In the wild, cats usually choose hiding places, a cave or a favorite tree as "home". They eat and sleep in this place, so safety is a top priority for them. No leftover food may reveal their presence, and at the same time they must mark their territory as a property vis-à-vis other members. In view of this, it is very logical for your cat to paw on the floor next to the bowl.
Cat paws after eating: does she want to hide food residues?
Most of the food remains in or next to the bowl when cats paw around with their paws. Even in the wild, lions, tigers, wild cats and the like do not always eat everything at once. The problem, however, is that the smell of the remains reveals the animals' retreat.
This is dangerous for smaller cats because they can become victims of larger predators themselves. Large cats do not want to reveal their favorite place to their conspecifics. So they bury all the remains of their meal to mask the smell. For the same reason, cats also bury their droppings.
Scratching forage: a form of storage?
It is not entirely clear whether your cat and its wild relatives only bury their food remains for this reason. Another option is that they want to keep the food for later and don't want anyone to steal it. It may also be the case that the meat remains in the cool earth better and does not spoil as quickly.
Your cat may not even plan to eat the food later - because she doesn't like it. Then she just tries to hide the remains by pawing at the bowl because she doesn't want the foul smell of meat to attract enemies or rivals.
The cat in the video is very happy to paw next to the bowl to bury spilled chunks of food:
Step next to the bowl before eating: mark anticipation and territory
However, sometimes a cat paws next to the bowl or purrs up and down purring as you prepare its food. In addition to trying to bury the food and save it for later, there are other instinctive reasons. Fur noses have scent glands on their paws and by pedaling they spread their own smell on the floor - this is how they mark their territory.
This gesture is also a holdover from the milk kick that kittens make to their mother to stimulate milk production. If adult cats tap their paws up and down, this shows the anticipation of the meal. You feel good all around - so it's a good sign.
Nice bowl pads for a clean floor
If you have cats, you know that around drinking and feeding bowl is a critical zone in terms of cleanliness ...
Cat paws next to the bowl: Would you like to tell something?
If your cat paws next to the bowl after eating, even though she has barely touched her food, this can be a sign that she does not like it. Wet food can spoil quickly, especially in summer, and then smells very pungent.
But sometimes the house tigers are just picky and for some reason don't like their food. However, it is important for the fur noses that they eat regularly throughout the day, because - unlike humans - they cannot create nutrient deposits in the body.
So, if your cat doesn't touch the food, don't wait too long and think about why. If the wet food smells unpleasant, throw it away, wash the bowl and give a fresh portion. When your kitty is done eating, cover the leftovers and put them in the fridge.
Tip: If your fur nose does not eat your food, although it is fresh and perfect, try a different variety. Sometimes cats just want some variety in their bowl (but not too much).