Cat suddenly started scratching around his food and water dishes

LittleRiceBall

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Hi all! My kitty, Henry, used to LOVE his food, but now he doesn't seem to want to finish it all the way and has started scratching around his food and water bowls very frequently. I haven't changed anything, so I don't know why he's doing this. Any guesses?
 

tabbytom

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:hellosmiley: LittleRiceBall, welcome to TCS!

What your kitty is doing is pretty normal. It’s their natural instinct to cover unfinished food so that other predators cannot detect them. This is always been done in the wild and domesticated cats still have that instinct. Same as after they pee or poop

My boy does that every time he finishes his food or at certain times if he does not want to eat, he’ll do the covering up action.

So don’t worry.
 
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LittleRiceBall

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:hellosmiley: LittleRiceBall, welcome to TCS!

What your kitty is doing is pretty normal. It’s their natural instinct to cover unfinished food so that other predators cannot detect them. This is always been done in the wild and domesticated cats still have that instinct. Same as after they pee or poop

My boy does that every time he finishes his food or at certain times if he does not want to eat, he’ll do the covering up action.

So don’t worry.
Hey! Thanks for answering :) I guess my main concern is that he suddenly seems disinterested in finishing his food. He had to be hospitalized three weeks ago for not eating (a bacterial infection), but after he recovered he was VERY food driven. I'm worried he might be regressing and don't quite know why.
 

tabbytom

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Hey! Thanks for answering :) I guess my main concern is that he suddenly seems disinterested in finishing his food. He had to be hospitalized three weeks ago for not eating (a bacterial infection), but after he recovered he was VERY food driven. I'm worried he might be regressing and don't quite know why.
Just keep an eye on him. How old is he?
 
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LittleRiceBall

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Just keep an eye on him. How old is he?
He's almost 8 months now. He recently got neutered, too, about a week and a half ago, but up until 3 days ago his eating habits were the same so I don't think it's the neutering unless this has something to do with hormones.
 
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LittleRiceBall

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He's almost 8 months now. He recently got neutered, too, about a week and a half ago, but up until 3 days ago his eating habits were the same so I don't think it's the neutering unless this has something to do with hormones.
Little update: I moved his food bowl to be on my desk and he finished eating it there. I had already tried moving it to other areas of the apartment. He still scratched around after eating the rest, but yeah. I'm not sure if he just doesn't like the location? I make sure to clean his dishes daily so I don't think that could be an issue.
 

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He's almost 8 months now. He recently got neutered, too, about a week and a half ago, but up until 3 days ago his eating habits were the same so I don't think it's the neutering unless this has something to do with hormones.
At eight months old is still very much a kitten. As long as he's eating, don't have to worry too much. And also at this age, he had just finished teething or maybe he has still one or two more teeth to go and that's why he's not finishing his food.

Just keep an eye on him and observe.

It takes around 6 - 8 weeks for the Hormones ( Testosterones) to be totally flushed out of the system.

Little update: I moved his food bowl to be on my desk and he finished eating it there. I had already tried moving it to other areas of the apartment. He still scratched around after eating the rest, but yeah. I'm not sure if he just doesn't like the location? I make sure to clean his dishes daily so I don't think that could be an issue.
I think it's normal for him to scratch around his plate. They are cats and that's what they do. My boy does that too.
 

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"Hiding" left overs is perfectly natural. Are there any other animals in the house? A couple of years ago I noticed a sharp declaine in my Torrie not eating her food. It only took a few days to discover that a small dog we had adopted many months prior was exhibiting dominance by peeing either on Torries food or next to the food bowl. Basically marking it I suppose. I quickly moved Torries food dishes where Chanel could not get to it and the problem was resolved.
 
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LittleRiceBall

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"Hiding" left overs is perfectly natural. Are there any other animals in the house? A couple of years ago I noticed a sharp declaine in my Torrie not eating her food. It only took a few days to discover that a small dog we had adopted many months prior was exhibiting dominance by peeing either on Torries food or next to the food bowl. Basically marking it I suppose. I quickly moved Torries food dishes where Chanel could not get to it and the problem was resolved.
Well! We might just have an answer here. I had a new roommate move in and after acclimating her kitten with mine behind their doors, we started letting them see each other. We recently let them venture into each other's rooms, with supposed success. However, my kitty was clearly at the bottom of the foodchain, with my new roommate's displaying dominant behaviors. She drank out of his waterbowl. Come to think of it, these behaviors have started around the same time we started letting them interact.

For now, I'll try and deep clean his dishes and the area around his food (the other kitty didn't pee anywhere, but she was definitely marking her scent) and see if that helps. Thanks for the input!
 

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Oh wow I just saw Shaman do that but with her she was scratching inside the food bowl and not outside the bowl and around. I suppose that the same thing huh? She's feral btw (well a tamed feral)
 

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Hi all! My kitty, Henry, used to LOVE his food, but now he doesn't seem to want to finish it all the way and has started scratching around his food and water bowls very frequently. I haven't changed anything, so I don't know why he's doing this. Any guesses?
Welcome to you and your kitty:):welcomesign::hellosmiley::petcat::catlove::catman:
 

MoonstoneWolf

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One thing I do with my feral cats and I even did this 20 years ago with Pepper and Harley was sanitize their bowls in the morning and then again at night. I switched out the bowls and plates and cleaned in boiling hot water both times, Let the bowls/plates dry while serving food and water on the other plates/bowls.
 

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Hi all! My kitty, Henry, used to LOVE his food, but now he doesn't seem to want to finish it all the way and has started scratching around his food and water bowls very frequently. I haven't changed anything, so I don't know why he's doing this. Any guesses?
I think it is perfectly normal what your kitty does. Some cats like to cover their food to save some for later. None of my cats had ever done that , until my Shadow. He will eat some of his food and then try to cover up the rest (I am assuming for later). I keep telling him do not cover it up and that Mittens may want some food. He always shares everything with Mittens.
It is just that sometimes he wants to save food for later. I make sure water bowls are far from the food. I don't need water spilled all over the floor.
He does not try to cover the water bowl , only the food one. Kitties , you have to love them!
 
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