How To Keep Animals Out Of Cat Food?

Disclaimer: The information presented below is for general informational & educational purposes only. Always consult with animal professionals in case of specific concerns.

In this post, I will share the best techniques and products I have found to securely store dry cat food so it is available for my cats without leaving extra servings out for other hungry animals roaming around my property at night.

Have you ever come home to find stray animals have broken into your home and helped themselves to your cat’s food? I know the feeling all too well. As a long time cat owner and lover of all animals, I’ve spent years trying to keep furry critters out of the cat food without harming them. It can be frustrating to work hard for your pets only to have other hungry animals scavenge their meals. In this post, I’ll share some effective and humane methods I’ve discovered to keep animals out of your cat food and keep everyone safe and healthy. Whether you have curious squirrels, racoons, or neighborhood dogs sniffing around, these tips will help give your cats the food security they need while allowing other animals to still forage in their own way.

Why Is It Important To Keep Animals Out Of Cat Food?

Keeping animals out of cat food is important for several reasons:

Health and Safety: Keeping other animals out of your cat’s food prevents the potential spread of diseases and parasites that can be harmful to your pet.

Nutrition: Your cat food is specifically designed to meet their unique nutritional needs. If other animals eat this food, your cat may not get all the nutrients it needs for optimal health. 

Cost-Effectiveness: Cat food can be expensive. If other animals are constantly eating it, you’ll find yourself buying food more frequently, which can be costly.

Preventing Aggression: Some cats may become aggressive if they have to compete with other animals for their food, which can lead to stress and potential injuries.

Avoiding Unwanted Visitors: If wildlife or stray animals learn that they can regularly find food in a particular place, they may return frequently, creating potential problems ranging from property damage to unwanted noise.

How To Keep Animals Out Of Cat Food?

Keeping animals out of your cat’s food requires a combination of strategies to deter various potential visitors. Here are some effective methods:

– Feeding Indoors:

  • Advantage: The most effective way to keep animals away from your cat’s food is to feed your cat indoors. This minimizes the chances of other animals accessing the food.
  • Consideration: If you have outdoor cats, supervise their meals and bring in any uneaten food promptly.

– Secure Storage:

  • Container: Store cat food in a secure container with a tightly sealed lid. This prevents smells from attracting animals.
  • Elevate: If possible, place the container in an elevated location, making it difficult for animals like raccoons to reach.

– Scheduled Feedings:

  • Set Times: Establish a regular feeding schedule and create good eating habits for your cat. Feed your cat at specific times and remove any uneaten food after a reasonable period.
  • Discourages Frequent Visits: Animals are less likely to frequent your property if there isn’t a constant food source available.

– Natural Deterrents:

  • Citrus Peels: Scatter citrus peels around the feeding area, as many animals dislike the smell of citrus.
  • Spices: Sprinkle cayenne pepper or other spices known to repel animals around the cat’s food bowls.

– Motion-Activated Devices:

  • Sprinklers or Lights: Install motion-activated sprinklers or lights near the feeding area. The sudden activation can startle animals and discourage them from returning.

– Feeding Stations:

  • Enclosed Area: Create an enclosed feeding station with barriers that make it difficult for larger animals to access. This could include fencing or a designated feeding box.

– Automatic Cat Feeders:

  • Microchip or Collar Tag Recognition: Invest in an automatic cat feeder that opens only for your cat’s microchip or collar tag, preventing other animals from accessing the food.

– Regular Cleanup:

– Humane Traps:

  • Stray Cats: If stray cats are a problem, consider using humane traps to catch them and bring them to a local animal shelter. Avoid using harmful traps.

– Adjustable Feeding Heights:

  • Adjustable Platforms: Some feeders have adjustable heights. Set them to a height that is comfortable for your cat but makes it challenging for other animals to reach.

What Should I Do If I Find Animals In My Cat’s Food?

If you find animals in your cat’s food, it’s important to handle the situation calmly and safely. Start by removing your cat from the area to prevent any territorial disputes or possible transmission of diseases. Dispose of the contaminated food immediately and clean the feeding area thoroughly to remove any residual scent that may attract these unwanted visitors again. If the animal is a wild creature, avoid direct contact as they can be carriers of diseases. Consider contacting local animal control or wildlife services for advice or assistance if needed. Implement measures to deter these animals in the future, as discussed earlier: use strong-smelling herbs, pine cones, commercial animal repellents, maintain cleanliness, or use technology like motion-activated sprinklers or ultrasonic devices. In persistent cases, investing in a microchip-activated feeder can be a useful solution. Remember, your aim should be to protect your pet’s food without causing harm to the intruding animals.

