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Hi guys, I've got a 12 week old kitten and over the last couple of weeks I've noticed that sometimes when I give him food, he'd go up to it, smell it and then he'd scratch the ground next to the food with one paw like 3-5 times, then he'd go back to smelling the food and scratch some more.

When he first started doing this he usually doesn't eat if he scratches, but now I've noticed he does it half way through eating, he'd stop, scratch the ground a few times and then go back to eating.

I'm trying to figure out what could be making him do this. Has anyone else experienced this? Any feedback would be appreciated.
 

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Yup, he's trying to bury it. :) I feed one of my girls in the bathroom because she's a slooow eater, and if I forget to put the bathmat up, she'll drag it over to her dish and cover the whole thing, heh. I'd suspect that if you fed your kitten near a towel or something he'd drag it on over too. :)
 

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Yes, I agree with Xanti and TimeBandit. He's trying to bury it to avoid predators. It's instinctual behavior. Wild cats often buried the remains of their prey in order to ensure the scent didn't attract predators. They would also groom after eating to remove the scent of the prey from their bodies, again so as not to attract predators. That explains why virtually all cats groom themselves right after eating, although burying behavior isn't as prevalent an instinct and thus isn't seen in all cats.
 

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Thanks for the feedback guys, really appreciate it :)

That explains his behaviour and yeah he goes on a grooming frenzy after he finishes eating, very cute to watch :p
 

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My 4 month old kitten Winnifred does this. Their food is on a placemat, and after she's finished she tries to scratch it to cover the bowls. She doesn't try hard enough to actually do it, more like a 'nod' to her instinct to do so.

I assume the hiding from predators idea is why some cats and dogs cover their droppings, too.
 

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Mine don't try to bury their food, but they take their prey out the bowl and try to eat it in their den under the dining table...lol.
 

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It's instinctual behavior. Wild cats often buried the remains of their prey in order to ensure the scent didn't attract predators.
Instinctual and retarded... Wesley will waste five minutes scratching at a tile surface around his food, occasionally sniffing it and noticing that the scent is not diminished, before finally giving up. Everytime I sit there on the couch and just have to shake my head.

He also scratches the side of the litterbox in vain, instead of the litter itself.

Luckily he makes up for it in adorableness. :p
 

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He also scratches the side of the litterbox in vain, instead of the litter itself.
Rochelle does this too...which means that I usually have to cover her poop with the scooper once she's finally done scratching at the wall, shelf, and sides of the box...everything but the litter itself. :roll: She's lucky she's cute.
 
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