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Old 06-07-2019, 09:36 PM
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Ants in the cat food what do I do?


Cat only eats dry food.
Cat refuses to eat when I am around since that is when I used to grab him and put antibiotics on his sore paw.
Therefore, I must fill up the food bowl and leave.
Cat is also a "grazer" and if I take up the food after a short while (as I had to do when his sister was alive to keep her from eating it) he tends to lose weight.
Cat food bowl is on the third floor of my townhouse.
Nevertheless, I came home to find ants enjoying the leftover cat food.
Despite washing out the bowl, the ants keep coming back.
I am trying to avoid having the cat exposed to insect poison.
Any suggestions?

Obligatory pic here
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Last edited by psychobunny; 06-07-2019 at 09:36 PM.
  #2  
Old 06-07-2019, 09:58 PM
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heh does cat consider said ants (mine were the really tiny ones) to be seasoning for the food as mine used to? i just ended up putting ant traps in the vicinity
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Old 06-07-2019, 09:59 PM
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If you can put the food bowl in a different room entirely, as far away from the original place as possible, I would confine the cat in there for a while. then treat the original place for ants. I would recomment Terro, it has never failed me and works quickly. Then, a couple of days later, you can try returning the bowl to the original site and routine, and see what happens.
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Old 06-07-2019, 10:03 PM
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We have used a moat moderately successfully. Slightly wider shallow dish or plate, filled with water. We do have to clear it out fairly regularly, since kibble drops into it and swells up every day. So it's a bit of a pain, but ants can't swim! And then when it turns winter, or the ants give up and go somewhere else, we dispense with it
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Old 06-07-2019, 10:24 PM
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Ants in the cat food, what do I do?
Ants in the cat food, what do I do?
Ants in the cat food, what do I do?
Skip to my Lou, my darling.



You could try Aspidistra's moat idea. Or it might be enough just to put the food bowl on top of something else relatively small, like a tin can, so that it wasn't in direct contact with the floor.
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Old 06-07-2019, 10:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
Ants in the cat food, what do I do?
Ants in the cat food, what do I do?
Ants in the cat food, what do I do?
Skip to my Lou, my darling.

** shakes fist at Thudlow Boink **

ninja'd!
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Old 06-07-2019, 10:36 PM
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Trade in the cat for an Anteater, of course.
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Old 06-07-2019, 10:41 PM
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You could try putting sticky roach traps with a bit of food as bait in the ant trail.
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Old 06-07-2019, 10:42 PM
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Ants in the cat food, what do I do?
Ants in the cat food, what do I do?
Ants in the cat food, what do I do?
Skip to my Lou, my darling.


I was actually debating posting this as part of the OP since I have been singing it the past 2 days.
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Old 06-07-2019, 10:44 PM
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I had this problem over the winter as ants found their way into the kitten nursery and the kittens needed 24/7 access to kibble. Baker's suggestion is a good one, but I want to add two things to it:

1) Clean the floor and lower walls. The ants have left a pheromone trail for other ants to follow. You need to remove it or they will reappear.

2) When you return the food dish to the room, place it in a large plastic box that your cat can climb into and eat comfortably. I use an "under-the-bed" storage box. It has kept the kittens from scattering the food, and it keeps the scent of the food contained enough that the few returning ants I have seen, haven't found the food.
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Old 06-08-2019, 04:11 AM
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Spray bleach on the floor around the bowl (keep the cat away when you do it and for a few hours afterwards, of course). It's worked for me.

Killing ants with bleach is fascinating, BTW. It's not like bug spray, where they wiggle around a bit and die. With bleach, they just stop. It's like throwing a switch.
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Old 06-08-2019, 05:13 AM
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You need to wipe down the trail the ants were following. There's a scent there left by previous ants that keep them coming back.

Also, spray all the base boards in that area with bug spray.

Last edited by Grrr!; 06-08-2019 at 05:14 AM.
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Old 06-08-2019, 07:38 AM
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Use the Terro, as Baker suggests. It comes in little packets that a pet or child can't get into, and it's cheap. The ants will crowd in to drink it like a bunch of thirsty cowboys in a saloon on Saturday night.

You have to wait a couple of days as they fill up on it and then take it back to their queen and larvae. Then they'll suddenly vanish.
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Old 06-08-2019, 08:44 AM
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Another fan of Terro.
  #15  
Old 06-09-2019, 12:49 AM
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Does the cat object to the ants' presence? If not, let the six-legged protein morsels trot about.
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Old 06-09-2019, 08:39 AM
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My vote's for the put the food dish in a pan of water technique. No poisons necessary; no spending money on poisons necessary; guaranteed no risk to the cat. Use a food-safe pan, as the cat may drink the water.

