It is true that some cats like water, although any individual cat may have a differing opinion. Individual domestic cats may take a shining to water, and several cat breeds are actually famous for enjoying getting wet. Among the big cats, many species also enjoy water, sometimes actively playing with it and using it to cool off in hot weather.
House cats do not enjoy water as a general rule for a variety of reasons. Many breeds have coats that trap water, so getting wet ruins the ability of the cat to keep itself warm in cool weather. Cats also do not like being splashed with water around the face, as it can hurt their sensitive ears and potentially cause an infection as well. Some domestic cat breeds, like the Bengal and the Turkish Van, are famous for liking water, however, and they will play with it and sometimes even swim. It is possible that these cats like water because of the areas where they evolved, where they may have been forced to swim to find food.
Among the larger cat species, there seems to be a clear split between cats that like water and cats that don't. As a general rule, those that evolved to live in colder climates do not like water, because it interferes with their thick layers of insulating fur. Tigers, leopards, and lions generally do like water because they are used to hot environments where a swim might be a desirable way to cool off.
Biologists have watched tigers swim in hot weather, and some captive big cats with access to deep water will swim in it. Several cat species have also adapted skills that allow them to fish, suggesting that they spend a fair amount of time in the water. Many big cats like water in both stationary and dynamic form, enjoying waterfalls and ponds with equal relish.
When domestic cats enjoy spending time in water, it is often a cause for discussion because of the popular misconception that cats hate water. In fact, most cats will exhibit at least mild curiosity around water, especially when they are introduced to it as kittens and when they are not forced into sinks, tubs, and showers. If you have a bathtub and a cat, you may have noticed that the cat will play with the stationary water in the tub while people bathe, for example, and many cats like running faucets.
Some cats like water to a whole new level; in Peru, a cat name Nicolosa took to surfing in 2008, attracting a great deal of public comment. According to the cat's surfing instructor, she started surfing voluntarily, and she prefers to ride on the front of the surfboard, while a human navigator takes care of the boring details like paddling out and catching waves.