Why Does My Cat Try to Cover Her Food? 5 Possible Reasons

Welcome, curious cat lovers! You’re not alone if you’ve ever pondered Why Does My Cat Try to Cover Her Food. This seemingly odd behavior has intrigued cat owners for generations and is rooted in fascinating feline instincts.

Well, fear not! As the resident feline expert, I aim to illuminate this intriguing and somewhat perplexing behavior.

I’ll explore the fascinating causes of this instinctual behavior in this insightful blog post, illuminating the lengthy evolutionary history of this fascinating feline ritual.

Understanding why your cat tries to cover her food can provide valuable insights into her instincts and communication methods.

Let’s go out on this instructive adventure to unravel the mysterious universe of our feline buddies!

Why Does My Cat Try to Cover Her Food?

Your cat tries to cover her food due to an ancient survival instinct.  Back in the wild, when cats were fierce hunters, they hid their leftover prey to avoid attracting predators. When your cat tries to cover her food, it’s a fascinating throwback to her wild instincts.

Even though your kitty enjoys the cushy life indoors, that instinct is still hardwired into her DNA. So, she follows her wild heart when she nudges her bowl or scratches the floor around it.

Covering food was a survival tactic back in the wild – better safe than sorry, right? Concealing the scent kept them safe from potential predators. Even though they’re pampered now, that ancient instinct lingers!

It’s essential to understand that this behavior isn’t about dissatisfaction with the food or a cleanliness obsession. It’s just an amusing quirk that reminds us of their wild ancestry.

Next time she buries her kibble, give her a thumbs-up for keeping up with her wild roots!

It’s all part of what makes our feline companions so intriguing and entertaining!

So, next time your little archaeologist covers her food, you can smile knowing she’s channeling her inner wildcat. And who knows, maybe she’s trying to keep her food stash a secret from her sneaky feline housemate!

Why Does My Cat Try to Cover Her Food
Why Does My Cat Try to Cover Her Food

5 Possible Reasons Why Does My Cat Try To Cover Her Food?

Let’s uncover the top five reasons why your whiskered companion engages in this endearing yet baffling behavior!

Survival Instincts from Wild Ancestry

In the wild, cats are natural hunters and solitary predators. They would hunt small prey and eat their fill to sustain themselves.

However, they were also constantly at risk of becoming prey themselves, especially to larger predators or scavengers.

Cats developed the instinct to cover their food after eating to protect their food from being stolen or detected by potential threats. In the domestic setting, this instinct remains intact, even though they no longer face the same level of threats.

Marking Territory and Reducing Vulnerability

Covering food can also serve as a way for cats to mark their territory subtly. By spreading the scent from their paws onto the area around their food, they leave a familiar scent that signals ownership and dominance.

Additionally, covering their food could be an attempt to minimize their scent in the immediate vicinity, reducing their vulnerability to potential predators or competitors, even in a domestic setting.

Stress or Discomfort Alleviation

Covering food can sometimes be a sign of stress or discomfort in the cat. If they feel threatened or anxious while eating, they may try to hide their presence by covering the food.

This behavior is more commonly observed in multi-cat households where resource competition can lead to stress during mealtime.

It can also be seen in cats that have experienced past negative associations with eating, such as being interrupted while eating or being bullied by other animals during mealtime.

Natural Cleanup Behavior

In the wild, a cat’s prey often had inedible parts, such as bones, fur, or feathers. Cats may display an innate behavior to protect and hide the leftovers by attempting to cover their food.

This behavior could be an attempt to keep their eating area tidy and debris-free, similar to how they might bury prey remains in the wild.

My Territory, My Rules

As funny as it sounds, your cat might mark her culinary conquest as her territory. By “burying” her food, she’s declaring, “Hands off, this meal’s mine!” I guess we can’t blame her; we all have our quirky ways of claiming ownership!

What Does It Mean When a Cat Tries to Cover Up Their Food?

If your cat is trying to cover up their food, it’s likely because they’re not finished eating and want to save the rest for later.

This behavior is common in indoor and outdoor cats and is usually nothing to worry about.

However, if your cat starts doing this suddenly or more frequently than usual, it could indicate an underlying medical condition like diabetes or gastrointestinal problems.

If you’re concerned about your cat’s health, consult a veterinarian.

How To Stop Your Cat From Burying Its Food?

If your furball has a habit of burying their food, don’t worry, you’re not alone. But fear not, because I’ve got some paw-some tips to help you put an end to this quirky behavior and keep mealtime a bit less messy. Let’s dive right in!

Observe and Understand

Take a moment to see where your feline friend is enjoying their meal. Is it a quiet corner? A cozy nook? Understanding their preferences will help you create a more inviting space for them to chow down.

Provide a Clean Feeding Area

Cats appreciate cleanliness (even if they leave furballs everywhere), so make sure their eating spot is spick and span. Keep it separate from their litter box – because who wants to eat next to the bathroom? Not me!

Choose the Right Dish

Some cats dislike deep bowls that tickle their whiskers. Opt for shallow dishes or plates that won’t interfere with their feline fashion statement.

Serve Fresh, Tasty Meals

Cats, like any gourmet foodies, love fresh ingredients. Serve their favorite food and rotate flavors to keep their taste buds excited. Bon appétit, mon ami!

Small Portions, Frequent Meals

Cats prefer to nibble throughout the day like we enjoy our snacks. So consider offering smaller portions multiple times a day. Who knew we had snacking habits in common with cats?

