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Burying Food?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
We have two former feral kitties - about 10 - 12 weeks old. The newest, Shelly (Sheldon), has been here four days and is doing great. Yesterday he started "scooping" his dry food out of his bowl. He also paws the floor and the mat the bowls are on - looks like he's trying to "bury" the wet food. ??? I'm not so concerned about stopping the behaviour as just understanding it. (The wet food he tries to bury is always the other cat's bowl - coincidence?)
post #2 of 8
This is a typical feral behaviour. They eat all they can until they stuff themselves, then they take whatever is left over and bury it nearby to eat on later.

You can make kitty feel better by taking a large bandanna and putting it underneath the food bowl, once he is done eating, he will start burying food and the bandanna will then flip over the top of the bowl, sucessfully sealing out any odors. He will then believe he has covered his food from predators and leave. It is up to you then to clean up the mess afterward. But once he realizes his food arrives on a scheduled time, the anxiety will go away and he will stop trying to hoard it all. Try to keep the kitties on a regular scheduled mealtime plan that will help as well.
post #3 of 8

My Bengal does this too! Is it the Asian Leopard in her coming out? She 8 generations removed from an Asian Leopard. I have often thought that it is just the wild blood in her.
post #4 of 8
Loki my F4 Bengal also does it - I think it is soooooooo cute.
post #5 of 8
Cats have scent glands in their paws which allow them to deposit their scent when covering their food. Doing this is their way of telling all the other cats (whether real or imagined) that this is THEIR territory and to back off - Hissy is right, it is an instinctual behavior that may never go away. I had a Siamese who couldn't have been any less "feral" and she did it to the day she died.

Cats also have these scent glands in the sides of their faces. This is why they will rub their faces against certain humans - to mark them as "theirs".

Unless it bothers you, or unless he is making a mess at the food bowl, I wouldn't worry about it.

Best of luck,

Gaye Flagg
post #6 of 8

Thanks for the information. It does not bother me just wondered why. She is just so cute when she does this!
post #7 of 8
Glad to be of help ... and you are right, it is precious to see them doing their little "busy" work. *grin*

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
I agree with Bengal Cats - that Shelly is "burying" his food doesn't bother us - it's really entertaining. Because he's always burying the other cat's food (apparently coincidence) we were a little worried that it might be some sort of competitive behavior. Glad to hear it's just a survival instinct!
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