Skip to Content

Why Is My Cat Covering Her Food


If you’re a cat owner, you may have noticed your feline friend exhibiting some interesting behaviors when it comes to their food. One common behavior that many cat owners have observed is their cat covering their food after eating. This can be puzzling for pet owners, as it seems counterintuitive for a cat to cover their food after they have already eaten. So, why is your cat covering her food? Let’s delve into this curious behavior and explore some possible reasons behind it.

One possible explanation for why your cat is covering her food is rooted in their natural instincts. Cats in the wild are natural hunters and scavengers, and covering their food after eating may be a way for them to protect their food from other predators or to hide the scent of their meal from potential prey. This behavior could be a way for your cat to feel secure and safe in their environment, even if they are domesticated and don’t necessarily need to worry about predators.

Another possible reason for your cat covering her food is related to their territorial instincts. Cats are known to be territorial animals, and covering their food after eating could be a way for them to mark their territory and establish ownership over their meal. By covering their food, your cat may be sending a message to other animals in the household that the food is theirs and should not be disturbed.

Additionally, some experts believe that covering food after eating could be a way for cats to mask the smell of their food in order to avoid attracting unwanted attention from other animals or insects. This could be particularly relevant for outdoor cats or cats that live in multi-pet households, where competition for food may be a concern.

To further explore this topic, let’s take a look at seven interesting trends related to why cats cover their food:

1. Some cats may cover their food as a way to save it for later. In the wild, cats are known to be opportunistic eaters and may cover their food to protect it from spoiling or from being stolen by other animals.

2. Cats may cover their food as a way to hide it from humans. Some cats are known to be secretive eaters and may cover their food as a way to keep their eating habits private.

3. The behavior of covering food after eating may be more prevalent in cats that have experienced food insecurity or hunger in the past. Cats that have been stray or abandoned may be more likely to exhibit this behavior as a way to ensure they have food available when they need it.

4. Some experts believe that covering food after eating could be a sign of anxiety or stress in cats. If your cat is covering their food excessively or in a frantic manner, it may be worth consulting with a veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues or behavioral problems.

5. The behavior of covering food after eating may vary depending on the individual cat’s personality and temperament. Some cats may be more prone to this behavior than others, based on their unique preferences and instincts.

6. Cats that are fed a diet high in protein and fat may be more likely to cover their food after eating. This could be due to the fact that these nutrients are more valuable to cats in terms of energy and satiety, leading them to be more protective of their food.

7. The behavior of covering food after eating may also be influenced by environmental factors, such as the presence of other animals or the layout of the feeding area. Cats that feel threatened or insecure in their environment may be more likely to cover their food as a way to assert control over their surroundings.

To shed more light on this intriguing behavior, let’s hear from some professionals in the field:

“A cat covering her food after eating is a natural behavior that stems from their instincts as hunters and scavengers. By covering their food, cats may be trying to protect it from potential threats or to establish ownership over their meal.” – Veterinarian

“Covering food after eating could be a way for cats to mask the smell of their food and avoid attracting unwanted attention from other animals. This behavior may be more common in cats that live in multi-pet households or in outdoor environments.” – Animal Behaviorist

“Some cats may cover their food as a way to save it for later, much like they would in the wild. This behavior could be a way for cats to ensure they have food available when they need it, especially if they have experienced food insecurity in the past.” – Feline Nutritionist

“Excessive or frantic covering of food after eating could be a sign of anxiety or stress in cats. If your cat is exhibiting this behavior, it may be worth exploring any underlying health issues or behavioral problems that could be contributing to their actions.” – Cat Behavior Consultant

Now that we’ve explored some possible reasons behind why cats cover their food, let’s address some common concerns and questions that pet owners may have:

1. Is it normal for my cat to cover her food after eating?

Yes, it is a normal behavior for cats to cover their food after eating, as it is rooted in their natural instincts and behaviors as hunters and scavengers.

2. Should I be concerned if my cat covers her food excessively?

Excessive covering of food after eating could be a sign of anxiety or stress in cats. It may be worth consulting with a veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues or behavioral problems.

3. How can I discourage my cat from covering her food?

If you are concerned about your cat’s behavior of covering food after eating, you can try providing smaller meals more frequently throughout the day or offering a variety of food options to see if that helps.

4. Could my cat be covering her food because she doesn’t like it?

It is possible that your cat may be covering her food if she is not satisfied with the taste or texture of the food. You can try experimenting with different types of food to see what your cat prefers.

5. My cat covers her food, but my other cat doesn’t. Why is that?

Cats have unique personalities and preferences, so it is not uncommon for one cat to cover their food while another does not. This behavior may vary depending on the individual cat’s temperament.

6. Is there a way to train my cat to stop covering her food?

While you may not be able to completely eliminate this behavior, you can try providing a larger feeding area or using a covered dish to see if that helps discourage your cat from covering her food.

7. Could covering food after eating be a sign of a health problem in my cat?

In some cases, excessive covering of food after eating could be a sign of an underlying health issue or behavioral problem. If you are concerned, it may be best to consult with a veterinarian for further evaluation.

8. Is it safe for my cat to cover her food with her paws?

Covering food with their paws is a natural behavior for cats and is generally safe. However, it is important to ensure that your cat’s paws are clean and free of any debris to prevent contamination of their food.

9. Could my cat be covering her food because she is trying to hide it from me?

Some cats are known to be secretive eaters and may cover their food as a way to keep their eating habits private. This behavior is not necessarily a cause for concern.

10. Should I be worried if my cat covers her food but doesn’t eat it?

If your cat covers her food but does not eat it, it may be a sign that she is not hungry or that she is not interested in the food. You can try offering a different type of food to see if that entices her to eat.

11. Could covering food after eating be a learned behavior from other cats?

Cats are known to learn from each other, so it is possible that your cat may have picked up the behavior of covering food after eating from another cat in the household.

12. Is there a way to encourage my cat to eat without covering her food?

If you are concerned about your cat’s behavior of covering food after eating, you can try providing a variety of food options or using interactive feeding toys to see if that helps encourage her to eat without covering her food.

13. Should I intervene if my cat is covering her food too aggressively?

If your cat is covering her food too aggressively or in a frantic manner, it may be worth consulting with a veterinarian or a behaviorist to address any underlying issues that may be contributing to her behavior.

14. Could covering food after eating be a sign of a nutritional deficiency in my cat?

While covering food after eating is generally a normal behavior for cats, excessive or frantic covering could be a sign of a nutritional deficiency or a health problem. It may be worth consulting with a veterinarian to rule out any underlying issues.

15. How can I tell if my cat is covering her food out of habit or for a specific reason?

Observing your cat’s behavior and the context in which she covers her food can help you determine whether she is doing it out of habit or for a specific reason. If you are unsure, consulting with a professional can provide you with more insight into your cat’s behavior.

In summary, the behavior of covering food after eating is a common and natural behavior for cats that is rooted in their instincts and behaviors as hunters and scavengers. While this behavior may seem puzzling to pet owners, it is important to understand that it is a normal part of your cat’s natural behavior. By exploring the possible reasons behind why cats cover their food and addressing common concerns related to this behavior, pet owners can gain a better understanding of their feline friends and their unique behaviors. If you have any concerns about your cat’s behavior or health, it is always best to consult with a veterinarian or a professional in the field for guidance and advice.