How to Keep Raccoons Away From Feral Cat Food

How to Keep Raccoons Away From Feral Cat Food

Feeding feral cats is a noble act of compassion, but it often attracts unwanted visitors like raccoons. Raccoons are notorious for stealing cat food and causing a nuisance in the process. If you are struggling with raccoons raiding your feral cat food, here are some effective strategies to keep them away.

1. Secure the feeding area: Create a designated feeding area for the feral cats, ideally in an enclosed space like a screened-in porch or shed. This will prevent raccoons from gaining easy access to the food.

2. Use automatic feeders: Consider using automatic feeders that are timed to dispense food during specific hours. This will reduce the amount of time the food is left unattended, minimizing the opportunity for raccoons to steal it.

3. Establish a feeding schedule: Establish a specific feeding schedule for the feral cats. By sticking to a routine, you can ensure that the food is consumed quickly, leaving no time for raccoons to intervene.

4. Remove leftover food promptly: If any food is left uneaten after the feeding session, remove it immediately. Leaving food out overnight or for extended periods will attract raccoons and other wildlife.

5. Install motion-activated sprinklers: Motion-activated sprinklers can startle raccoons and deter them from approaching the feeding area. Place them strategically around the feeding zone to create an unwelcome environment for raccoons.

6. Use deterrents: Raccoons are deterred by strong scents. Sprinkle pepper or cayenne pepper around the feeding area, as raccoons dislike the pungent smell. You can also try using commercial raccoon repellents available in the market.

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7. Secure the food containers: Invest in sturdy, raccoon-proof containers for storing cat food. Raccoons have nimble hands and can easily open flimsy containers. Opt for containers with tight-fitting lids or ones that can be locked securely.

8. Elevate the feeding station: Install the feeding station on an elevated platform or hang it from a tree limb. Raccoons are excellent climbers, but by raising the food source, you make it more difficult for them to reach.

9. Install motion-activated lights: Raccoons prefer darkness and are less likely to approach a well-lit area. Install motion-activated lights near the feeding zone to discourage raccoons from venturing close.

10. Secure trash cans: Raccoons are attracted to garbage, so it’s essential to secure your trash cans. Use bungee cords or other methods to ensure the lids are tightly sealed. By minimizing other food sources, raccoons may be less motivated to target the feral cat food.

11. Create physical barriers: If all else fails, you may need to create physical barriers to keep raccoons away. Install fencing around the feeding area, ensuring it is tall enough and buried deep enough to prevent raccoons from digging underneath.

12. Seek professional help: If you are still struggling to keep raccoons away from the feral cat food, consider seeking professional help. Wildlife experts or animal control agencies can provide advice and assistance in dealing with persistent raccoon problems.


Q1. Are raccoons harmful to feral cats?
A1. Raccoons can be territorial and may harm feral cats if they come into conflict. It’s important to keep them separated to avoid potential injuries to the cats.

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Q2. Can raccoons transmit diseases to feral cats?
A2. Yes, raccoons can carry diseases like rabies and distemper, which can be transmitted to feral cats through bites or close contact.

Q3. Can raccoons climb fences?
A3. Yes, raccoons are skilled climbers and can easily scale fences. Ensure the fencing around the feeding area is tall and secure.

Q4. Will raccoons be deterred by noise?
A4. Raccoons can be startled by loud noises, so incorporating noise-making devices like wind chimes or motion-activated sound devices may help deter them.

Q5. Can raccoons be relocated?
A5. Relocating raccoons is often not a recommended solution, as it may simply shift the problem to a different location and disrupt the local ecosystem. Check local regulations before attempting relocation.

Q6. Are there any natural raccoon repellents?
A6. Some natural repellents that may deter raccoons include ammonia-soaked rags, mothballs, or citrus peels. However, their effectiveness may vary.

Q7. Will raccoons attack humans?
A7. Raccoons generally try to avoid human contact, but they can become aggressive if they feel threatened or cornered. It’s best to give them space and not approach them.

Q8. Can raccoon-proof containers also deter other pests?
A8. Yes, raccoon-proof containers are designed to keep out various pests, including rats, mice, and other wildlife.

Q9. Are there any plants that repel raccoons?
A9. Some plants like marigolds, mint, and garlic are believed to have repellent properties against raccoons. However, planting these alone may not provide a foolproof solution.

Q10. Can raccoons be trained to avoid certain areas?
A10. Raccoons are intelligent creatures, and conditioning them to avoid certain areas is possible through consistent training using deterrents like motion-activated devices or sprinklers.

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Q11. Will raccoons attack feral cat colonies?
A11. Raccoons may occasionally target feral cat colonies if they perceive them as competition for resources. Implementing effective raccoon deterrent strategies is crucial to protect the cats.

Q12. Are there any legal restrictions on dealing with raccoons?
A12. Regulations regarding raccoon control can vary depending on your location. It’s important to check local laws and regulations to ensure compliance before implementing any control measures.

By implementing these strategies and understanding raccoon behavior, you can successfully keep raccoons away from feral cat food, ensuring that the cats receive the nourishment they need while minimizing disturbances from these curious creatures.