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When cats carry away food to eat


Sometimes cats behave in strange ways when it comes to their food. For example, some fur noses do not eat on their bowl, but first want to take away the meat crumbs to eat them. Why is that? In the wild, cats also carry their food away before they eat it - Shutterstock / Lukasz Fijalkowski

To understand why some cats take their food away before eating it, a look at the wild relatives of our house tigers helps. Even leopards, cheetahs and ocelots do not eat their prey on the spot, but take them away beforehand.

Carry away food: cats bring prey to safety

Smaller wildcats such as the fallow cat are not only hunters in the wild, but can themselves become prey for larger predators. Therefore, they must always be on guard and take care of their own safety. This is especially true for situations where they are vulnerable, such as when eating or sleeping. Therefore, they prefer to put their own prey in a safe place before consuming them.

Our domestic cats have inherited this instinct and it can be observed, for example, how they take their freshly killed mouse away a little bit before they can comfortably do it. However, some cats also use this instinct when it comes to the food from their bowl.

In addition, the prey that can catch a smaller wild cat or our domestic cats are also quite small. A mouse represents exactly one portion for a cat. Carrying it away is therefore also a protection against predators, not just against dangerous predators.

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Uncertainty at the feeding place as the cause?

If your cat constantly feeds from the bowl and runs away with it, it may not feel safe at its feeding place. There can be several reasons for this: Maybe the feeding place is in a place with a lot of through traffic? Maybe the environment is very open or noisy? In a multi-cat household, bullying can also make a cat generally no longer feel safe and anxious - carrying it away is only a symptom of it.

It may also be that there is food jealousy between your velvet-pawed roommates, so one of your cats would rather eat their pieces of meat elsewhere before one of their peers does. Your fur nose fishes the food with its paw from the bowl, but does it eat it on site? Then it can be due to the tableware: It may be too narrow, too high or smells unpleasant for your cat.

Design a safe feeding place for your cat

Watch your cats closely if any of them show this peculiar eating behavior. If there is a lack of harmony in the multi-cat household or even bullying, you should intervene and, in severe cases, help from a cat psychologist. If your cat only looks unsure about its feeding place, a few simple measures will help. To prevent jealousy of food, you should set up a separate feeding area for each cat.

To do this, choose quiet corners that are a little out of the way and not too close to the litter box. A flat, wide and non-slip feeding bowl should please your fur nose. If you clean at the feeding places of your house tigers, make sure that the cleaning agent is as odorless as possible - especially citrus scents, as a rule, cats cannot stand.