Why Does My Cat Throw His Food on the floor

Have you noticed unusual behavior in your cat while it’s eating food? Sometimes it can take its food out of the food bowl and play around with it on the floor before it eats it. Many cat owners do not understand this behavior of their felines, but we are here to tell you that there is a good reason for it. There are a bunch of reasons why your cat may throw his food on the floor.

In this article, we will discuss all those reasons and what you can do to stop this habit of your feline friend. Let’s get started.

why does my cat throw his food on the floor

Why does your cat throw his food on the floor?

Being one of the cleanest creatures, it is quite unusual to see them behaving like this. Even stray cats or cats with a wild background are often completely okay with having food from a bowl.

Many cat experts suggest that if a cat behaves like this, there may be a much deeply-rooted, behavioral issue.

However, this is not always true. Cats also behave because of their natural instincts.

You will see that your cat is making a mess, but to figure out why it throws his food on the floor, you will need to use your observation skills.

Watch your cat’s behavior silently from afar throughout the day, not just when it’s eating.

After you go through the reasons we have mentioned below, you will be able to decipher why it has this habit.

Reasons your cat may throw his food on the floor

There are a bunch of reasons why your cat can throw his food on the floor. However none of this is medical advice, it is based on our knowledge and experiences.

If you fear that your cat may have severe behavioral issues, it would be a wise decision to take it to the vet as soon as possible.

Now, let’s get into the reasons for throwing food.

It wants to use her paws for eating

Cats are not much of a paw-eaters, but in some cases they can actually show this behavior.

Especially after you have had a nice play time with your kitty and it is feeling quite energetic, you can expect this.

It will take the food out the bowl using its paws, play or pick on it a bit, before finally eating it off the floor.

Not only will this make a mess of its paws, but you will need to clean up the floor at every meal time.

This does not indicate behavioral issues, it is more of their natural instinct as their ancestors used to hunt for prey many years ago. Wild cats still use this technique.

Food may be too big in size

If you have a young kitten, it is best to break food down into small pieces so it can digest them with ease.

Large pieces of food will tempt your cat to break the food into smaller pieces by itself. And it will not hesitate to throw the food on the floor for its handy work.

So make sure you do it for the cat beforehand.

If you use wet cat food, then there should not be much issue with the size of the food. Just break the pile apart using a spoon and you should be good to go.

Kibble however can be a bit complicated. You will need to discuss with your vet for suitable options if your cat is unable to ingest kibble with ease.

It does not want to share its food

Do you have multiple cats at your place? Do they often share a lot of their things with each other?

If that is the case, you may want to consider getting separate things for both of them, including the food bowl.

Cats tend to get possessive. They do not like it when another cat tries to share something with them, and can even break into a fight if they get angry.

So if you see your cat throwing food on the ground before eating it, it is just trying to get itself away from the other cats and eat in peace.

Territorial issues are common in cats, so this will not be classified as a behavioral issue. It is just cats being cats, so nothing to worry about.

Portion size is not suitable for your cat

As a cat owner you need to be wary of the portions you feed your kitty. Your vet may have already laid out a chart of what nutrients your cat needs and how to fulfill it.

So while it is important to keep a nutrient check, it is also important that you give your cat the right amount of food required for its diet.

Otherwise, you will see your cat playing and throwing its food around on the floor. Just double check the portion if you see it throwing food on the floor next time.

Food bowl issues

We normally do not think that cats are this picky, but they can surprise us. It’s a very human thing to think and talk about cutlery, but apparently cats do it too.

Remember we talked about the possessive nature of cats? Well, this cna show up in food bowls too.

Try to keep the cat bowls separate from each other (if you have other cats), and keep the bowl the same so that you do not face problems in its behavior later on.

It is common to have them throw a tantrum by throwing food out of the bowl if they do not like it.

Cat appetite

In many cases, your cat not eating its food and throwing it around could give you other signs. It could be telling you that it is full and does not want to eat anymore food.

A cat playing with its food is enough to tell you that maybe you got the portions wrong, it does not like the food, or it simply does not want to eat at the moment.

So if you notice any of these signs in your cat based on your observations and the information we have mentioned in this article, what do you do?

How to stop this habit of your cat? It must surely be costing you a clean floor and cat. Well, let’s take a look.

How do you fix this issue?

We are going to be honest, this habit can take a while to disappear. Your cat may be doing it for a number of reasons, and it is not as easy to figure out what it does not like.

You can, of course, take care of the basic things though like we mentioned above. That would be to keep one bowl for your cat, avoid changing bowls and bowl sharing, experiment with its portion sizes and see what fits.

You may also want to break the food down into smaller pieces to make sure your cat can not swallow it. Otherwise it will take initiative and break it down all by itself on your floor.

Many cat owners recommend that to make your cat used to not throwing food on the floor, you should get a bowl with slightly taller edges.

This will make it harder for it to take the food out and throw it on the floor. As a bonus for easy cleanup, lay out a mat before you place the bowls in case they make a mess.

It is not a long term solution, but enough to make do while you teach your cat to stop this habit altogether.


In conclusion, why does my cat throw his food on the floor?

There are a number of reasons why your cat does this. It can be annoying for us cat owners, but usually your cat is just indicating something by this action.

Despite cats being super clean animals, they may sometimes decide what to use their paws to eat, break it into smaller pieces if it is too big for them, or may simply want to move away from sharing with other cats.

Cats getting territorial is a very common trait, and most cats will begin throwing food on the floor if you use the same bowl as another cat.

Another thing that often goes unnoticed is how much your cat willingly wants to eat. If it is done eating and is full, it will start throwing and playing with its food.

How do you fix these issues? Well, keep seperate bowls for your cats, adjust the portion size and break the food into smaller pieces.

Check with your vet for your cats’ nutritional requirements, and make sure you adjust the diet accordingly. This way even if your cat eats less, it will still be healthy.

Lastly, it is not the permanent solution, but try to get a taller bowl with bigger edges to avoid cat throwing food. Keep a mat in place for easy clean ups too.

Slowly, but surely, if you keep teaching your cat against it, it will learn soon enough.

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