Why Do Cats Take Their Food Out of the Bowl and Eat on the Floor?

Reason Behind Cats Taking Food Out of the Bowl and Eating on the Floor

a. Due to Whisker Fatigue

Whiskers, also known as “tactile hairs” or vibrissae, play a crucial role in a cat’s sensory perception. Cats have highly sensitive whiskers that can detect subtle changes in the air. Whiskers help cats assess their surroundings, such as determining if they can squeeze into a tight space behind a bookshelf.

In reality, cats’ whiskers are very sensitive, to the point where they can experience stress. This fatigue often results from their whiskers brushing against the sides of the bowl. If a cat is using its paws to touch the food or taking the food out of the bowl and eating on the floor, consider providing them with a shallow and wider bowl to relieve the pressure on their whiskers.

Key considerations when choosing a food bowl for your cat:

  • It is important to limit the use of plastic bowls (including those labeled as “safe”). While plastic bowls may seem sturdy overall, they have a few drawbacks. Firstly, many cats are allergic to plastic and develop chin acne-like skin conditions. Secondly, plastic tends to accumulate scales and scratches, creating a breeding ground for bacteria.

b. Overly Large Food Portions

Wet food from cans or large chunks of meat may cause cats to take their food out of the bowl. This is because the food is too large for the cat to handle. By removing it from the bowl, your cat can easily break it into smaller, more manageable pieces that are easier to eat.

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c. Preference

Cats have their own unique and quirky personalities, much like humans. If you’ve tried everything and your cat still takes their food out of the bowl to eat on the floor, it may be their preference or they feel comfortable doing so.

d. Dirty Bowl

Another factor that can cause cats to take their food out of the bowl and eat on the floor is something amiss with their feeding dish. Cats are very clean animals and prefer a sanitary environment. They don’t like dirty bowls. If you unintentionally let their food sit out for too long, causing the bowl to develop an odor or if the bowl is not thoroughly washed, it can make your cat opt for the floor instead.

To prevent this behavior, make sure to clean the feeding bowl at least twice a week if you’re feeding them dry food. If you’re feeding your cat wet food, clean the bowl immediately after they finish eating.

Build a Strong Bond with Your Feline Companion

Understanding your cat’s behaviors and needs helps build a strong bond between you and your furry friend. By considering their preferences and optimizing their feeding experience, you can ensure your cat feels comfortable and content during mealtime. So, provide them with a suitable food bowl and a clean feeding area to make their dining experience enjoyable.

If your cat doesn’t eat directly from the bowl but takes the food out and eats on the floor, it could be due to various reasons such as whisker fatigue, overly large food portions, preferences, or a dirty bowl. To address this issue, you can purchase a wide and shallow food dish that doesn’t put pressure on their whiskers. Additionally, ensure you cut their food into bite-sized pieces and clean their feeding bowl regularly.

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