Many people face problems of ants infestation in the litter box usually kept for their pets indoors. It attracts these nuisance pests indoors and poses a risk of bites or stings.
Are Ants Attracted To Cat Litter? Ants are attracted to cat litter if it gives off the scent of urine and contains food residues, fecal matter, and moisture. Moreover, the use of organic litter material in the box and its location can also draw ants if their nest is present nearby. You can remove ants by adding baby powder or baking soda, changing litter, and covering the box.
Cat litter attracts indoor pests due to the presence of organic material that can become a nesting spot for insects and provides nutrition sometimes.
Why are ants attracted to cat litter?
Many reasons account for the attraction of ants towards cat litter because these insects usually try to reach places if they detect a pleasant odor of food and moisture.
Scent of urine
Cat litter boxes provide a suitable location for cats to defecate and urinate within a defined container; otherwise, they leave droppings at multiple locations indoors.
These boxes usually contain clay, paper pellets, and even natural dirt is also used that can absorb urine and leave a particular scent in the surroundings.
In addition, the odor of fresh urine can draw ants to a box, and insects begin to explore the material for nutrition. Their urine contains ammonia, which leaves a noticeable scent in the air.
Different nitrogenous substances, like urea and ammonia, are present in their urine, which can become a source of nutrition for these tiny insects.
So, you have to control urine odor by replacing the litter regularly because ants can detect the urine smell in a few hours and reach there.
Remains of feces
Cats use the litter for defecation purposes and leave droppings within a container that can potentially attract nearby insects navigating for food sources.
Their droppings can become a good source of nutrition for tiny insects due to the presence of organic material in an undigested or partially digested form.
This partially digested food allows ants to extract the remaining nutrients and gain energy. So, these insects capture the chemical signals emitted by cat droppings and reach the spot.
Accordingly, you should remove the excreted material from the box to reduce the risk of an attack because its strong odor can allure ants’ receptors.
Cats bring their food into the litter box or leave the food crumbs on the floor near the box, which attracts ants. The odor of food particles on the ground entices their odor receptors.
These insects create pheromone trails in the direction of odor and reach the spot in large numbers. In addition, the old feeding trails can also be responsible for drawing ants to cat litter.
It can sometimes happen that these insects detect chemical secretions of old trails and begin to follow them, resulting in an attack on the box.
The sugar-loving ants, like pharaoh ants, argentine ants, carpenter ants, and pavement ants, can reach the box to eat the food residues.
So, it is better to regularly clean the ground surface and wash the container to avoid stains, spills, and food crumbs. It can help reduce the possibility of ants’ attacks and protect your pet.
Organic litter material
People commonly add organic material at the bottom of the container to provide a comfortable platform for pet animals to urinate.
However, this organic material can become a source of nutrition or shelter for these insects, so you have to look for other materials that are not attractive to ants.
I used wood shavings to fill the box for cats, and I found that this material was responsible for attracting carpenter ants because moist wood allures them.
So, I replaced wood shavings with corn, but the problem was still there because all the organic materials are attractive to insects.
You can only discourage them by changing it frequently, as these insects usually avoid reaching areas where they feel continuous disturbances.
Presence of moisture
Ants need moisture to hydrate their bodies and prefer to make their nests at moist places so that they can reach a litter box in search of moisture.
Sand, wood or pine shavings, and other materials can soak moisture from their urine and get wet. The moist environment can provide a suitable platform for insects to live.
Moreover, replace the wet material with fresh and dry litter to reduce the insect population. Dry material is not enticing for them and poses a lesser risk of infestation.
Location of litter box
They are attracted to the litter box when it is present at a location close to the infestation or colonies. The presence of nests near the container can lead to direct exposure to insects.
It is better to look for safe areas while placing a box because their infestation can pose a risk of bites to your pet cat.
In addition, change its location multiple times a day to reduce attraction. They cannot locate a container when you change its location frequently for 2 to 4 times a day.
How do you keep ants away from cat litter?
Removing ants from cat litter and preventing infestation is essential because these insects can bite or sting pets’ bodies. Look for natural and safe methods to get rid of annoying insects.
Sprinkle baby powder
Ants hate baby powder due to its repelling nature, as they do not like the odor of talcum commonly present in baby powders.
Accordingly, you can mix 1 tablespoon of baby powder in the litter material to create a force field around the container. Its strong scent deters ants without bothering cats.
Sprinkling a small amount of baby powder can save pets from insect attacks and reduce the bad odor of urine that is usually responsible for drawing insects.
Cover litter box
You can keep ants away by covering the litter when it is not in use. It is one of the helpful preventive measures to reduce the risk of infestation in the container.
I was annoyed with the attack of black ants in cat litter as they returned to the same location after some days, even if I replaced the material.
So, I covered the box to remove these nuisance pests and opened it only when my cats felt the urge to defecate or urinate.
Spread baking soda in the box
You can also spread baking soda in the box to deter ants because it is a toxic material that can lead to the removal of insects.
It works like a natural deodorizer and removes urine and feces smell, which can help keep insects away from the container.
Mix a small amount of baking soda with in the litter box because it is safe to use and poses no problems for pets when used in small amounts.
Regular cleaning of litter box
Clean the litter and box regularly to get rid of ants because specks of feces and food crumbs can potentially attract insects to the container.
It is better to change the material at least 2 to 3 times a week, depending on the frequency of urination in cats. This way, you can reduce the smell of the litter to a maximum extent.
Scoop out the fecal matter regularly and completely replace the material at least once a week. One of my friends cleans the cat litter box by washing it with bleach and vinegar to get rid of insects.