Play Before Meals

Get your cat’s inner hunter excited with some playtime before meals. A little exercise will help build their appetite and reduce the urge to hide their food.

Try a Puzzle Feeder

Cats adore challenges; a puzzle feeder can turn mealtime into a fun game. Plus, it’ll keep those little paws busy and their minds entertained.

Avoid Stressful Meal Environments

Avoid mealtime rivalry if you have multiple cats by giving each kitty their private dining space. Sharing is caring, but not when it comes to food!

Be Patient

Remember, it takes time for habits to change. So don’t give up! Your cat will eventually get the memo and stop their food-burying antics.

How Do I Get My Cat to Stop Covering His Food?

If your cat is covering his food, it’s likely because he’s feeling anxious or stressed.

There are a few things you can do to help him feel more comfortable and stop this behavior:

1. Make sure he has a quiet, calm place to eat. If there are other animals in the house or lots of activity near his food bowl, he may feel like he needs to protect his food and thus will start covering it.

2. Feed him smaller meals more often throughout the day than one large meal. This will help reduce his anxiety around food and make him less likely to cover it.

3. Try a puzzle feeder toy to allow him to work on his food. This can help burn off some of his energy and also help relieve stress.

4. Talk to your veterinarian about possible medical causes of stress or anxiety, such as gastrointestinal issues or thyroid problems.

Treating any underlying medical conditions can help reduce your cat’s stress levels and hopefully stop him from covering his food.

Why Does My Cat Scratch Around Her Food Dish?

If your cat is scratching around their food dish, it’s likely because they’re trying to tell you something. Cats are known to be very clean animals and usually don’t like dirty food or water dishes.

If your cat is scratching around their dish, it’s a good indication that it needs to be cleaned. Try washing it out with soap and water; if that doesn’t work, try using a stronger cleaner.

If your cat continues to scratch around their dish after cleaning it, it may not like the food you’re giving them.

In this case, you’ll need to experiment with different types of food until you find one that they enjoy eating.

Why Do House Cats Try To Bury Their Food?

Why Does My Cat Try to Bury Her Water?

Your cat’s instinct is to bury her water. In the wild, cats don’t have easy access to clean water, so they have to be careful with their water.

When your cat tries to bury her water bowl, she’s just following her instinct. You can do a few things to stop your cat from trying to bury her water bowl.

First, make sure she always has fresh, clean water. She’ll likely try to bury her water bowl more if it is dirty.

Second, try a different type of bowl. Some cats prefer ceramic or glass bowls because they’re easier to keep clean.

Third, try putting her water bowl in a different location.

If she’s used to burying her water bowl in the corner of the room, moving it to the center might help discourage her from trying to bury it.

Don’t punish your cat for trying to bury her water bowl, whatever you do. It’s not something she can help; it’s just instinct.

Is your cat’s food covering behavior neurotic?”

As an individual blogger and expert, I can tell you that your cat’s food-covering behavior is typically not considered neurotic.

It’s essential to understand that this behavior is rooted in their instincts and has been inherited from their wild ancestors.

In the wild, cats would often bury their leftover food to avoid attracting predators or competitors. This instinct remains intact in domestic cats, even though they no longer face the same threats.

So, their food-covering behavior is more of a survival tactic than a sign of neuroticism.

It’s crucial to observe your cat’s general behavior to see whether they exhibit any unhappiness, anxiety, or obsessive behavior in other spheres of their existence.

It is best to seek advice from a veterinarian or a feline behavior expert if you see any unusual behavior patterns to rule out any underlying medical conditions or psychological difficulties.


Is it normal for my cat to cover her food even if she’s the only pet in the house?

Yes, even single cats can exhibit food-covering behavior due to their instincts.

My cat only covers her food sometimes. Why is that?

Cats may cover their food more often if they feel stressed or threatened or if there are changes in their environment.

Can I train my cat to stop covering her food?

While you can’t eliminate this behavior, providing a stress-free feeding area may reduce the frequency of food covering.

Are there any other alternatives to prevent my cat from covering her food?

Providing environmental enrichment, interactive play, and regular feeding schedules can help alleviate food-covering tendencies in cats.

Should I remove the food if my cat covers it and doesn’t eat it immediately?

It’s best to leave the food in place. Cats may return to eat later or have covered it out of habit, not because they don’t want it.

Are there any other ways to enrich my cat’s feeding experience?

Yes, you can try interactive feeders or puzzle toys that encourage mental stimulation during mealtime.

What other behaviors should I look out for to ensure my cat’s well-being?

Monitor your cat’s eating habits, litter box usage, grooming behavior, and overall energy levels for any potential signs of illness or distress.


The endearing and sometimes hilarious behavior of our cats trying to cover their food can be attributed to a mix of instinctual survival tactics, territorial instincts, and an innate sense of cleanliness.

Despite having traded their wild jungles for the comforts of our homes, our feline friends continue to carry with them the age-old wisdom of their ancestors.

As a cat lover and dedicated observer, I’ve come to appreciate the subtle complexities of these seemingly simple actions.

From safeguarding their meals to marking their territory and possibly even outsmarting potential food thieves, our cats always amaze us with their clever ways.

The following time you witness your animal friend “burying” her food, remember that this is not merely a quirky habit but a window into the complex web of inherited feline impulses.


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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