Awareness, Cat Food, Cross Species Eating

How To Keep Raccoons Away From Cat Food?

How To Keep Raccoons Away From Cat Food?

Raccoons are opportunistic feeders, and it’s not uncommon for them to be attracted to outdoor bowls of cat food. Homeowners should be aware that leaving pet food outside can inadvertently invite raccoons into their yards, potentially leading to a nuisance as these clever creatures return night after night for an easy meal. It’s important to secure pet food and trash cans to discourage raccoons from becoming regular visitors.

Keep Raccoons Away From Cat Food

9 Ways to Keep Raccoons Away from Cat Food

Feed Inside

Feeding your cat inside prevents raccoons from detecting the food because these animals typically avoid entering human residences. This also helps to keep the food in a controlled environment, reducing the likelihood of raccoons associating your home with a food source.

Feed during Day

Raccoons are nocturnal, so feeding your pets during the day can reduce the chances of raccoons finding the food. Remove any leftovers promptly to ensure nothing is available for raccoons during their active hours.

Feed during Day

Keep Food on Elevated Places

Raccoons are less likely to reach food placed on elevated surfaces that are difficult to climb. However, these animals are excellent climbers, so the elevated place mustn’t be easily accessible from nearby structures or trees.

Be there when your Cat Eats

Supervising your cat’s meal times allows you to remove the food as soon as your cat is finished. This minimizes the window of opportunity for raccoons to come and eat the leftovers.

Raccoon-Proof Feeders

Invest in feeders that are designed to be tamper-resistant against raccoons. These feeders often have mechanisms that require a certain weight or a particular way of accessing food that is unique to cats.

Set-up Motion-Sensor Lights

Raccoons are skittish around sudden bright lights. Installing motion-sensor lights can startle and deter them from entering your property in search of food.

Set-up Motion-Sensor Lights

Install a Fence

A sturdy fence can be a physical barrier to raccoons. Make sure it is high and deep enough to prevent them from climbing over or digging under to reach the food.

Eliminate Food Odor Sources

Secure your garbage cans and remove any fallen fruit or nuts from your yard that might attract raccoons. A clean yard means fewer smells to attract wildlife looking for a meal.

Call Animal Control

If you have a persistent raccoon problem, contacting Animal Control can provide professional help. They can safely trap and relocate the animal to a more suitable habitat away from residential areas.

Call Animal Control

Frequently Asked Questions

Can raccoons attack my cat?

Raccoons can attack cats if they feel threatened or if there is competition for food. While not all interactions lead to conflict, raccoons are significantly larger and can injure or even kill a cat during a fight, so it’s best to keep them apart.

Can a raccoon attack my kids?

Raccoons are generally not aggressive toward humans but can become defensive if cornered or if they perceive a threat to themselves or their young. It’s rare for raccoons to attack children, but such incidents could potentially happen, especially if the raccoon is sick or habituated to human presence.

Is cat food safe for raccoons?

Feeding cat food to raccoons is not recommended. While raccoons can eat cat food without immediate harm, it does not meet their nutritional needs and can lead to health problems. Regular consumption of cat food can result in obesity and malnutrition in raccoons. Additionally, encouraging raccoons to come near human habitats for food can create conflicts and potential safety risks for both raccoons and people.

Why do raccoons like cat food?

Raccoons are omnivores with a strong sense of smell, and cat food is packed with proteins and fats, making it a highly attractive and easy meal for them. The strong odor and easy accessibility when left outdoors are particularly inviting to these opportunistic feeders.

What smells repel raccoons but not cats?

Certain natural scents like peppermint, eucalyptus, and vinegar can deter raccoons due to their strong smells, which raccoons find unpleasant. However, these scents are not typically bothersome to cats and can be used safely around them.

Will noise keep raccoons away?

Raccoons are cautious around unfamiliar noises, and sudden loud sounds can scare them off temporarily. However, they can become accustomed to noises over time if they realize there’s no real threat, so this may not be a reliable long-term deterrent.

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