How Long Does Dry Cat Food Last After The Expiration Date
Here, youd understand the difference between two terms, expiry date and best by date. The expiry date signifies the expiration period of the food.
While the best by date indicates that post expiring, the company wont guarantee its nutritional benefits as listed over the outer packet.
Furthermore, the company wont take any responsibility if the pet suffers any health issues after consuming that particular food after passing the best by date.
Generally, dry cat foods come with a shelf life of 4 months to three years. For the canned cat foods, the expiration period extends and is around 1-year to 5-years.
The cats snacks and treats also have a similar expiration period of 4-months to 3-years for the dry category and 1-5 years for the wet category.
Your Cat Is Not Shy To Get Some Special Dinner By Itself:
When storing the cat food, make sure you do this in a place where your cat can not reach. Cats will try to get some snacks on their own, and will most likely ruin the bag, and end up spilling the kibbles all over the place, exposing those kibbles this way to all outer elements you were trying to protect them from.
Can Dry Cat Food Really Spoil
While feeding your cat dry food is very convenient because it lasts longer than wet food, it does not mean that dry cat food is immune from going bad. Just like a box of crackers that is left open near the back of the pantry absorbs moisture from the air and goes stale, as does an opened bag of dry cat food. Dry cat food also contains protein and oil that goes rancid.
All commercial dry cat foods contain preservatives and antioxidants, that maintain the flavor, texture, and nutrient profile of the food. After the expiry date, the preservatives begin to degrade, lowering their efficacy, increasing the risk of mold and bacteria growing in the food.
High quality cat goods are preservative free, making them go bad even faster. Store your cats expensive food correctly to avoid wasting it, and to ensure that your kitty is getting all the possible nutrients from their food.
Even if dry cat food still looks and smells fine after the expiry or best by date, the food will be lower in quality nutritionally, due to the natural breakdown of fatty acids and preservatives. Feeding your cat expired food is dangerous to their long-term health because it can lead to nutrient deficiencies.
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Is Wet Cat Food Important
When cats used to be in the wild, they relied on the animals they hunted and killed for moisture. However, now that your cat is no longer in the bush but is busy getting comfortable on your couch watching TV with you, your cat relies on you for his food and water. That is why it is important that you switch your cat to a wet food diet.
Most pet specialists recommend that you ensure that you switch your pussycat to a wet diet food, or you can at least supplement your cats dry food diet with wet food diet.
Most pet parents usually prefer dry pet diets because of their long lifespan. What about wet cat foods? How long can wet cat food sit out? Thats what you are here to find out.
Cats usually dont eat a lot.
Hence, they are less likely to eat a full serving of their wet cat food at once. Therefore, when you serve your cat wet cat food, can you keep the uneaten portion so that your cat can eat it later?
You will be asking yourself, how long can wet cat food sit out?
What Do You Do With Uneaten Cat Food
Canned food remaining in the can should be covered and refrigerated immediately after opening. 3 The next serving can be warmed, as most cats dont like cold food. You can use zippered disposable bags for storing uneaten food. They can be readily warmed with running water in the sink for a few minutes.
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What Should I Consider When Choosing Food Storage Containers For My Cat
When choosing food storage containers, the first thing to pay attention to is the size and the capacity of the container. You want something that will not be too bulky and clunky in your kitchen but capable of holding enough food for one or multiple cats. The next feature to consider is the material of the container: you want something durable and pet-safe, such as BPA-free plastic, stainless steel, powder-coated metal, or silicone. Whichever material you opt for, though, make sure that it has a tight-fitting lid and an airtight seal to keep the food fresh and safe for as long as possible. Last but not least, there are various design perks and features, such as wheels on the bottom, bonus scoops, or pour spouts, that could make or break your choice.
Keep Dry Cat Food In A Sealed Container
See to it that dry cat food, in its original bag, is kept and stored in a sealed container after every mealtime. This is to prevent bacterial contamination and maintain its quality. Properly sealed dry cat food also means that nutrition and taste are preserved well.
Its also important to check the bag or package of dry cat food after buying it. Make sure that there are no tears or damage to ensure that the product is sealed.
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Will Cats Starve Themselves If They Dont Like The Food
Some cats are picky. Meaning, they may like one thing and refuse another. But, could they flat out say no until starvation?
It is possible that cats could starve themselves if they do not like the food. However, you should never let it get to that stage. Never wait longer than a day if you notice that your cat is not eating the food. Seek some advice from your vet.
