How To Keep Ants Out Of Cat Food In 6 Easy Ways

Have you ever walked into your kitchen and found a trail of ants marching straight to your cat’s food bowl? Not a pretty sight. Wondering how to keep ants out of cat food?

Let’s find out.

As much as we love our furry feline friends, their leftover kibble crumbs and meaty morsels are magnets for pesky ants.

No one wants ants to invade their home, especially not where we prepare and eat food.

The good news is that you can take some simple steps to ant-proof your cat’s eating area and banish those annoying insects for good.

By making a few easy changes, you can have peace of mind knowing ants will stay out of your cat’s food bowl and away from their eating space.

Keep Food Bowls Off the Ground

Keeping your cat food up and off the floor is one of the easiest ways to make their bowl less inviting to ants. Place the bowl on a raised cat food mat, table, or counter that your cat can access.

Ants prefer enclosed, ground-level spaces, so elevating the bowl denies them access.

You should also regularly clean up any spilled cat food around the bowl.

Wipe up crumbs and bits of kibble immediately after your cat eats to avoid leaving a trail for ants to follow. It’s also a good idea to choose a non-spill bowl or mat to contain the mess under the bowl.

Less mess means fewer opportunities for ants to dine on what your cat leaves behind.

Another tip is to use natural repellents around the cat bowl area. Spray vinegar, coffee grounds, lemon juice, chili pepper, or eucalyptus essential oil around the base of the raised mat or table.

And speaking of essential oils might be good to find out the essential oils that are cat safe.

The strong smell will deter ants and other insects from the area.

Finally, if you spot ants around your cat’s bowl, wipe them up immediately.

Remove their access point to get inside, whether under a door or through a small crack. Caulk or weatherstrip any holes to eliminate how the ants are getting in.

Place ant traps or boric acid powder in the area to eliminate the colony. Take action quickly before the infestation gets out of control.

With some regular maintenance and ant-proofing strategies, you know your cat’s food bowl won’t become an ant buffet.

Keeping their bowl clean, elevated, and the area repellent-treated are easy ways to curb ants and keep your cat’s mealtime mess-free.

Seal Entry Points to Eliminate Access

The easiest way to ant-proof your cat food bowl is to eliminate access points.

Ants are tiny and can squeeze through the smallest cracks to get to the cat food, so you’ll need to seal up any holes or crevices leading into where the bowl is kept.

First, inspect the area around the food bowl for cracks in walls, floors, or cabinets and seal them with caulk, weatherstripping tape, or door sweeps.

You should also check where pipes or wires enter the area and seal those up.

Second, place the food bowl on a tray or platter. Fill it with a few inches of water to create a moat.

The ants won’t be able to cross the water to get to the food.

Be sure to empty and refill the water daily to keep it clean. You can also add a few drops of dish soap to break the surface tension, making it even harder for the ants to cross.

Finally, wipe up any spilled cat food right away. Ants are attracted to crumbs and leftovers, so keeping the area clean and free of food debris will eliminate another access point.

With some caulk or weatherstripping and creating obstacles like a water moat, you can successfully ant-proof your cat’s feeding area and keep those tiny pests out of the food bowl.

Your cat will appreciate not having to share meals with uninvited guests!

Use Natural Repellents Around the Food Bowl

Natural repellents are a great way to deter ants. As this option is safe and non-toxic. Here are a few things you can try around your cat’s food bowl:


Vinegar is a natural ant repellent and degreaser. Wipe the area around the food bowl with white vinegar or spray it with equal parts water and white vinegar solution.

The strong smell will deter ants, and the acidity discourages them from crossing the barrier. Reapply as needed.

Cinnamon or Chili Powder

Sprinkle ground cinnamon, cayenne pepper, or some chili powder. Do this around the base of the food bowl. Ants dislike the strong smell and spicy taste.

Reapply after cleaning or mopping the area.

Essential Oils

Place a few drops of eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint, or citrus essential oil around the food bowl.

The potent fragrance deters ants. You can spray with a few drops of essential oil and water in a spray bottle. Reapply periodically.

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a fine powder that dehydrates and kills ants.

Apply the powder in a thin line around the base of the food bowl. The ants carry it back to the colony, dehydrating other ants. Reapply after rain or mopping. Wear a dust mask and avoid inhaling the powder.

Using natural repellents to control ants is an easy, environmentally-friendly solution for your cat’s food bowl area.

Try a few methods to find what works best for your situation. Be diligent about cleaning up any spilled kibble or wet food residue which can attract ants.

With regular reapplication of natural repellents, you’ll have an ant-free feeding area for your feline friend.


You can banish those pesky ants from your cat’s food bowl with simple tricks.

Your cat can now enjoy their meals peacefully without batting away ant invaders between bites. And you’ll have one less nuisance to deal with during your daily routine.

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