Have you ever noticed your cat going up to their dish and clawing beside it, as if to cover it up? In the wild, cats bury their food for a few reasons and our indoor kitties will do this out of instinct.

We’re all grateful that our cats cover up their elimination in the litter box, but have you ever wondered why they do this? Just as when cats cover their deposit in the box, they do this to their food to deter predators.

How does this keep predators away?

In the wild, smells are a way for predators to stalk and find their prey. Cats are both predators as well as prey, so they know this behavior very well. Wherever they leave their scent will become a vulnerable place. Leaving their food or eliminations uncovered can make their personal space vulnerable so they do their best to bury the scent to protect themselves and their loved ones.

Yes, I said loved ones. Have you ever seen one of your cats try to cover another kitty’s unfinished food after they, themselves, have already eaten? Our cats will sometimes bury their food and then bury their siblings food immediately after – it’s so cute.

Why else would cats bury their food?

Sometimes cats will bury their food to preserve it for later. Wild cats often catch large prey… way more than they can eat in one sitting. Because the smell of the dead animal can attract other animals, they’ll cover it up so that they can have a feast later if they don’t find another kill.

So if your kitty is trying to bury their food, try picking it up, putting it away and offering it to them again at a later time. 🙂


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