You’ve probably decided that wet cat food is the best option for your cat, but it is extremely important to make sure that you’ve chosen a safe brand. Such a brand would be the one that won’t quickly go bad after you try to store it. Cat food that is expired, stale, or not properly stored can be harmful to the cat’s health, and cat parents should avoid that at all costs.
It is essential to know that wet cat food is one of the best options you could choose because it has a lot of water content and moisture, which helps keep your cat hydrated. However, there are many issues with wet cat food, as there are problems while storing it. The commonly found issues are what to do with the wet cat food leftover and how to store it properly without letting it go bad.
How Long Can Wet Cat Food Stay Outside In the Open?
The most important thing you should know is that most cats tend to be nibblers and eat in very tiny portions. This leaves you with many leftovers. Hence, even though wet cat food tends to be better for cats, dry cat food has its advantages. The wet cat food should get a limited amount of air time, or else it might end up getting contaminated and make your cat sick.
Storing Wet or Cat Canned Food
Wet cat food is highly suggested and recommended by many vets due to the high moisture and water content, which helps keep your cat hydrated. Cat on a wet food diet is expected to have a lower risk of a urinary infection, kidney disease, and diabetes.
However, there are problems with purchasing a lot of wet cat food at once. First, it tends to be more expensive than other cat food, so you have to minimize the waste by properly storing your wet cat food to avoid contamination. That way, you can give your cat the same wet cat food for an extended period without causing any health issues.
Even if wet cat food comes in a pouch or a can, it still has an expiration date, which means the shelf life of each wet cat food varies according to the chemicals and preservatives used in them. If natural preservatives are added to the wet cat food, then there is a good chance that the expiration date might be shorter.
However, using artificial substances within wet cat food tends to prolong the shelf life, but they aren’t healthy for the cats. Instead, it can be harmful. Cats shouldn’t be fed expired food or spoiled food under any circumstances. Hence, it is vital to check the expiration date while purchasing wet cat food.
Storing Unused or Unopened Wet Cat Food
Every cat parent needs to make sure that the wet cat food is in good condition and appropriately stored without the risk of air reaching it more than required.
However, the unopened wet cat food should be kept in a nice, cool, dry place, where there isn’t a lot of heat and oxygen exposure. Exposing the unopened wet cat food can result in food spoilage.
Storing and refrigerating opened wet cat food
- Ensure that the unused food is set in an air-tight container, which is a great help. If the food in the wet cat food packaging wasn’t used at all, it is best to put it in an air-tight container as soon as possible. The wet cat food shouldn’t be exposed to room temperature of any sort or for a long period. It is best to use zip-lock plastic bags.
- Make sure you discard the food after 4 hours of keeping it open. Leftover wet cat food isn’t the best idea for your cat’s health; hence make sure you don’t use the wet cat food that has been left out for too long. Ensure you throw the food away after being exposed to the air for more than 4 hours, as this might lead to bacterial contamination in the wet cat food.
- As mentioned before, the wet cat food can be stored within the refrigerator for up to 5 days in an air-tight container. After that, you would want to throw the wet cat food away, as it won’t be safe for use anymore. Make sure that the refrigerator should work ideally by about 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
- It is extremely important to ensure that the new and the old food aren’t mixed. Cat parents need to know that mixing the old food with newly opened wet cat food is not a good option as it might lead to contaminated food for the cat. Hence, make sure you serve the food stored before serving the newly opened wet cat food.
- Before you store the wet cat food, make sure you double, or even triple check the expiration date, as wet cat food shouldn’t be served past the expiration date at all. It might lead to many hygiene and health problems in the cat, and it’s not good for it.
After reading the explanations above, you can see that wet cat food is not a bad option for your feline buddy’s diet. However, more effort and carefulness come with feeding wet cat food. This is because wet cat food gets contaminated faster, and hence it should be stored as per the instructions on the packaging. Wet cat food shouldn’t be exposed to heat, air, or oxygen for so long, and if it is for more than four hours, it is best to throw it out.