Why Does My Cat Put Toys in His Food Bowl?

A reader recently sent in this photo and asked, “Do your cats do this? Suzie does this EACH time she eats, she puts a toy in her dish, sometimes more than one. I find it so comical but don’t understand the meaning, do you have any ideas? I have found as many as 8 toys in one day….!”

cat puts toys in food bowl

My cats don’t do this – so I went to the streets to ask!  Ha ha – I mean, social media to ask!

Here’s what readers said on Facebook:

And here’s what they said on Instagram:

Many readers commented that their cats do this too – and also that their cats put toys in the water bowl.

There were several responses, but the overwhelming reason why is because it’s primal and they’re doing it to bury their food from predators.

Petcha.com says, “Cats often put their toys away in a “safe” place after playing with them, and cats look upon their food area as a secure part of their territory. This behavior is similar to cats in the wild who often take their prey back to their nest area to hide it from potential predators.”

Do your cats bring their toys for collection at the food and water bowls?

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3 thoughts on “Why Does My Cat Put Toys in His Food Bowl?

  1. Anonymous says:

    Was trying to figure out why my cat puts her toy humming bird in her food bowl. I came across this article And found that my cat has the same hummingbird as you

  2. Patti Johnson says:

    What a great topic, Jenny! I find this behavior adorably quirky! None of the cats I’ve had in my life have done this before. Miss Pink Sugarbelle doesn’t do it either but she does hoard her pipe cleaner toys (the twisty ones I make for her) under neath our kitchen garbage can, which makes me laugh each time I’m cleaning and find them under there or when I notice she is sitting next to the garbage can with the “Ummmmm. I need those things I put under there. Get them, please.” look on her face. 🙂 <3

    Big hugs & lots of love!

    Patti & Miss Pink Sugarbelle 🙂 <3

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