According to this site, if a cat does not eat for 1 or 2 days it could stand the risk of catching hepatic lipidosis. This could result in liver failure or starvation.
So, now you know its not worth waiting to see what happens if your cat stops eating. On the other hand, what happens when they are full? Keep reading to see.
Can Dry Cat Food Go Bad: Best Answer
Can Dry Cat Food Go Bad? There is a variety of cat food that is available in the market. Dry cat food is one of the most popular kinds in the market, and it has been around for decades.
However, some people think that this type of food is not good for their cats. There is also a question about how long dry cat food will remain good for consumption.
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How Long Can My Cats Food Last In A Storage Container
When stored in a quality container with an airtight seal that doesnt let air in or out, your cats food can last in it for up to 6 months. While this is the maximum time food can last inside a tightly closed container, its best if you dont rely on it to keep the food fresh for months at a time. Its better to buy smaller quantities of food if needed, to avoid situations where air leaks through the lid and makes the food go stale.
When The Food Doesnt Taste Good Enough
Even if you keep the food within the safe time limit, it simply may not taste as good a few hours later. Wet food tends to congeal or dry up within a few hours. Dry food will go stale within a day or two. The food is still safe to consume, but some cats still choose not to eat it because its not fresh enough for their taste.
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Your Cat May Get Sick Eating Contaminated Foods
If you feed your feline friend on wet food that has sat out for long, there are high chances that the food is already contaminated. This can make your cat get sick since he may suffer from food poisoning.
Some cats have class, and they will keenly observe how you handle their food. If they feel like you have mishandled their food, then they will politely refuse to consume it. Other cats can also be rude they will just knock over the wet food and even step on it. This requires you to be very careful in the way you handle their wet food.
Food that has sat out for long is also likely to be spoilt. Wet cat food tends to go bad very quickly as compared to dry cat food. This is because wet cat food contains a lot of moisture and fats. This provides a very conducive environment for bacteria to thrive.
The Journal Of Nutrition Dec 1998
Another study from 1998, titled The Effect of Diet on Lower Urinary Tract Diseases in Cats, explores the effect of longterm diet on feline urinary health. The study explores the effects of food pH as well as the foods moisture content. Its an interesting read, and if your cat has recurring urinary issues, I highly recommend you read the article to shed some light on how nutrition relates to FLUTD.
While the results varied based on the amount of additional hydration and urine output of the cats involved, the study indicated that a high-moisture diet can cut the recurrence rates of idiopathic feline urinary tract disease in half.
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Is Dry Cat Food Bad For Cats
Naturally, wet food contains a lot more water content than dry food. This better simulates what cats would eat in the wild, as small prey also contain more moisture than dry foods. … On the other hand, prolonged dehydration can irritate your cat’s urinary tract and possibly lead to kidney disease.
How Long Can Wet Cat Food Sit Out Summary
How long can wet cat food sit out?
Well, not for long as you have already learned.
Most wet cat food manufacturers would recommend that the maximum amount of time you should let cat food sit out before feeding it to your cat is 1 hour. Past an hour, this food is likely to be contaminated hence if fed to your cat it will definitely not sit well with his stomach. Throw out food after 4 Hours
So we hope that you will be very careful when feeding your cat on wet foods so that you ensure that you dont feed him food that has sat out for long.
This is because you now know the answer to the question, How long can wet cat food sit out? Help your cat to stay healthy by not consuming contaminated food. Have you been feeding your cat on wet food? For how long have you been leaving the wet cat food to stay out?
Do you have anything to add regarding this issue of wet cat food sitting out?
Did you find this article helpful?
Can you share it out with any other cat owners out there?
If you have any comment on how long can wet cat food sit out, let us know in the comment section below.
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Benefits Of Dry Cat Food
Aside from being convenient and easy to feed and store, dry cat food is also high in energy. It also has dental benefits derived in two ways, by the mechanical action of biting and breaking up of the food and chemical addition that reduces tartar build-up on the teeth. Check our earlier article on wet vs dry cat food for more helpful information on this.
Can You Refrigerate Dry Cat Food
Yes, it is best to keep dry cat food in cool, clean, and dry places. Some people believe in storing the food packages in a garage or under a shed.
Its not advisable as in a garage or under a shed, the dry cat food can undergo high temperatures, which can likewise lead to the degradation of its nutritional contents.
