All food has a shelf life and will go bad after a certain time. Pet food is no different and has an expiration date as well. However, your cat is not as keen to spot spoiled food as a human. There are many factors that speed up food spoilage and how long it is safe. As one would assume, canned cat food has a shorter shelf life than dry cat food.
Factors that Affect Canned Cat Food
Temperature is a factor for any food whether it is for our pets or ourselves. In warmer climates, food can spoil within 20 minutes versus lower climates where it can stay out for about an hour. As a side note, if you are running the heater in your home during winter months than it is the 20-30 minutes on leaving it out.
Air is another factor in food spoilage. Air contains bacteria and these can enter your food when it is exposed. When bacteria mixes with canned food, it can possibly change the composition. This is why it is so important to cover food when it is sitting out in the open.
Another spoiler of food is moisture. When there is a lot of moisture in the air, it makes food spoil even faster. When the humidity is above 75% you should only leave the canned cat food out for about 15 minutes.
Storing Unopened Canned Cat Food
How you store your cat food can have an impact on the shelf life as well. Store it in a cool, dry, dark place in the original packaging. If you can store it inside the house versus outside or a garage as the temperature inside your home fluctuates less.
Unlike some human foods freezing canned cat food is not a good idea. It will change the texture and taste of the food. Which ultimately will mean your furry pal won’t eat it.
Refrigerate canned food as soon as you open it. Cat food companies all recommend storing extra food in the refrigerate after you open it. You also will want to either use a plastic pet food lid on top of the can or plastic wrap. These are both the best ways to keep the odor down while protecting from moisture loss.
Canned cat food that is refrigerated is good for 5 to 7 days at most. If your cat is sensitive to cold food, then it might be a good idea to warm it up in the microwave, just to room temperature.
Be aware of how long the cat food sits in their bowl. If your cat only eats a little at a time, it may be wise to give them a little a few times a day.
Be aware of expiration dates on your canned cat food. Even if the cat food appears to be fine when you open an expired can the chance that it is spoiled is high. If your cat who is normally a good eater all the sudden is not interested, it could be that the food is spoiled. It is not just what you feed your cat it is also how you store it.