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Dr Scott Nimmo
Dr Scott Nimmo, Small Animal Veterinary Surgeon.
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 21561
Experience:  BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }
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My cat (Im her third human) has a tendency to leave chunks

Customer Question

My cat (I'm her third human) has a tendency to leave chunks of her solid food around the house. Some days she doesn't do it. Other days it's a single chunk. Other days it's two or three chunks.

I've seen other cats remove food from their bowls and deposit it a few inches away to eat it. She isn't doing that - she's happy to eat straight from her bowl. This is around the house in places where I most often walk. On the path from bed to bedroom door. In the hall between bedroom door and living room door. In living room/kitchen between her bowl and my computer desk.

She's leaving it where she thinks I'm most likely to spot it. Which I do, usually by treading it into the carpet. Often in the middle of the night when I get up, barefoot, to go to the toilet.

I've only seen her do it a couple of times, and it's quite deliberate. She walks with the food in her mouth, stops to consider for a second or two, brings her head down to place it on the floor (rather than drop it) then continues walking. She never goes back to it to eat it herself (or if she does then she forgets about a lot of it).

The only two explanations I can think of are that she's not happy with the food and wants me to know she doesn't like eating it or it's the best she can do in lieu of a mouse as a gift for me (which would be sweet if not for the feel of cat food being squashed by my bare feet).

How do I train her not to do this?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Shantal-Mod replied 4 years ago.


I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.

Thank you,


Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 4 years ago.
Hello, and welcome.

Sorry you have been kept waiting, Shantal has contacted me and asked me to talk your cat's behaviour over with you. My name is Scott, I am an experienced small animal veterinary surgeon and cat person, I will be very pleased to work with you today and will try my best to answer your question to your satisfaction.

1. Why is Sylvia doing this? : Well as a vet I would always start off by considering two options, one being is this a medical problem or is this a behavioural problem.? In more depth it would break down like this :

A. Medical problems such as dental disease or mouth or throat ulceration or any condition causing constriction of the throat region. Sylvia could be carrying the food because although she wants to eat it she is concerned it may be uncomfortable to do so and so eventually just drops it.

B. Behavioural problems : Well I have to say you have outlined those very well such as a variation of the cat placing things in her water bowl or leaving gifts for you. On balance I think you are dealing with the leaving gifts option.

2. What to do about it? : I think because she's happy to eat straight from her bowl this is unlikely to be a medical problem but it would be an idea for you to check her mouth out with a good light source just in case. If you find nothing unusual { which is likely } then have your vet check her over with regards to the problem at Sylvia's next routine consultation such as vaccination time.

I am very much a cat person and my experience is that if this is indeed behavioural then it will be next to impossible to deal with through training, cats are notoriously difficult to train, any attempt in this direction would probably just cause confusion.

What you could try though is a change in diet to a brand of food which is very different from the one you are using now, different in both taste, texture and appearance. Finally a change to a completely dry food diet { The better ones are just fine for cats these days } would most likely solve the problem.

I hope I have covered your question fully enough but if you would like further clarification or to talk things over a bit more then I will be on-line for the next hour or so and I will be more than pleased to continue working with you.