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I have wooden flooring in my kitchen with a small carpet, which does not cover the entire room. I put my cat's bowls on the wooden flooring and most of the time he carries his food to the carpet and chews it there.

I am curious why he prefers doing that?

At first, I though maybe his bowl was uncomfortable as it was deep and his whiskers touched the edges of the bowl when he reached into it. So I switched it with a flat saucer, but he still carries his food to the carpet a few steps away.

Then I thought maybe his nose or whiskers touched other pieces of the food while he was grabbing one piece so I switched his flat saucer with a bigger saucer and put the food bits further away from each other so that he could pick up one piece without being bothered by the other pieces.

Still the same behaviour.

I never tried to discourage the behaviour as I don't really care much about the carpet. But I am wondering what I could do better to make my cat more comfortable eating from his bowl instead of having to carry his food a few steps away every time he takes a bite.

Just to clarify: my cat does not eat the carpet itself. I saw this is a problem too while researching my situation. My cat just eats on top of the carpet, not the carpet itself.

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    if a cat lives in the wild it will often take the prey to a safer place to eat,maby this is a part of it,some cats do take the food away from their bowl to eat. – trond hansen Dec 29 '17 at 7:46
  • What happens when you put the food bowl on the carpet? Does he sit on the carpet and eat out of the bowl or does he still take the food out to eat it? – James Jenkins Dec 29 '17 at 11:53
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    If I put the bowl on the carpet, he will still take it out of it and eat on the carpet. He just doesn't carry it as far. I guess Trond has a point, maybe its just some instinct. – NovaLogic Dec 29 '17 at 14:04
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I think one of two things is happening:

  • It's a learned behaviour from something that's happened before, and the solution was to eat on the carpet - this could of been maybe they feel the bowl isn't a safe place to eat, or something happened to them (something dropped on them, someone trod on tail etc) when they were near the bowl so now want to minimise time spent near it.

  • The other is maybe the bowl is slippy when they are trying to eat? Cats generally will chew food while it's in contact with the ground and use the (normally rough) ground to keep it from sliding away - this doesn't work with food in a bowl. By placing it on the carpet your cat has avoided the problem.


As to how to solve the issue firstly decide if it's actually a problem - your cat appears to be happy eating from the carpet and you haven't said it's a problem more than a confusion about why it's happening.

Solutions maybe trying different bowls until you find one your cat is happy with, however you're going to need to convince your cat to try eating directly from the bowl again rather than bringing the food to the carpet each time.

There's various ways of doing this from just 'shooing' your cat back towards the bowl, to putting down plastic/selotape/foil to encourage her to stay near the bowl.

| improve this answer | |
  • It seems like the slippery bowl is indeed the problem - I have noticed the food slides quite freely. So it looks like it's a just a matter of comfort and not a deficiency or anything serious. I will try different bowls until we find one he likes. Perhaps a wooden bowl would be less slippery. – NovaLogic Jan 1 '18 at 22:38

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