Dont Keep Dry Cat Food In The Garage
The garage can sometimes seem like an ideal place to store extra cat food, but this should be avoided. Cat food should be kept in temperatures lower than 100°F to make sure that high temperatures dont destroy the nutrients or make the food go rancid. Its difficult to maintain a constant temperature or humidity in a garage, so theres a higher chance of the food spoiling.
What Nutrients Are Important To Look For
There are several essential nutrients that you need to look out for when choosing which dry food to feed your cat. Choosing high-quality food means that you are giving your feline friend the best chance to lead a happy and healthy life. Nutrient deficiencies can lead to problems such as hair loss, lethargy, and weight loss.
Use Can Covers Or Ziploc Bags For The Fridge
When you store wet cat food in the fridge, you have to cover it to keep it fresh. If you dont cover it, then it will dry out and you will have to throw out a large portion of it on the second serving. Moreover, it is important that the wet cat food gets as little air as possible, even in the fridge.
While refrigeration slows down the alteration process significantly, having access to air still permits the development of some bacteria and fungi. So when you store the cans in the fridge, use a can cover to keep the food safe and to prevent it from drying out.Pet food can covers are inexpensive and extremely useful. As an alternative to pet food covers, you can use Ziploc bags. Simply place the can inside the Ziploc bag, get the air out, and zip it up to keep the food safe.
If you have leftover cat food in a pouch, then you can use a food seal clip and then place it in a fridge. If you dont have any, then Ziploc bags are also very useful for pouches. Another alternative is to take out the leftover cat food and move it into a plastic container with a lid.
To sum up, wet cat food can be left out for up to 2 hours, but do this only if you have no other alternative. Your best choice is to get your cat smaller portions so that you dont have any leftover cat food. If you do have leftovers, though, you should refrigerate it after opening the can/pouch. Use a pet food can cover for the cans you refrigerate to store it safely, then remember to heat up the food before you serve it.
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Dont Throw Away The Original Packaging
High-quality cat food bags have been designed to keep out the elements and maintain its freshness for as long as possible. Keeping the cat food bag also has the added benefit of retaining the cat foods barcode, expiration date, and batch code all of which are important information to have, especially in the event of a cat food recall.
Dry Cat Food Drawbacks
Studies have shown a correlation between obesity and feeding dry cat food. This could be because a lot of cats that eat dry food are often free-fed, and owners do not realize how much their cats are actually eating in a day.
It can also cause the opposite problem because its hard to notice that your cat is not eating when they are free-fed. The amount your cat eats in a day should be monitored or measured out for both reasons.
Older cats with dental disease or those who have had some of their teeth removed may also have a harder time chewing dry food.
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The Great Wet Vs Dry Battle
Back when I was a vet tech, most vets recommended dry food only because it helped keep cats teeth clean, and tartar buildup on cats teeth can lead to infections that can damage the kidneys. Today, however, the updated thinking is you should offer wet food as well because of the high water content which actually helps the kidneys, of course. I will confess to being a very mean cat mom and choose to feed my own cats only dry because I utterly DESPISE the smell of wet cat food . Again, check with your vet to see what works for you and your cat, but it does seem that a balance of wet/dry is ideal .
If Youre Feeding It A Combination Of Wet And Dry Food
Many cat owners choose to feed their pets a combination of dry food and wet food/canned food. If this is the case for you, you will need to feed your cat a ratio of the two that ensures all their nutritional needs are being met.
If you want to feed your cat on an exclusively wet food diet, and youre wondering how much wet food to feed them, check out our wet cat food guide.
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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.
Initial Amount Of Bacteria
Bacteria multiply fairly quickly. Given the right conditions, salmonella doubles in numbers every hour. The more bacteria you start out with, the more youll get within a few hours. The severity of a salmonella infection depends on the amount of germs consumed, so the longer you wait, the more dangerous the food becomes.
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Scraps Are Off The Table
Some of the foods on your plate arent healthy for your kitty. Even if they beg, dont be tempted to feed them grapes, raisins, onions, nuts, chocolate, garlic, and uncooked bread dough. Raw meat or eggs and bones are also dangerous.
Why? Sudden changes in your cats diet can lead to vomiting and diarrhea. In some cases, those with sensitive digestive systems can get pancreatitis from eating table scraps, which can be fatal. Raw meat and eggs can have harmful bacteria, and your kitty could choke on bones or risk getting a piece of one stuck in their digestive tract. Other foods such as those listed above are considered toxic.
And its best to skip the saucer of milk. If your cats body doesnt have the right enzymes to break down lactose , they could get very sick.
Should I Leave Dry Food Out All Day For My Cat
Dry cat food and water in a bowl on a yellow floor
Now that you know it is possible to leave dry food out for your cat all day you may be wondering if it is a good idea to even consider doing this.
Yes, you can leave the food out all day and this is an acceptable technique. It is more commonly known as free feeding. Free feeding is when you leave cat food out all day and allow your cat to Graze on it as they like.
Some cat owners swear by this method and do it all the time. Whereas other cat owners suggest it is not good practice and can lead to obesity.
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Is It Okay To Leave Dry Food Out
The answer is yes, and no. Its actually a pretty hot topic debate still.
Its not that dry food will expire or make your little ones sick if left out for too long, its the fact that oxidization will also make the food lose nutrients.
At the end of the day, leaving dry food out isnt as big of a concern as leaving wet food out. You would still want to take some proper precautions by ensuring that your kibble is in an airtight container if your food bag doesnt have a zip-sealed or velcro top.
How Do I Serve Dry Kibble And Ensure It Stays Fresh
First of all, do not leave dry cat food out for more than 48 hours.
The oils in the cat food will oxidize and make the kibble go stale.
If you cannot be around to feed your cat, consider getting an automatic cat feeder.
You can program the cat feeder to serve your cats meals at specific times of the day.
Do you always serve dry cat food in clean bowls?
It may seem obvious, but a lot of pet parents rarely clean feeding bowls before serving their cats meals.
Leftover kibble may have bacteria on it that will ruin the quality of the fresh kibble you serve.
Also rinsing the bowl before serving does not get all the dirt out.
Some grime may remain in the bowl that will ruin the quality of kibble.
Always wash your cats feeding bowls with a scrubber and soap.
Leave the bowls to dry before serving the next meal to your cat.
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How Long Wet Cat Foods Stay Good In The Open
There is no such thing as a straight, unchanged period to but people have indeed put forward several time estimates. On average, in a warm summer day, wet cat foods would be contaminated after you leave them out for 20 30 minutes. In wintertime, the foods might remain fresh for a wee bit longer if you don’t turn on the heater. So the best answer available to the question of “Can I leave wet cat food out overnight” is “No, you cannot if you truly care about the health your pet”.
Important Note: It’s true that certain cats out there could eat left overnight foods without running into significant troubles. However, it’s worth noting that different cats have different biology and that is why it’s unwise to expose your pet to unnecessary risks. Household cats that take in spoiled foods by mistake might end up bloated and that occasionally leads to fatal consequences. Therefore, it’s widely advised that pet owners refrain from feeding their pet any foodstuff that seems to be contaminated.
How Long Does Dry Cat Food Last
First of all, if you didnt see a best by date on your cat food, dont be alarmed. According to the Spruce Pets, pet food manufacturers are not required by law to put a best by date on food.
Most companies do put a date on pet food though. Food will degrade over time, its not going to last forever. This is especially true once the food has been opened too.
Now, Ive read a whole range of opinions regarding how long dry food lasts past its best by date.
Shops will get rid of food once its hit the used by, best by, or expiration date. They cant be seen selling out of date food.
They dont always throw it out though. I worked at a cattery many years ago, and a couple of local stores would donate food to us once it had hit its use-by date.
This goes to show that cat food is generally ok past its recommended use-by date.
Ive heard some people say its good for 3 months, some say 6 months, and some people just take a look at it and decide regardless of age.
