Why does my kitty do this? (Strange eating behavior)

My 5YO kitty Ponch is fed, almost exclusively*, Iams dry cat food. But he will not eat it directly from his food dish. He bats the bits of kibble onto the floor with his paw. Sometimes he seems focused on creating a very particular kind of pile. Then he will eat the food off the floor.

Any idea why he’d do this? He hasn’t always been this way.

*On rare occasion (OK, not too rare, more like every time he begs, because I’m a sucker, and he’s spoiled, and he knows it), he will get bits/scraps of lunch meats, bacon or cheese. :wink:

One of my cats does something similar. He scoops his food out of the bowl a little at a time and eats lying on his side. He started the scooping when he was a kitten and the other cat wouldn’t let him get right up to the dish and eat. I thing he lies down just because he is a lazy fat boy.

Also, sometimes he will circle around the dish, scratching with his paws as if covering it with cat litter. I assume it’s a commentary on the quality of the food.

Let’s say it in unison: Cats Is Weird!

Heh. My kitty’s a lazy fat boy, too. Maybe a trend? :stuck_out_tongue:

Hmmmmm. If my kitteh thinks some food is sub-par, he will circle his dish, meowing at me plaintively, and will not eat it.


I had a cat who would take a mouthful of food out of his saucer, which was on a paper towel, walk a foot away, drop the food and eat it off the kitchen floor. Repeat till dish empty. If he didn’t like his food, he would spend 5 to 10 minutes “burying” it with his double front paws. They all have their little ways…

Maybe Ponch doesn’t like his dish? Maybe if it’s plastic he doesn’t like the smell any more.

He might be bored. Cats like to hunt and if they can’t stalk and hunt for real, they like to do it to your fingers and toes :slight_smile:

He probably is making mealtime interesting, at least interesting for him. In the real world he’d have to earn his keep, so this way he is doing what comes naturally. Stalking batting around the prey then eating it.

Play with him more, let him stalk your hand and see if he still does that.

Our cat Misty used to do that. We called it playing “food hockey.”

I had a cat that would pick the food up and drop it in the water dish. Do you know what dry cat food smells like sitting in water? I had to move the water dish to the upstairs bathroom.

I have two dogs. One is a hog who eats every single bite the minute it’s in his bowl, but he’s been trained to not touch his sister’s bowl. She tends to eat by picking up mouthfuls of dry food, dropping them on the floor and eating them one at a time from there. When she’s feeling generous she’ll scoop up a mouthful of food and walk over to wherever he’s sitting and drop it in front of him.

So cute. Not helping with the pudgy issue but so cute.

Olive does the same thing in the OP. She bats some kibble out of her bowl and then nibbles on it. Repeat until full. I think she’s just bored.

Also she refused to eat from her bowl unless it’s full. If it’s only half full she refuses to eat from it and sits there complaining until I fill it up again.

He’s trying to spell out a message to you in kibble, but since he can neither read, nor write english, you don’t understand it.

My cats do it, too. There’s dry cat food all over my kitchen floor right now.

there is only one answer to why your kitty does anything:

…it’s because he loves you!

(hey that’s what I tell my wife every time she asks why the cat is clawing the furniture again.
and it works every time…we both smile.
And that’s the whole point of having a cat, right?)

He’s a cat, and there’s very little on TV that will amuse a cat, so he has to do his own programming…and he likes to watch you try to figure out why he does what he does.

I have no trouble believing this! He also will stand at the door to our backyard, as if begging to go out; then, when I open the door to let him out, he’ll just stand there for a moment or two, looking imperiously at me. Lather, rinse, repeat, until I get to a point where I say “No, I will not do the ‘stupid hoomin trick’ of opening the door for you when you don’t really want me to!” :wink:

One of my cats does that with his water. He won’t drink it out of his bowl (although he’s more than happy to drink it out of my glass, should I turn my head for a moment), he’ll spill it out and drink it from the puddle on the floor. It’s a good thing he’s cute.

Our Mojo pulls one kibble out of his bowl at a time so he can eat it off the floor. I understand him, because I was the kind of kid who would try to stab one pea at a time with my fork so I could eat them one by one. Maybe he’s got kitty OCD.

At first I thought it was because the bowl was too small and he didn’t like his whiskers touching the sides while he was eating, but switching to a bigger bowl didn’t help. And with his whisker length, frankly, I’d need to be using a pie plate to feed him, if we’re trying to avoid whisker-bowl contact. I think he just likes floor food. Weirdo.

My question is WHERE ARE THE PICTURES??* :smiley:

I had one kitty* that ate kibble from his hand. He’d scoop up a piece onto his paddy-paw, eat, rinse, repeat. He was a skinny cat.

  • This kitty was long ago and far away, no digital pictures.

Hey now, I delivered!

My chihuahua also picked up this habit. He doesn’t bat the food since he’s not nearly as nimble with his paws, but he’ll put a bunch of food in his mouth, carry it a few feet away, and then drop it on the floor, put his front legs around it and eat it.

I think it’s because his previous owner had a bunch of bigger dogs, and he had to learn to get his food fast so they wouldn’t touch him. The only time he will not do this is if we give him soft food on a chair.

You know the cat haiku, don’t you?

Wanna go outside.
Oh no! Help! I got outside!
Let me back inside.