Flies can be serious pests inside the home. They’re attracted to the slightest hint of food, including cat food. If you leave your cat’s food out like many cat owners, then you may be disappointed to find the flies attracted to it only a few hours later.
Of course, your feline may not eat the food after flies have begun to feast on it. Cats have a very sensitive sense of smell and tend to be picky about their food. Therefore, if they smell anything off about it (or see the flies), they may avoid it altogether.
For this reason, keeping flies away from your cat’s food is vital. There are several ways to go about this. We recommend trying a few different options to figure out what works best in your home.
The 5 Tips on How to Keep Flies Away from Cat Food
1. Cover Food When Possible
If your cat is consuming wet food, flies can become attracted to it very quickly due to the higher moisture content. However, you shouldn’t leave wet food out for very long, as it can dry out. Wet food should be fed at certain times and then covered when it isn’t mealtime. It may take your cat a bit to get used to scheduled feedings, but many do adapt after only a few days.
You should cover the wet food when possible and refrigerate it between meals. You cannot leave wet food out for long or bacteria start to grow. Most manufacturers have guidelines on the back of their food stating how long you can leave it out at room temperature. Usually, it is only an hour or two. Keep this in mind when feeding your cat wet food.
2. Choose a New Location
Most flies come in through outside doors and hang out in the kitchen, where most food is located. Therefore, if you want to keep flies off of your cat’s food, you should place it away from these locations. You do not want flies flying into your home and finding your cat’s food right by the door. If you keep the food in the kitchen, the flies may wander over from their usual spots to eat there.
While it may seem natural to feed your cat in the kitchen, this is not the best location if you’re looking to keep flies away.
Similarly, you should avoid very warm areas, especially if they are in direct sunlight. Shaded areas are a great option for feeding your feline. Sunlight can heat up the food and make it “smellier” than it usually is, attracting more flies. It can also lead to a higher spoilage rate.
Of course, feed your cat indoors when possible. Outdoor areas tend to have many more flies than inside your home so it can attract quite a few flies very quickly. Indoors also remains at a reasonable temperature, while it can get warmer outside. As we’ve previously stated, warmer temperatures speed up spoilage.
3. Keep the Area Clean
Of course, flies are attracted to dirty areas. Therefore, you should keep the room you feed your cat in clean. If there are flies in that room anyway, they are absolutely going to be attracted to the food when you open it in the room. We recommend keeping the room as clean as possible to avoid these issues.
Be sure to throw any food out when it becomes bad. Refrigerate it right after your cat gets done eating if you’re interested in keeping it.
Of course, if your cat makes any sort of mess while eating, you should clean it up right away. Otherwise, flies may become attracted to the spoiling food and then to your cat’s fresh food when it arrives.
4. Control the Flies
Many of these methods only work well when you focus on controlling the flies, as well. If you have lots of flies in your home, you’ll need to combat these with some pest control methods. Fly traps or even a professional pest controller may be useful.
5. Use Essential Oils
You can also utilize essential oils and even natural plants to keep flies away from your cat’s food. There are several essential oils and plants that are safe for your cat in moderate amounts but disliked by flies. Therefore, spraying a few spritzes of watered-down essential oil can be useful.
However, you do need to ensure that the essential oils you utilize are safe for cats. While there are many safe oils out there, some are downright toxic. When sprayed near your cat’s food, you can imagine that the results would not be good.
Also, some cats do not like the smells of these essential oils and may not eat them if their food smells like them. For this reason, this tip doesn’t work for all cats.
Live plants work similarly to essential oils, though you don’t have to apply them every time your cat eats. If you feed your cat outside, planting pet-safe plants that keep flies away can be extremely useful. However, some plants that keep away flies are toxic to felines, so be cautious with your plant selection.
There are tons of ways you can keep flies out of your cat’s food. Preferably, your cat’s food shouldn’t be out very long. Dry food lasts a bit longer than wet food, and it usually doesn’t attract very many flies due to its low moisture content. However, wet food should only be left out for an hour or two.
If you aren’t leaving food out for too long, then there are several pest control options you may want to consider. A professional may be needed for homes with serious fly issues. Furthermore, there are plenty of pet-safe pest control options that you can use around your cat’s food, as well.
Featured Image Credit: Johnny Harvester, Pixabay