“We have faced this raccoon situation”, said Steve who was wondering how to keep raccoons away from cat food. Steve, one of my friends in the US, initially guessed that his cat gets a lot hungry at night. Initially, he was happy but later in his outside camera, he figured out the truth. It is the raccoon that was bullying his cat and stealing more than half his food. With a heavy heart, he shared this with me and he has adopted a few tricks to keep raccoons out of his garden.
If you feel that Steve is not alone and you also face a similar problem from a critter, it is high time you face this helpless situation and stop it once and for all.
In this article, you will find 12 ways how to keep raccoons away from cat food.
How to Keep Raccoons Away from Cat Food
Accompany your pet while feeding cat food
While it might not be possible all the time, try to spend most of your time with the cat when it takes its food. This will scare the raccoons and other critters. Staying close is one of the techniques you can pair with a few of the following to make the raccoon eating cat food an impossible task.
Feed your kitty indoors
Most cats would like to eat outside since they want to spend time in the external environment. With regular training, it is possible to make cats eat from within your home. This will definitely stop raccoons from getting near your kitty or its food.
Avoid feeding your cat at night
Raccoons are more active at the night than during the day hours. So, always try feeding your cat in the morning and avoid feeding them at night. This needs to be practiced more diligently when your cat eats outdoors. If your cat is trained to eat within your home, this doesn’t seem important.
Avoid food sources outside your house
Raccoons are experts in finding food placed in trash bags and other garbage cans placed outside your house. Try as much as possible to avoid placing such food sources outside your home. If your outside trash bins can be secured and heavy enough, then raccoons might not be attracted.
Elevated platform for placing the cat food
Raccoons live in the streets but they aren’t adept climbers like cats. If you have a platform outside that is more than 40 inches in height, raccoons can’t climb on it. It is one of the best places to keep cat food as cats can make it to the top. Also, it is advisable to provide a roof over the platform to protect it from the sun’s heat or rain. Also, try securing it when not in use so that birds or squirrels don’t feed on your cat’s food.
Spray onion and peppers in the garden
Raccoons don’t like the smell of onion and pepper. You can use onion and pepper sprays in your garden. It is one of the best ways how to keep raccoons away from outdoor cat food. Once a fortnight, spray again so that the effect continues to remain and keeps raccoons out of your garden.
Be cautious if your cat is allergic to such sprays. Always consult the vet if your cat has allergic conditions.
Seal your attic and other entries in your house
If there are openings in the roof of your house or if your tiles on top are loose and can be removed easily, don’t be surprised if a raccoon pays a visit to your kitchen for food. If your area is raccoon infested, check for all openings in the house and seal them on priority. Thank me later!
Install strobe lights
Raccoons and other critters are sensitive to human movements or light movements. Installing strobe lights is one of the best ways to keep your raccoon scared and raccoons will consider multiple times before entering your garden.
Use Magnet locking cat door
Using a sensor-activated cat door will protect your cat’s home from raccoons. The chip in the cat’s collar will activate and open the cat door. Raccoons or other critters can’t get into your kitty’s home in the garden because of the technology.
Use a Raccoon proof cat feeder
There are automatic cat feeders in the market that dispenses cat food when a cat wearing a chip nears the feeder. However, I don’t recommend this because there are cases where raccoons break such feeders and access cat food.
Fence your garden (also attach spikes on the fence)
Laying a fence around your garden is one of the effective ways to keep raccoons out of reach. However, you must extend the fence underground to a certain depth otherwise raccoons can burrow deep and make it to the other side. Also, have the fence sloping outwards. This will prevent raccoons from climbing the fence. As an add-on, attach sharp spikes on the top of the fence and this will prevent raccoons from crossing it.
Take professional help
If your locality is filled with raccoons or if the situation is out of control, don’t worry. Call animal control. They are professionals who will survey your property, set raccoon traps, remove raccoons, and provide you with customized tips to keep raccoons away.
FAQs on Raccoons
Why do raccoons eat cat food?
Raccoons generally eat different types of food available on the streets. Cat foods especially are tasty and come in cans. This makes them a special treat for raccoons.
Can a raccoon kill my cat?
While a raccoon might find it difficult to kill a grown-up cat, there are a lot of cases where raccoons and cats fight each other. There is a life risk if your kitty is small and is in the open.
What else can raccoons damage?
If left unchecked, raccoons can destroy your garden and parts of your home. Raccoons are not just attracted to cat food but also bugs in the garden. So, it is always better to devise techniques to keep raccoons away.
Can raccoons infect others?
Raccoons are rabies carriers. They can infect us as well as your kitty through urine since they roam outside and carry a lot of bacteria along with diseases.
Overall, raccoons are dangerous to your property as well as your kitty. There are multiple ways you can follow to keep a raccoon out of your property as seen above.
There are simpler methods such as feeding your cat indoors, and avoiding food at night time and also there are a bit more expensive and foolproof methods such as maintaining an elevated platform to feed the cat, constructing a fence, or installing strobe lights. If nothing works, calling animal control is the best method to keep your property safe from raccoons.
If you are facing issues currently, act immediately before your kitty becomes a victim.