Groundhogs may eat cat food if that’s their primary option. Otherwise, they typically tend to go for greens and follow a more herbivorous diet.
Cat food isn’t recommended for groundhogs, as it’s very high in carbs (from fillers). To attract groundhogs, there are some much more suitable food options.
Learn more below!
Will Groundhogs Eat Cat Food?
So, will groundhogs eat cat food?
They might if it’s left out and it’s their primary option. It’s not their first choice, however! If you’re wondering what’s been eating the outdoor cat food, it could be a groundhog, but it’s probably another animal.
Most likely, it’s a raccoon, a coyote, or another omnivore or carnivore.
Meat-wise, groundhogs usually only eat insects they find while they graze, such as snails or grubs.
So, if you’re looking for a culprit for eating your cat food, you may want to look elsewhere. There are lots of outdoor critters, and groundhogs tend to stick to produce.
They aren’t well-known meat-eaters, but are definitely well-known for eating a variety of greens, and even fruits and veggies as a snack!
What Do Groundhogs Eat?
Groundhogs are much more likely to sample from your garden than from a cat food bowl. In fact, gardens are often full of plants that groundhogs enjoy.
If you’ve noticed your garden being eaten from, it could very well be a groundhog who’s responsible. If you like groundhogs, but want to protect your garden patch, you’ll need some chicken wire (about 6 feet of it) and some 5-foot poles.
The chicken wire will need to be about 1 foot underground, as groundhogs are excellent diggers. You’ll also want to bend the top of the chicken wire outwards, so it can’t be climbed up, either!
How to Attract Groundhogs to Your Yard
If you’re a groundhog admirer and have your garden safe, you could always plant a special groundhog patch. Groundhog-lovers are known to do this frequently.
If you’d like to attract groundhogs to your yard, there are a few things you can plant that should do the trick. For example, groundhogs love peas, lettuce, beans, plantain, broccoli, and clover!
What Will Groundhogs Not Eat?
So, what if you’re trying to deter groundhogs from being in your yard? Maybe you caught them eating the cat food, or maybe they’ve been at your garden a bit too enthusiastically.
There are some groundhog-resistant plants that you can try, in areas of your garden that aren’t protected as well (with groundhogs, you’ll probably want to install a fence, if they’re eating your produce).
Groundhogs do not enjoy fountain grass, heather, lamb’s ear, or lavender!
Do Groundhogs Hurt Cats?
Maybe you don’t mind the cat food being eaten, but are concerned for your cat’s safety. Fortunately, groundhogs do not usually eat cat food.
A coyote, on the other hand, would be a source of danger. If you think you have a predator around, you may wish to erect a fence or simply keep your cat indoors; this is safer!
A groundhog will typically mind its own business and focus on grazing, so they aren’t typically considered a risk!
How to Deter a Groundhog
So, you’re pretty sure a groundhog has been sampling the cat food (perhaps you’ve seen it at it). Most likely, the garden has also shown signs of foraging (missing plants, chewed on bits, etc.).
For many yard owners – even if you have nothing against groundhogs – this is less than ideal. Some real damage can be done to your lawn and garden if the groundhog isn’t kept in check!
So, how can you deter a groundhog?
First and foremost, groundhogs dislike the smell of ammonia. You can sprinkle this around the yard perimeter and/or around any groundhog holes you might see.
They really dislike the smell of ammonia, so this could do the trick!
Next, you can include some lawn ornaments. Certain kinds will help to scare them off, like spinning pinwheels, windmills, or vibrating devices.
These can be placed right by any groundhog holes you might know of.
You can also try garlic. This is an excellent groundhog-repellent; simply spray you produce with garlic spray and the entrances to any burrows you can find.
Do this every day, and the hedgehogs will be repelled, ultimately. Pepper spray will work similarly, or a combination of pepper spray and garlic.
Another option is Epsom salts, sprinkled around their burrows and the garden in general. Groundhogs hate offensive odors and spicy flavors.
Finally, groundhogs don’t like hair clippings, as they carry the human scent. This is another thing that can do the trick!
So, will groundhogs eat cat food?
Sometimes, sure, but they aren’t known for it. It could easily be another critter, such as a coyote or a raccoon.
If you’re pretty sure you have a groundhog in your yard and don’t want it there, fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do.
These are simple as spreading certain scents – such as garlic.
Or, by placing pinwheels and other moving decorations that are known to confuse and frighten them.
You can also set up a special groundhog fence to keep them out (just remember to have the chicken wire go into the ground a foot or so).
Best of luck!