Hiro’s morning and the scratching – what does it mean, please?

I really need your help on this (please scroll down).

But before this, let me write about last night and this morning.

Hiro was back to his usual self last night. He sat on my lap all night until we went to bed.

There is a problem in the house, though. I think Riley is jealous of Hiro. Or, Riley does not like him. Because Riley is still bullying Hiro by pushing him around. That’s literally “pushing” him with her paws just like how a cat pushes a small object around, if you know what I mean.

Last night there was a competition of who gets to sleep next to me. Riley wanted but so did Hiro. So I had to settle this feud between the two of them and they compromised by each taking an equivalent position next to me. This is exactly like settling a feud between two jealous young children.

Riley absolutely adores her Blondie-sisters but her behaviour towards Hiro is so different. I wish she would be as caring towards Hiro but she just isn’t.

Anyway, we woke up early this morning because Jayden was fussing over his milk. So that already woke me up.

Hiro was hungry, so he had an early breakfast.

Now, yesterday’s beef, I realised later, must have been local beef and not the usual imported Australian beef that I used to buy from Jaya Grocer’s for him. So, the texture might have been different and so was the price!  I did not realise this until I saw how much cheaper it was at this grocer’s. Anyway, Hiro still ate it, though a little less excitedly. Maybe I should still go back to Jaya’s and get him the Australian beef when I get the chance today.

Look at him eat and this is the second round for breakfast. But then Riley came to intimidate him, so he stopped eating.

I had to move the bowl and he ate again.

But I made the disastrous mistake of adding a tiny bit of Coco&Joe’s Premium Combo (this is formulated for weight gain) to his beef bowl and here’s what happened and this is where I need your help and experience, please.

Please watch this video. What does this scratching mean?

Hiro and Riley do this quite often. They will scratch around their food bowl and will not eat that particular food. I know they are hungry but whenever they scratch around the bowl, they won’t eat it and I would have to change to another food. Even then, they might not eat it. It is almost like an aversion to that food or…what does it mean?

So I googled and found these:

Pawing or scratching around the food is not harmful in itself. It’s your cat instinct behavior to stay safe and hide the traces of her presence from other predators. In fact, some cat owners even find such behavior cute.

Another site says:

It’s a territorial instinct (for pawing around their water bowl)

Cats aren’t particularly fond of sharing and because their paws contain scent glands, they will often use their paw to deposit their scent into the water to deter other cats from drinking out of their bowl.

And another:

Why does my cat scratch around his food? Pawing or scratching around the food is a harmless and instinctive behavior. Cats will “fake cover” their food by scratching to hide their traces and stay safe from predators. In some cases, they even use objects like towels to cover their bowl.

That’s what I thought too, like dogs pawing or digging the soil to bury their bone, right?  They do it to eat it later (at least that’s what the cartoons tell us). But the thing with Riley and Hiro is, after this pawing/scratching, they don’t eat the food! In the above video, Hiro for the first time, still ate it. 

I think Hiro didn’t like that I had sneaked in some Coco&Joe’s (which I offered earlier and he pawed around it and refused to eat it) into his beef bowl. So I washed it off with water (as though that would help? Of course it won’t, their sense of smell is so good) and re-offered the food. He pawed around the bowl and eventually still ate the food.

So is pawing around the bowl a show of dislike, of aversion or is it territorial to protect that food? Now, both are total opposites, isn’t it? The former is “I don’t like the food, change it, please” while the latter is “Ooh..I like this, I’m protecting it”?

Please help if you have had experience with such behaviour. I do need to know what it means.

But from what I’ve observed in Riley and Hiro, I think it means, “I want to eat, but not this food. Please serve me something else?”

There’s a whole article about it here: https://betterwithcats.net/why-does-my-cat-scratch-around-his-food/

So many sites about this: https://www.thesprucepets.com/kitten-pawing-floor-after-eating-551811

And I’m terribly confused now!! Help…

Does it mean they like the food or they don’t like it?

Maslinda says one of her cats does it when she offered sardines. But after pawing, her cat will eat the food. So Mas thinks it’s all about the strong smell.

But Hiro and Riley do not eat the food after pawing. The video you see up there – that’s the first time Hiro still ate the food. Maybe he’s hungry this time. At other times, he’d just paw and won’t eat.

Anita Chen has a different interpretation. She says it means “saving for later”. That means, I want to eat it, but I’m not hungry now so I will save it for later.

Hey!!! Now that’s makes sense. That’ll be like the cartoon dog burying his bone for later, right? It’s called “caching” if you click on those two articles I shared above. It’s what big cats do too. They cache the food for later.

So it’s not an aversion to that particular food, is it?

More thoughts, please?

Now this? This is pure jealousy. Hiro went to use the litter box and Riley quickly went to use it too. Sigh…

Oh, I bought this pink scented litter only because I wanted to test out this brand and they did not have the original. But no more scented after this. It will be back to the original “flavour”.

As for Hiro’s condition, it’s one day at a time and yes, I understand that infant FIV is very tough and difficult. He’s so young and he already has to do battle with the FIV in this body. I’m giving him Vetri DMG daily to help boost his immunity. At the same time, I hope I hear from the Singapore vet too, regarding RetroMAD1.

I already knew something was amiss with Hiro when he did not put on weight. He was eating, granted, not as much as the Blondies, but he just wasn’t putting on weight.

The vet said he was definitely incubating “something” in his body and it only chose to surface now.

It’s the dreaded FIV.

Or, my best case scenario – was it a bacterial infection?

Never mind what it is – we do our best to make Hiro feel better and EAT!

But I’d want him to eat some Coco&Joe’s or Cubgrub so that he gets some balanced diet. Pure meat isn’t balanced.


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One response to “Hiro’s morning and the scratching – what does it mean, please?”

  1. AW

    Hi! From what I have learned, scratching before eating (and afterwards not eating it) means that they think it is yucky and they would like to bury it like they do with poop. Scratching after eating means that they liked it and would like to bury the rest for later 😀