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    When you pet a cat or kitten, you may notice that your cat always scratches the floor before drinking water or after eating. This behavior is usual and an inborn instinct in cats. Scratching is beneficial to cats’ health and well-being; however, sometimes this sound can be frustrating and disruptive. Why do cats scratch the floor? What is the meaning of this behavior? 

    Let Hyperfavor help you figure out what is the reason behind cats paw at the floor and how to stop this. 

    What cat pawing at the floor?

    Many cats scratch, paw, or knead the floor on a regular basis. This is an example of instinctual behavior in action. Scratching allows cats to train the muscles in their forelimbs and spine, keeping them in top hunting shape. Scratching can also serve as a kind of territorial communication or marking. Scent and sweat glands in the space between the pads of the foot combine to create a distinct odor. Cats leave a scent trail behind them when they scrape their claws across a surface. The combination of the mark, the claw husks, and the scent sends a clear message to other cats.

    Read more: Why Do Cats Wander Off For Days?

    Cats are currently primarily kept as indoor pets, with little or no access to outside environments. And, cat pawing at the floor implies that they are at ease with their claws in a safe, comfortable environment. In the company of their owners or other cats, cats will often scratch aggressively as a gesture of territorial assurance.

    Reasons why cats scratch the floor

    Floor pawing behavior is common in cats. To understand their motivation behind scratching, we will put it into three specific cases.


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    Awesome cat Hawaiian shirt for you

    When cats scratch the floor after eating

    The answer to the question “Why do cats scratch the floor?” is that they want to bury the leftovers. In the wild, when finishing meals, it is vitally important for cats to bury the leftovers in order to cover their tracks. So, predators are less likely to be attracted by the smell of food. If your cat scratches the floor after eating, it is just his or her instinct to protect from predators. 

    Cats pawing at the floor can also be explained by food coaching. Cats, like cheetahs and leopards, will hide their food and then devour it later. Attempting to hide food is a defensive tactic to keep other animals from eating their remaining food.

    In some cases, cats knead the floor to dig a hole to bury food or items they dislike. Burying, like caching, allows cats to get rid of their excrement and anything else they don't want around. They have an instinctual desire for a clean and tidy environment, therefore burying food waste allows them to do so.

    Watch: Why Do Cats Scratch Around Its Food Bowl?

    When cats scratch the floor before drinking water 

    Desert felines were the ancestors of domestic cats. They used to look for water by digging up the sand. If your cat appears to be digging on the floor before drinking, this could be the cause.

    Another theory for why do cats scratch the floor is that they are dissatisfied with the water. Cats have a proclivity for burying items that they dislike, disgust, or are displeased with. If the water bowl has an unpleasant taste or odor, your cat will try to bury it by scratching the floor.

    Sometimes cats paw at the floor can be interpreted as an inquisitive gesture. Perhaps a new bowl of water attracts your cats' attention, and they scratch on the floor to familiarize themselves with it before drinking. They may be interested in the quality of the water, how it flows when they tilt the bowl over, or whether the bowl is clear.


    why do cats scratch the floor?

    When cats scratch the floor after pooping

    Cats are genetically wired to hide their poop, or at least the smell of it. In the wild, cats will go to any length to conceal their scent since it is critical to their survival. Because wild cats must conceal from both prey and predators, they will bury their excrement in the soil. Even if your house is nothing like the wild, your cat retains the instincts that it inherited from its wild ancestors.

    Cat litter is used to replace soil in the wild when cats are kept indoors. Ideally, your cat will bury its feces in the litter by scratching within the box, which will mask the odor. However, if your cat continues to scratch at the floor after pooping, there are a few things you should know.

    • Tiny litter box: The most common reason why do cats scratch the floor is because the litter box is too small. It's likely that your cat has grown out of its box.
    • Low tray sides: Excrement and stink may run over the tray sides if the tray sides are too low.
    • Uncleaned litter box: Humans do not have as good a sense of smell as cats. If your cat doesn't use its litter box and instead scratches the floor next to it, the litter tray is likely to have a strong scent.
    Maybe you need this cute cat mug

    Maybe you need this cute cat mug

    Apart from the meaning of cats paw at the floor mentioned above, cats may scratch floors to clean their nails or simply out of habit. Stress and insecurity are also reasons why do cats scratch the floor. Changing home or the addition of a new family member may make them feel uncomfortable and continue scratching the floor as a way to express their discontent. 

    How can we stop our cat scratching the floor? 

    While having your cat scratch your carpets or tiles after every meal may be inconvenient for you, it is absolutely harmless for the cat. There is no need for the owners to intervene unless the carpets or furniture are harmed. 

    However, If you can put an end to cat pawing at the floor by adopting following methods. 

    Try a new feeding strategies 

    Based on the reasons why cats scratch the floor after eating, you can formulate a new feeding plan to deal with. 

    Pick up leftovers and promptly distract your cat with fun or goodies after your cat has finished eating. If your cat only consumes a small amount of food, simply set out a sufficient amount of food and space out its meal times throughout the day. This means there won't be any leftover food to bury.

    If your cat isn't fond of certain foods, try a variety of flavors, textures, and brands. To avoid upsetting its stomach, it is beneficial to modify the daily menu.

    Try a new feeding strategies

    Infuse pheromones into the surroundings

    In the area where your cat has been clawing, spray a feline pheromone. Some cat behaviorists believe these items work by tricking cats into thinking the location has already been "marked" by another cat, which discourages scratching.

    This method is especially useful for preventing your cat from marking the area around its water bowl. This unique cat pheromone relaxes cats, allowing them to drink in peace rather than digging through the floor.

    An artificial cat pheromone imitates the odors that cats naturally leave on surfaces, which makes  your pet feel less compelled to continue marking and pawing on the floor.

    Clean cat litter box regularly

    Cats pawing at the floor are usually caused by dirty litter boxes. One of the most basic strategies for preventing your cat from clawing after pooping is to keep the litter box clean.

    Cat excrement should be scooped at least twice a day. Tidying your cat's litter box will keep your cat clean. Because of a chemical called bentonite, clumping litter will attach to the poop. Place the trash in a plastic bag and secure it before throwing it away. After each scoop, top up your cat's litter to make sure it's at its best.

    Clean cat litter box regularly

    Depending on the sort of litter you use and how often you clean your box, you should replace it roughly every two weeks. You can replenish clumping litter less frequently, possibly every 2 to 3 weeks. Because urine is more prone to settle at the bottom of the box, non-clumping litter will require more changes. Urine can make the litter boxes give out unpleasant smell, as it lingers longer than cat excrement

    Cover up the floor with carpet

    Covering the scratched area is the simplest technique to stop the scratching. You might cover the floor with a little carpet to prevent your cat from scratching it. For the front of an entry way, cover it with a thin mat.

    Think about how agitated your cat is

    When a cat is emotionally upset, such as when it feels threatened by environmental changes or when a new pet (or child) has recently entered the household, it may scratch more frequently. Paying more attention to your cat, especially more frequent playtime, may provide the reassurance it requires to stop clawing the floor.

    Final thought 

    Why do cats scratch the floor? It is an instinctive behavior and harmless for cats. However, sometimes it signifies that something may need to be done. In some cases, scratching behavior implies that your cat feels discontented and stressed. Therefore, you should pay more attention to your cat diets, sleeping space, and pooping area. Playing with them more often is a way to reassure them of the comfort and safety of your home. 

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