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Home > Cats > 8 Vet-Approved DIY Ant Proof Cat Bowls You Can Make Today (With Pictures)

8 Vet-Approved DIY Ant Proof Cat Bowls You Can Make Today (With Pictures)

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Ants can be a huge nightmare for anyone who owns pets. They can be an especially big problem if you have a cat that grazes and has food in its bowl all the time.

To keep the ants in check, whether your cat is an indoor or outdoor cat, you might have been looking for solutions for your cat’s bowl. The great news is that there are DIY projects you can work on to keep your cat’s bowl free of ants.


Top 8 DIY Ant Proof Cat Bowls

1. Easy DIY Ant Proof Cat Food Bowl by The Links Site

DIY Easy Ant Proof Cat Food Bowl
Image Credit: thelinkssite
Materials: Cat food bowl, saucer for plant pot, water
Tools: None
Difficulty Level: Easy

This DIY ant proof cat food bowl is exceptionally easy and will take you minutes to put together, assuming you already have a plant pot saucer that’s deep enough to hold a little bit of water and wide enough to hold your cat’s food bowl with a little space between the edges. You won’t need much water for this project, but you will need to keep an eye on the water level to continue to keep the ants out of the food. Keep in mind that if your cat’s food is outdoors during the warmer months, the water will likely evaporate quickly.

2. DIY Ant Proof Pet Food Dish by Family Handyman

DIY Ant Proof Pet Food Dish
Image Credit: familyhandyman
Materials: Food bowl with rubber base, cookie sheet, water
Tools: None
Difficulty Level: Easy

This ant proof pet food dish is likely one you can make with things you already have around your house. If you don’t have a spare small cookie sheet, you can usually pick one up for a low price at a resale store or garage sale. This particular project will work best if you use a heavy plastic or glass pet bowl that has a rubber base. This will ensure the bowl doesn’t float in the water, doesn’t scoot across the cookie sheet, and doesn’t rust from sitting in water. Consider adding a pet-safe silicone or waterproof coating to the cookie sheet to keep it from rusting.

3. DIY Dining-In-Style Cat Bowls by Trend Hunter

DIY minimalist feline food trays
Image Credit: Trend Hunter
Materials: Cat food dishes, wooden or plastic tray, paint (optional)
Tools: None
Difficulty: Easy

We’d all be much happier if we could keep ants out of our cat’s food, but some DIY solutions simply don’t match your décor or will look out of place in your tidy kitchen. This Dining-In-Style Cat Bowl design is a modern and stylish approach to feeding your cat. It’s not designed specifically for tackling the ant problem, but it can be adjusted to do so.

You’ll need a plastic tray, your cat’s bowls, and water. Use a tray that has high enough sides that you can fill it with water. You can also paint it any color that you like—white is ideal if you prefer a sleek, clean, and modern appearance. Pair it with white food bowls, and keep a few treats nearby in sealed jars for convenience.

4. DIY Jelly Barrier for Cat Bowls by Mom 4 Real

DIY jelly barrier for cat bowls
Image Credit: Mom 4 Real
Materials: Cat bowl, petroleum jelly
Tools: None
Difficulty: Easy

You don’t have to put too much effort into ant proofing your cat bowls. This Jelly Barrier for Cat Bowls is simple, cheap, and effective. All you need is a little petroleum jelly, and the application is easy: Just rub a thin layer of jelly around the base of the bowl. Be careful not to place it too close to the rim if you use a shallower bowl or a plate.

The petroleum jelly makes the bowl slippery and stops ants from climbing up. While the ants can still mill around the base of the bowl and attack food scraps that your cat drops, they won’t be able to climb into the dishes.

5. DIY Cinnamon Tray Ant Proof Cat Bowl by Trisha Dishes

DIY cinnamon tray ant proof cat bowl
Image Credit: Trisha Dishes
Materials: Cat food dish, aluminum tray or cat food mat, cinnamon
Tools: None
Difficulty: Easy

Water is a simple, convenient solution, but it can be messy, especially if you have a cat that loves splashing in puddles or drinks all their water despite the ants. This Cinnamon Tray Ant Proof Cat Bowl uses an aluminum tray—or a cat food mat, as long as it’s bigger than the cat bowl—and a light dusting of cinnamon.

Cinnamon isn’t toxic to cats—though you shouldn’t sprinkle it on their food—and is a popular method for ant control option if you need a quick DIY solution. Coat the aluminum tray or cat food mat with powdered cinnamon, and shake it to make sure it coats the entire surface.

