The first year this happened I noticed my cat (dear departed Selma) sitting by her food, staring at it forlornly. When I went over to investigate I didn’t see anything at first. And then I looked closer and OH MY GOD THE FOOD IS MOVING!
There were hundreds of ants. And then I saw that there were hundreds more on the floor, making the trek to and from the back door.
Last year, when it happened again for the third time (with a new cat) I decided that there had to be a solution besides waiting for the cat to stop eating.
Now, I should note that we don’t have ants in our house for more than a couple of weeks each year. I use Terro traps indoors and out, and they are amazing. But, they take a week or two to work. The ants have to take the poison back to their nests, so it takes a little while for ants from all the different nests to find the traps and do the work for me.
The most frustrating thing in the world is to not kill the ants myself for those two weeks. If I kill them they won’t bring the poison back to their friends, so I have to let them roam around my house like it’s not gross. And the cat prolongs the process by killing every ant she sees.
Of course, our yearly infestation could possibly be avoided by me putting the traps out towards the end of March. But every winter I manage to forget that ants exist, so that probably won’t happen.
I checked online and tried the moat method, where you put the food bowl inside a bigger bowl of water (the ants can’t cross the water). And while that worked, it was a pain in the ass: The cat kept knocking food into the water, so I had to change it twice a day or it got super gross.
I tried online again, and I bought this:
I was a little suspicious, mostly because it wasn’t expensive (about $6), and honestly I wasn’t sure it was working. By the time I got it we had taken care of our ant problem. So while there were no more ants in the bowl, that was due to the Terro traps, not the dish.
But this year the ants are back. I put some traps out before leaving for spring break. Last night I found about a dozen ants on my kitchen floor inches from the cat’s food dish, and I’m thrilled to say that there were none in the dish. I checked.
The secret is supposedly the shape of the bowl. Now, I have no way of guaranteeing that this absolutely works and that ants will never find their way in. All I can tell you is that this is the first spring in this house that it hasn’t happened, and this is the first spring we’ve had this bowl. If it ever happens, I’ll update this review.
The bowl comes in different sizes for different pets.