Asked on Apr 27, 2017

How do I get rid of slugs who steel outside cat food ?

  32 answers
  • you can try a number of things like placing broken egg shells around the bowl (the slugs don't like the scratchy surface) or coarse salt (which burns the slugs). I would be hesitant about using beer traps because your cats might partake.

  • Itsmemic Itsmemic on Apr 27, 2017

    well, hate to say it but don't leave cat food outside . especially at night when slugs abound. You can also, put a dish of beer next to the food if you insist on feeding at night. The slugs love beer..and drown in it.

  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Apr 27, 2017

    Apply food grade diatomsoeous earth around or corn meal.

  • Virginia Thomas Virginia Thomas on Apr 27, 2017

    I would not leave the cat food outside to begin with, but if it is a must, try a salt line or a dish with beer in it.

    • Elaine Elaine on Sep 13, 2017

      Hi Virginia: I was also going to suggest a dish of beer but was wondering if the cats would try to drink it and thus, become ill .... or worse!

  • Elaine Elaine on Apr 27, 2017

    Do you simply have to leave cat food outside? :(

    Is it outside because you are feeding strays? In which case, I applaud your kindness but if it's for your own cats, I'd definitely feed them inside due to the safety of their food and keeping flies and other insects off their dishes. Whatever you do finally decide on spreading around to deter slugs, make sure it's safe for the cats.

    • See 1 previous
    • Monica Koerperich Monica Koerperich on Apr 04, 2019

      Strays that come between 6p and 8p. I started feeding them cause they would watch through window at my cats being fed. I felt bad.

  • Allison Allison on Apr 27, 2017

    I've used copper wire around my garden to keep slugs out. Maybe a copper bowl that is lined or a copper pie plate to set the cat food bowl in? Nighttime feeding will bring more than slugs, so you may want to take the food up when you go to bed.

    • See 1 previous
    • Allison Allison on Apr 05, 2019

      I used copper wire, which works greats, but having to clean the tarnish off every year was a hassle. Copper tape, 1/4 inch, on a 1x2 frame would work much better for feeding cats. Just put the food inside the frame. The tape is inexpensive, (check Amazon) so replacing it every year won't destroy your budget. The copper gives slugs and snails a zing when their slime comes in contact with it, it's unpleasant, so they avoid it.

  • Lori King Lori King on Apr 27, 2017

    Don't leave food out. We put bowls inside utility bldg when their done eating

  • Elaine Elaine on Sep 13, 2017

    hi Rebecca: As I said before, if they are strays you are feeding, I applaud your kindness! I really hope someone else can come up with an answer re the slugs.

    When I had an invasion of them on my Hostas (plants), I tried placing crushed eggshells around the base of the plants, but it didn't work. I also tried copper (some people have luck) but the slugs I had just crawled over it and still contined to chew up my Hostas.

    Again, I admire and thank you for feeding the poor strays. I did the very same thing when I lived in a house but had no trouble with slugs.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Mar 29, 2018

    Don't feed cat outside or take in at night or get from Pet store Feeder with lid that has a pressure pad to lift it as cat aproaches.

  • Oliva Oliva on Nov 23, 2018

    Agricultural grade diatomaceous Earth, sprinkled at perimeter should slice open slug's body.

    Bring cat food in at night. You risk attracting skunks and rodents, which won't make you any friends.

  • Lynn Sorrell Lynn Sorrell on Nov 23, 2018

    Put the cat food bowl inside another dish filled with water just a shallow one. keeps ants,slugs,cockroaches from eating it. I teach people TNR & to care for outside,strays,free roaming & feral cats. Please micro-chip and most of all get them their shots & SPAY & NEUTER them

  • Monica Koerperich Monica Koerperich on Apr 04, 2019

    I like your solution best. Water used as deterrent.

  • Ellis Ellis on Apr 05, 2019

    Put the cat food on a slight elevation, perhaps on a board held above the ground on some bricks. And bring the cat food in at night, as others said. Slugs can slither really high--I've seen trails several feet up the glass door.

  • Cindy Cindy on Aug 22, 2019

    The bowl in a bowl should work. It creates a moat around the food boat that most slugs and some insects won't cross. Also, you might try different bowls. We used a metal one and the slugs were all over it every day, but when we used ceramic, they were not. Thanks for feeding the strays.

  • Leah Leah on Mar 04, 2020

    I had the same problem but found a humane solution. I save empty pots to feed the ferals and found that certain ones fit perfectly under my cats feeding dishes creating a mushroom shape so the slugs cannot get to the cat food. I will post a photo if possible, may not work for everyone but works for me.

  • Krisann HuggyBear Lewis Krisann HuggyBear Lewis on Aug 04, 2020

    I have been feeding feral cats so I can trap and have them fixed. Plan to continue feeding them after that, but hopefully limit their population. A water moat was not enough for the ants. I had to add soap to keep the ants out. But it still does not keep the slugs out. And it is really gross to clean up. And a lot of food waste. I will try the upside down ceramic pot idea (not sure if cats will reach it without breaking the pot) and see about getting some copper tape. I have been feeding in the morning, but the cats have been coming at night. By then it is pretty infested. I may start feeding in early evening instead.

  • Mogie Mogie on Aug 04, 2020

    I started bringing my cat food inside at night. We had raccoons, skunks and a few other critters snacking on it at night.

  • Shel Shel on Nov 01, 2020

    How do the cats eat the food with the slugs on it?

