Do you have a cat that buries the food that they have not eaten yet?
You must be wondering why on earth they would do something like this.
You may have heard of dogs burying their treats, but cats?
Cats are not exactly known for digging holes in the ground to bury their precious belongings.
Cats and dogs may share more similarities than we give them credit for.
So, let us investigate further. What is the true reason as to why a cat may bury their food?
They Do not Like Their Food
This might not be the only reason, as natural instincts also come into play.
Even so, sometimes the simplest option is the answer. If you notice that your cat has only taken a bite of food before pawing at it, this probably means it is not their favorite meal in the world.
Maybe you recently switched to a new cat food, or maybe their bowl is in a different place than normal.
Either way, your cat could be letting you know that they do not like this change.
To Keep Predators Away
While it is true that predators may be few and far between safe at home where your cat is, natural instincts do not just fade away.
While many people may believe cats bury their food to save for when they are hungry again, this just is not true.
When a cat buries their food, it is not meant to be eaten later.
They bury their food so that predators will not be able to smell the food and then be led straight to their next meal, which in the wild would not be the unfinished food that was left behind.
One may believe that if your cat has never gone outside, they would not actually show this behavior.
This is also untrue, as natural instincts can occur in all cats, even if they have not actually been in a situation where there could be a predator nearby.
It is just a part of their nature to want to keep themselves safe from harm. They do this by burying the food that they have not eaten.
Some cats will even pretend to bury their food, even if they already ate all of it.
Do not worry, though. This behavior is completely safe, and if it really worries you, there are ways to stop your cat from continuing to do it.
To Keep Prey in The Area
Naturally, cats are not the only ones that have good instincts. Some prey animals can smell other dead animals nearby.
If they do, this will alert them to the fact that there is a predator of some sort in the area. This tells the prey animal to flee and save themselves from becoming that animal’s next meal.
Cats know this, and for this reason, they may attempt to bury their food as a precaution.
Even if they are not hungry at that point in time, the last thing your cat wants is to scare away potential prey in the future.
How to Stop Your Cat from Burying Their Food?
Now that you know this behavior is harmless, you may feel a little more at ease.
Even so, it can make a complete mess when your cat tries to bury their food and ends up knocking their bowl over and scattering cat food across the floor.
This can be annoying, and it is not very fun to clean up. Not to mention, it is a waste of cat food when the floor is dirty, and you do not feel comfortable giving that food to your cat to eat.
If this behavior is something that you wish your cat would not partake in, one of the best ways of preventing it would be to put your cat’s food high where they cannot reach whenever they are not eating.
They may still pretend to bury their food, but at least it will not end up making a mess.
Of course, if you let your cat eat throughout the day instead of only feeding them at specific times, this may be a hard adjustment to make for your cat.
If you would rather not put their bowl away, try to pay attention to how much they normally eat.
Give your cat enough food so that there is not any left over for them to try and bury.
Even if they do attempt to pretend to bury their food, there will not be anything in the bowl for them to spill.
Watch out for the water bowl, though! If they accidentally hit it, that is an entirely different mess to clean up.
Finally, if you really want this behavior to end, you can just try to distract your cat with something else.
Whenever they finish eating and try to bury their leftover food, distract them with a toy. Entertain your cat with something that is more fun for them and will give them a bigger reward than burying their food.
What Other Behaviors Might Your Cat Show?
If your cat attempts to bury her food, there are a variety of other behaviors that she might show that could seem odd to you.
They seem strange, but they are perfectly normal. In fact, these behaviors are just a few of the things a cat has the instincts to do naturally.
The first behavior is when they like to rub against you. Cats do this to mark their territory.
Like dogs, cats have scent glands all over their body, and they use these to mark their territory.
In other words, when your cat is rubbing against you, she is claiming you as being hers. Your cat does not necessarily believe that you are her owner as much as her being the owner of you.
Another natural behavior of a cat is pouncing. You may notice how your cat will sneak up on things like her food or her toys.
Your cat will then pounce on these things. This is not just something that your cat does as a fun way to pass the time.
It is your cat’s hunting instincts. Even indoor cats have instincts to hunt.
It is in their blood, and it is the reason why if your cat is an outdoor cat, they might bring their latest kill to your doorstep as a present.
This may lead you to wonder exactly that. Why do cats bring you dead animals?
The first option is simply as a present for you. Cats enjoy eating the animals that they hunt, and they believe that we might enjoy them as well.
Even though an uncooked bird is not exactly the cup of tea for humans, it is a nice gesture for your cat to make.
Another reason cats might do this is because they are trying to teach you how to hunt.
In the wild, cats must teach their kittens how to hunt. It is important for their young ones to know how to survive on their own, and hunting is something that wild cats desperately need to know.
When a cat is bringing you a dead bird or a dead mouse, that cat might be trying to teach you how to hunt.
Like most owners, this could be one behavior that you just do not enjoy.
You can make your cat stay indoors all of the time, but some owners aren’t very fond of this option either.
The best tips for keeping your cat from partaking in this behavior would be making sure they are well fed and have proper exercise.
This can easily mean just playing with your cat to tire them out. Of course, the only way to make sure that your cat absolutely cannot hunt would be to keep them inside.
When it comes down to it, there are many options as to why your cat could possibly be wanting to bury her food.
We discussed that your cat might not like the food that you gave her, or maybe she just does not like the change in location.
After all, cats are not exactly fans of change. On the other hand, your cat could just be using her natural survival instincts.
Your cat is keeping other predators away to keep herself and her food safe.
She is also making sure that she does not scare off more prey that could potentially turn into her next meal.
After this, we discussed what other natural behaviors your cat may show. Your cat may rub against you to mark you as their territory.
Even more interesting, an outdoor cat may bring their latest kill straight to your doorstep.
This is not a worrisome behavior as cats do it all the time, but it’s dangerous for natural wildlife and can be none too pleasant for you as their owner. However, all your cat is doing is showing you that they care about you. I hope that your question has been answered in this article.