My cat's food bag is filled with ants and I'm sure I'm not supposed to give him ant filled food. So is there a method to remove the ants from the original bag or should I throw it away and get a new bag of food? Also are there any methods to keep ants away from their food bag in the first place?

  • Depending on how "filled" it is, and how expensive your cat food is, you can separate out the ants by shaking the food in a colander. I don't think any stray bits and pieces will matter; cat and dog food has more insect matter in it than we'd like to consider. I agree with @rib.usa that the infestation needs to be addressed, though. This is just a stop-gap measure. Aug 11 '15 at 5:07
  • Put it in freezer bags and freeze it?
    – paparazzo
    Jun 14 '16 at 13:58

Throw it out.

I think the bigger problem is getting rid of the ants in your house, the ants in the cat's food are only a symptom of this root issue.

Ants are attracted to food smells, so try putting the (new!) food in an airtight container like a freezer-bag or a plastic container. That will also help the food to stay fresher.

  • 5
    Be aware if ants ingest poison and get into the cat food and the cat eats them, you will be feeding poison to the cat (via the ants), this is a significant concern with reptiles but should also be considered with mammals Aug 11 '15 at 10:37
  • Thanks @JamesJenkins in my head I felt like ants could also be disease vectors but couldn't think of any evidence to support that
    – rlb.usa
    Aug 11 '15 at 15:04

Ants got into a fairly new $50 bag of prescription food, and I'm in no financial position at this time to throw it out. I immediately poured the food into a zip loc bag, which killed the ants (avalanche!). I was not about to pick out every ant carcass from 6-7 lbs. of food! Colander wouldn't work completely since the ants were sticking to the food and to every surface they touched, so I ended up pouring the food from one container to the next, with dead ants sticking to each container as the food was transferred to each one. Then I wiped the ants out of the containers and repeated the process until I felt the amount of ant remains was small enough. PS: I tried using compressed air, but it was about the same as the colander.

I don't use ant poison so there's no issue there, but that is a very important thing to consider if you find yourself in this position.


Put the food in the freezer (outside if you are in cold weather like i am now) the ants will either die or be paralzyed and fall to the bottom. Then remove the food on top to an airtight container.

  • How long should the food be frozen? Will the condensation (from frozen food thawing) create any spoilage issues?
    – elbrant
    Mar 4 '19 at 4:00

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