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Why is cat burying food?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I have a question I hope someone can help me with. I have a Siamese mother cat who keeps trying to bury the food and water dish under any piece of clothing of ours she can find. Or she will put paper on top of her dishes. Or anything she can find around the house.

She has five kittens that began eating approximately a week ago. They also eat from her dish some times. I'd hate to think she is trying to hide the food from her babies.

I also have two other cats. One adult and one older kitten. I thought maybe she could be hiding it from them to keep it for her kittens, but the other cats never eat from this dish, they have their own.

Any help would be very appreciated. I've come home several times to find a water saturated sock in her dish, and most recently a dry clean only blouse of mine. She has also used my husbands paperwork that was laying around.
post #2 of 10
Cats will cover their food as a way of preserving it for later. If they are covering it with something, think of it as their way of trying to keep it fresh, much like we use cling wrap or aluminum foil and a 'fridge *grin*

Normally, we see cats who will simply make the motions of covering it, much like they do when they are in the litter box ... scratch, scratch, scratch. Cats have scent glands in their paw pads and when they scratch like that, they are depositing scent and marking that area with the food as theirs.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks gayef. She does do the motion of burying as well when she can't find something to actually cover the dishes with. I was particularly concerned because it seemed as though the timing coincided with her kittens starting to eat. On a positive not, it has prompted us to not procrastinate on putting are things up and away.
post #4 of 10
I have read up on this not only is it a way to keep it for later but way back when they use to bury their food so that other animals wouldnt smell it and eat it thinking it was theirs.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks. That makes a lot of sense. I actually thought of it because I've watched a show where wild cats bury their pray our even put it up in a tree out of scavengers reach. I've been observing her and before she does the burying her ears perk up as to listen to see if anyone is coming to get her food. I think I may just have a greedy cat.
post #6 of 10
my cats do that too when they are not hungry or when there is smth left in the bowl after they ate.ive seen cats burying their prey and taking it out later to finish feasting
post #7 of 10
I find rescued cats do this more than most. Sibohan when I first got her would hide little stashes of food under the sofa, beside the toilet, behind the dresser and under the bed. Until she was confortable with the fact that there was enough food and she was getting fed on a regular basis. If I am gone for a weekend she will still somtimes do this
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
It all is making more sense now. Her five kittens are 6 weeks old now. We have feeding dishes throughout the house for our other cats. But sense the kittens are everywhere now, they are eating everything. This morning every feeding dish is empty. I do think she is trying to conserve, or hold back some food. This morning her dish was buried with a sheet of paper. When I moved it there were only a few kibbles. I see my cat food bill increasing a lot.
post #9 of 10
That sounds so cute. My cats always make the motions of covering their food or water but since the bowls are on linolium they don't make any progress. It's so funny watching them try though. I laugh so hard if they covered the dishes with items they found around the house though.
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
I've decided not to stress about her burying the food dishes anymore, since I have an understanding as to why she is doing it. I've tried to move everything out of her way so that she couldn't find anything to bury with, but she is very resourceful and finds something anyway. This morning I found one of the other cat's dishes covered. So I'm assuming she is taking claim of their dishes as well since her kittens are eating out of them. I've got my entire household of cats on kitten food, since the kittens are eating from every dish in the house.

If she wants to bury the dishes, I can't stop her. She's won this battle.
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