Why Do Cats Scratch Around Their Food: 7 Best Reasons

why do cats scratch around their food? Every cat owner knows that it’s stressful and frustrating when their kitty starts scratching your furniture for no reason and not just any furniture.

It’s as if they’re trying to tell you something, which is why this issue is commonly referred to as “scratching behavior.”

In this article, I’ll cover the most likely reasons cats scratch around their food, followed by an explanation on how to deal with these behaviors.

7 Best Reasons Why Do Cats Scratch Around Their Food

The most common reason cats scratch around their food is because they want to get rid of it. After all, they’re not sure what to do with it.

Here are 7 reasons why do cats scratch around their food:

1. They are not sure what to do with their food

If you’ve just left your kitty home alone for the first time, then it’s quite possible that they don’t know what to do with the food you just left them.

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So, they’ll go around the house looking for advice, and the only place to get advice on how to eat is from those who know, which is you.

2. They are leaving their scent

Scratching on their food may also be a way for them to mark its ownership. After all, if you leave food out for too long, another cat may come along and take it.

3. Your Cat Hides the Scent of Her Food

One of the most common reasons cats scratch around their food is because they have a habit of covering it with their scent, and by scratching, they leave their scent all over the place.

Why do cats scratch around their food
Why do cats scratch around their food

4. They see You Do It

Another reason involves how you feed them. If you’re using a food bowl, as soon as you put their food in it, you start to scratch around and around the bowl until all the contents are out of it.

5. To Protect Her Kittens

Some cats have a habit of scratching around their food when they have ever had kittens waiting for them outside so that they can go out and search for food without having to worry about leaving the little ones alone.

6. They Don’t Like the Food

One of the most common reasons cats scratch around their food is because they don’t like the food you have bought for them.

As I stated earlier, this is often referred to as “scratching behavior,” so it’s only natural to involve scratching.

7. They are Hungry

The last reason cats scratch around their food is because they’re hungry, and you haven’t fed them yet.

What Can You Do To Stop This Behavior?

Now that you know why cats scratch around their food, it’s time to develop a plan on how to stop them from doing this.

What you can do is to make the feeding time more exciting for your cat by:

1. Giving them some treats before and after the feeding time

2. Always pour the food in their bowls separately, thus making it less messy

3. Mix the food in with some canned cat food and make them work for it

4. Get them a cat puzzle toy to play with

5. Consider getting your kitty a feeder to stop them from having to eat all at once

6. Fill their water cups beforehand, so they don’t have to drink while they’re eating

7. Make sure your kitty is given a varied diet consisting of different food for each meal.

As you can see, there are some great tricks that you can use to stop your kitty from scratching around their food.

What Not To Do To Stop This Behavior?

This is not a good idea and would probably get your cat annoyed and even more aggressive. If you do this, then here’s what you can do:

1. Do not try to catch those claws of your cat’s

2. Don’t use any chemicals on them

3. Do not push it too hard and make them feel like they’re in punishment by you.

4. Don’t forget to give some treats after the feeding time

5. Don’t resort to using punishment as this will only make things worse for your kitty

6. Don’t close the feeding time before she’s done eating her meal.

Is There Anything That Can Be Taken Away From This Behavior?

This behavior can be taken away from your kitty if you understand its underlying cause. The cause of this behavior is that you do it first. They follow suit.

Why Does My Cat Paw Around Their Water Bowl?

Cats Paw around the water bowls for several reasons. The most common one is to get that last drop of water out of it, and this may be what your cat does.

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This is not something out of the ordinary, and many cat owners face this problem every day, especially when they have a bagged cat food diet, and their kitty wants every last drop of that water because they’re trying to get the minerals in it.

Another reason your cats paw around their water bowl is that they’re making sure that it’s clean and there’s nothing in it.

Should You Prevent A Cat From Scratching Around Their Food Bowl?

Since this is not a behavior that can be avoided, it’s recommended that you should not prevent it from happening. It’s normal for cats to do this because they are only trying to get the satisfaction of knowing what’s hidden in the bowl, just like a kid trying to open a present.

If you intend on preventing your cat from scratching around their food bowl, you’re going to have to lock them up and stay with them 24/7 because they’re going to want your attention more than ever before.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line here is that there’s nothing wrong with your kitty. She’s just copying what she sees you doing every day. In conclusion, as a cat parent, it’s your responsibility to take this behavior away from them by following these tips on dealing with this problem and stopping it permanently.

If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to ask us.


Hi there! My name is Koushik; I am a cat lover. I specialize in writing about pet care & food. I have a wealth of knowledge on cat food niches and related subjects. I have worked in the pet industry for over 5 years and am passionate about helping cat owners provide the best care for their furry friends. With knowledge of cat food and nutrition, I aim to share their insights and help cat owners navigate the world of cat food niches. I enjoy playing with my two cats, reading, and exploring new cat food brands in my free time.

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