Ants in Kitty’s Food Dish, What Can I Do?

It’s Spring and life is stirring! The trees and flowers are waking up and so are our friends the ants. In the right environment they can be helpful little critters but when they move into your kitchen and kitty’s food bowl they aren’t so appreciated. So what can you do? Until the ant problem is brought under control start by keeping them out of kitty’s food by creating a moat for kitty’s food bowl or buying a pre-made ant proof dish.

To do it yourself just take a pan or dish that your cats bowl fits comfortably into and kitty can also reach over to get to her dish while it is sitting in the pan. Then fill the pan or dish with some water, this creates a moat that the ants can’t cross. This method is nice as it’s safe and keeps the ants away from the food but doesn’t bring kitty into contact with anything harmful. You can also buy food dishes that are made with some version of this concept, there are many versions available online.

Now that kitty’s food is safe from the unwanted visitors you can look at options that may help send them home. Here are a few natural ant control ideas to try.

  • Making sure all surfaces are kept clean and clear of crumbs or sweets is a good starting point.
  • Vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray on surfaces where you’ve seen ants. Supposedly the fungicidal and insecticide like properties in the vinegar help keep ants away.
  • Black or Cayenne pepper. If you can find out where the ants are coming in put the pepper near or in the cracks of the entry points. The ants will not cross the pepper. But keep this away from kitty as the pepper can be an irritant.
  • Mint supposedly destroys the ants abilities to smell properly and keeps them from entering your home. Plant mint around your house and near entry ways. Also you can put mint leaves in your home at entry points or where you’ve seen ants.
  • Herbs that are known to be helpful in repelling ants: Bay leaf, Basil, Rosemary, Thyme, Peppermint. Best to keep kitty from eating these herbs in any quantity.
  • Cinnamon, Coffee grounds and Cucumber all have been said to have properties that repel ants and can be a barrier to entry.
  • Salt. Put a line of salt along windows or entry points, supposedly they will not cross salt.

Harsher natural methods of control: If you are at the point where you want to get rid of the source, here are some other ideas to try.

  • Cornmeal or cornstarch: Mix up equal amount of cornmeal with powdered sugar and place in an area where you have ants. The ants will be attracted to the sugar but they can’t digest the cornmeal and it kills them. You will have ants feeding for days but in time they should stop coming.
  • Raw cream of wheat (farina). Place the raw cream of wheat where you have ants. When the ants eat it the cream of wheat expands in their stomachs and it kills the ants. Again this takes time.
  • Boiling water: If you can find the ant hill poor boiling water on it. This should kill the hive.
  • If you can keep this away from pets and children try a borax solution. Mix equal parts borax with syrup or powdered sugar and place it in an area where you have ants but away from animals or children as it is toxic. The ant will feed for a time but they will die out over a number of days or weeks.

My current favorite is the “TERRO PreFilled Liquid Ant Killer Baits”. It’s a commercially available borax solution trap, that’s easy to use and very effective!

The important thing with natural methods of ant control is to be persistent. Try more than one method, be patient and start as soon as you see ants. Good luck and if you find one of these methods useful or have one of your own let me know, I’d be happy to hear about it!

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Cat Litter Products

Worlds Best

Smart Cat

Dr. Elsey Cat Attract

Pretty Litter

Hi Kitty lovers,

As I have scooped cat litter nearly everyday for almost ten years, I have seen many changes in litter products and in how cats react to them. One of the biggest changes is the move to non clay litters made from natural materials such as; corn, wheat, other grasses, pine, walnut and paper.

Each have their own characteristics but I have noticed one big plus when moving away from clay is that it is often beneficial to cats that have a tendency toward chronic runny nose and phlegmy sneezing. I have seen these issues go away once the litter was changed to a plant based low dust litter such as World’s Best, corn based or Smart Scoop, grass based.

A funny note about Swheat Scoop, a wheat based litter. My own kitty is diabetic and she was starting to have some issues with runny nose and phlegmy sneezing so I decided to change her litter. First, I tried Swheat Scoop and it seemed to be fine with her. But shortly after the change I noticed her standing with her head and front feet in the box and her hind legs out (not the position one really wants their cat in when using the litter box 😉 ). I watched and she was just standing there for minutes. Finally I lifted the lid and found she was eating the Swheat Scoop litter! I can only figure that it is the sugar in wheat that was attracting her as she is diabetic. When I changed to Smart Scoop, a non wheat grass based litter, she had no interest and the sneezing and runny nose stopped as well.

Two other litters I wanted to mention, Dr. Elsey’s Cat Attract and PrettyLitter.

Dr. Elsey’s is a clay litter but if your cat is having issues peeing outside the box you may want to give this litter a try as it has helped bring some kitties back to their boxes. Also on that note, cats have a much stronger sense of smell than we do and heavily scented litters can be unattractive to cats. A none scented litter is usually more attractive to cats.

The other litter I wanted to mention is one I have just noticed, PrettyLitter. This is a non clumping litter that indicates the PH level of your cats urine. If your cat is possibly in the process of developing a Urinary Tract Infection or crystals this litter turns blue, indicating an alkaline PH. Yellow indicates an acidic PH and red indicates blood. This litter could be helpful in heading off issues where PH levels could be an indicator. There may be other brands similar to PrettyLitter but PrettyLitter is the one that I have seen in use.

I hope these thoughts from my experiences with cat litters are of help.

Linda =^..^=

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BIG CATS like boxes too!

Tigers, Lions & Leopards love boxes too! Just like domestic cats!

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Kitteh dwinks fwom phauwset

Kitteh dwinks fwom phauwset – pretteh epic acksualy….Cat drinking from faucet 🙂

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Kitty Keeping Cool

One of our PDX kitties cooling off on a hot day!…

Spacemonkey’s kitty pool on a hot day.

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Call today for an Appointment
Linda Neubauer - Cat Sitter
Adoring Kitty Care
Portland, Oregon
Phone: (971) 344-5367

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