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Why do cats bury their food? (19)

Quote | 8 years ago
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You no doubt have seen cats scratching around their food bowl, as if trying to bury the food. I read once, that this is a sign that they are over fed and they are trying to preserve the food for later by burying in in the cool earth. This does not ring true to me. It seems more like something dogs might do. With cats I always get the impression of disgust, like there was something wrong with the food and they were trying to bury it the way they bury their poops. What do you think?

Quote | 8 years ago
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I have never seen my cats try to bury their food. They usually eat it. If they´re not hungry, they just ignore it.

Quote | 8 years ago
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Horatio always tries to bury the food that everyone else has spilled or spat over the sides of the dishes.

Anthing that he finds on the floor etc that he doesn´t like he will try to bury it. I think he is just a big fat clean freak

Quote | 8 years ago
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I read that cats have scent glands in their paws and the scratching around the bowl is marking it as theirs. But that doesn´t make sense either because two cats will eat from the same bowl and the scent of one doesn´t keep the other away. Maybe it´s a long-ago behaviour from our cats´ ancestors.

Quote | 8 years ago
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Pukė does that when she doesn´t like her food. We buy her 3-4 cans of new pet food, put it in her bowl, she tries to eat it, she doesn´t like it, then she tries to bury the food bowls with imaginary sand. After a few hours, she comes back and eats the food. As we call it- "she apologise to the food´´

Mara 
Quote | 8 years ago
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Silver always tries to cover her food after EVERY meal. We say the food might be stinky, because that´s what they do at the litterbox to trigger their bowel movements... We usally put her at the litterbox immediately, oherwise she will pee wherever she pleases.. right ater she ate...

Shinta 
Quote | 8 years ago
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Tuki doesn´t bury the food. She eats it and leave it when she feels that´s enough. She will comes back to eat the rests of food at later.
She just bury her poops

Quote | 8 years ago
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Millburn does that with meat - he does not eat meat at all. He will scratch the floor scratch anything around the piece of meat just to get it away from him while his mouth is hanging open. I dont know why he does this he is the only cat that does this silly thing. All the others are "normal" kitties and they eat anything

Quote | 8 years ago
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ftse, Ive never heard of a cat who doesen t like mean. you think he might be a vegetarian? lol. unusual but priceless.

meeko is the only one who does this. she eats first and if there s something left in her plate, she buries it. If she s eaten everything, she walks away.

Quote | 8 years ago
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I´ve had foster cats that attempted to "bury" their food by scratching around the bowl. I asked the vet and she thinks that it is both a residual behaviour from wild cats - burying or hiding their food so they can come back to it later (leopards drag their kill into trees for example) and it can also reflect a kittenhood behaviour that runts or kittens in larger litters who´ve had to compete for food or milk display. I´ve had several kittens that will drag their bedding over the food bowl or scratch the tray or mat around it. I don´t think it´s about having too much food - it seems to be more of an "I´ve had enough just now and I´m saving the rest for later" behaviour. Obviously scratching on the lino floor doesn´t do a whole lot but as a residual behaviour either from wild cat days, or a remembered struggle for food from infancy it seems to be a cat equivalent of putting leftovers in tupperware.

Mara 
Quote | 8 years ago
edited by
Mara 

I´ve had foster cats that attempted to "bury" their food by scratching around the bowl. I asked the vet and she thinks that it is both a residual behaviour from wild cats - burying or hiding their food so they can come back to it later (leopards drag their kill into trees for example) and it can also reflect a kittenhood behaviour that runts or kittens in larger litters who´ve had to compete for food or milk display. I´ve had several kittens that will drag their bedding over the food bowl or scarch the tray or mat around it. I don´t think it´s about having too much food - it seems to be more of an "I´ve had enough just now and I´m saving the rest for later" behaviour. Obviously scratching on the lino floor doesn´t do a whole lot but as a residual behaviour either from wild cat days, or a remembered struggle for food from infancy it seems to be a cat equivalent of putting leftovers in tupperware.

Tupperware!!! you made me laugh so loud! thankl you for that! now I see Silver differently... like an Eternapack lady!

Amanda 
Quote | 8 years ago
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My skinny girl, Pumpkin sometimes buries her food AND water! I always assumed it was because she was trying to keep her sister away from it. Oh and how wonderful is it to find a paper towel or a sock hanging halfway in the water bowl acting like a wick so all the water from the bowl ends up on the floor! Such a smart kitty.. Smart alec that is

Joanna 
Quote | 8 years ago
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Kaja scratches around her bowl when she´s had enough. She comes back to eat it all up so it can´t be disgust. She often covers the food with her toys. I sometimes wonder whether she thinks I might eat it if she´s not careful.

Quote | 8 years ago
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Kaja scratches around her bowl when she´s had enough. She comes back to eat it all up so it can´t be disgust. She often covers the food with her toys. I sometimes wonder whether she thinks I might eat it if she´s not careful.


It´s interesting you mention her toys - I´ve had cats and kittens both do that. to an extent, toys are prey for cats - they play with them the way they would hone their hunting skills on smal prey animals. So yep, putting them in the food bowl makes sense. It´s also a safe place to keep stuff I think - I´ve had cats pick a spot on a shelf to store their toys, but the food bowl generally remains where it is so they know they can come back to it and their "prey" will still be there.

LLG - I has a fostercat named Molly who was a Tupperware lady at heart. If she were human, she´d be selling it.

tasha 
Quote | 8 years ago
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I have never seen my cats try to bury their food. They usually eat it. If they´re not hungry, they just ignore it.

mine too

Mara 
Quote | 7 years ago
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Lol

[quote]Kaja scratches around her bowl when she´s had enough. She comes back to eat it all up so it can´t be disgust. She often covers the food with her toys. I sometimes wonder whether she thinks I might eat it if she´s not careful.


It´s interesting you mention her toys - I´ve had cats and kittens both do that. to an extent, toys are prey for cats - they play with them the way they would hone their hunting skills on smal prey animals. So yep, putting them in the food bowl makes sense. It´s also a safe place to keep stuff I think - I´ve had cats pick a spot on a shelf to store their toys, but the food bowl generally remains where it is so they know they can come back to it and their "prey" will still be there.

LLG - I has a fostercat named Molly who was a Tupperware lady at heart. If she were human, she´d be selling it.[/quote]

Lol!!! it´s so funny! I like her!

Quote | 7 years ago
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When Kimmy was at Bath Cats and Dogs Home she used to pull a little blanket over her food when she had finished eating - if there was anything left. I think with other cats this was to stop them getting her food, although they were in pods so couldn´t have got in. When she came to me I left her blanket out for her for a few days and she did this once or twice and then stopped. It may be something they do when other cats are around to stop them finding their food. She has never done it again.

Quote | 7 years ago
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cats are clean freaks!!! i think they´re trying to reduce the smell just as they do with their poops and just as they clean themselves 20 times a day...
my cats dont bury their food though... but then again... they´re not the cleanest cats ever

Quote | 7 years ago
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Agree with oldwoman,they act exactly like burying the poo...notice that happens when I give them omega 3 fish products which is sea fish and have strong smell...

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