What Types Of Animals Might Be Attracted To My Cat’s Food?

Numerous types of wildlife and other animals might be attracted to your cat’s food. These can include rodents like rats and mice, raccoons, possums, squirrels, chickens and even larger animals, if you live in a rural area, such as deer or bears. Neighborhood pets, especially other cats and dogs, may also be tempted by the easy availability of food. Hence, it is crucial to take proper measures to keep these unwanted visitors away, protecting both the food and the wellbeing of your cat.

What Is The Best Way To Store Cat Food To Prevent Other Animals From Accessing It?

The best way to store cat food to prevent access from other animals is to keep it in airtight containers. These containers not only keep the food fresh but also mask the smell which attracts other animals. Choose a container that is made of durable material and has a secure lid. It is also advisable to store the container in a cool, dry area out of reach of wildlife. If possible, keep the food inside your house instead of an outdoor shed or garage where animals can easily access it. Implementing these measures alongside the strategies of feeding mentioned earlier can help ensure that only your cat is benefiting from its food.

Are There Specific Types Of Cat Food That Are Less Likely To Attract Unwanted Animals?

Indeed, there are specific types of cat food that are less likely to attract other animals. For instance, dry cat food tends not to attract as much wildlife as wet food due to the reduced smell. Furthermore, premium cat food brands often use higher quality ingredients that don’t incorporate fillers and by-products that may attract unwanted visitors. However, even if using these types of food, it’s important to remember that hungry wildlife may still be drawn to any food source.

Read more: What Is The Difference Between Indoor And Outdoor Cat Food?

Are There Natural Deterrents I Can Use To Keep Animals Away From My Cat’s Food?

Sure, here are some natural deterrents you can use to keep animals away from your cat’s food:

Plant Strong-Smelling Herbs: Plant herbs like rosemary, mint, or citronella around the feeding station. Their strong scents can help deter many animals.

Utilize Pine Cones: Scatter pine cones around the feeding area. Many animals dislike the texture of pine cones under their feet and tend to avoid such areas.

Use Commercial Animal Repellent: Opt for natural, non-toxic animal repellents. These products release scents that wildlife find unattractive, but your cat won’t mind.

Maintain Cleanliness: A clean feeding area is less likely to attract wildlife. Regularly sweep up any food spills and dispose of empty food containers promptly.

Install a Motion-Activated Sprinkler: A sprinkler system that activates upon detecting motion can startle and deter animals from approaching the feeding area.

Use Ultrasonic Devices: Some devices emit a high-frequency sound that is unpleasant to certain types of wildlife but is inaudible to humans and cats. 

Remember, consistency is key to the success of these deterrents.

Should I Consider Using Motion-Activated Devices To Scare Off Animals?

Absolutely, motion-activated devices can prove to be an effective way to deter unwanted animals from approaching your cat’s feeding area. Devices like motion-activated sprinklers or ultrasonic devices can be particularly effective. The sudden burst of water from the sprinkler or the high-frequency sound emitted by the ultrasonic device, inaudible to humans and cats, can startle and scare off potential intruders. However, it’s crucial to ensure any device used is safe and doesn’t cause harm to wildlife or your pet. Always consider the device’s specifications and any potential implications before installing.

Can I Use Commercial Cat Food Dispensers To Prevent Other Animals From Accessing The Food?

Yes, commercial cat food dispensers can be a highly effective tool in preventing other animals from accessing your cat’s food. These advanced feeders often come with features that only allow access to your cat. For instance, some models are activated by an ID microchip or an unique cat collar. When the cat approaches, the feeder opens, and when the cat moves away, the feeder closes. This immediate closure prevents other animals, especially wildlife, from sneaking in and snatching away the food. Additionally, these dispensers help in maintaining the freshness of the food, making it less attractive to other animals and insects. However, as with every solution, the effectiveness of these cat food dispensers will also depend on the specific circumstances, such as the type and determination of the intruding animals. Ensure to position the dispenser in a secure location and routinely check for any signs of attempted intrusion.


In conclusion, keeping animals out of your cat’s food may seem like an overwhelming and never-ending task. However, with the right tools and techniques in hand, you can successfully prevent any unwanted guests from dining on your cat’s food. Whether it’s using a secured storage container, utilizing natural repellents, or creating barriers around feeding areas, there are plenty of options available to help keep animals out of your cat’s food. So don’t give up hope and continue to find what works best for you and your feline companion. By following these tips and taking action to protect your cat’s meals, you’ll not only ensure their health but also enjoy peace of mind knowing that they won’t have to share their food with any uninvited visitors.