I feel sure that many domestic cats do this. My cat approaches his food bowl as if he’s scavenging a dead animal in the wild. He will circle it and approach it from a wide angle rather than going directly towards the bowl. It’s as if he is approaching it with caution and this can only be because instinctively he feels that he is approaching an animal that has been killed and which he is scavenging. It is an interesting aspect of instinctive feline behaviour which is surprisingly apparent in a fully domesticated cat. It is another reminder that our domestic cat companions are a whisker away from their wild ancestors in terms of fundamental characteristics.
You might be able to see that his bowl is made of metal. Cat food bowls should be made of metal or ceramic. You probably know the reason: plastic food bowls harbour bacteria which can cause feline acne. I actually place the metal bowl in a plate. It fits snugly. The plate catches any bits of food which he deposits around the bowl. Domestic cats are messy beasts.
You will also no doubt observe that I feed my cat on the kitchen counter. Some people won’t like this. I find it convenient and I am not risk-averse. I do not believe cat spread disease to people. I don’t think domestic cats are any more likely to spread disease than people. In fact, there is less of a risk from cats than people.
It is much easier to clean a cat feeding area if it is on the kitchen counter. I like efficient systems in place in my house to minimise the amount of cleaning that I have to do. I like to do things which are more productive than simply maintaining the house in terms of dusting and cleaning.
SOME MORE ON ‘STRANGE’ FELINE BEHAVIOR: