Raccoons getting into your cats food, eating absolutely everything you leave outside for your furries before they get a chance at the grub themselves? Or worse yet – trying to keep stray and feral cats fed, but find that there’s rarely ever anything left for them since the raccoons in your area get to the kibble first?
You’re not alone if you find yourself in this boat. A lot of people on the hunt for cat feeders are looking specifically for one because they can’t leave out a simple bowl of cat food without having it pillaged by the local “trash pandas.”
Picture from post The Tale of the Much-Too-Curious Raccoon
If you’ve ever thought for a moment that your raccoons happen to be more clever than most, you’d also happen to find quite a lot of company. Pet parents, whether trying to feed their own or looking out for the stray and feral cats in their neighbourhood often complain that their raccoons seem to get into everything, even things we as humans come up with especially to keep them out!
While a lot of options seem to be good enough for most raccoons, specific raccoons seem to be hell bent on creating trouble. There are some who get away with making problems beyond what the inventors of cat doors and cat feeders helped conceive, but there also seem to be a number of options out there that are raccoon proof to the point where even the most clever of the bunch don’t seem to be able to get through.
I’ll do my best to highlight the options people seemed to have trouble with, as well as the solutions – possible DIY fixes, or more heavy-duty options out there instead. It can be worth it to buy a more heavy-duty option in some cases, especially when you think your raccoons are some of the more clever ones around, as it’s much more expensive to have to buy a second product than it is to pay extra for a more certain option a lot of times.
As a heads up, since all the options I’m presenting are electronic in nature, they’ll need to be kept in a dry place. I’m sure you probably already had a dry place in mind, since it’s not nice leaving cat food out that gets drenched in the rain, but I thought I’d make a point of mentioning this anyway.
Do let me know in the comments section if you’ve ever had issues with raccoons getting into food left out for cats, and if so, how you dealt with the problem. Did what you try work out? Work for some time? Was it not a success at all? Love to hear any stories you have, I’m sure they’re a hoot!
Outdoor Cat Feeders That Are Raccoon-Proof
While I don’t have this microchip pet feeder myself, I’ve cat sat a number of times for a kitty whose pet parents have one of these for her. I can’t say there’s much to dislike about the product. The cat goes up to the pet feeder, the plastic cover on top opens. The cat eats then walks away, the plastic cover closes up again. All with a microchip identification or a RFID.
I’m pretty sure this feeder would be able to keep pretty well near any raccoon from getting the goodies inside. I’m pretty sure if you’re looking for a pet feeder proper for your outdoor cats and need your feeder to stay outside, this would do the trick so long as you found a nice, dry place to put it.
The downside? If you’re trying to feed stray or feral cats, this isn’t going to work unless you manage to get them to wear an RFID collar (probably not) or microchip them (again, probably not). In those cases, it’s best to look elsewhere, though in my opinion, there still are quite good options.
Microchip cat flaps are obviously not cat feeders on their own, but if you’ve been having trouble with raccoons getting in through a cat flap in your front or back door, and are happy to keep the cat food indoors so long as you can fix that issue, this is an excellent option. It’s also a great option if you’re even the slightest bit DIY-savvy, or know someone willing to help who is. Fix this onto an outdoor cat house, or a shed, heck, even onto the front of a plastic container, and you’ve got yourself a little eating area for outdoor cats that’s easy to prevent raccoons from getting into.
The special bit about this microchip cat door? The DualScan technology, which as this reviewer points out, is absolutely essential if you’ve got a tricky critter in the raccoon department desperate to get in – “We didn’t need dual sided scanning, but the single sided one cannot keep other animals from entering. Animals can use their claws to pull the flap towards them and lift it. There are videos that demonstrate this. We needed to keep out the neighbour’s cats and also Raccoons. SureFlap isn’t very clear about this.” Don’t think the raccoons will be clever enough to get in with the regular microchip cat door? You can absolutely take the risk and try the version without the DualScan technology, but I personally don’t think the price difference is worth the risk.
If you have a cat who eats food pretty darn quickly, this is probably the best option, as you can use the cat shelter with the SureFlap microchip cat door to house food that’s inside a slow feed cat bowl, instead of a regular bowl. These are really good, as they both engage your kitty mentally, keeping them stimulated for quite a bit of time, and they help prevent over-eating, indigestion, flatulence, and regurgitation – all issues that can arise from a cat eating too fast.
Again, the downside to this one is if you’re looking to feed stray and feral cats – this isn’t going to work, but the next option should definitely do the trick.
I actually have this particular automatic pet feeder, and I love, love, love it so much! I bought it because my newly adopted indoor cat, Bjorn, kept throwing up whenever his stomach got a little too low on kibble, and I couldn’t simply leave food out since he’d gobble it up and have nothing left for later. So I snapped up this feeder, ran it every 4 hours – problem gone. Both my indoor boys are especially happy to have this thing. I’ve placed it on an IKEA stool so it can drop food into the top of a cat feeder puzzle toy – the Catit Design Senses Food Maze. That way the boys don’t eat too quickly when it comes out. It’s made both cats a lot more calm, happy, and they get along swimmingly eating together at it, never getting truly hungry.
I’d absolutely have a set up the same way if my cats were outdoor cats – somewhere dry absolutely, and away from ants. I’d do the same if I was trying to feed stray and feral cats. My boys gather around the dispenser just before it’s time for food to come out. I honestly think cats really have a good sense of time, and the proof’s every time they gather round the feeder. They often stay nearby to be in earshot, then when they hear the machine go off (it’s not obnoxiously noisy, but it’s really easy to hear the kibble drop down into the feeder), run to grab a bite or two of kibble.
If you have stray and feral, or outdoor cats you’re feeding, honestly, I think this is a good bet. There have been some raccoons clever enough to get into it, but rarely do they seem to. In fact, here’s a hilarious story about raccoons walking off with it, through the door, out onto the driveway, and still the food was safe inside it. And here’s a video of a raccoon trying hard (and failing) at breaking in with those nimble paws. That being said, this is an excellent DIY hack in case you do run into problems with raccoons getting into yours, as unlikely as it is.
Another automatic dispenser pet feeder that some use to prevent raccoons from getting into the kibble. I don’t think this has been used all that many times to keep raccoons away from cat food, but there are a couple reviewers who have used it as such, with positive outcomes only. Absolutely worth a shot in my mind.
This is the regular microchip cat flap, the one that isn’t ideal for keeping out raccoons. I thought I’d add it to the list just in case you’d like to compare it to the DualScan I listed earlier. It’s honestly not substantially cheaper, so I’d opt for the DualScan over this one to be on the safe side, but that’s just me.
This is another selective pet feeder – one that uses RFID tags I think before allowing access to an animal to eat. If your cat loses collars easily or if you’re trying to feed stray and/or feral cats – again, not gonna be the ideal product. I also don’t see it as the most ideal automatic pet feeder out there if I’m honest, but I thought I’d mention it because it is a different sort of option, being quite a large bowl-style feeder. Careful with this one, however, as a lot of people seem to be having issues with it not working. I’d recommend trying a different one, personally.
Your Thoughts on Racoon-Proof Cat Feeders?
Ever had raccoons steal cat food in your yard or even in your house?
Have you ever tried using a raccoon-proof cat feeder? How’d it go? What was it good at? What could it have been better at?
Ever thought of trying one? What style were you after and what about now – any change in the type of thing you’d like to grab?
What types of cat feeders do you feel are not as raccoon-proof as is ideal? Are you going to use any of these types of feeders/techniques in your own household? What do you think the result will be?
Love to hear any thoughts, ideas, experiences, and stories in the comments down below!