Place your cat’s food dish on the mat, and that’s it! You can also combine this option with the previous DIY plan and put a thin layer of petroleum jelly on the base of the bowl, just in case.

6. DIY Ant Proof Chalk Barrier by Creative Homemaking

dog and cat eating pet food together at home
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock
Materials: Cat food dish, chalk
Tools: None
Difficulty: Easy

A fun DIY ant proof technique is to surround your cat’s bowl with a circle of chalk. An Ant Proof Chalk Barrier might sound like a far-fetched solution, but many pet owners swear by it. The title of the project mentions dogs, but it works for cat food bowls too, and it’s cheap and super easy. You can even put the kids in charge of maintaining the chalk circle.

Make sure the chalk line is thick enough to put off the ants. It might not work on all of them, though, and a few stubborn ants might soldier through. But one or two tenacious ants are much better odds than a bowl teeming with half a colony.

7. DIY Ant Proof Pet Food Bowl by Instructables

DIY ant-proof pet food bowl
Image Credit: Instructables
Materials: Cat bowl, two plastic containers, non-toxic glue
Tools: None
Difficulty: Easy

This Ant Proof Pet Food Bowl might not be the prettiest DIY solution on this list, but it’s an effective one. It’s also a great way to reuse old pots that you might have around or if your budget is tight.

You’ll need two containers for this design. The first pot needs to be slightly bigger than your pet bowl. This is the bowl that will hold your cat’s dish in one place. For the second container, you’ll need one that is wide enough to hold the first container.

It’s the larger container that will hold the water, and you’ll need to leave plenty of space, so the ants can’t reach across the moat without swimming. To keep the smaller container and cat bowl in place when the moat is full, you’ll need strong glue.

8. DIY Tea Cup Cat Bowl by Redhead Can Decorate

DIY tea cup cat food bowl
Image Credit: Redhead Can Decorate
Materials: Mug or teacup and saucer
Tools: None
Difficulty: Easy

This DIY Tea Cup Cat Bowl isn’t specifically designed to keep ants out of your cat’s dinner, but it is a stylish option that you can repurpose. The design relies on using a teacup and a saucer as a matching set; you add water to the saucer to create an ant proof barrier. It’s a quirky and stylish way to keep your cat’s food safe and makes a change from the regular metal, ceramic, or plastic bowls sold in pet stores.

You can find mugs and saucers at most thrift stores—just make sure you choose one that isn’t too small or too deep. The cup needs to hold all your cat’s food without being too deep or narrow that it prevents them from eating.

Hepper 360 Cat Feeder, Stainless Steel, Anti-Chew...
  • NO MESS - The 360° tray on this cat food and water bowl set has a raised design to catch and...
  • WHISKER FRIENDLY - Shallow and wide metal containers with flat bottoms ensure your kitty can enjoy...
  • CHEW-SAFE MATERIALS - Kittens and cats love chewing on silicone and soft rubber - but it's a choking...

Or, if you’re looking to try something a bit different, the Hepper NomNom Cat Bowl puts an innovative, modern spin on the traditional cat dish. It caters to the specific needs of felines, like offering whisker relief and elevated dishes that improve better posture. Its also a gra option for pet owners! It's contemporary in style and the base wraps around both stainless steel bowls to ensure that any food and water stays in the tray and off your floor. Find out here if the Hepper NomNom Cat Bowl is right for you.

At Pet Keen, we’ve admired Hepper for many years and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding designs of this cool pet company


Pesticide-Free Ant Control

Pesticides can be unsafe for your cat, so it’s best to avoid using them when possible, especially anywhere near your cat’s food or water. The primary trick to keeping your cat’s food free from ants is likely obvious at this point, but water is a great way to keep ants out of just about anywhere you don’t want them to go. Ants are capable of climbing a variety of objects of just about any texture, even slick textures, but they aren’t able to swim. Ants won’t attempt to cross water to get to food and even if an ant or two manages to luck into your cat’s food, they’re unlikely to be able to get back out to alert other ants to the presence of the food.


Final Thoughts

These DIY ant proof cat bowls are great ways to keep your pet’s food bug-free and are quick projects for people who do not want to build something elaborate or complicated. Your cat will be grateful for this food dish!

Featured Image Credit: pedphoto36pm, Shutterstock

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