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How to Keep Roaches Out of Cat Food

| Updated September 26, 2017

When you leave out canned or dry food for your feline friend to eat during the day, it can attract undesirable creatures such as cockroaches. These pests carry diseases so you don't want them near you or your kitty's food. To keep roaches out of your cat's dish and his food supply, you'll need to use harmless deterrents to keep them away, including air-tight storage containers, natural repellents and special bug-proof cat bowls.

Seal Things Up in the Home

Roaches can enter your home through small cracks and crevices in your walls or around windows, pipes, wires and doors. Seal up any holes or openings with caulk to discourage roaches from coming in and accessing your cat's food dish, recommends the University of Georgia College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences. Clean your cat's feeding area daily to remove small food particles that will attract roaches.


  • Feed your cat indoors when you aren't around to supervise him because it's easier to control roaches indoors than outdoors.


Feed Cats in Bug-Proof Bowls

Purchase a bug-deterrent bowl online or from your local pet supply store. These types of dishes have a number of features that discourage bugs such as roaches from climbing into them and eating your cat's food.

  • Some types of dishes have a special rounded lip that makes it difficult for bugs to climb into the bowl itself and access the food inside. 
  • Other types of dishes are raised up from the ground on little feet. This prevents bugs such as roaches from climbing up the side of the dish from the ground, according to the Alley Cat Allies website. 
  • Several types of bug-deterrent dishes have a 1-inch "moat" between an outer and inner dish. Fill this area with water and a few drops of dish soap. The moat area surrounding the inner dish prevents roaches from accessing the food and causes them to drown in soapy water if they try, according to PetEducation.com.
  • Make your own bug-proof dish by placing a small dish inside a larger one. Fill the space in between with water and several drops of dish soap.

Spread Cat-Safe Repellents Around

Roaches don't like cucumbers, which act as natural repellents, according to the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. Stew some cucumber peels and place them near or around your cat's dish to repel roaches safely. Cucumbers are considered nontoxic to cats, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.


  • Insecticidal roach sprays can harm your cat and poison her food, so keep them away from her food dish.

Store Food Properly

When storing dry cat kibble, place it in an air-tight plastic or metal container to prevent roaches from accessing it, recommends the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Another option is to store the food in resealable plastic bags or glass jars to keep bugs out. Not only will these types of containers keep the bugs out, but they will keep your cat's food fresh.

When it comes to canned cat food, store that in your pantry until you open it. Place opened canned food in the refrigerator to prevent it from spoiling and to keep bugs such as roaches away.