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October 09, 2018

Food always goes bad after a certain time. That is why every type of food – even eggs and vegetables – comes with a shelf life. Pet food also comes with an expiration date, but sometimes canned cat food may get spoiled much earlier.

Your pets have no way to tell you if the food has gone bad, so you are the ones who must be careful about what you feed your fur babies.

Spoiled canned cat food isn’t uncommon at all. In fact, wet food has a much shorter shelf life than dry kibbles. Dry food is also easier to store because they have no water content, but when it comes to canned food, several precautions must be taken to keep it from going bad.

What makes canned cat food go bad?

There are several reasons why canned cat food might go bad, and the reasons aren’t any different from why human food gets spoiled. In most cases, the reasons for canned food going bad are:

  • Exposure to air, leading to bacteria growth
  • High humidity or moisture in the air, causing mold
  • Hot weather, leading to rancidity

Ideally, both wet and dry cat food should be stored in a cool, dry place. Keeping it in an indoors closet or the kitchen pantry is best because that’s where the temperature fluctuates the least. Keeping the food away from temperature fluctuations is highly important.

How to tell if canned cat food has gone bad?

There are several ways to tell if your cat’s food is spoiled, but the first sign is usually your pet refusing to eat it. If your cat isn’t a picky eater but suddenly doesn’t want to eat the food she loves, look closer and check if there’s something wrong with the food.

Some other ways to tell are a noticeable sour or rotten smell, growth of mold or bugs, if the food has been exposed to moisture or humidity, or if your pet shows signs of discomfort or illness after eating the food. You must not serve any canned cat food that’s past its expiry date, whether it’s spoiled or not.

The shelf life of canned cat food depends on the storage. Storing your pet’s canned food in a cool, dark, dry place in the original packaging that it came in is the best way to ensure the product lasts through the expiry date.