Personally, Id err on the side of caution. If dry food has been packaged well and hasnt been opened, Id use it if it was a few months past and looked and smelled ok.
Related Looking for grain-free cat foods? Check this post.
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Why Its Important To Switch To Adult Cat Food
Kittens experience rapid growth and development, plus, theyre playful and have a lot of energy. Kitten food has higher calories and more protein and fat to support energetic, growing kittens.
Its also formulated with DHA to help support brain and vision development, plus vitamins and minerals needed for their developing immune systems.
Once they reach maturity, cats dont need the same amounts of those nutrients. Plus, theyre often less energetic, so eating a high-calorie kitten food could result in weight gain.
How To Mix Wet And Dry Food
If you want to give your cat a mix of wet and dry food, the only challenge is figuring out how much of each to provide to keep them happy and healthy. For example, should it be 70% dry and 30% wet? Or wet in the morning and dry in the evening?
To make sure your cat is getting the right amount of food, you first need to determine the daily recommended amount of dry food they should be eating. This number depends on the size, age and weight of your cat. There’s a handy measurementtable on the side of each bag of kibble. You can choose your own ratio of dry to wet food, but we generally recommend two thirds dry kibble to one third wet food. Wet and dry food have a different number of calories per gram, so you can’t just interchange them. The rule is, take the weight of dry food you’re not feeding your cat, and multiply it by 2.5 to get the right weight of wet food.
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How Much Wet Food Should You Feed Your New Kitten
- Not a substitute for professional veterinary help.
Kittens are too sweet for words. We love their little meows, their playfulness, the way their tiny little claws cling to us when we scratch their bellies. Speaking of their belliesits important to feed our kittens right, and that can feel complicated to do. Especially when it comes to wet food.
How much wet food should you feed your new kitten? We set out to answer that question and give you some other important knowledge when it comes to keeping your kitty healthy.
How Often To Feed My Cat
Most cats should eat two meals a day, around 12 hours apart. Alternatively, it is possible to feed them three/four/five small meals over the course of the day. Bear in mind that a cats feeding schedule depends on a few things:
- Age: Growing kittens may need feeding three meals a day, as they require more dry food per pound of body weight to support their growth and development.
- Health: If your cat suffers from a disease such as diabetes, you will need to feed it accordingly. Usually, the recommendation will be to feed your cat twice per day, directly before administering its insulin.
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Feeding Cats From Cat Food Bowls Can Actually Cause Behavioral Issues
Dr. Bales would come out of feline lectures at veterinary conferences armed with information on the link between feeding and behavior/medical issues. Like her peers, she felt frustrated as to how to use that knowledge to better the lives of indoor cats.
The No. 1 cause of death in cats is euthanasia, and the No. 1 cause of euthanasia is cats being surrendered to shelters, predominately because of behavior problems, she said. We now know about the need for environmental enrichment, and giving cats back their natural feeding behaviors in the home is a great start.
Dr. Bales is a key player in the growing catvocate movement committed to providing safe, healthy and engaging lives for indoor cats. She is educating pet parents, shelter groups and pet professionals about supporting a cats seeking circuit mentality to hunt for food, play with the food, kill it and then eat it. During this circuit, the brain releases dopamine, which heightens a cats arousal and triggers a feeling of happy anticipation rewarded by finding and eating the found food.
She points to a recent Norwegian study published in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery that concluded that cats want to be in charge of their feeding schedule.
Cats spend 60 to 80 percent of their waking hours looking for prey, she said. We are depriving our indoor cats of their innate need to hunt and catch their prey by feeding them in bowls.
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.
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Feeding Both Canned And Dry Cat Food
To balance the benefits and drawbacks of both options, you may choose to feed a combination of both. This may be particularly useful with cats who require a higher water intake but enjoy eating dry better than canned.
If you are looking to mix wet cat food and dry cat food, talk with your veterinarian to find the best balance. Your veterinarian can help you calculate how much your cat should be eating and how to portion out the two food options.
Every cat is different, and the amount you feed a day will depend on the age of your cat, your cats current body condition, and the presence of any underlying diseases.