Have you ever noticed that your cat is a messy eater? I know I have! Actually, it’s kind of astounding how much kibble my cat manages to scatter around his food bowl. It’s really not fun to find it scattered throughout my house, either. And it’s even less fun to step on sharp kitty kibble with bare feet!
As cat owners, we can usually appreciate little quirks such as our cats playing with their food. But those quirks can also make us wonder about our cats. Is she really playing with her food? Or is there something else going on? If you’ve found yourself wondering why your cat plays with her food, this article will help enlighten you.
Cats Play With Their Food Because They are Hunters
You may not consider it ‘hunting’ when your cat picks kibble out of his food bowl, but he might. Even though your indoor kitty gets fed regularly, he still is a hunter. That’s because he comes from a long line of feline ancestors whose very survival depended on their hunting prowess. A spark or two of that hunting instinct remains with our indoor companions. Really, it makes a lot of sense that playing with food can be your cat’s version of hunting. It satisfies their predatory instincts, in a way. (Thanks, kitty, for keeping us all safe from the cat food of the world!)
Food and Water Don’t Mix
On a related note, cats also might not love their food and water close together. This is another instinctive move from your cat. Those ancient memories of hunting might be telling your kitty the food and water situation is just not safe. If that’s the case, she may be attempting to take her food elsewhere. That way, she can eat it at a safe distance away from her water supply.
Her Whiskers are Irritated
Your cat might not technically be playing with her food. If you pour her food into a small bowl, it might be that it’s irritating her whiskers. As you probably already know, cats have super sensitive whiskers. Continually bending them to pick out pieces of food from a dish can be really unpleasant for her. That might mean she uses her adorable little paw to scoop out her food instead. That way, she can eat from the floor rather than placing her head into a bowl.
Sometimes Cats Play With Their Food Simply Because it Excites Them
Now we know that there are a few interesting reasons why your kitty might appear to play with her food. But, cats are playful creatures too. At the end of the day, your cat might really just enjoy playing with her food. Humans do it, so why not cats?
However, if you’re not a fan of the mess she makes, try offering alternatives. That might mean increasing interactive play time with your cat. You could also try offering kitty a food puzzle that will satisfy both her belly and her need to ‘hunt’ or play with her food. Honestly, this option is going to provide some fantastic entertainment for you as her human too.
Have you ever wondered why it is that some cats like to dunk their toys in their water dishes? Find out the answer here on cattitudedaily.com.