Why Do Cats paw the floor?

One of the major advantages of having a cat as a house pet is its low maintenance and tidiness. It makes you wonder – if they are so tidy, why do they paw the floor? In this write-up, I will be giving reasons why cats paw the floor.

Cats pawing the floor does not in any way mean they are not tidy animals. The act of pawing the floor might be in line with their tidiness. This article will talk about the emotions behind cats pawing the floor.

Why Do Cats Paw the Floor?

Animal behaviourists have discovered that pawing the floor is instinctual behaviour. This simply means they engage in this act naturally. They can either knead the floor or paw it or go as far as scratching the floor.

Pawing or scratching or kneading the floor by house Cats usually comes before, during, or after eating their food. This behavior may arise from satisfaction, pleasure, or something basic as instinct. There are some other instances where the cat is just having fun though.

There are several reasons Cats engage in these acts. It has also been discovered that they tend to do this when they eat or after finishing their meal. In itself, pawing or kneading or in some cases scratching is not a cause for alarm. It is just a natural behavior that ranges across all cats.

When kittens feed, they knead the breast on their mothers to get enough food. Some animal behaviorists believe cats kneading the floor might be something mastered from when they were kittens. They believe this is just an extension of the survival practice from when they were younger.

Cats do knead the floor as a sign of pleasure or satisfaction. Kneading is more like a massaging movement and Cats do always do this to each other. It is safe to say Kneading the floor indicates satisfaction or in some cases pleasure

An act called food caching, mostly performed by the bigger Cats in the wild is a behavior whereby cats keep their foods from other predators. Cats are not an exception and tend to exhibit a milder form of this behavior. You recall those times when your cat is all over the place, looking for shredded paper or other things to cover his food.

On one hand. Cats can paw the floor because of an instinct to bury the remnant of their food. This is the Cat practicing food Caching. It is natural in the cat family. And this primitive act is to ensure predators do not get their scent.

Another case of this food caching is the scratching of the surface. In this case, the cat is trying to dig a hole to bury its food. This is not necessarily the remnants but can sometimes mean food it dislikes.

Another reason for food caching is the natural tidiness that is associated with these furry little creatures. They tend to clean up after themselves. So attempts at food caching might be the cat tidying up its little space. They can attempt to cover up remnants of their food to

How do I manage my cats in these situations?

Pet owners do get frustrated over the activities of their pets just like we do children but still find them adorable. It might have caused worry to a cat owner when the pawing or the kneading gets too much.

I can imagine the frustration of having a new carpet torn up because of a cat’s instinct to scratch a hole in the floor. While this act cannot be stopped in its entirety, there are proven ways the cats can be distracted from exhibiting this kind of behavior.
The first corrective measure is to put their food in places where minimal damage can be expected. It is advisable to put their food on hard surfaces. Especially surfaces where scratches or pawing can not affect. Animals can be very persistent, so it is better to place their food in places they will not damage things when eating.
It is important to remove remnants of their food. The food caching instinct will kick in when there are remnants of food lying around.
You can distract your cat by giving it toys to play with. After eating, if you notice your pet starting to paw the floor. Just give it one of its favorite toys. We should not forget the aim is to distract them from pawing the floor.
Another piece of advice is to groom your pets’ claws frequently. This will allow it to do what it wants naturally without damaging your valuables. A win-win if you want.
As a last resort, you can always stay with your pet when it eats. That way you can monitor and move the food remnant away immediately. In other cases, you might move the cat away from the place.

Why you should adopt a cat

Mostly, people that want to adopt pets do think majorly in two directions. Opting for a Dog or a Cat? While Dogs are widely revered as man’s best friends, cats have been deemed (by Cat lovers mostly) as playful and also being good companions.

Naturally, Cats are tidy animals. They spend most of their time grooming themselves. This means their owners do not have to groom or wash them frequently. This natural behavior goes on to emphasize their low maintenance status.

Other reasons people opt for Cats are their relative quietness and independence compared to Dogs. These behaviors make cats easier to keep for people that tend to be busy. The size of the cat is also relatively small compared to the dog. What this means is that they will not take much space compared to dogs

Prominent Behaviors in Cats

Every animal (or pet in this case) has what we call natural or instinctive behaviors. These behaviors come naturally to them. Which makes you wonder why they do something. We should also not forget these are domesticated animals and years of evolution will not remove their natural behaviors.

While cat owners wonder why their cats behave how they do, there is a high chance your cat does not behave in isolation. While we are humans and may not be able to give accurate reasons for everything we do. Some behaviors have been associated with certain outcomes.

Some prominent Behaviours in Cats include:
Movement of the Tail: A cat can twitch its tail when angry or anxious. A fast-twitch shows that your furry pet is anxious or angry. A vibrating tail indicates some sort of excitement or your cat is in a happy mood. Also, when the tail is low or tucked, it indicates anxiousness or fear.
Purring: It is very natural for cats to purr. And usually, we take that to be signs of pleasure or approval. In some cases though, cats purr when they are feeling uneasy or ill.
Curling up: Most cats will form a ball of sorts when sleeping. This is very natural and a way for them to preserve their warmth. In a tight space, it is a natural way of protecting themselves against attacks.
The Slow Blink: Cats are very famous for their slow blink. It is very amusing to watch. This slow blink indicates goodwill and trust. The good response to this is to blink slowly at them too. Some sort of a cat language or understanding.
Bunting: This is an act common to cats. It involves the cat rubbing its head on something or someone it likes. It’s some kind of a gentle head butt. Bunting is a sign of affection. This way, it is rubbing off its scent on the object or individual. It is also a way of marking its territory.

Allorubbing, which is closely related to bunting is an act that involves the cat rubbing its body on an object or individual. It is also a way of marking territory.
There are more than fifty cat behaviors that can interest a cat owner but this article is about the particular pawing habit of the cats. I know most cat owners or just random people that have experienced this strange and rather amusing behavior want to know why.


It is important to note that either pawing or kneading or scratching the floor is intrinsically harmful to the cat itself. And most times, these activities do not put humans in danger. This is just the cat acting based on instincts. Forcing your cat into stopping what it considers natural behavior can strain the relationship you have with your cat. Instead, get it toys to play with and a scratching post to express itself.