  • Roseann Roseann on Nov 16, 2020

    I love my feral cats and will do what needs to be done to see that they are fed.  I have been taking care of them for as long as I remember. Other than using salt all around I would love to find a solution to slugs. They are so yuk!🤢 I found a way to keep food from skunks, Fox, etc and that was putting the cat food in window sills, but somehow eventually the slugs found there way. If anyone else has a solution that doesn’t involve keeping food in at night, please let us cat lovers know. Thank You 🙏🏻

  • Laura Kay Laura Kay on Jul 31, 2021

    I found this because I was searching for an answer myself! I can say as far as ants go, Vaseline around the bottom of bowls works extremely well!! Ants cannot cross the Vaseline but the slugs are still finding their way into my feral cat food dishes! I was using small plates that had about a quarter inch rim all the way around and put water in that .. put my heavy ceramic bowls in that with food and it works really well to keep the ants away but it was a pain in the butt every day dumping the water in the morning.. which I always sanitize and bleach the bowls every day but what I did was found some trays at the dollar store, I bought little plastic containers with lids and I filled them with sand and rocks to give them some weight.. I hot glued everything together, hot glued legs to the bottom of the small trays and then put Vaseline around the 'legs' or you can put it around the bottom of the plate right where the legs are at as long as you get the Vaseline somewhere .. even if the ants get up the leg they will turn around once they hit the Vaseline but I put the Vaseline around the little plastic container legs.. not on the very bottom of them though so I don't have vaseline all over my patio.. so it's off the ground and the Ants will not cross the Vaseline but I just started this to see if that would help keep the Slugs away and them little creatures still made their way up into the food dish! I am not an animal killer, I don't care what kind of animal it is!!! I am looking for a humane way to keep the Slugs away! I'm not going to use salt, thats cruel.

    I don't want to harm them, sometimes I throw cat food in the area where the slugs come from to keep them out of the food dishes and sometimes it works.. they get a little food and they stay away from my animals food but so far I've had no luck other than that.. the slugs are adorable in my eyes, they are gross n slimy but they are so cute! I know they're slime can make a cat sick, not kill them but it can cause a cat to have an upset stomach. I'm going to try a few other methods and see if I can help anyone else. I hope the Vaseline idea can help all you people that help feed these feral cats! And might I say thank you, thank you, thank you so much for helping them! For all you people saying you have to leave food out at night??? Obviously you know nothing about feral cats! True feral cats only come out at night. Stray cats or cats that people left behind that are somewhat friendly .. I call them Wildcats or homeless cats but feral cats need help too sometimes.. I feed all animals!

  • Stephen Stephen on Aug 23, 2021

    I have just been looking on Amazon for a solution and came across several types of raised cat bowls.the best ones I looked at were made of sturdy wire but really expensive however if you have the time you could make your own with a little effort.Keep in mind that slugs can stretch so the bottom of the bowl must be a consideration.I liked the wire design best as the slugs would find it hopefully impossible to climb.

  • Hill Hill on Nov 10, 2021

    I just want to applaud you for feeding the stray cats. I’m dealing with slugs too at the moment and I am going to try the copper tape. To everyone complaining about food being kept outside in the first place , maybe ask some questions before crucifying someone for doing the right thing. Stray cats do a lot for the community and some of them need care. Also, my neighborhood stray cats don’t come out until well after midnight so pulling food before I go to bed isn’t a feasible option.

  • Jill Jill on Mar 20, 2022

    Buy copper tape (got mine from Amazon), and just stick tape around the entire outside of the bowl. I did this, and haven't had one slug go up the side of the bowl, to get to the cat chow. It REALLY works!!

    Thank you for feeding the feral cats....and we don't even mind the occasional opossum that comes onto the porch at night to get a bite to eat! They seem to get along fine with the cats!

  • Cas68620953 Cas68620953 on Jul 23, 2022

    I know it might sound dumb but do you have the same number of slugs eating at night ? I would take them and dump them in the woods or away from your house, you may get lucky. I had 5 slugs eating my cats food and I did not want to kill them so I picked all them up in a cup and took them across the road and its been a month and none have been seen. perhaps it was just the 5 same ones :)

  • Mogie Mogie on Jul 23, 2022

    I bring my cat food in at night. Don't care to feed the racoons, possums and roaches. And if you feed pets outside you are feeding a lot of critters.

    Feral cats can get their food during the day. I only leave water outside at night.

  • Mogie Mogie on Jul 23, 2022

    Feral cats during the day also. They will adapt to a new feeding schedule. It will probably be harder on you then the kitties. Good luck!

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Mar 07, 2023

    We feed our feral girl kitties during daylight hours only, occasionally, I have left their food out at night to wake up to an empty dish. As for the slugs, ugh, I put down salt and they dissolve as they crawl across it. They have a dish of water all the time.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Mar 07, 2023

    Now that we have a new deck, the salt has to go so, their food will be left in a pan of water during the day and bring it in every night.

  • Mogie Mogie on Mar 10, 2023

    Feral cats can eat during the day just make sure you pick the cat food up so it doesn't sit out overnight.

  • Mogie Mogie on Mar 11, 2023

    Slugs are a very common garden pest and are harmless in most situations. However, when it comes to your cat’s food bowl, you need to keep them far away. Slugs can carry an extremely harmful parasite called lungworm.

    Once ingested, lungworms will burrow into the tissue of your cat’s lung to lay eggs. Once these eggs hatch, they will eat their way out of your cat’s lung. This will cause serious damage to your kitty and can even be fatal if not treated.

    An easy and humane method to keep slugs away is to keep your cat’s food bowl out of reach. Find something tall to place your cat’s food bowl on, such as a flower pot. Then spray the sides with oil or water to create a slippery surface.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Sep 06, 2023

    Cats can adjust to a daytime feeding schedule, we have 2 feral girls and that's what we do. No reason to feed them overnight.

  • Mogie Mogie on Sep 06, 2023

    Don't put the cat food outside at night. Feral cats can eat during the day. Once they find out that is when the good is outside they will adjust.