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Cat Behavior: Cats Cover Food

Why Do Cats Cover Food?


Cat and bowl

Cats always have opinions about what goes in the bowl--especially when it's empty.

Photo Credit: © Amy Shojai, CABC

Does your cat try to cover food when you fill the bowl? Cats sometimes scratch the floor next to the food dish over and over again. They go through the motions of covering food.

Why Do Cats Cover Food

This behavior can mean one of two things. The first might be obvious-after all, we know what cats normally cover up (ahem) in the litter box! Yes, cats sometimes cover up rejected food in the same way they bury urine or feces. That can be a clue to tell you exactly what the cat thinks of your feline buffet.

But other times, the scratching and covering may simply be caching behavior. In other words, covering up left-over food may be a way to save a snack for later. Feral cats have occasionally been observed retrieving uneaten food that's been covered up.

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