It’s a somewhat strange habit that your cat has adopted: it frantically scratches the ground near their litter box or their food bowl. As if the ground was in the ground and it wanted to bury something there. However, it realizes that it is about tiling, right? And sometimes, it even happens to bring back objects to cover their bowl… In reality, although it seems strange to you, it is completely natural behavior. Explanations!
A way to cover their tracks
Even if your cat is nothing short of domestic, it retains many of the survival instincts of its wild ancestors. However, in nature, cats used to bury their excrement and their food in order to hide the smells. The goal? Avoid attracting potential predators to their territory. Indeed, cats were also prey in the wild! So, if your cat comes to sniff a few moments later at the very spot where it dug, it is to make sure that no odor is detectable.
Moreover, by trying to hide their food in this way, the felines prevented any rival from coming to revel in their freshly hunted prey. On the other hand, burying the remains of their prey is unlikely to be a way for them to store food for later.
Indeed, we know the severity with which cats assess the freshness of their food. If they leave a prey aside, they will not come back to it afterwards. But that doesn’t mean they accept a scavenger coming to enjoy the fruits of their hard work!
A way to mark your territory
By scratching the ground, your cat realizes that there is no soil there. But it can be a way for them to mark their territory. Indeed, pheromones, these famous odorous hormones used by cats to communicate, are produced by glands located on several parts of their body, and in particular on their paws.
Thus, your cat deposits pheromones next to its food bowl to warn other possible cats that they are entering protected territory. Especially since the food bowl is normally in the center of your feline’s territory. It is also for this reason that it scratches your furniture or walls.
In any case, you should not punish this behavior in any way. If for some reason you want your cat to stop scratching the floor, the only solution is to remove their food bowl right after it’s finished eating.