How to Keep Raccoons Away from Cat Food: Foolproof Methods

How to Keep Raccoons Away from Cat Food: Foolproof Methods

By Neil | At 04 Nov 2023 | 23880 Hits

To keep raccoons away from cat food, use raccoon-proof feeders. Raccoons are attracted to cat food, so it's important to take measures to keep them out.

How to Keep Raccoons Away from Cat Food: Foolproof Methods


1. Understanding The Problem

Looking for ways to keep raccoons away from your cat's food? Discover effective solutions and repellents to deter raccoons without harming your feline companion. Keep your cat's food safe and secure with these helpful tips.

Recognizing The Attraction Between Raccoons And Cat Food

Raccoons are notorious for their love of cat food, and if you have outdoor cats or leave food outside for stray or feral cats, you may find yourself dealing with frequent visits from these masked bandits. Understanding why raccoons are attracted to cat food can help you take effective steps to keep them away.

Here are a few key points to help you recognize the attraction between raccoons and cat food:

  • Smell: Raccoons have a highly developed sense of smell, and the strong scent of cat food is like a magnet to them. They can detect that food from a distance, making it impossible to hide it from their keen noses.
  • Easy meal: Raccoons are opportunistic feeders and are always on the lookout for an easy meal. Cat food left outside provides a readily available and tasty food source for them, so they will keep coming back as long as it's accessible.
  • Water source: Raccoons need water to survive, and if you leave out water along with the cat food, it becomes even more appealing to them. They will see your property as a reliable source of both food and water, encouraging repeat visits.
  • Shelter: Raccoons are nocturnal creatures and are always on the lookout for safe and cozy places to rest during the day. If your property provides hiding spots like sheds, decks, or bushes, they will be even more attracted to the cat food that comes with it.

Now that you understand why raccoons are attracted to cat food, let's move on to the potential risks and issues caused by raccoons feeding on it.

2. Creating A Raccoon-Proof Feeding Area

Avoid raccoon invasions on your cat's food by creating a raccoon-proof feeding area. Use secure feeders, elevate or place the food in a closed space, and remove any remnants to keep raccoons at bay.

Assessing Your Current Feeding Setup:

  • Is the feeding area easily accessible to raccoons?
  • Are there any cracks or openings in the area that raccoons could use to access the cat food?
  • Have you observed any raccoon activity around the feeding area?
  • Are there any other potential food sources that might be attracting raccoons?
  • Do you currently have a way to monitor the feeding area for raccoon activity?

Implementing A Secure And Elevated Feeding Station For Your Cat:

  • Choose a feeding station that is elevated and difficult for raccoons to reach.
  • Opt for a raised platform or install a secure shelf for the cat food.
  • Make sure the feeding station is sturdy and not easily knocked over by raccoons.
  • Place the feeding station in a secure area, away from trees or structures that raccoons could climb.
  • Consider using a covered feeding station that has a latch or lock to keep raccoons out.

Using Raccoon-Proof Feeders And Containers:

  • Invest in raccoon-proof feeders that are specifically designed to keep raccoons out.
  • These feeders usually have mechanisms like weighted doors or lockable lids that raccoons can't easily open.
  • Look for feeders with narrow openings that only allow access to smaller animals like cats.
  • Use raccoon-proof containers to store the cat food when it's not being served.
  • These containers should be airtight and durable to prevent any scent leakage that might attract raccoons.

By assessing your current feeding setup, implementing a secure and elevated feeding station, and using raccoon-proof feeders and containers, you can effectively keep raccoons away from your cat's food. Remember to regularly monitor the feeding area for any signs of raccoon activity and make adjustments as needed to ensure your cat's food remains raccoon-free.


3. Implementing Natural Deterrents

To keep raccoons away from cat food, you can implement natural deterrents like using overwhelming scents such as black pepper, peppermint oil, garlic, vinegar, or ammonia. Raccoons are often attracted to cat food, so it's important to take steps to protect your cat's food from these pesky critters.

Using Scents That Raccoons Dislike To Repel Them From The Feeding Area:

Raccoons have a keen sense of smell, and there are certain scents that they find unpleasant. By incorporating these scents into your cat's feeding area, you can deter raccoons from approaching. Here are some effective scents that raccoons dislike:

  • Black pepper: Sprinkle black pepper around the feeding area or create a pepper spray by mixing black pepper with water and spraying it in the vicinity.
  • Peppermint oil: Soak cotton balls in peppermint oil and place them strategically around the feeding area.
  • Garlic: Crush fresh garlic cloves and scatter them near the cat food bowls.
  • Vinegar: Fill small bowls with vinegar and place them near the feeding area.

