Does you cat make a fine old mess when she is enjoying her chow? Or does she take pieces of it out of her bowl and drop them somewhere else to eat?
Are you constantly cleaning up the aftermath of your cat's meals? Let's examine some of the possible reasons your cat is so sloppy in her eating habits, and see what can be done about it.
Cats simply do not like eating from deep bowls. Their whiskers touch the sides as they stick their faces in and it’s a big no no for anything touching a cat’s whiskers.
If hungry, your cat may quickly reach into the bowl, grab a morsel and drop it on the floor where she can eat it without her whiskers brushing against the inside of the bowl.
A cat’s vibrissae (whiskers to you and me,) perform many useful functions, one of which is to help the cat judge whether or not she can pass through a gap.
The ends of her whiskers are very sensitive and if she feels the ends touch something, she knows she can’t squeeze through.
In trying to feed from a deep bowl she is getting mixed messages.
The odor of the food is telling her to eat but sensations in her whiskers are saying don’t go there.
If you think your cat’s bowl is the cause of your cat’s sloppy eating, try her out with a shallow dish or even a plate; it may just solve the problem.
Should it turn out that your feline didn’t have an issue with her whiskers then a plate unfortunately will only make it easier for her to drag her food off.
All you can do is experiment.
After time tiny cracks form in the surface of plastic and if this is the material your pets dish is made of it is a possible reason for her scooping her food out and making a mess on the floor.
Food and dirt get trapped in those microscopic cracks and cause bacteria and an odor that your cat can smell along with it.
Yes, you wash the plastic dish every day but you will not get rid of that odor. Your cat does not like it so she removes her food from the dish to eat on the floor.
Solution – a new dish, preferably ceramic or stainless steel.
Do you use a strong smelling dish washing soap? Your cat may be able to smell it even though you have rinsed the dish.
More information on this page: Cat Will Not Eat.
I doubt that you would make the mistake of placing your cat’s food too close to her toilet.
If the two things are in close proximity a cat will understandably not like that. Likely the cat will refuse to eat at all, but another reaction could be for her to drag pieces of food away to somewhere more savory.
If your cat doesn't drag her food off the dish, but makes a mess when she eats because she doesn't seem able to keep the food in her mouth, check her teeth.
Cats do suffer dental problems just like people do and missing, or decaying teeth can mean that your pet is unable to eat properly. Any sign of dental troubles need to be check by your vet. - Your Cat's Teeth.
Some times it is not a case of taking food out of the dish and eating it, or just leaving it someplace else.
Some cats are sloppy eaters period. Pieces of wet food or kibble come flying off the edge of the dish and are invariably ignored by the cat.
Worse yet, having distributed half her food around her dish and finished eating, the cat starts to play with the pieces. Perhaps she even manages to bat the food some distance across the room. Then you come along and unwittingly tread on it. Yuk.
Try feeding her smaller portions more frequently, if you possibly can.
Is your cat’s food dish sited in a busy room or busy part of the home?
It may just be that something disturbs your cat about the spot she is expected to eat.
Are there too many humans passing by too often? Noisy household appliances?
Is your cat taking food out of her dish so that she can enjoy it somewhere peaceful?
Do you have another cat that ambushes her when she tries to eat? That is a possible reason for her to move her food, but you would almost certainly notice the attacks, unless your cats are alone all day while you are at work.
In any event, it would be more likely that the cat being ambushed stops trying to eat at all.
Just a little theory. In the wild cats had to work to eat. They had to hunt their prey, catch it and kill it.
Only then could they eat.
Your cat does not have to do any of that; she gets her meal served up on a plate.
No work, no judgment, no skill, no choice. Of course, she doesn’t complain about it, it is nice to have you serve her food up like that. But could it be that in some way she feels she is executing some judgment and choice when she selects a piece of her food and moves it from her dish to a spot of her choosing?
As I say, just a idea that is possibly wide of the mark.
If your cat does drag her food out of her dish I hope one of the above ideas helps you to solve the problem, and you can cure your cat's messy eating.
Cat Hoarder : Collecting Cats.
A cat hoarder keeps far more than a reasonable number of companion cats and is unable to adequately provide for the cats’ welfare. Why do they do it?