You give your cat her food and she starts eating it from her paw. You find it cute and amusing. However, this behavior continues and shows no sign of ceasing. You get concerned and start wondering if something is wrong with her.
Cats are inherently inquisitive creatures and they do not just pounce on food. They take their time assessing the situation and reading their surroundings before beginning to eat. Cats are generally expected to bend down and reach for the food in their bowl using their mouths while placing their paws firmly on the floor.
However, some cats change tactics and prefer to scoop the food from their paw before placing it in their mouth. It is normal for cats to do so. There is no reason for you to be concerned about it.
Let out a sigh of relief and relax. In this article, we will go through and discuss a few weird yet completely normal behavior of your feline friend.
Why Is My Cat Eating With Her Paw?
In certain cases, cats may use their paws to knead the food in their dish in order to feel the warmth of their meal. This is especially noticeable when you introduce a new meal to your cat.
If you notice your cat behaving in such a way, try and identify the problem and adjust accordingly.
1. Uncomfortable Feeding Bowl
Cats come in a variety of shapes and sizes. For one cat, a certain bowl size may be ideal, but for another, it may be too deep or tiny. Rather than cramming their huge fluffy heads into a little bowl to eat, cats find it more practical to reach out and use their paws as spoons.
2. Poor Placement Of The Bowl
Cats do not like surprises. Whether they are eating, sleeping, or relaxing, they want to stay vigilant. The majority of cat owners place their cats’ feeding dishes in a concealed area where they will be simpler to clean.
If your cat isn’t feeling fully aware while feeding in its regular place, she may try to discover alternative methods to get about.Your cat’s eyes and ears are better positioned to remain attentive while feeding when they eat with their paws.
3. High Sensitivity
Cats utilize their whiskers to detect movement or vibrations in their surroundings. You’ll even notice that they don’t enjoy having that area of their face touched all the time.
When a cat has long whiskers and is eating from a medium-sized bowl, the whiskers might rub against the sides which can be quite unpleasant.
To avoid the pain, the cat may prefer to feed with its front paws.
Cats may have originated from the wild but years of living with people has resulted in their adopting some human behaviors. Some cats just prefer to reach for food with their paws and place it in their mouths as their owners do.
5. Hunting Drills
Domestication of cats has rendered some cats unable to hunt for prey. They may lack the confidence required for hunting, yet their innate instincts remain strong in their minds.
This explains why, even though you put produced cat food in a dish, your cat would poke or play with it with its paws as if it were poking a mouse and then eating it.
This type of behavior is common in younger cats, but not so much in older cats that may have had past hunting experiences.
6. Feeling For Texture
Cat paws are highly delicate and flexible, similar to human palms. Just like us, cats use their hands to detect materials and read the temperature. Each cat has its own set of likes and dislikes which it judges through its paws.
How Do I Get My Cat To Stop Eating From Her Paws?
If you examine and discover that your cat is still using its paws to eat, leave her alone. This has no negative side effects.
You may, however, try altering your cat’s bowls so that she stops eating off her paws.
Give her food in a shallower, broader dish, possibly even a plate or saucer, and see if she eats it more normally.
Perhaps your cat dislikes the fragrance of her wet food when it is in the dish. Cats do not like to eat from plastic dishes. Replace the dish with ceramic or stainless steel.
If you notice your cat eating dry food from her dish in the usual way, her wet food eating preference may be related to the fact that her plate “moves away” from her when she licks at it. This may be avoided by using a heavier dish or a steel dish with rubber padding.
However, keep in mind that your cat isn’t the only one with a peculiar eating behavior. It is pretty normal for cats to exhibit such weird habits.
Should I Be Worried About My Cat Eating From Her Paws?
Aside from basic hygiene concerns, we don’t think it is anything you need to worry about.
In addition to being exceedingly clean, cats also groom themselves regularly. It is important to them to remain squeaky clean.
However, if you look at their feet, you can’t help but notice that they’re always in contact with the floor and whatever else they’ve managed to walk through on their daily excursions.
