Ask a Cat Lady: Why Do Cats Bury Their Food?!


This week’s question comes from Catster readers Liz and Laurel, who ask: Why does my cat pretend to bury her food bowl?

If you have a kitty cat who enjoys a good scratch at the food bowl after she has eaten, you can rest assured that it was delicious, and once again you have earned her love. Please continue. This scratching is an instinct to cover her food from scavengers or potential threats that might be tracking the scent.

My Puma Bean literally covers his food dish with the corner of the area rug every morning at breakfast. Until I researched this question I thought he was just being polite!

On the other hand, if your cat is scratching at a dish of uneaten food and then walking away, you better step up the menu. That steak tartare is not cutting it. We all know how finicky cats can be, so you might have to experiment with different flavors.

If I dont like the food on my plate
I cover it and hope that you will take the hint
I pass on meat that is subpar

You bury food too with your napkin
When you are dining out, and you are done
We all want a meal that is five stars

‘Cause in the kitchen we all know
How much you love me and the
Lengths that you would go to please me

When I eat mah meats I will bury
Why I do this it is a mystery
No one knows, but there are pending theories

If I cover food I was noshing on
It might offer me some protection
From scavengers and enemies

Cause in the jungle we dont know
When our next meal will be
And you cant get your gazelle “to go”

If I could save it for later
Put it in the refrigerator
But I dont have thumbs or Tupperware

P.S. The lyrics about gazelles in the jungle weigh heavily on my conscience. I realize they are animals of the savannah, and I took artistic license there.

SOURCES: Messybeast, Catster forums

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