoo is completely rinsed out so that skin irritation does not occur. In general, exposing your kitten to bathing will ensure he does not get as scared later in life.