Why do cats scratch the ground?

Cats are mysterious and fascinating animals, filled with intriguing behaviors. One of them is their habit of scratching the ground. In this article, we’ll look at why our feline friends engage in this behavior and what it means for you as an owner.

Instinct to hide tracks

The main reason cats scratch the ground has to do with their natural instinct to hide their tracks.. Indeed, in the wild, wild cats dig holes to bury their excrement and thus avoid drawing attention to themselves and their territory. Although our domestic companions generally do not need to worry about predators or rivals, this instinct remains present.

Parasite Protection

In addition to hiding their feces, scratching the ground also allows cats to protect their environment from parasites such as insects and intestinal worms. Buried waste is less likely to attract these pests, keeping the cat healthy and clean. It is therefore important to understand that this natural behavior is beneficial to your pet and should not be discouraged.

Territory marking

Another aspect of this behavior is to mark their territory. Cats have sweat glands located between their fingers that release a unique scent when they scratch the ground. By doing this, they leave not only a visual trace, but also an olfactory mark to signal to other animals that they are present and that this territory belongs to them.

Communication with humans

Domestic cats may also scratch the ground to communicate with their owners. For example, if a cat is scratching the ground around its litter box or food bowl, it may be trying to tell you that it is unhappy with the cleanliness of those areas, or that something is wrong with the food. Paying attention to these signals can help you better understand and respond to your pet’s needs.

Feeding behavior

Some cats also tend to scratch the floor before or after eating. This behavior is often due to the cat’s natural instinct to want to bury its food to protect it from other predators or to hide it for a later meal. Although this is not usually necessary for domestic cats, it is nevertheless a behavior rooted in their instincts.

What to do if your cat scratches the floor excessively?

If it seems to you that your cat is scratching the ground excessively, there are several solutions to help channel this energy. First, you can provide him with an appropriate scratching post to encourage him to scratch in a specific area. This will not only reduce the mess on your floors and carpets, but also satisfy the cat’s natural need to scratch.

Additionally, keeping the litter box and feeding areas clean can help prevent problems with excessive scratching and behaviors associated with frustration or annoyance.


Ultimately, there are several reasons why cats scratch the floor, including:

  • The instinct of hiding their tracks
  • Parasite protection
  • Territory marking
  • Communication with humans
  • Feeding behavior

Understanding that these behaviors are natural and instinctive is essential to fully appreciate the richness of the interactions between your cat and its environment. As a responsible owner, you can help your pet channel these instincts in a healthy and respectful way.

Subscribe to the newsletter

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to submit the form

Related Posts

Are ginger cats really the friendliest?

The color of the coat in a cat is determined by the concentration and distribution of melanin in the body. However, from a physiological point of view,…

chat choisit il de dormir au pied du lit

Why does your cat choose to sleep at the foot of the bed?

Cats have a reputation for being mysterious and independent animals. However, it is not uncommon to see them spending a large part of their time sleeping at…

Ils aident les chats errants

They help stray cats

We can like cats in freedom but not want to see them reproduce in an uncontrolled way. Their uncontrolled proliferation is, in fact, a source of suffering…

chat voleur

My cat steals things from neighbours: what should I do?

You noticed that your cat regularly reports stolen items from your neighbors and that causes you confusion? You are not alone in this situation and there are…

What are the differences between alley cats and purebred cats?

In the feline world, there are generally two main categories: alley cats, also called domestic or European cats, and purebred cats, which correspond to lineages selected for…

What is a “tortoiseshell” cat?

Some cats have an atypical coat that is compared to the scales of turtles. Discover everything you always wanted to know about these special cats. Perhaps you…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *