How To Keep Flies Away From Cat Food?

13 Min Read

Imagine this scenario: you’ve carefully selected the finest cat food to keep your feline friend healthy and content. But, just as your cat is about to savor their meal, an uninvited party crasher swoops in with wings buzzing – the pesky fly. Flies, it seems, consider your cat’s kibble a gourmet feast meant just for them. But fear not! In this “How to keep flies away from cat food” comprehensive guide, we’ll help you not only regain control of your cat’s mealtime but also safeguard your furry companion’s well-being from these winged intruders.

Why Are Flies So Interested in Cat Food Anyway?

Before we dive into solutions, let’s understand the root of the problem. Why are flies so darn attracted to your cat’s kibble? Well, it turns out that flies are drawn to the scent of food, especially protein-rich pet food. And your cat’s dinner is like a gourmet feast for them.

Flies are equipped with a remarkable sense of smell, capable of detecting food odors from considerable distances. Your cat’s dinner, particularly if it’s protein-rich, emits a potent aroma that acts as an irresistible beacon for these airborne intruders.

When left out in the open, your cat’s food sends out olfactory signals that can be detected by flies miles away. In essence, it’s like sending an engraved invitation to a fine dining experience directly to their antennae.

One key component of the odor that flies find enticing is the release of nitrogen-containing compounds, which are common in protein-rich diets. These compounds not only signal a potential food source to flies but also play a significant role in making cat food smell appealing to your feline friend.

The Consequences of Flies Feasting on Your Cat’s Food

Before we get into the solutions, let’s talk about why it’s essential to keep flies away from your cat’s food. Flies aren’t just annoying; they can also pose health risks to your feline companion.

  1. Contamination: Flies can carry all sorts of nasty bacteria and diseases on their tiny feet and bodies. When they land on your cat’s food, they can transfer these germs, potentially making your kitty sick.
  2. Food Spoilage: Flies can lay their eggs on your cat’s food, leading to contamination and spoilage. Nobody wants their kitty to eat spoiled food.
  3. Stress: Cats are finicky eaters, and the presence of flies can stress them out. This stress can lead to reduced appetite and even behavioral issues.

Now that we know why it’s crucial to keep those flies at bay let’s explore some practical ways to do just that.

How To Keep Flies Away From Cat Food?

Create a Fly-Free Feeding Zone

1. The Cover-Up Strategy

One of the simplest and most effective ways to keep flies away from your cat’s food is to cover it up. Invest in some affordable food covers or use a clean, upside-down bowl to protect your kitty’s meal. This not only keeps flies away but also keeps the food fresh for longer.

2. Good Old Fans

Flies are not the biggest fans of strong breezes. Place a fan near your cat’s feeding area to create a constant airflow. This makes it difficult for flies to land and enjoy a meal of their own. Plus, it keeps the area cool for your kitty on hot days!

Natural Solutions

1. A Dash of Vinegar

Vinegar is a fantastic natural repellent. Mix a solution of equal parts water and white vinegar in a spray bottle. Spritz this around your cat’s food bowls and feeding area. The strong smell will deter flies without harming your cat or their appetite.

2. Essential Oils

Essential oils like lavender, eucalyptus, and citronella are great for keeping flies at bay. Place a few drops on cotton balls and strategically position them near your cat’s feeding area. The pleasant aroma will make the flies think twice about invading your cat’s meal.

3. Citrus Magic

Flies have an aversion to citrus scents. Cut up some lemon or orange peels and place them around your cat’s food dishes. Not only will this add a fresh aroma to the area, but it’ll also discourage flies from landing.

4. Cayenne Spice Power

Cayenne pepper is not just a spice for your dishes; it’s also a great fly deterrent. Sprinkle a bit of cayenne pepper around your cat’s food bowl, and flies will think twice before approaching. Just make sure your kitty doesn’t get too curious!

5. Fly-Repellent Plants

Consider adding some fly-repellent plants, such as basil, mint, or marigolds, to your home or garden. These plants naturally deter flies and can create a protective barrier around your cat’s eating space.

DIY Fly Traps

If flies persist, it’s time to get crafty with some homemade fly traps.

1. The Plastic Bag Trick

Take a clear plastic bag, fill it with water, and hang it near your cat’s food area. The water refracts light and confuses the flies, making them stay away.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar Trap

In a shallow dish, mix apple cider vinegar with a drop of dish soap. Cover it with plastic wrap and poke small holes in it. Flies will be attracted to the vinegar, get trapped in the soapy solution, and meet their doom.

