Can Cat Food Go Bad
Both dry cat food/kibble and canned cat food can go bad. The expiration date of cat food is usually six months after the production date. In addition, improperly stored cans of cat food can also release toxins that could be harmful to you and your cat.
Dry cat food really goes bad as soon as it goes past its recommended eating date, and once opened, should be consumed within 14 days to three weeks. Dry cat food also goes bad and may become stale when it is not stored correctly and consumed within six months. Yes, dry cat food goes bad like any other food or consumable, and is unsafe for your cat to eat past its expiration date.
There is a reasonable limit on how long you can keep your cats food before it goes bad because of general heating effects. You can leave dried cat food outside safely for a few days and it will not go bad, but you are best off throwing away the leftovers and washing out the dishes on a daily basis in order to keep Fluffys food fresh. Keep in mind that dried food goes stale in just one day, and it might not be so appealing to your cat after it does. Even dry food has a certain level of moisture; if it becomes spoiled, the dry food will leave wet spots on the cats bowl.
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By state of packaged dried food, I am referring to if food particles are still dry, or have left behind wet spots in the cats food bowl. You might not realize how much gunk dried food leaves behind, but left for too long, it can actually lead to health problems in your cat. Wet food attracts flies, stinks when left over for too long, becomes difficult to clean out my cats bowl, and is extremely obvious when it is spoiled. Feeding expired food to your cats is dangerous for their long-term health, as it may cause nutritional deficiencies.
After eating expired food, the cats body will attempt to excrete harmful substances via vomiting or diarrhea. If your cat gets sick after eating a food item, or feels a bit uncomfortable, the food is probably spoiled. Sometimes, that means that your cat has had enough, but it is common that she returns to the food later in the day to get another helping. The food is still safe for consumption, but some cats will still decide to avoid eating it because it is not fresh enough for their tastes.
|Can Cat Food Go Bad||Shelf life|
|Both dry cat food/kibble and canned cat food can go bad||Average is 6 months|
|Dry cat food goes bad like any other food or consumable, and is unsafe for your cat to eat past its expiration date||It goes bad earlier when not stored properly|
The freshness of the food is extremely important to your cats health (and dogs health, too), so you should never replace the old food with new. If you are feeding a kitten, elderly, or ill cat, it is best to err on the side of caution and only feed canned food if it is fresh. If your cat does not eat the entire serving of moist food in one sitting, you should cover the food and store it refrigerated. When your cat gets hungry again, heat up the food in a microwave slowly, since most cats dislike cold food.
In warmer months, or if you place the cats bowls in the warmer parts of your home, it may accelerate the rate that food goes bad. Once opened, you should keep cat wet food in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. To make sure that your cats dry food stays fresh, store it at all times in a dry area that is cooler, ideally below 80 degrees F. If you keep your dry food in a dry location with temperatures as high as 120 degrees Fahrenheit (48 degrees Celsius) for more than 2 days, this could greatly increase the normal decomposition, or the breakdown of vitamins from the food.
Meanwhile, keeping those dried foods in a dry environment at higher temperatures may lead to the degradation of vitamins in food. Cat dried meals should never be heated more than 38 degrees Celsius, because vitamins would be denatured, making the food less nutritious. The best way to store dry cat food is to package it in its original packaging, seal with a rubber band or baggie cutter, and store in a freezer, but be sure to keep it below 80 degrees F.
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Even though dried cat food will still look and smell good beyond its expiration or “best by” date, the quality of the food will decrease from nutritional standpoint because of natural fatty acid breakdown and preservatives. While preservatives may extend the shelf life of canned wet cat food, it is still shorter in life than most dry cat food.
I highly suggest that you do not feed wet food to your cats past its best-by date, nor any treats with a softer texture. If you can, start your cat off on a diet of wet food as well as dry from a very young age, using several different brands of food to help you identify what they prefer.
You can liven things up even more by giving your cat several different flavors of canned food, which can help them clean their plates completely. If you allow your cat to eat whenever he or she wants, a bowl of dried food left outside overnight provides a snack should your cat get peckish. For that reason, many cat owners leave a bowl of dry food or kitten kibble out all day long for their cats to munch on.
If food remains in her bowl after one day, you should throw it away before adding any fresh food. The ideal set-up is to throw away any uneaten food in the cats bowl after a day, and replace with fresh amounts. In this situation, there is a chance the cat food is now going through decay, and you should probably toss out the whole batch, since this could be an issue if you keep feeding your cat the cat food.
Even if the food has no external intervention, such as air, moisture, mold, or insects, natural degradation of the elements making up the food will keep your cat from getting a balanced diet. Exposing an open or unopened bag of cat food to sunlight increases the humidity and temperature within the bag, increasing the risk of salmonella and other germs. Do not keep jars outside, because hot temperatures may cause loss of moisture, creating nutritional imbalances for cats.
Mold and bacteria growth on your cats may cause them great illness and disrupt their sensitive digestive system. Whether dried or not, food from days ago is bad news, and it is probably already containing disease-causing pathogens.
How can you tell if cat food is bad?
Other indicators include a distinct rotting or sour smell, the development of mold or insects, moisture or humidity exposure, or your pet exhibiting symptoms of pain or disease after consuming the food. No canned cat food that has passed its use-by date may be served, regardless of whether it is spoilt.
How do you fix stale cat food?
Simply adding water is one of the simplest methods to make dry cat food softer. The dry meal should quickly absorb the water, softening it. If required, you can microwave it briefly to hasten this process and make it squishier. For the majority of cats, a little additional water is more than sufficient.
Is it OK to store dry cat food in plastic containers?
Kibble’s fats and oils start to oxidize when they come into contact with the container’s walls. To put it another way, as time passes, the leftover fats and oils that have amassed inside the storage container begin to get rancid and form invisible molds that can seriously harm your pet’s health.