Why does my Kitten Paw the Floor before Drinking?

Rudi, my 8 month old Manx kitten, just before drinking water from his bowl, invariably paws the floor a few times (in the direction away from the bowl). Then, after this "ritual" is completed, he'll drink some water. Why does he do this? Thankyou-- Ann

Reply from Liz (editor): Some cats paw the floor after they have eaten or drunk because they are following an instinct from when they were in the wild of burying their food. They do this for a couple of reasons - firstly so that predators won't find them, and secondly sometimes so they can return to the food later.

They will also sometimes paw and spray their territory with urine at the same time, to mark it as theirs.

Displaying this behavior before eating or drinking is more unusual, but I think the meaning is probably that he's claiming the water as "his" before he drinks it.

I don't know if you've had Rudi neutered yet, but if you haven't I'd suggest looking into this fairly soon - the fact that he has his back to the water when he does this (and especially if he has his tail stuck up in the air when he does it) could mean he'll start spraying urine in that general direction soon if he hasn't been neutered! It's best to stop this behavior before it starts, which you can do by getting him neutered. If he's already been neutered, then it's much less likely he'll start to spray, he's more than likely just "going through the motions."

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Pawing the Floor before Drinking
by: Marion

My 5 y/o Russian Blue, Simon, will paw the floor before he drinks from his bowl. His face will be in the bowl & then he will start pawing the floor with his front foot before he drinks. He'll paw several times before he starts to drink. His tail isn't held high nor does he "spray". He is neutered.

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