5 Tips To Keep Ants Out Of The Cat Food Bowl

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Ants suck.

I don’t like ants, and I assume my cat doesn’t either.

In this article, I’ll give you my 5 tips to keep ants out of the cat food bowl.

Ants use pheromone trails to attract their army to food. Your cat’s food bowl is no exception.

So how do you stop those ants marching towards your cats food?

Let’s go.

5 Tips To Keep Ants Out Of The Cat Food Bowl

1. Use Small Serves

Avoid big heaps of food.

Seems obvious enough, but a decent place to start. Place enough for a meal, and no more.

Cats, as obligate carnivores, tend to prefer smaller frequent meals.

Learn more

2. Use a Bowl Fence

A physical or chemical barrier can help keep ants at bay.


  • Chalk
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Coffee grounds
  • Baby powder
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Petroleum jelly

Spread either of these around the bowl to keep ants away.

Another method is to use sticky tape around the bowl. Crude, but you it makes it hard to walk when you get stuck.

3. Clean Bowls After Meals

No leaving crumbs around.

Give your cats bowl a quick wash after meals and rinse it off.

Try an unscented mild detergent and hot water for best results.

4. Try Natural Ant Repellents

It’s tempting to take a scorched earth policy to ants and use strong chemicals.

However, this is a bad idea for your cat’s well-being.

Use repellents that are effective against ants, not the cat. Many natural repellents aren’t that effective.

Useful natural ingredients that work as pesticides include:

  • Vinegar
  • Mustard

Do not use essential oils around cats as they are mostly toxic.

Learn More:

5. A Bowl in a Bowl

Stay with me.

You can place your cats food bowl in a bowl or container filled with water.

It’s basically a moat!

As you can imagine it makes it hard for the ants to swim through to get to food.


The best way to keep ants out of the bowl is to stay clean.

Always serve just the right amount of food for your cat for their meals. A physical barrier helps in a pinch.

If ants continue to be a problem, consider treating the source of the infestation.

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I'm qualified dietitian that's turned their attention to cat nutrition. My goal is to help tease out the science on how best to feed your cat.