How your cat likes to eat is not a matter of concern. Some cats just prefer to eat with their paws and that is absolutely fine.
Why Does My Cat Lick Her Paws After Eating?
Cats groom themselves numerous times a day. They tend to lick their paws after eating even if they haven’t touched any food with their feet. These food-related grooming habits may be a remnant of a cat’s live prey hunting habits in the wild.
Cats are frequently cleaner than the food they eat, especially when it comes to wet food items, which can spatter small particles and leave oils and food odors around the mouth, in the whiskers, and even on the face and front legs. Unwanted objects are not acceptable to cats, therefore they must be eliminated.
Although cats’ tongues are incredibly flexible, there are some parts of the body that they just cannot reach, such as their ears, nose, rear of the head, and the area surrounding the mouth and jaw. They utilize a front paw as a “washcloth” for these areas.
In order to clean, they first moisten the paw by licking it and then use it to wipe away the wetness. They execute this process several times in each area to be cleaned. As the last step, they will clean the foot that has gathered the dirt.
This grooming process is emotionally relaxing and assuring for any cat.
Why Does My Cat Scratch The Floor With Her Paws While Eating?
Before or after eating or drinking, your cat may paw, scrape, or knead the floor as if digging or burying something. This is not unusual behavior and nothing is wrong with your cat. In reality, your pet is displaying an inclination shared even by large cats, which is a very positive indicator that it feels at ease in your home.
Pawing and digging while eating are both natural behaviors. Some cats may carry this activity to an extreme, spending a significant amount of time clawing at the floor or kneading the carpet surrounding their feeding dish. Cats may sometimes pull things such as towels on top of their feeding dishes.
Kneading, which resembles pawing, is a sign of joy. Kneading is a sign of your cat being happy. If your cat kneads its paws, it may be expecting a pleasurable event, such as eating a meal. If the area around the food dish is soft, kneading is more likely to happen.
How Do I Stop My Cat From Scratching The Floor While Eating?
Pawing and kneading are not inherently detrimental behaviors. It can’t damage your cat, and it’s unlikely to hurt you. In fact, some cat owners think it’s adorable.
On the other hand, if your cat rips up documents or destroys your carpet, it may be inconvenient and messy.
If you believe the conduct is causing an issue, you can take a few actions to address it.
- Once your cat finishes eating, take away her bowl so that she is unable to scratch at it.
- Place the food on a firm surface away from anything that might be broken or pulled into the dish.
- Keep an eye on your pet as she eats and remove the food bowl when she is finished. It is better to put away wet food within a few minutes if it hasn’t been completely consumed as it can deteriorate quickly.
- Distract your cat with a toy or activity if she starts pawing the floor.
- Do not punish your cat for scratching or kneading. It is a natural behavior and is not intrinsically harmful.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Does My Cat Move Her Food To A Different Location And Eat With Her Paws?
Cats eat and drink water with their paws because it is an inherited wildcat trait that has been passed down for thousands of years. Some wild cats, as well as outdoor or feral domestic cats, relocate their prey after catching it. This suggests that it is a deeply ingrained behavioral trait and there isn’t much you can do to change it.
Why Does My Cat Want Me To Walk Her To The Food?
Cats may want you to walk them to their food so you can watch them eat. This habit might be caused by the cat’s desire to feel safe and protected when eating.
Why Does My Cat Play With Her Food While Eating?
Cats in the wild can spend up to 12 hours a day looking for food. Playing with their food is a way for them to stay involved with their surroundings. If you notice your cat knocking her food from the dish before eating, she is most likely participating in predatory behavior, much like her predecessors.
Cats eating with their paws may appear weird, but it is completely normal. There are no adverse side effects to it as long as your feline friend keeps herself well-groomed. Cats kneading at the floor is actually a sign of them having a good bond with you.
However, if they have taken their scratching at the food to an extreme, be patient in trying to relieve them of this behavior. Consult a veterinarian if you are still unsure.
Feel free to drop your queries and concerns regarding your feline friend in the comment section below.