If you’ve decided that wet food is best for your cat, it’s critical that you keep your preferred brand of cat food safely stored. Food that is out of date, improperly stored, or has been exposed to air for an extended period of time can be harmful to your cat’s health. To ensure your cat is getting a healthy meal, keep opened food refrigerated, unopened food in a cool, dry place, and avoid common storage mistakes.
Method 1 Refrigerating Opened Wet Food
1. Place any leftover food in an airtight container. If you did not consume all of the food in the packaging, store it in an airtight container as soon as you open it. Do not expose the food to room temperature air for any length of time. It is acceptable to use a plastic container with an airtight lid or a zip lock plastic bag.
2. After 4 hours, throw away any opened food. Even if you have leftover food, do not eat it if it has been left out. If the food has been exposed to air for four hours or more, it should be discarded. Bacterial contamination is possible after 4 hours.
3. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Place the airtight container in the fridge. It should ideally be kept in the refrigerator at 40 °F (4 °C). If you haven’t eaten it in 5 days, toss it out.
4. Check to see if any of the extra food can be frozen. It is also possible to keep unused cat food in the freezer. First, look over the packaging to see if there is anything stating that the food should not be frozen. Alternatively, divide the food into single-serve portions if necessary. You can then thaw individual meals as needed. Although food can be stored in the freezer for a longer period of time, it is best to use any leftovers within a month.
5. Keep opened refrigerated cat food in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Some wet cat food is available in cans, but you can also buy refrigerated cat food. This type of food must be refrigerated as soon as it arrives at your home. Once opened, this type of cat food can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
If you haven’t opened the food yet, you can keep it until it expires.
6. Before serving, combine chilled food with warm water. Cold food is generally disliked by cats. Warm water should be added to the food. This will warm the food but not to the point where it is too hot for your cat to eat.
7. Mixing new and old foods is not a good idea. Don’t mix old, stored cat food with new, opened wet cat food. Although both may be safe for your cat to eat, you may unintentionally contaminate the new food. Serve the stored food first, and don’t open the new food until the stored food has been used or thrown out.
Method 2 Storing Unopened Cat Food
1. Check the cat food’s best by date. Cans of cat food can typically be stored for a long time if unopened. However, it is always a good idea to check the best by date on the can before feeding the food to your cat. Throw out food that has passed its expiration date, even if you purchased it recently.
If you recently purchased a can of cat food with an expiration date, you may be able to return it for a refund or exchange.
2. Store the food in a cool, dry place. Food should not be stored in an area that exceeds 100 °F (38 °C). Too much heat and humidity can cause the cat food to degrade. Keep the food in a cool, dry place away from sunlight and water. It is best to store the food in your cupboard or pantry.
It is permissible to keep food in a very cold place. This will not cause the food to deteriorate.
3. Food in damaged containers should be discarded. Even if you have properly stored the food, inspect the container before storing it. If you notice that the packaging has been ripped, it is best to discard the food. Containers of food with visible mould or dampness should also be discarded.
4. Maintain the original packaging. It is best to keep the food in its original packaging until you are ready to consume it. Do not discard the original packaging after opening the food and storing it in an airtight container. If the food brand is ever recalled, the packaging will provide you with the necessary information.
Creative Commons License