These scents may help repel raccoons and keep them away from your cat's food. Remember to reapply the scents regularly for maximum effectiveness.

4. Protecting Outdoor Cat Food

To protect outdoor cat food from raccoons, try using raccoon-proof feeders and avoid leaving food out at night. You can also use strong scents like black pepper or vinegar to repel raccoons without affecting cats.

Protecting Outdoor Cat Food

When it comes to keeping raccoons away from your outdoor cat food, there are a few strategies you can implement to ensure your feline friend's meals remain untouched. Below are some effective methods to protect outdoor cat food from raccoons:

  • Monitoring feeding times to prevent leftover food from attracting raccoons: Raccoons are known for their nocturnal habits, so it's best to establish a feeding routine during daylight hours. Make sure to remove any uneaten food promptly, as leaving it out overnight can attract raccoons. This will discourage them from returning to your cat's feeding area.
  • Storing cat food securely to prevent raccoons from accessing it: Raccoons are intelligent creatures that can easily open flimsy containers or tip over loosely sealed bags. To prevent raccoons from accessing the food, consider the following measures:
  • Store cat food in a secure, airtight container that raccoons cannot easily open.
  • Use heavy-duty storage bins or metal containers to keep raccoons out.
  • Avoid leaving cat food in accessible locations, such as uncovered patios or open sheds.

By implementing these protective measures, you can effectively keep raccoons away from your outdoor cat food. Remember, regular monitoring and secure storage are key to deter these curious critters from a free meal.

5. Addressing Other Raccoon Attractants

To keep raccoons away from cat food, address other raccoon attractants such as garbage cans, bird feeders, and pet food left outdoors. Secure trash cans with tight-fitting lids, bring in bird feeders at night, and ensure that all pet food is stored inside.

Addressing Other Raccoon Attractants

Raccoons are notorious for being scavengers and will take advantage of any food sources they come across. To effectively keep raccoons away from your cat food, it's important to address other attractants that might be drawing them to your property.

Here's what you can do:

Removing potential food sources and garbage around your property:

  • Secure garbage cans with tight-fitting lids to prevent raccoons from accessing them.
  • Keep your trash cans in a secure area such as a shed or garage until garbage pickup day.
  • Avoid leaving pet food outside overnight or unattended, especially if you have outdoor cats.
  • Store birdseed, pet food, and compost in sealed containers that raccoons can't easily access.
  • Clean up fallen fruits and nuts from your yard, as they can be a tempting treat for raccoons.
  • Dispose of food scraps properly, either composting them in a secure bin or disposing of them in a sealed garbage bag.

Securing trash cans and compost bins to avoid raccoon infestations:

  • Invest in raccoon-resistant garbage cans or add locks to your existing cans to deter raccoons.
  • Position your trash cans away from areas where raccoons can easily reach them, such as trees or fences.
  • Rinse out food containers before throwing them away, as raccoons are attracted to food residue.
  • Avoid overfilling your trash cans, as raccoons can easily knock them over to access the contents.
  • If you have a compost bin, ensure that it is secure and inaccessible to raccoons by using a lid or fencing.

By addressing these potential food sources and securing your trash cans and compost bins, you can greatly reduce the chances of raccoons being attracted to your property. Remember, prevention is key when it comes to keeping raccoons away from cat food.

6. Dealing With Persistent Raccoons

To keep raccoons away from cat food, try using raccoon-proof feeders or placing the food indoors. Raccoons are attracted to cat food left outside, so it's important to take preventative measures.

Seeking Professional Assistance If Raccoon Problems Persist

If you've tried various methods to keep raccoons away from your cat food but are still struggling with persistent raccoon problems, it may be time to seek professional assistance. Here are some reasons why professional help can be beneficial:

  • Expertise: Professionals have experience and knowledge in dealing with raccoons and can provide effective solutions tailored to your unique situation.
  • Identification: They can accurately identify the source of the raccoon problem and determine the most appropriate course of action.
  • Humane techniques: Professional raccoon removal services prioritize using humane methods to protect both the raccoons and your cats.
  • Prevention strategies: They can inspect your property to identify potential entry points and offer recommendations for securing your outdoor space to prevent future raccoon intrusions.
  • Legal compliance: Professional raccoon removal services are aware of local laws and regulations regarding the handling and relocation of wildlife, ensuring that all actions are undertaken legally and ethically.

