Why Does My Cat Eat With Her Paw?

Your cat’s behavior can be very puzzling.

Fortunately, you can solve many behavior problems by understanding your cat’s behavior and what works for her. If your cat seems to be acting differently, consult a veterinarian.

So, why does my cat eat with her paw? Well, cats’ eating with their paws is an ancient habit that has nothing to do with their physical health.

In fact, it’s completely normal for cats to eat with their paws. Cats use their feet and paws for various reasons, such as scratching and licking.

When cats eat, they place food on their paws to make it easier to pick up. They also use their paws to pick up food that is on a higher surface.

Eating with their paws is a completely natural habit that helps them eat more efficiently.

Why Does My Cat Eat With Her Paw?

Feelings for Texture

Cat paws, like human hands, have different levels of sensitivity on their surfaces, so they can feel different things when touching different objects or surfaces.

Cats, like humans, use their touch to determine the texture of something.

When your cat eats with her paw, she is feeling the texture of the food before she puts it into her mouth.

Eating with her paw is also a way for your cat to feel the food better before eating it.

This helps her to judge how soft the food is, and if it is the right texture for her to eat before she puts it into her mouth.

Each cat has its own unique preferences when it comes to the texture and firmness of food that they eat with their mouths.

Hunting Practice

Domestic cats have rendered them useless as hunters of prey in the wild.

Because they were raised well as house pets from the start, they might not have the confidence they need to hunt wild animals.

In their natural ancestral environments, cats might have learned to hunt for prey by working their way up the food chain.

Often, this entails learning to hunt for smaller prey like lizards or rodents before moving on to bigger prey like mice or deer.

This explains why, despite the fact that you put fresh cat food in a cat bowl every day, some cat owners observe their felines engaging in predatory behaviors with toys.


Cats may have started in the wild, but they have been domesticated for centuries now.

Some cats just find it more comfortable to reach for food with their paw in case they drop food or if their bowls are placed too high for them to reach with their paw alone.

Some cats are even comfortable eating with their mouths wide open.

Having access to food in multiple ways gives them more leverage when they want to achieve their feeding goals without having to strain themselves too much.

Extreme Sensitivity

Cats use their whiskers to feel what’s around them and how they’re moving so they can stay safe from predators and find their way around.

You’ll also note that they don’t sleep on their backs but instead on their sides or stomachs.

When a cat with long whiskers eats from a bowl placed in front of her face, she may find it difficult to pick up food and eat it with her paws.

The cat may prefer to scoop the food up with her mouth instead and then bring it into her mouth to eat it.

Poor Location Of The Bowl

Cats dislike surprises, so they may avoid bowls that may be placed in an unusual location in the house.

They want to stay aware of their surroundings at all times so they can escape easily whenever necessary.

Most cat owners place their cats’ feeding dishes in their bedroom so that they wake up to feed their kitties in the morning or late at night.

However, if a cat does not feel fully secure when placed in an unfamiliar environment, then she may decide to avoid the bowl altogether and eat somewhere else in the room instead.

The cat’s eyes and hearing are better at detecting subtle movements than their other senses, such as smell and touch.

A Feeding Bowl That Is Too Deep or Small

Cats come in all shapes and sizes, so you may have to buy a variety of bowls for your cat based on her size and preferences.

A given dish size may be suitable for one cat but not for another, especially if they’re of different weights.

Cats like to eat by reaching out and using their mouths to grab their food, so a bowl of the same size may not be suitable for a bigger or older cat.

How Do I Get My Cat To Stop Eating From Her Paws?

If you check your cat and find that she prefers to eat from her paws, then you’ll have to find an alternative way for her to feed herself since this behavior may indicate an underlying health problem.

There are no physiological reasons why a cat eats with her paw, so you’ll have to work your way to a solution based on her psychological requirements.

Take a close look at the area where you placed your cat’s feeding bowl and determine if that area is under your cat’s control or if you’re keeping her there against her will.

If you found the cat’s feeding bowl to be in a place that she fears or dislikes, then you may have to move it to a different location or try a different style of food bowl that she’d prefer.

You might try changing your kitten’s food as well to see if that makes a difference in the way she eats.

Give her food in a deeper, larger dish and see if that helps her eat from a dish and not from her paws.

Should I Be Worried About My Cat Eating From Her Paws?

Aside from basic cleanliness, we should also pay attention to how our cats eat to prevent bad behavior and health problems.

Cats, in addition to being carnivorous animals, are obligate carnivores, which means they must eat meat to survive, unlike omnivores who can eat meat, vegetables, and other food sources.

It is critical to feed them a diet that is specially made for cats and contains all the necessary nutrients to keep their bodies healthy.

However, if you look at their feet, you’ll find that cats have claws instead of nails, which they use to catch their prey in the wild.

Why Does My Cat Use Her Paws to Scratch the Floor When Eating?

Your cat may paw, scrape, or knead the flooring while eating if she is feeling uncomfortable or anxious.

This is not uncommon behavior, especially when they chew on wet food and lick their paws clean afterwards.

In reality, your pet is just doing what most mammals do after they eat, which is to groom and clean themselves.

Why Does My Cat Lick Her Paws After Eating?

Cats groom themselves to keep their fur clean and to remove loose hair and dirt from their coats.

Even though they haven’t touched any soil or other dirt particles, your cat will still lick her paws after she finishes eating to remove any traces of leftover food stuck to her pads.

These food-related grooming routines may be hard for us to understand since we typically wash our hands before we eat and wash our dishes right after a meal.

Also Read: Why Do Cats Not Like Their Paws Touched?

Final Words

Cats feeding with their paws isn’t considered unusual, and it’s even perfectly normal for cats to eat with their mouths open when hunger strikes.

It has no negative side effects on your feline friend if you allow her to scratch the floor with her claws while she’s chowing down on her meal.

Cats kneading at the floor with their front feet when they’re hungry are merely trying to locate their meals easily and not a sign of aggression.

However, if they have gone too far in scratching your floors to the point of causing damage, then you have to stop this behavior by placing their food bowls on a surface that’s not easy for them to scratch.

If you are worried that your cat has arthritis or any other disease that makes her feel pain when she’s eating with her paws, then you can try to give her some treats.