How to Stop My Cat from Trying to Bury His Food

Understanding Your Cat’s Behavior

Do you often find your cat pawing at the floor around his food bowl, as if trying to bury it? This behavior can be puzzling and frustrating for cat owners. While it may seem strange, there are actually several reasons why your cat is displaying this behavior. Understanding why cats do this can help you find effective ways to stop it. In this article, we will explore the possible reasons behind this behavior and provide practical tips to help you deter your cat from trying to bury his food.

Why Does My Cat Try to Bury His Food?

There are several possible explanations for why your cat tries to bury his food. One of the main reasons is instinct. In the wild, cats have to hunt for their food and protect it from other predators. Burying their food helps to hide the scent and keep it safe from potential threats. Even though your cat is domesticated, this instinctual behavior can still manifest itself.

Another reason why your cat might be trying to bury his food is related to his environment. Cats are known for their cleanliness, and they may not like the smell or texture of their food. By pawing at the floor around the food bowl, they are trying to cover up the scent or texture that they find unpleasant.

How to Stop Your Cat from Trying to Bury His Food

If you want to discourage your cat from trying to bury his food, there are several strategies you can try:

1. Provide a Different Feeding Surface

Your cat may be pawing at the floor because he doesn’t like the texture or feel of the surface. Try using a different feeding mat or dish to see if it makes a difference. Some cats prefer shallow dishes, while others prefer deep bowls. Experiment with different options to find what works best for your cat.

2. Change the Type of Food

If your cat is trying to bury his food because he doesn’t like the smell or taste, consider switching to a different brand or flavor. Cats have individual preferences, so it may take some trial and error to find a food that your cat enjoys.

3. Use a Food Puzzle Toy

Food puzzle toys are a great way to stimulate your cat’s hunting instincts and make mealtime more engaging. These toys require your cat to work for his food, which can help distract him from the urge to bury it. There are many different types of food puzzle toys available, so you can choose one that suits your cat’s preferences.

4. Establish a Feeding Routine

Cats are creatures of habit, and they thrive on routine. Establishing a consistent feeding schedule can help reduce your cat’s anxiety and make him feel more secure during mealtime. Try to feed your cat at the same time every day and in the same location.

5. Provide a Quiet Feeding Area

Cats are sensitive to their environment, and loud noises or distractions can make them feel anxious. Make sure your cat’s feeding area is in a quiet, calm space where he can eat without any disturbances. This will help your cat feel more relaxed and less inclined to bury his food.

6. Offer Small, Frequent Meals

Some cats prefer to eat small meals throughout the day rather than one or two large meals. If your cat is trying to bury his food, it may be because he is overwhelmed by the amount of food in his bowl. Try offering smaller portions more frequently to see if it makes a difference.

7. Consult with a Veterinarian

If your cat’s behavior persists despite your best efforts, it may be worth consulting with a veterinarian. There could be an underlying medical issue causing your cat to exhibit this behavior. A vet can help rule out any health problems and provide further guidance on how to address the issue.


While it may be perplexing to see your cat trying to bury his food, there are steps you can take to discourage this behavior. By understanding your cat’s instincts and preferences, you can make mealtime a more enjoyable experience for both you and your feline companion. Remember to be patient and persistent, as it may take time to find the right solution for your cat. With a little effort and understanding, you can help your cat overcome the urge to bury his food and create a stress-free mealtime routine.

Tips for Success:

  • Experiment with different feeding surfaces: Try using a shallow dish or a different texture to see what your cat prefers.
  • Switch up the type of food: If your cat doesn’t like the smell or taste of his food, try different brands or flavors.
  • Provide a food puzzle toy: Engage your cat’s hunting instincts and make mealtime more enjoyable with a food puzzle toy.
  • Establish a feeding routine: Cats thrive on routine, so establish a consistent feeding schedule and location.
  • Create a quiet feeding area: Make sure your cat’s feeding area is calm and free from distractions.
  • Offer small, frequent meals: Some cats prefer smaller portions offered more frequently throughout the day.
  • Consult with a veterinarian: If the behavior persists, seek advice from a veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues.


Q: What if my cat continues to try to bury his food?

A: If your cat’s behavior persists, it may be helpful to consult with a veterinarian. They can assess your cat’s health and provide further guidance on how to address the issue.

Q: Can I train my cat to stop burying his food?

A: While it may be challenging to completely eliminate this behavior, you can try the strategies mentioned above to discourage your cat from trying to bury his food. Consistency and patience are key when training your cat.

Q: Will my cat outgrow this behavior?

A: It is possible for cats to outgrow this behavior as they mature. However, some cats may continue to exhibit this behavior throughout their lives. By implementing the tips mentioned in this article, you can help manage and minimize the behavior.

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