Exploring Humane Trapping And Relocation Options

If you're determined to address the raccoon problem on your own, humane trapping and relocation can be an option worth considering. Here are some guidelines to follow:

  • Research local regulations: Before attempting to trap and relocate raccoons, make sure to familiarize yourself with the laws and regulations in your area. Some locations have specific guidelines or restrictions on trapping and relocating wildlife.
  • Choose a humane trap: Invest in a live trap designed specifically for raccoons. Avoid using lethal traps or methods as they can be cruel and inhumane.
  • Bait the trap: Use a bait that is enticing to raccoons, such as cat food or canned fish. Place the bait at the back of the trap to ensure the raccoon fully enters the trap.
  • Set the trap in a strategic location: Place the trap near the area where the raccoons are accessing the cat food. Raccoons tend to follow familiar routes, so positioning the trap along their path increases the likelihood of success.
  • Relocate the raccoon: Once the raccoon has been trapped, transport it to a suitable location away from your property. Check local regulations for specific guidelines on where and how to release the raccoon.
  • Secure your property: After removing the raccoon, take measures to secure your outdoor space and prevent further intrusions. This may include securing garbage cans, removing potential food sources, and sealing any entry points raccoons may use to access your property.

Remember, while trapping and relocating raccoons can be a humane option, it requires careful consideration, adherence to local regulations, and a commitment to preventing future raccoon problems.

7. Preventing Raccoon-Cat Conflicts

Learn how to keep raccoons away from your cat's food with these effective tips. Prevent conflicts by using raccoon-proof feeders, spraying onion and pepper in the garden, and feeding your kitty indoors.

Ensuring Your Cat'S Safety While Keeping Raccoons Away From The Food

If you have a cat and are dealing with raccoons eating its food, it's important to take steps to keep both your cat and the raccoons safe. Here are some tips to prevent raccoon-cat conflicts:

  • Place the cat food indoors: Keeping your cat's food indoors is the most effective way to prevent raccoons from accessing it. Create a designated feeding area inside your home where your cat can comfortably eat without the risk of raccoons getting to the food.
  • Install a microchip cat flap: Consider installing a microchip cat flap that only allows your cat to enter and exit the house. This will prevent raccoons from entering your home through the cat flap and accessing the food.
  • Feed your cat at specific times: Establishing a feeding schedule for your cat will help minimize the time the food is left outside, reducing the chances of attracting raccoons. Stick to feeding your cat during daylight hours when raccoons are less active.
  • Remove any leftovers: If your cat doesn't finish its food in one sitting, make sure to remove the leftovers promptly. Leaving food out overnight can attract raccoons and other unwanted wildlife.
  • Store cat food securely: Store your cat's food in airtight containers that are properly sealed. Raccoons are notorious for their dexterity and can easily open flimsy containers. Keeping the food securely stored will deter raccoons from attempting to access it.
  • Clean the feeding area: Regularly clean the feeding area to remove food crumbs and spills that may attract raccoons. Wipe down the dishes and sanitize the area to minimize any residual scents that might entice raccoons.
  • Install motion-activated lights or sprinklers: Raccoons are nocturnal creatures, so installing motion-activated lights or sprinklers can startle them and deter them from approaching your cat's feeding area. The sudden burst of light or water will be perceived as a threat and encourage the raccoons to keep their distance.

By taking these preventative measures, you can ensure your cat's safety while effectively keeping raccoons away from the food. Remember, a little extra effort can go a long way in maintaining a peaceful coexistence between your cat and wildlife.


To ensure that raccoons stay away from your cat's food, there are several effective strategies you can implement. First, consider using raccoon-proof feeders that are designed specifically to keep these sneaky creatures out. Additionally, you can try using scents that raccoons hate, such as black pepper, peppermint oil, garlic, vinegar, or ammonia, to deter them from approaching the food.

Another crucial step to take is feeding your cat indoors, where raccoons can't access the food. This will not only keep raccoons away but also prevent other wildlife from getting to the food. Lastly, ensure that any outdoor feeding areas are clean and free of remnants that may attract raccoons.

By following these measures, you can protect your cat's food and prevent raccoons from becoming a nuisance. Remember, it's important to prioritize your cat's health and safety by keeping their food secure.