Or what is the name of the movement of the cat or dog's paws after they went to the toilet on the ground? Or, for example, when a dog is burying a bone, are they rowing (on the lawn or ground)? Thanks.

  • As explained below the usual word is "paw" ... the phrase "paw the ground" describes what you mean. (It's worth noting though that "row the ground" would work perfectly as a clever literary description of a (say) cat which is playfully, well, rowing the ground - it is a lovely phrase. Again to repeat it is NOT standard, it would be your invention in prose writing.} – Fattie Sep 19 '18 at 4:08

The animal is said to paw the ground when it scrapes it with its paws (or with its hooves, as the case may be).

See paw, verb.

When a dog is digging a hole to bury a bone, the animal is said to dig. There's no special verb that means "to dig a hole with the paws".

An animal that digs a tunnel is said to burrow.

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    The connotations behind the verb paw are soft. ie an animal paws you when it softly rubs its paw against you. – Jamie Clinton Sep 18 '18 at 17:08
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    @Jamie Clinton:The meaning of the verb paw actually implies just the opposite of a soft and gentle touch. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Sep 18 '18 at 18:24
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    Pawing is when a dog slaps (brushes?) your leg to get your attention, not when they are furiously digging. If a cat slaps your outstretched hand, that is pawing. When a cat swipes at a mouse with its claws, it is not pawing the mouse. – Jamie Clinton Sep 18 '18 at 18:30
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    Pawing is correct here. When a dog is trying furiously to get out of a locked room, we say it is "pawing" the door. Animals also "paw the ground" when they're agitated (like a bull getting ready to charge, or a horse that wants to move but is held in check). In fact, "pawing the ground" is almost a set phrase for this kind of movement. – 1006a Sep 18 '18 at 20:48
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    @JamieClinton: You're trying to distill a meaning based on what you think of whan you think of a paw. The dictionary specifically describes it as "to scrape", "to beat", "flail wildly", "to strike" and "to search especially carelessly or roughly". Pawing is in no way inherently soft. It can be soft, but it can be hard as well. – Flater Sep 19 '18 at 6:11

No, not rowing. You can describe their actions as scratching, scraping, scuffing or clawing, depending on the context, although one often speaks of dogs covering their excrement with dirt or kicking dirt over their excrement.

https://pets.thenest.com/dogs-scratch-ground-after-defecating-3549.html https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claw https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/scratch

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  • scuffing is the verb I'd have suggested. But as the link says, they are not actually covering their poop, but adding individual scent markings – James K Sep 18 '18 at 16:18
  • Sounds like the dog is digging a hole to me. – Lambie Sep 18 '18 at 16:45

The closest English word for the Slavic рити/рыть should be "dig" and for заривати/зарывать it's "bury".

So a dog may choose to dig up a bone it buried yesterday if it feels hungry. And likewise, both dogs and cats will frequently bury their poop to show their submissiveness.

Rowing(гребти/грести) describes the act of propelling a boat with a paddle and cannot be applied to solid substances.

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    With regard to your last sentence,"row" could be applied figuratively to solid substances if somebody was moving across such a surface in a way that looked like rowing a boat. But I agree that the literal meaning requires being on water. – David Richerby Sep 18 '18 at 17:46

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