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How To Keep Flies Away From Cat Food: 4 Tips & FAQ

Written by: Kit Copson

Last Updated on June 18, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

a fly on dog or cat food

How To Keep Flies Away From Cat Food: 4 Tips & FAQ

High-quality wet food is tasty, high in moisture, and rich in protein, but it does come with one major drawback—flies. Wet cat food is the ultimate fly paradise because it congeals quickly, especially in summer.

If you’ve been having issues with flies around your cat’s food, there are a few things you can try to nip this unpleasant situation in the bud. Read on for our top tips.

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How to Keep Flies Away from Cat Food

1. Food Covers

If your cat tends to eat a little then come back a bit later for more, you might want to consider a food bowl with a cover. This can undoubtedly help keep flies out, but there is an issue here. It’s not safe to leave wet cat food out for long periods of time, so food covers are only good if your cat eats their food over a short period.

Most pet food brands advise throwing out pet food that has been kept out at room temperature after 1–2 hours. However, if you’re looking to buy a bit of time for your session eater, food covers could be the way to go.

2. Location

Try feeding in a cool, shaded area. This may slow down the rate of decay and keep flies at bay.  Shaded, well-concealed spots also provide your cat with an environment that feels secure and comfortable while they eat. You might want to consider feeding indoors as it’s easier to keep flies under control than it is outdoors.

Image Credit: IMG-Stock-Studio, Shutterstock

3. Pest Control

Pet-safe insect sprays are your friend. Before feeding your cat, scan the area for flies and eliminate them before they can get at your cat’s food. If your cat eats in a garage, you might want to try fly traps, but hang them up high enough so your cat can’t get at them. These may not stop every fly from reaching its target, but they can reduce the number that does.

4. Freshen Up the Feeding Area

When your cat is done with their food, move quickly to prevent it from spoiling and the feeding area from becoming a fly hotspot. Throw out the food if it has already been out for 1–2 hours (or whatever your pet food brand advises) or refrigerate it if it hasn’t been out long. Then, wipe down the feeding area to get rid of any remnants of food that may attract flies.

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Image Credit: Piqsels

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Why Are Flies Attracted to Cat Food?

Spoiled food products, including cat food, offer flies the ideal breeding ground because it feeds their larvae. Food degrades rapidly in hot weather, so be extra vigilant in summer as you’re more likely to spot flies hovering around your cat’s food at this time.

Do Flies Lay Eggs on Cat Food?

Yes, particularly when the food is decaying because it feeds the larvae. This is why it’s so important to get rid of spoiled food to prevent a maggot situation.

My Cat Ate a Fly, Will They Be Okay?

Cats have a thing for creepy crawlies due to their natural instinct to hunt, so it’s not unusual for them to chase and eat a fly now and then. If your cat eats a single fly, it’s unlikely to cause any serious damage because, typically, only small quantities of disease are passed on and your cat’s immune system can handle it.

That said, in some cases, flies can pass on bacteria or parasites to cats, which may result in worms or another kind of infection. Contact your vet if you spot eggs or worms in your cat’s poop and/or if they’re experiencing frequent vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy.

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As unpleasant as it is, there are steps you can take to get flies around your cat’s food under control and prevent them from laying eggs on it. Not leaving food out for long periods of time and keeping your cat’s eating area cool, well-concealed, and spotless are the best ways to tackle the problem before it becomes a real issue.

You can also make use of pet-safe fly sprays and traps to at least reduce the number of flies that make it to your cat’s food bowl. Good luck!

Featured Image Credit: laila63, Shutterstock

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