The best way to store dry cat food is to pack it in the original package, seal it with a rubber band or packet clippers, and keep it inside the freezer but make sure the temperature is under 80-degree Fahrenheit.
Any temperature under 80-degree Fahrenheit ensures nutrients retention, taste retention, and most importantly, keeps it fresh for longer.
If youre keeping the food packets in a refrigerator, take them out a few minutes before feeding your cat so that the food granules get softer to chew and digest.
No matter who the food is, its never right or recommended to feed anyone any expired food.
Some people assume that dry food doesnt expire as its dehydrated and moisture-less, so that it wont expire soon.
But, as you have read above, even dry food has an expiration period, and post that, it shouldnt be present on your cats plate.
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Bha Bht And Ethoxyquin
These chemical preservatives have been linked to organ disease, cancer, and skin problems. Its easy to avoid BHA and BHT by selecting foods preserved with mixed tocopherols .
Ethoxyquin is more stealthy while its often not added to pet food itself, it can sneak a ride in with fish meal.
Because of the risk of dangerous preservatives entering the food at various points on the supply chain, its important to choose a transparent, communicative company that closely monitors their suppliers.
Why Is The Best By Date Important
The best by date is important because it explains when the nutritional value of the food will start to diminish.
Be careful not to confuse this date with the expiry date, they are different. Best by an expired by dates are two different things.
The best by date simply suggest, after its expiry, it will no longer guarantee the nutritional benefit that is printed and promised on the packaging.
In other words, they cant guarantee the nutritional benefits promised once it passes the best by date. The expiration date on the hand is an indication of when the food is not safe to eat anymore.
The expiration date on different food types can fluctuate quite significantly. To give you an example, dry food can last anywhere from 4 months to as long as 3 years. However, with canned food, you can see rather long expiration dates such. Anywhere from 1 to 5 years.
Cat snacks and treats usually last about the same sort of duration as dry food. This is a general guide because each individual product will have the expired and best by date clearly printed on the product.
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How Do You Keep Dry Cat Food Fresh
Put your storage container in a dry, cool place. Your cats dry food needs to be stored in a dark, dry, cool place so it stays fresh. By storing it in too warm of a location, it could lead to the destruction of vitamins in the food and allow bacteria to grow. Keep food that will expire soon at the front.
Why Do Cats Never Finish Their Food
Often, we jump to the worst conclusions and forget the obvious reason why a cat might not finish their food: its stomach is full. Cats have small stomachs on average about the size of a ping-pong ball, so their eating patterns can involve several breaks rather than eating an entire portion in one sitting.
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How To Store Kibble So It Lasts Longer
The best way to ensure kibble lasts longer and retains more of its flavor and nutritional content is to store it in an airtight container.
A lot of dry cat food comes in cardboard boxes with a little flap that opens at the top. This is obviously not airtight.
But the reason food comes like this is because its a less expensive way to package it, and the manufacturers are assuming itll be eaten within a reasonable time after being opened.
Most cat owners, which includes me, transfer the dry food into an airtight container anyway. I just buy another box when I need to top up my food container.
Does Dry Cat Food Go Bad Sitting Out
Dry food will go bad if left sitting out. There are a few things to take into account such as how hot it is, the humidity, and where its left for the most part.
As a general rule of thumb, dry food should not be left out more than 8 hours in cool temperatures.
If its a warm day, however, say about 50 degrees F, you shouldnt leave dry food out more than four hours.
If its a humid day or the food has become damp, then the time it can be left out is greatly reduced.
Damp food will be contaminated with bacteria quicker than dry as bacteria breeds within moisture. Its not worth risking leaving out damp food, toss it away.
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Lets Rewind: Health Concerns
Another health concern you may have to consider if your cat is on a dry food diet is the elevated caloric intake.
Especially if your kitty has all-day access to a bowl of dry food.
For my 7-year-old cat at the time, hes 13 now, he was overweight.
I had no idea.
Thats when we made the switch to wet.
Bubbas had to be put on a prescribed wet food only diet and lost 3 lbs. in 6 months!
I could only buy this canned food from the vet every thirty days, super expensive.
Believe it or not
Unlimited access to dry food has been proven to promote obesity in our furry friends and is due to the elevated carbohydrates, which are then converted into an unnatural and elevated sugar count.
To avoid this, most vets recommend that cats have no more than 2-3 small servings of food within a 24-hour period, and caution, that you should never let your cat go without food for more than 24 hours.