My cat takes a huge chuck of wet food from the bowl and then drops it on the floor and proceeds to eat it.

She sometimes takes a chunk of food from the bowl, moves a few feet away and does the same there, then comes back, takes another big chunk.

She does not do the same with dry food.

I get large spots of sticky dry cat food around her bowl and in the other place she sometimes move and its disgusting.

What could it be?

  • 2
    That cat has its feline instincts on the surface and acts accordingly. Commented Jan 29, 2014 at 9:37
  • 2
    Both of my cats do this. No real reason I can find, they do it with dry, wet, anything. Usually they'll pick it up out of the bowl, give it a good shake (to make sure its dead?) and then drop it on the floor. Commented Jan 29, 2014 at 20:52

2 Answers 2


There could be a few reasons, and without experimenting it may be difficult to know for certain.

Is the wet food a new variety? The cat may just be unsure of the food, giving it a "taste test" before deciding to finish it. I've seen my cats do similar things with new foods.

Another possibility is a cat's natural instinctive behavior pattern: "hunt, play, eat, clean, sleep". If you watch a cat hunt live prey, you'll notice it won't eat its prey immediately when she catches it. Instead, it will play with it before finally eating, cleaning itself, and then resting for the next hunt. I would recommend playing with your cat before feeding, allowing it to get the "hunt & play" urges out before meals and then immediately follow play sessions with food.

It's also possible that your cat doesn't feel "secure" in the space where the food bowl is kept and is taking the food elsewhere to enjoy it.

  • Are there other cats in the house?
  • Have there ever been cats in the house before that might have left "territorial markings" (urine, can be checked with a black light) in that spot?
  • Is it near a window where neighborhood cats may be seen from?

Try moving the food bowl, or playing and giving treats to her around the food bowl so she associates "good things" with that spot. Depending on how dependent your cat is on you, she may just want your presence while eating. My cats prefer to eat when I'm close by and will rarely finish their meals without me around.

Maybe the cat isn't happy with the taste of the wet food? Have you tried other varieties? Some cats are very picky and will take their time if they don't like it as much.

And of course, it also could just be your cat's individual personality and instincts. I'd advise putting a plastic matt near the food bowl to make cleanup easier.

  • No other cats. No cats have ever lived there. Through the window she might see cats outside (granny neighborhood) but she really has no reason to suspect such things. She is not paranoid like another cat I know from back home. She would take a bite and chew while looking all around her. Each bite, each meal, for years. Poor thing, it was a stray.
    – Discipol
    Commented Jan 29, 2014 at 22:03

Sounds like she is just a little unsure - she doesn't hover over the bowl to eat, but takes it to a safer place to finish each bite. Or she finds the bowl itself to be an impediment to eating how she likes.

There are two things to try - you could feed her in a shallower bowl or plate and see if she finds that more comfortable.

You could also get a mat or carpet scrap to put the cat dishes on so that any dropped food goes on something easier to change out and clean up.

One of my cats gives a little head shake when eating, which scatters things farther too.

  • I already feed her from a plate. Because she eats only the center part from a bowl leaving food at the inner edge.
    – Discipol
    Commented Jan 29, 2014 at 18:52
  • Then I would go with the plastic mat/carpet scrap..or maybe a smaller dish?
    – Oldcat
    Commented Jan 29, 2014 at 18:54

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