Are you a kind soul that has been feeding a stray cat (or a few)? This is a noble deed, but can become quite costly if your feral cat feeding station becomes a free buffet for your local wildlife. Possums, raccoons, squirrels and fox will all dine on cat food if they can find a way into it. But don’t worry, there are ways to keep those unwanted critters from invading your feline feeder.
Check out these helpful tricks and hints on how to keep raccoons (and other wildlife) out of a cat food feeding station.
Pick the Perfect Time
Raccoons are nocturnal animals. By feeding your strays in the morning or daytime hours you will cut down on the chances of this nighttime bandit stealing those yummy morsels. In addition, it reduces the risks of the cats running into a hungry predator.
Tip: Remove any leftover food before it gets dark to deter the raccoon from continuously coming back.
We are not aware of any commercial solutions but a DYI option is possible. Although, this solution will take some work on your part, it is one that works. A raccoon-proof feeder is specifically designed with the traits of the raccoon in mind. This animal is extremely good at climbing and not just wood. They can scale rock, brick and stone. However, they are not good jumpers.
A raccoon-proof cat feeder should be at least 40 inches off the ground. The feeding station itself should have a skirt of smooth sheet metal or plastic to keep the raccoon from being able to obtain a grip once it has climbed to pole-base. Your feeder should also be enclosed with a waterproof roof to keep the cats and the food dry. In addition, an enclosed feeder will also deter smaller rodents from approaching from the top or birds from flying in to steal the kibble.
If you have older or less agile ferals, you can provide a second platform about two feet away of the main station to give those cats a boost.
Other Animals May Deter Cats from Eating
Even if you don’t mind feeding the wildlife, when you have a feral cat population, raccoons and other animals can deter the strays.
Although, it is rare that a cat and raccoon will engage in a fight, it can happen with more aggressive animals. This can result in injury and even the transmission of diseases such as internal parasites or even rabies.
Even if you’ve never had an incident pertaining to fighting, the stray cats may be discouraged from eating at your station simply due to the competition with the wildlife.
Studies have also shown that the typical animal is anxious and very attentive when eating at a station, as they are forced to be in a crouched position and for longer periods-of-time. This leaves the cat vulnerable to a predatory attack. An overly-populated feeder may leave the more timid felines reluctant to feed.
Keep the ‘Coons Out and the Cats Fed
Changing up the time when you feed the stray cats or by investing in a raccoon-proof feeder, will save you a lot of money down-the-road. Don’t let the cats go hungry when these tricks may just work for you.
11 thoughts on “How To Keep Raccoons Out of Cat Food?”
I need to know about purchasing a cat feeder & prevent raccoons from getting it or instructions for building one. Thanks!
I’d build you one, but the shipping would be outrageous. If you know a handy man, they only need to create a pipe with a platform. They have lots of different kinds to purchase or you can visit outdoor-cathouse.blogspot.com
The raccoon-proof feeder link is broken. I have researched several websites that refer to this particular site and the url does not work (https://www.forgottenfelinesofforsyth.org/newslettervol3page4.htm). I’ve already reached out to the website that hosts it but wondering if you had another copy or cached copy of the site? I’d greatly appreciate it.
I dug into the site a bit and found a doc on their site but it doesn’t give step-by-step instructions. It basically just describes what you see and says “get this piece from Home Depot”.
Looking for suggestions, folks. I built a racoon-proof feral cat feeder that meets the specs that this and other websites suggest. It sits atop a 4×4 post 40″ off the ground and so far is 100% successful at deterring the raccoons. However, I have yet to entice the feral cat to jump up to where the food is located. The “house” that I built is a two-and-a-half sided house that is very open. The structure is basically a 20x20x20 open cube with a slanted roof covered with asphalt shingles. I even made a 2’x2′ platform for the cat to jump from because the ground is very slanted underneath it. Would have put it on a level space but there is no such place on my two acres plus here in East TN. Anyone have any suggestions as to how to persuade this cat to jump up to the food? I have tried tuna in oil, sardines, regular cat food, and of course dry food. Would really appreciate any and all input. Thanks
leave the food out on the floor for a week, and place a trail camera nearby to monitor who is feeding there. make sure that feral cat(s) eat food, despite raccoons and possums feeding on it as well. then when cats already know the spot of food. one night simply place the racoon-proof feral cat feeder in the same location. cats will know what to do.
Refrain from feeding the cat for 2 days, when hungry the cats will find food on the moon.
Maybe build a simple temporary ramp, put smelly morsels on the ramp to entice the cats (and raccoons of course). And when both raccoons and cats get used to eating up top then just remove the ramp 🙂
The racoons will still try to get to their ‘usual’ food place but now, with the ramp gone, only the cats will be able to get up there.
We have the same problem and I am just starting the process of separating the racoons and the feral cat we’re trying to feed 🙂
My stray cat only comes at night. How do I get her to come in the daylight to eat??
We have the same issue, but they adjust when they’re hungry. I started leaving it at nightfall, then dusk, then earlier and earlier. I call the same way so that they associate that call with food.
I have about eight feral cats I have raised. I didn’t have a problem until lately but a mother and her baby came on the porch right at dark. She jumped on one of my cats to run them
off. I got a spray bottle of water and ran them off but they tried to circle around and come back up on my porch. Hoping it would be something that just repel the raccoons!!
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