Cats are fascinating creatures. They exhibit strange behaviors now and then that leaves their parent scratching their heads and sometimes even worried. Although the majority of the time, it is nothing to be concerned about, any cat parent should be well aware of all the reasons and logic behind their furry friend’s demeanor.
One of those things is when your cat tries to bury their food. So what exactly does your cat burying her food indicate? Let’s have a look at some of the possible answers.
Scratching After Eating
Not all cats are the same, and this applies to even their habit of digging and burying their food. Some cats will bury after their meal, whereas others do so before eating.
If your often attempt to bury her food after it is finished, the reasons below might be why.
One of the common misconceptions among cat owners, when their cat tries to bury its food, is that she does not like the food you are feeding her. This is far from the truth since cats are known to scratch and paw around even their favorite food.
So when you see your cat scratching the food bowl or the floor, please do not be too concerned yet, as this is not unusual behavior. It is related more tied to its ancestral and survival instincts.
In the wild, cats are naturally programmed to follow a certain routine. This consists of the cat beginning their day by grooming themselves and hunting. After finding their prey and completing their feed, they tend to bury the leftovers into the ground.
There are a few reasons behind this. They either hide some of the food left so it may come back later and finish it, or they simply try to hide any signs of their presence in that territory. So when you see your cat trying to bury her cat food, it can just be seen as a survival instinct, even if she is a house cat.
The Leftover Smell in The Bowl
When it comes to young cats, their appetite is urged when they smell the scent of cat food. Therefore, a kitten is easily confused about whether there is food in its bowl despite being empty; the smell is still present in the bowl. This leads to your young cat desperately scratching their bowl, searching for their feed, and attempting to dig out where the smell is coming from.
So before this becomes a strong habit, as a cat parent, you should clean the bowl and get rid of the leftover smell. Wash the bowl with soap and water until the scent is gone. This way, your kitten knows that it is not time for a meal until you pour the cat food again.
Burying or Scratching Before Eating
On the other hand, if your cat only does the scratching before she even starts eating, then have a look at some of the possible reasons why that might be.
Uninterested in The Food
Some cats don’t even take a bite of their cat food before they begin to bury and paw the ground. If this sounds like your cat, then she is doing this because she is not interested in eating the cat food you give her.
Furthermore, your cat might be a picky eater and demands that her food not only smells good but looks appetizing as well. So for this case, there are a few things that you can do to make your feline friend eat her cat food.
Simple things such as warming the cat food to release more scent, pouring some juice onto the food from a tuna can, or simply switching over to wet food can counter this issue.
Your Cat May Be Unwell
Like most living things, cats can fall ill, which may deter them from eating entirely. One of the most common health problems among cats is dental pain. They may refuse to eat because of this, so try to see if your cat is drooling a lot or has a bad breath and a loose tooth somewhere.
This is why prioritizing your cat’s dental care is important. But apart from that, there could be other health issues such as a fever or hidden pain. If none of these are the cause, then your cat may be suffering from a more severe health condition. These can include diabetes and kidney problems that stop your cat from eating.
Therefore, if it has been more than a day since your cat’s last meal, then you need to get your cat checked up by a veterinarian.
What Can You Do To Help Your Cat Quit This Habit?
As I mentioned earlier, this should not be a serious concern for the most part. But if you are really worried about your cat, then some of these tips may help.
- Try to limit her cat food amount per meal and observe how much she consumes at a time.
- Ensure plenty of physical stimulation so that your cat is distracted and less likely to continue with the behavior.
- Clean the food bowl more often to eliminate any leftover scent that may provoke burying her cat food.
- Provide fresh water once your cat is done eating, this may fill up her belly, and she may not be as active to continue scratching the ground.
Whatever the case may be for your cat, one of the most convenient ways of helping your cat kick this habit of burying her cat food is simply taking away the food bowl once the meal is finished.
This removes the main item from the picture, and they are left with fewer reasons to continue the behavior. In conclusion, you should not be overstressed if your cat does this, as there are plenty of ways to stop it, regardless of the reason behind it.