Going Incognito – Why Cats Bury Their Food

By Category: Cat Behavior, Why Cats Bury Their FoodTags:
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Why do cats bury their food? We have a couple of reasons for doing that, and one of them isn’t to be annoying!

Some cats bury their food, even if it's in a crystal dish.

Does your cat bury his food?

Can you tell me why cats bury their food after they’re finished eating, Thomasina? My cat does that, and the scratching on the floor is driving me crazy!
— Annoyed

Hi Annoyed…

Funny you should ask. Some cats bury their food for good reasons, or at least they think they have good reasons. Our new cat, Boots, does that. I agree it’s really annoying, and it’s not even necessary. It’s not like predators are going to find him inside!

Dogs sometimes bury leftover food so they can return to it later. But we don’t do that. We don’t eat spoiled meat. And the food we catch outside (a mouse) is the perfect size for a meal. We usually don’t have any leftovers to bury.

Why Some Cats Bury Their Food

When cats bury their food before they eat, they’re telling their people to open another can because they’re not going to touch the stuff that was just put in front of them. But there’s a different reason why some cats bury their food.

Outside, we have to be very careful to not give our location away to predators and other cats who might not like us. Leftover food is a sure sign that we’ve been there, so we need to bury it to hide the smell.

Of course, no predators are going to find your cat if he eats inside. But sometimes instinct just takes over and makes us do things we really don’t have to do.

Why don’t you try picking your cat’s dish up after you’re sure he’s finished eating. Then he won’t have to worry about predators finding him in your kitchen!

You could also try giving him several mouse-size meals every day. If you’re away all day, put them in a timed feeder. And reassure him that he’s safe, too. That’s what we’re doing with Boots. We keep telling him that no predators are going to find him in our kitchen, especially when Sizzle’s inside guarding the door!



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