3. Jar with Rotting Fruit

Place a piece of rotting fruit, like a banana peel or apple core, in a jar with a narrow neck. Flies will be lured in by the scent but will struggle to find their way out.

Maintaining Cleanliness

Prevention is key when it comes to keeping flies away from your cat’s food.

1. Regular Cleaning

Clean your cat’s food bowls promptly after each meal. Leftover food or residue can attract flies. Use hot, soapy water to ensure no odors linger.

2. Covered Cat Food Bowls

Invest in covered cat food bowls. These not only keep flies out but also help maintain the freshness of your cat’s food. Your cat will appreciate a tasty, fly-free meal every time.

3. Elevated Feeding Stations

Elevate your cat’s food and water bowls. Flies tend to stay closer to the ground, so raising the dishes can help keep their food fly-free.

Switch to Dry Cat Food

Flies are particularly attracted to the strong scent of wet cat food. If you’re dealing with a persistent fly problem, consider switching to dry cat food. Dry kibble produces fewer odors and can be stored in an airtight container for added protection against flies.

Proper Cat Food Storage

When it comes to storing cat food, opt for airtight containers. These containers not only maintain the food’s freshness but also prevent its scent from wafting into the air and attracting flies. Proper storage is key to keeping flies away from unopened bags of cat food as well.

Establish a Feeding Schedule

Establishing a feeding schedule for your cat is another strategic approach. Avoid leaving food out for extended periods and stick to a consistent schedule. When your cat knows when to expect their meals, you can minimize the time food is left unattended, reducing the window of opportunity for flies to gather.


Are flies around cat food harmful to my cat?

Flies themselves may not harm your cat directly, but they can carry harmful bacteria and diseases on their bodies. When they land on your cat’s food, they can transfer these pathogens, potentially causing health issues for your pet. Moreover, the presence of flies can stress your cat, leading to a reduced appetite and behavioral problems.

How can I tell if flies have contaminated my cat’s food?

It can be challenging to visually detect contamination by flies. However, if you notice flies constantly buzzing around your cat’s food or see fly eggs on the food surface, it’s a clear sign of contamination. If in doubt, it’s best to discard any food that has been exposed to flies.

Can I use chemical insecticides to keep flies away from my cat’s food?

It’s not advisable to use chemical insecticides around your cat’s food, as these substances can be toxic to your pet. Instead, opt for natural and pet-safe solutions like vinegar, essential oils, or fly-repellent plants, as outlined in this article.

Is it okay to use essential oils around my cat’s food bowls?

Essential oils can be used to deter flies, but it’s essential to exercise caution. Dilute essential oils appropriately and use them sparingly, ensuring that they are placed out of your cat’s reach. Always monitor your cat’s behavior to ensure they are not negatively affected by the scent.

Can I switch my cat from wet to dry food to reduce fly attraction?

Yes, switching to dry cat food can reduce fly attraction, as it produces fewer odors compared to wet food. Dry kibble can also be stored in airtight containers for added protection. However, it’s important to ensure that the dry food meets your cat’s nutritional needs, and any dietary changes should be made gradually.

How often should I clean my cat’s food bowls?

It’s advisable to clean your cat’s food bowls promptly after each meal. This practice prevents leftover food or residue from accumulating, which can attract flies. Use hot, soapy water to clean the bowls thoroughly and eliminate any lingering odors.

Are there any specific fly-repellent plants that work best?

Some effective fly-repellent plants include basil, mint, and marigolds. These plants naturally deter flies and can create a protective barrier around your cat’s eating area. Be sure to position them strategically and maintain them to maximize their effectiveness.

Can fly traps harm my cat?

The fly traps mentioned in this article, such as the plastic bag trick or apple cider vinegar trap, are designed to be safe for pets. However, it’s crucial to position them out of your cat’s reach to prevent accidental contact. Always monitor your cat’s behavior around these traps.


With these tips and tricks up your sleeve, you’ll have no trouble keeping flies away from your cat’s food. Remember, it’s not just about convenience; it’s about your cat’s health and happiness. So go ahead and reclaim mealtime for your furry friend, and enjoy a fly-free feeding experience together. Your cat will purr with gratitude, and you can finally say goodbye to those pesky flies for good.

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