Cats Scratching around Noms

Today, just like every day, the human gave me my noms, gave me an ear stick to test my blood sugar, and then gave me my insulin. I have learned to tolerate this and it was nothing unusual. But after I was done nomming, I did something that I only do occasionally.

Is Scratching Around Food a Strange Cat Behavior

After I was done nomming, I scratched around the food dish. This is some quirky cat behavior that the human finds amusing. After all, I get plenty of noms and the floor is wood, so I cannot bury my noms for later. He has always wondered why I do this.

The human has also wondered why I scratch around the litter box and on the wall and cabinet near the litter box. He thinks this is funny cat behavior, and it amuses him.


But he has not known why this is something we felines do until now. He just figured it was strange cat behavior that is amusing and not harmful. Because he did not think it was harmful, he just smiled when I did it and didn’t worry.

Now he knows more about this cat behavior, because he read an article on the Cat Channel. After reading this article, he learned that we felines love to scratch. This is something he knew, but he did not know why.

You see, scratching is good for us felines and it helps with claw maintenance. And the better we maintain our claws, the less need there is for you to get those annoying trimmers out, which we do not like!

Plus, it goes back to our natural instincts. In the wild, if we left noms unburied, it can attract attention from other felines as well as potential predators.  And the scratching around the litter box happens because we want to make sure our waste is buried, too.

But whatever the reason, it is important for you humans to know that you need to provide us with outlets to us to carry out the perfectly normal cat behavior of scratching. Because if you do not, you may find that we engage in it where you do not want us to!

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2 Replies to “Cats Scratching around Noms”

  1. How funny you mention that you engage in this behavior Bagheera, as my Clove does too! I have noticed she does this each time after eating her noms everyday since adopting me a little over a year ago. Like your human I found it amusing and wondered what on earth she was trying to do. She even goes as far as placing a toy, towel, or blanket over her food bowl to ‘bury’ it! Curious I asked a feline behaviorist friend a few months ago why she might be doing it, if she would do it forever?
    The friend assured me it was harmless and proceeded to explain exactly what your human read in the Cat Channel article. She referred to it as ‘caching’ and further explained that it is especially common in cats who have been in hoarding situations, abandoned and hungry on the street, and kept caged for long period of times in shelters. This made perfect sense to me then, as Clove was abused and then abandoned on the street where she had to fend for herself for a long time before being rescued. She often had a hard time finding food and I’m sure there were instances where she had to fight with other hungry cats trying to get what little food there was.
    I am not bothered Clove feels the need to try and bury her noms, but I do admit I worry sometimes that she may never feel relaxed enough not to worry about being hungry again. I try to reassure her every day that she never has to worry, that I will always see to it she has plenty of food and that she will never go hungry again. I think it will not be any time soon however that she will stop, as I know from experience with some of my other cats who have faced abandonment, gone hungry, been abused how powerful the effects of trauma are. Even when no longer in a situation where they face such torment, victims frequently engage in behaviors they feel will help them should it ever happen to them, no matter how minuscule or unlikely it will.
    If it helps ease her anxiety I am fine with Clove doing whatever it is she feels like doing as long as it is not harmful to her or anyone else. Caching her food bowl is not anything that is harmful, so in the meantime I will continue to reassure her and watch with amusement what she chooses to ‘bury’ over her noms to save them for later. Well, be amused as long as she doesn’t bury her stinky fish noms with my best sweater!

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