How to Keep Ants Away From Cat Food
Keep food in an airtight plastic container. Instead of keeping cat food in the bag, move the food from the bag to the plastic container after opening the bag. There are many of these available that are designed for pet food. 
Wash the food bowls. Ants are attracted to crumbs and any food left behind. Wash the bowls at least once every two days, or more if possible. This is extremely important if you have an ant problem. 
- Use a cat safe detergent and rinse thoroughly with fresh, clean water.
Keep the feeding area clean. Deter ants from getting interested in the food area in the first place by keeping it clean. Sweep up any crumbs or leftover food after your cat has finished eating. Mop the floor with vinegar or lemon mixtures to help dissuade ants from approaching. 
- You may consider moving the bowl off the floor when your cat is not eating, or leaving it out during certain hours, but picking it up at night.
Shift the feeding area. You can also try to move the bowl to another place. This way the ants may not be able to find it. If you have ants coming into the room, move the bowl away from the ant colony.
Make a boundary around the food. Try making a boundary around your cat’s food bowl that ants can’t cross. There are certain substances that will help repel ants.
- Draw a line around the bowl with chalk.
- Place a newspaper under the bowl and surround the bowl with a line of ground cinnamon, coffee grounds, chili powder, or ash. 
- Surround the edge of the food container with petroleum jelly.
- Spray vinegar or lemon on the floor around your pet’s bowl. Mix 1 part vinegar or lemon juice to 1 part water. Place in a spray bottle and spray around the bowl, creating a boundary. 
Cover the outside of the bowl with petroleum jelly. A messy method to prevent ants from reaching the food is to smear the outside of the food bowl with petroleum jelly. The ants have trouble walking up the slippery surface. 
- You can also place this on the outside of the moat container as an extra line of defense.
Use essential oils safely. Many essential oils can help repel ants. Try wiping down the floor around your cat’s bowl with a damp cloth that contains a few drops of peppermint oil. Ants are repelled by the strong smell. 
- You can also use lemon, orange, or grapefruit oil to repel ants. Try wiping the floor around the bowl with a cotton ball covered in the oil. 
- Essential oils are natural products and do not contain chemicals; however, make sure your cat never ingests undiluted essential oils as these can be toxic. Any essential oil that is applied where a cat might accidentally lick should be well-diluted.
Use a lure to attract the ants. A good way to keep the ants far from the bowl is to place commercial ant bait (under a cat-safe box) in the general area. Make sure that there is just a small hole for the ants to get in and eat the poison. At the same time, make sure your pet cannot access the bait.
- One way might be to screw a box directly into the floor or deck. It might be possible to jamb the cover box behind a stove or refrigerator, but only if the space is excessively narrow for your cat to access it. Just remember that cats are curious and can get into unimaginable places.
- The best bet is the water moat method. Place a smaller bowl inside a larger one and fill the gap with water. You could also try sprinkling diatomaceous earth (100% DE with no added silicon) and scatter it around the food bowls. This is microscopically sharp and ants dislike walking on it. (You may find it in a store that sells to poultry keepers, as its a popular no-chemical way of keeping mites at bay.)
Will my cat be ill if she eats an ant?
- It’s common for cats to eat bugs such as flies, spiders, or even ants, and it shouldn’t cause her any problems. However, be cautious using insecticides as there is a theoretical risk that the cat may accidentally ingest insecticide if she eats ants that have had recent contact with it.
Is it a problem if my cat just eats the ants?
Answered by wikiHow Contributor
- No, cats eat small bugs like beetles, ants, and termites naturally. And ants are rich in alpha-linolenic acids, which helps keep your cat’s coat soft.