Possums are a common problem for pet owners. No one likes to find a possum raiding their cat’s food bowl. They are attracted to the smell of cat food and will often help themselves to a meal if they can get to it. Possums find cat food appealing because it is high in protein and fat.
Pet owners that feed their cats outdoors may be inadvertently providing a meal for local possums. Possums are always happy to get free food and will happily raid an outdoor feeding station. This can be expensive for the cat owner, as they must replenish the food supply more often. Once the cat food draws possums to your yard, they may stay to open garbage cans and rummage through trash in search of food. Additionally, while most possums are not aggressive, they can sometimes scare off or even injure cats in an attempt to secure the cat food for themselves.
In order to prevent possums from eating the food you give your cat, here are a few steps you can take to keep them away.
The 11 Ways to Keep Possums Away from Cat Food
1. Don’t Leave Cat Food Out at Night
Possums are nocturnal animals that are typically only active at night. This is because they are more likely to avoid predators and find food during this time. If you only feed your cats during the day, the possums will not be awake to get at the food. While they are sleeping during the day, your cats have a better chance of eating in peace. However, while they are mostly active at night, possums will occasionally feed during the day if food is scarce. As a result, it is important to note that although this is a good idea, it does not guarantee a successful outcome.
2. Put the Food on an Elevated Surface
Possums are good at jumping and climbing because of their long tails. Possums use their tails for balance which helps them to avoid falling. Possums also have sharp claws that help them to grip surfaces. However, they may be deterred by an elevated platform with a deep overhang and slippery pole. The pole makes it difficult for them to climb, and the elevation of the platform makes it difficult for them to reach the food. This combination of factors makes it less likely, but not impossible, for them to be able to get to your cat’s food.
3. Cats Should be Fed Indoors
If you are concerned about possums getting into your cat’s food, one solution is to feed your cat indoors. By keeping your cat indoors, you can control what they eat and when they eat it. This will remove the possibility of the possum getting to the food and also provide a safe environment for your cat to eat. Possums are attracted to food sources, so by keeping your cat’s food indoors, you can deter them from coming onto your property.
4. Trim Back Trees and Bushes Around Your Home
One way to deter possums from entering your yard and eating your cat’s food is by trimming back trees and bushes around the perimeter. This will create a wide-open space that possums are less likely to cross. Additionally, trimming back trees and bushes will also help to eliminate potential hiding spots for possums. By making your yard less appealing to possums, you can reduce the likelihood of them stealing your cat’s meals.
5. Use a Possum-Proof Feeder
Leaving food outside for your cat can be as easy as using an automated feeder that’s activated by their microchip or collar tag. Ensure that the feeder is protected from the elements by placing it in a dry location. Feral cats won’t benefit from this, but you might be able to get away with a standard automatic feeder if you set it to open during daylight hours when possums are less active. It should be noted, however, that possums have a talent for opening (and breaking) items to get at their food.
In order to get to the food inside, they have been known to chew through grill lids, remove coverings from compost heaps, and pull plastic trash cans apart. You may lose your outdoor feeder if you have a highly tenacious possum.
6. Invest in Perimeter Fencing
The best way to deter possums from eating your cat food is by investing in perimeter fencing. By erecting a fence around your property, you can make it more difficult for possums to access your cat food and deter them from coming onto your property altogether.
7. Remove All Other Sources of Food
If you want to deter possums from eating your cat food, you need to remove all other sources of food. This means taking away any other food sources that the possum has access to. This may include removing garbage cans and bird feeders from your yard. By doing this, you will make it less likely for the possum to find food, and therefore, it will be less likely to eat your cat food. This will create a situation where the possum is forced to choose between moving on or starving, and hopefully, the possum will choose the former.
8. Watch Over Your Cat While They Eat
Possums are attracted to unattended cat food because it is an easy source of food. To deter possums from eating your cat’s food, you can watch over your cat while they eat. This will make the possum feel uncomfortable about approaching and may eventually deter them from coming back. If the possum does approach you can try to scare the possum away by making loud noises or throwing objects near it.
Keep an eye on your cat while they eat, and make sure that the food is put away right after they finish.
9. Lay Traps to Catch Possums
We can’t blame possums for being attracted to cat food because it is delicious and nutritious for them. However, possums can be removed from the area and prevented from eating cat food by setting traps to catch them. Possums are attracted to the smell of bait, so placing the trap near the cat food dish will increase the chances of catching a possum. Once the possum is caught, it can be released into the wild or relocated to a different area. If you go this route, you should keep your cat indoors while the trap is in place.
10. Set up a Motion Sensor Light
One way to deter possums from eating your cat food is to set up a Motion Sensor Light. This will cause the light to turn on whenever the possum is near and will startle it away. Additionally, the light temporarily blinds the possum, making it difficult for the possum to see the cat food. If there are other food sources nearby this may be enough to make the possum less likely to go for your cat’s food.
11. Install a Motion-Activated Sprinkler System
One way to deter possums from eating your cat food is to install a motion-activated sprinkler system. This type of system uses sensors to detect movement and then triggers a sprinkler to spray water at the animal. The water startles the possum, causes it to flee, and will likely discourage it from returning to the area. Possums are generally timid animals and do not like being caught in the open, so this system should effectively keep them away from your cat food.
12. Use Possum Repellent
If you are having trouble with possums eating your cat food, using a possum repellent may be the best course of action. Possum repellents work by emitting a strong smell that possums do not like, which will deter them from coming near your cat food. There are many different types of possum repellents available on the market, so be sure to choose one that is specifically designed to deter possums. During this period, make sure your cat stays indoors so they won’t be affected by the repellent’s smell.
13. Call in the Experts
If you have a problem with possums raiding your cat’s food bowl, one solution is to call in pest control. Pest control companies can provide a variety of services to deter possums, including traps and deterrents. However, these methods should be used with caution, as they can also be dangerous to pets and children.
In conclusion, there are many ways to keep possums away from your cat’s food. If you have a problem with possums raiding your cat’s food, there are a few things you can do to deter them. Try putting the food on a platform, feed your cat during the day instead of at night, and keep your garbage cans tightly closed. If possums are still a problem, you may need to call in professional help to remove them from your property. By following these tips, you can keep your cat safe and your home free of possums.
- You might also be interested in: 10 DIY Cat Feeding Stations You Can Create at Home (With Pictures)
Featured Image Credit: Timothy Christianto, Shutterstock
- The 11 Ways to Keep Possums Away from Cat Food
- 1. Don’t Leave Cat Food Out at Night
- 2. Put the Food on an Elevated Surface
- 3. Cats Should be Fed Indoors
- 4. Trim Back Trees and Bushes Around Your Home
- 5. Use a Possum-Proof Feeder
- 6. Invest in Perimeter Fencing
- 7. Remove All Other Sources of Food
- 8. Watch Over Your Cat While They Eat
- 9. Lay Traps to Catch Possums
- 10. Set up a Motion Sensor Light
- 11. Install a Motion-Activated Sprinkler System
- 12. Use Possum Repellent
- 13. Call in the Experts