This is one of those i'bles that I should have posted much sooner (when my cat was still alive). It only occurred to me as I was packing these away that I should share this simple idea that keeps the ants out of your pet food.
I know that some animals will eat everything put down all at once, but my cat used to come and go. During the rainy seasons he would often return to his food to find it inedible because it was covered in little black ants.
This was my simple solution to allow him to come and go while keeping the ants out of his good.
Please note that as the cat had made it to a ripe age of 18, and then succumbed to a snake bit, there is no food in these photos, only the empty bowls.
Step 1: Start With Two Different Sized Bowls
The larger bowl will hold food or water, while the smaller bowl will be inverted underneath as a water-trap for those unwanted ants. These particular bowls usually have anti-slip rubber rings around their bases that have a very short life-span, hence their absence in these photos.
Step 2: Attach Rubber "feet" to the Underside of the Bowls
If the bowls are placed upright on the floor, these particular feet don't reach the floor. Their purpose is to "lock" the two bowls together so that the larger will not slide off the smaller. The layout of the feet is such that they interlock. This also allows easy cleaning of the two bowls.
Fill the inverted rim of the smaller bowl with water (again, no cat, no water). I'm sure your imagination can fill in this bit.
Step 3: Place the Food Bowl on Top
Make sure that you have correctly "interlocked" the rubber feet, and any sideways pressure on the food ball will slide the water trap as well. The food bowl now sits about 1/2" off the floor, so the ants have to crawl in underneath, navigate the inverted bowl and discover the impassable water trap. Yes, I know there are some very clever ants that will use themselves to build bridges across the water but, despite all the venomous creatures we have to tolerate in Australia, those types of ants aren't included.
The two bowls are easily separated for cleaning, and it is simple enough every couple of days to lift the top bowl to make sure the water underneath has not evaporated.
In use, this was very successful and puddy tat no longer had to worry about being bitten by ants while attempting to eat his food. A second pair of bowls set up the same way also meant that his water dish remained ant free.
Step 4: A Memorial for a "geriatric" Cat
Right up to the end, he was a fit, healthy and playful cat. Vet's consider any cat over 10 years old to be "geriatric". Does he look aged and haggard to you?
He is sorely missed, and if the simple idea above helps other animal lovers protect their pets' food supplies then I shall consider that one of the best ways of preserving his memory..