I also once wrapped tape, sticky side out, around the bottom of the legs of the table the cats eat on (I usually also have a dog, so the cat food needs to be up on a table.) That also worked.
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Old 06-09-2019, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Grrr! View Post
You need to wipe down the trail the ants were following. There's a scent there left by previous ants that keep them coming back.

Also, spray all the base boards in that area with bug spray.
Lysol spray does the same thing. We had tons of sugar ants this year going after the cat's food. I just kept spraying them and their trail along the baseboard and eventually they gave up.
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Old 06-09-2019, 11:02 AM
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Another vote for Terro. Used it numerous times since our house gets ants whenever the ground gets flooded or early spring in the thaw and Terro always solves it within a day or two. Used it around the cat for years without incident.
  #19  
Old 06-09-2019, 11:41 PM
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Put down bay leaves where it seems the ants are coming from.
  #20  
Old 06-10-2019, 03:41 AM
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I have solved this problem two ways. The first time, I put the food bowl on a little stand with legs. It isn't impossible for ants to figure that out, but apparently it is a lot more difficult for them.

Now, pretty much the same concept, I use the little food bowl kit from my gf's dead dog- which, I think, also gives her some extra connection to my cat. A food bowl and a water bowl fit into their little holders, just a couple inches off the ground. I will still get ants in the kitchen sometimes when kitty knocks over the trash can and drags food onto the floor, but they don't seem to figure out to climb up and into the bowl.

Skip to my loo!
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Old 06-10-2019, 07:10 AM
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I hate you people ��

Now I can't get that song out of my head!!!

Hope the kitty gets better.
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:02 AM
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I've found cinnamon to be very effective against ants. It completely destroys their ability to detect the pheromones they use to lay trails.

When I had a problem with ants, I put cinnamon in the tray the cat food was on, and made a little pad of cinnamon sticks that the food tray went on. Then I put a line of cinnamon on the threshold of the door where the ants were coming in.

Googling shows that cats can have a problem if they inhale the cinnamon, so maybe just the cinnamon stick pad, and try to find where they are coming in so you can put cinnamon there.
  #23  
Old 06-10-2019, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
Ants in the cat food, what do I do?
Thanks for reading my mind and making feel just a little less like an oddball.
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Old 06-10-2019, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
You could try Aspidistra's moat idea. Or it might be enough just to put the food bowl on top of something else relatively small, like a tin can, so that it wasn't in direct contact with the floor.
Plate on top a metal mixing bowl with a deep overturned rim works nicely. The requirement to walk upside-down to get near the food seems to deter the nasty little insects. As a bonus, if your kitty doesn't like bumping his whiskers on the bowl, he'll find it easier to eat from the plate.

Cayenne pepper is supposed to deter ants, but also cats. However, you might try pouring into any crevices the ants might be using to come inside. If you're not sure where they're coming from, leave out a piece of food directly on the floor and there will be a steady trail of ants to guide you.
  #25  
Old 06-10-2019, 02:55 PM
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And yet another Terro fan, I had the same problem and it worked great.
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Old 06-10-2019, 03:32 PM
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Extra protein for your furbaby, whether you think of the cat that way or not!

Anyway, since YOU don't want ants, I'll tell you what I do when they invade. I wash the dishes and underpad, and the floor, and relocate the dish. They'll figure out where it is. I then spray the affected area, and also put Terro traps in places where the cats can't get to them.
  #27  
Old 06-10-2019, 03:41 PM
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I'll note that when we had ants in the house, coming from behind the cupboard, the Terro worked in about 1.5 days. Research on the internet said that these were Argentine ants.

When we had an outdoor ant nest, though, it took about a week for the Terro to completely eliminate the colony. But these outdoor ants were of a different species - they were bigger and blacker than the Argentine ants. We replaced the bait about every other day, and they kept enthusiastically drinking the whole time. Finally, the outdoor colony just vanished.

Last edited by teela brown; 06-10-2019 at 03:41 PM.
  #28  
Old 06-12-2019, 11:35 PM
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Food grade diatomaceous earth might help.
  #29  
Old 06-13-2019, 06:47 PM
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We get ants pretty bad in the summer time, and no store bought trap/bait/poison made a dent in them. We ended up calling a pest control company that comes and sprays around our house. That keeps em out/dead for the whole summer. They are still around outside, but they must find somewhere else to get food.

It costs about $150 to do this once, but we only have to do it once a year. More expensive than other solutions, but it actually works.
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Old 06-13-2019, 10:07 PM
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Terro plus put the cat food dish in a saucer of water.
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