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Cats love their food bowl filled with tasty food they love. You can always see them waiting patiently beside it so they can fill their tummies up.
However, there are times that they don’t even want to touch their food bowls. Why is that? One of the reasons is that ants march their ways to retrieve food from the bowl.
What can you do to prevent this from happening?
In this article, I’ll give you 7 tips to keep ants out of the cat food bowl, to help keep your cat happy.
My name is Derrick and I write for Simply Cat Care.
The goal of this website is to help cat owners take care of their cats with simple, actionable advice. I am not a veterinarian and recommend seeking the advice of a vet for any further questions. The advice of this article is not intended as medical advice.
In this article, I’ll give you 7 tips to keep ants out of the food bowl, to help keep your cat happy.
Let’s get into the article.
WHY DO ANTS GO TO YOUR CAT’S FOOD BOWL?
Ants love collecting food crumbs and scraps from everywhere and your cat’s food bowl is not an exception.
Sometimes when there are a lot of leftover food remnants, ants may locate the crumbs. This leads to a pheromone trail to alert the rest of the ants towards to bowl if left unchecked.
This is what attracts the army of small ants invading your cat’s food haven.
Bottom Line: Ants use pheromone trails to attract their army to favorable food locations (e.g. leftover food in a cat’s bowl).
HOW DO I KEEP ANTS OUT OF THE CAT FOOD BOWL?
Pheromone trails entice ants towards your cat’s bowl, but what can you do to stop this?
After all, you have to put food in your cat’s bowl.
Here are 7 tips to keep ants out of the cat food bowl to end the nightmare for your cat.
1. ONLY SERVE ENOUGH FOOD
It may seem obvious, but leftover food in the bowl is a signal for ants to begin their reign of terror.
Serving the right amount of food for your cats is good for your cats as well. This helps control your cat’s dietary intake to avoid gaining weight. Learn more in this article on how much to feed your cat.
Bottom Line: Avoid putting excess food in your cat’s bowl. Only serve enough for one meal.
2. USE BOWL FENCES
Ants use a pheromone trail when there’s food around leading to an untenable army of marching ants.
Creating a physical or chemical barrier helps to stop the influx of new ants. Keep in mind, you can remove the food but the pheromone trail may still keep ants around.
Various materials include:
- Cayenne pepper
- Coffee grounds
- Baby powder
- Ground cinnamon
Spread any of these materials around noticeable entry points to keep the ants at bay.
Bottom Line: Stop ants using their pheromone trail by using repellent ingredients around entrances (e.g. cayenne pepper).
3. CLEAN UP AFTER MEALS
Even after your cat finishes their meal, small remnants of food entice ants to the bowl.
You wash your dishes after eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner so why not do it for your cats as well? This will not only prevent attacks from ants but will also stop bacteria buildup.
Use an unscented mild detergent and hot water for best results.
Bottom Line: Clean your cat’s bowl after meals to stop ants from finding food.
4. USE 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.
As much as possible, you want to use repellents that are effective against ants, but not for your cat. Many natural repellents aren’t that effective.
Do not use essential oils around cats as they are mostly toxic. Check out my article on whether essential oils are safe for cats to learn more.
Bottom Line: Vinegar and mustard are effective ant pesticides.
5. PUT THE FOOD BOWL IN A LARGE WATER BOWL
You can place the cat food bowl in a bigger bowl or container filled with water.
You need to do this after every meal so that ants will not have the audacity to crawl their way up to the bowl. Make sure your cats still have access to their bowl.
Bottom Line: Put your cat’s food bowl in another water bowl for short-term relief from ants.
6. USE PETROLEUM JELLY AROUND THE BOWL
Use a small amount of petroleum jelly on the perimeter of the bowl to protect the food bowl.
This way, you will catch the ants that will try to get food crumbs. Of course, you need to clean the same and remove the petroleum jelly before you feed your cats.
Bottom Line: Use a small amount of petroleum jelly to protect the food bowl.
7. PUT STICKY TAPE AROUND THE BOWL
One simple strategy is using sticky tape around the bowl.
There are a lot of affordable ones online or in the school supplies stores that you can buy. This will catch ants and even other crawling insects attracted by the smell left by your cat’s dinner.
Just don’t put the sticky tape on your cat.
Bottom Line: Sticky tape is a simple way to catch ants crawling into your cat’s bowl.
CONCLUSION: HOW TO KEEP ANTS OUT OF THE CAT FOOD BOWL
In this article, I talked about how to keep ants out of the cat food bowl.
The best way to keep ants out of the cat food bowl is to keep it clean. Never leave food leftover after a meal. Doing this will stop the army of ants pestering your cat. It will also prevent your cat from avoiding their food bowl due to getting bitten.
This will not only benefit you from dealing with crawling creatures pestering your cat. But also, cleaning the feeding area will help your cat stay away from getting its stomach upset.
Remember to treat your furry friend with love because they are companions that will always have a place in your heart.
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