With the arrival of summer, the probability of finding an invasion of ants in the cat’s bowl increases: here’s how to keep them away forever.
Unlike what happens with dogs, which usually tend to eat everything they have in their bowl in a few minutes, those who have a cat know that it is much better to leave the treats at their disposal for the whole day, giving the cat the opportunity to choose how, when and how much to eat.
The problem is that, leaving the treats in the bowl during the hottest seasons of the year, you often risk seeing your furry friend’s food literally invaded by ants: a decidedly unhygienic and unpleasant situation for the cat, but even for humans who see food covered with tiny black creatures.
So, what needs to be done to keep these insects away from cat food? Let’s find out together how to safely deal with the problem of ants in the cat bowl, with particular attention to the most effective natural remedies.
Ants in the cat bowl: causes and natural remedies
Ants are attracted to practically any food and cat food is no exception: with the rising temperatures in spring and summer it is very common to find yourself with kibble completely invaded by these little insects excited at the idea of taking advantage of a bowl full of a delicious food, rich in proteins, carbohydrates and fats as is quality cat food.
Although we are inclined to imagine ants struggling with much more sugary foods, the truth is that a bowl full of food available represents for the column of insects in perfect single file a temptation that is impossible to resist: if the food of your cat is under siege it is important that you know what the risks are and the best natural or otherwise harmless remedies to keep them away.
The chemical treatments usually used for these pets, in fact, are not safe for your cat and more generally can be toxic to any pet. However, the problem must be solved effectively and in the shortest possible time because it is likely that, once you have learned where the bowl is, the ants will return to refuel even once you have removed them.
How can I get rid of ants in the cat bowl?
1. Talk to a professional
If you are struggling with a long-term ant infestation, the best option is likely to be with a pest control company – make sure they know how to do their job safely and effectively considering that there is a home ‘it’s a cat.
2. Keep the house clean of food residues
It seems superfluous to specify it, but it is good to always follow the essential hygiene rules such as storing pet food in a tightly closed airtight container, cleaning the floor under and around the bowl every day to remove food residues, washing the bowls regularly and with treatment.
3. Put a physical barrier between the ants and the bowl
To keep the ants away from the cat’s bowl it is possible to use different types of barrier: you can spread petroleum jelly around the base of the plate, which makes the “climb” of the small insects towards their destination slippery. Or, you can build a kind of “moat” by placing the bowl on a larger plate and filling it with water. Another useful solution is to purchase a raised bowl, designed specifically for this purpose.
4. Natural remedies for ants
If the ants continue to enter the cat’s bowl, you may want to consider placing natural deterrents in what are the entry points of the insects in the house. The most suitable substances for this purpose, completely natural and therefore free of toxic chemicals, are for example cinnamon powder, ash, baking soda and coffee grounds.
The cat ate the ants: need to worry?
Despite its reputation as a fussy animal, the cat could eat the ants that have invaded the bowl along with the food it contains: it is a more common behavior than one might imagine, especially in kittens. If you notice that your cat has eaten ants, don’t panic: insects are usually not harmful to his body.
However, we must pay attention to those particular species of ants that can sting: if they are widespread in your area it is likely that your cat could risk painful bites. If you notice that your cat is particularly agitated or shows some of the typical signs of pain in cats, it is best to contact your vet immediately.
Another potential problem is the presence of pesticides on the outside or inside of ants’ body: as mentioned above, the chemicals that are usually used to kill these small insects can also prove dangerous to other animals, including cats. If you notice dead ants in your house, but you haven’t spread any insecticide, remove them immediately and be careful your cat can’t taste them.