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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all:
I've noticed some (what seems to me) odd behavior with my cat, Mister Pookie-Bear. After using his litter box Pook will walk over to his water and food bowls, which is about ten feet away from the litter box, and start pawing and scratching around the bowls, much like he does as he "grooms" his litter. After half a dozen or so scratches he walks away and goes on about his day. Is this normal behavior? My last cat never did that.
 

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My cat does that too.. eats what he wants then tries to cover it. I am assuming it's instinct so that predators can't smell it.

Although covering it in air doesn't do much good ;)
 

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If he is "rejecting" his food, should I maybe change brands? Something else I noticed, if it makes any difference, is that while he does eat when he wants, when I go into the kitchen he will run in behind me and start eating. Almost like he prefers to eat when I'm there.
 

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Well, IMO you should be feeding canned food (not kibble) and on a meal schedule (feed measured amount 2X a day and expect it to be eaten up w/in 20 min or so), rather than leaving it available. But that's your decision!
 

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Murphy paws and scratches after using the litterbox too. I always get the feeling that he's still in cover-it-up mode, even though he's not in the litterbox area anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I do feed Pook kibble as I can't really afford canned, and I do leave it out for him to eat at his leisure. Luckily he doesn't overeat. He was a stray cat that I adopted, so maybe the behavior is just instinct.
 

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Blaze used to do this a lot... he'd go to his food bowl and scratch around it and the wall behind as well for a minute or two (which was a mirrored wall) ... it was a little annoying if he was doing that at 1 in the morning since the wall was on the other side of my bedroom, but he did always finish the food though so I don't think he was rejecting it, just wanting to 'save' it for later. We fed him wet once a day and free feeding kibble, so there was always food there for him to 'cover'.
 

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No. Not necessarily rejecting the food; unless you note he will not eat it. Have you ever watched a natural history film of tigers in the wild? A tiger will make a kill, eat till he is full and then rake leaves or branches or anything he can find over the rest of the kill to save it for later. Often the tiger will move away from the kill just enough to keep the flies and bugs from bothering his nap before going to sleep. Later after he wakes up with an empty belly, he will go back to the kill and eat again. He continues this until the kill gets too gamy for him to find it palatable; upon which choice, he abandons it.

Our cats mirror the tiger in their behavior more than the lion in my opinion. Lions who are group hunters never cover their leftovers and just abandon it after the pride is done. Besides, lions have more large carnivores with them in their native ranges than tigers do. The only times more than one tiger eats on a kill is a mother and her cubs; or a male will allow a female he is interested in a meal: but that is very rare.

My cats will often scratch by the water bowl or hit the water bowl on the rim to make the water ripple so they can see the level of water in the bowl. My Timmy especially hates putting his nose in the water to find the top. My oldest female always lowers her chin into the water to determine where the top of the water is; doesn't bother with scratching the floor or bowl to produce ripples. Then she is very careful to lap the water up without splashing herself.

Each cat has their quirks of behavior and I find their behavior endlessly fascinating.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks to all of you for your input. It's reassured me that Mister Pookie-Bear is just a normal kitty. Not that kitties are at all normal. :)

LaurulFeatherCat: Your comment about your cats' behavior with the water bowl gave me a good chuckle. I needed that. Thanks. :)
 

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I have to say that your cat has an awesome name. My cat is named Star, but most of the time, I call him Pookie or Pookie Bear. Is your Pookie a love bug, too?
OMG is he ever. He was a stray that started hanging around my apartment complex. I noticed him immediately since he reminded me of my last cat, Liberty, who was a Maine ****. Pookie Bear is bright orange with a white belly, just like Liberty. Pook was very vocal and friendly; so much that I thought he belonged to someone, until I noticed tons of mats in his fur and overall shoddy appearance. So I took him in, and you'd never think he was a stray. He's extremely friendly, very, very vocal and a complete love bug. In the two years since I adopted him we have become very close. I'm pretty much homebound, being disabled, so we spend a lot of time together. Any time I'm having a bad day he will sit at my side all day long. He's my fuzzy best friend. I don't know what I would do without him. I believe there's a pic or two of him in my profile. :)
 

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If he is "rejecting" his food, should I maybe change brands? Something else I noticed, if it makes any difference, is that while he does eat when he wants, when I go into the kitchen he will run in behind me and start eating. Almost like he prefers to eat when I'm there.
Missy sort of does something similar in the mornings. As soon as I get to the kitchen she goes to the dish of dry food and starts to eat. I'm assuming that she sees it as time to eat.

She's driving me crazy right now over rejecting soft food, but she doesn't always do the scraping thing -- only sometimes.

You can try changing brands, but don't be surprised if it doesn't make a lot of difference. (Don't invest too heavily at first.)
 

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My TuxCat is one of my obsessive food coverers. She will pull anything on the floor over a bowl of food to hide it. And what I find so funny is that it works; once she covers it, no one uncovers it until I do. I asked my vet about that (she is a certified cat and bird vet specialty) and she said cats have a terrible sense of smell for things up close to their nose. I realized that is why, when I try to give my cat a taste of something off my fingers, they have such a hard time finding the food on my fingers. She said cats are much more sound and sight hunters, yet cats will not eat if they cannot smell their food. Weird, Huh?
 
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