Wet food is an important part of any cat’s diet – it helps to keep them hydrated and provides them with proteins and healthy fats for a healthier, happy life.
Many cats like to nibble on their wet food and won’t eat it all at once, leaving you to wonder how long you can safely leave the food out before it goes bad. You don’t want your cat eating expired canned food – here’s what you need to know to keep your kitty safe and healthy.
How long can you leave out wet cat food?
You might be surprised by how quickly wet cat food can go bad after it’s been put out. Generally, you shouldn’t leave canned cat food out more than 20 to 30 minutes. Err on the side of caution if the weather is warm outside, as this can cause the cat food to go bad faster. If your cat doesn’t finish their whole meal in this time frame, find safe ways to store the rest of the food or throw it away.
You should never leave your cat’s wet food out overnight.
Don’t forget that even if your cat finishes their food, small bits of food will stick to the bowl and these can spoil. Wash your cat’s food bowl after every meal, just as you would for your own.
What spoils wet cat food?
There are a few different factors that can cause wet cat food to spoil. If the food is not kept at a cold temperature, it can start to go bad quickly. That’s why it’s so important to store the food in the refrigerator after it’s been opened. Even if the can hasn’t been opened yet, it still shouldn’t be kept in areas where the temperatures are extremely warm.
Exposure to the open air is also dangerous, because it attracts bacteria to the food much more quickly. It’s also important to avoid exposure to excess moisture, because this can cause mold to grow.
If you live in a humid area, you’ll need to be particularly vigilant about storing your food to prevent this.
Why is wet cat food so important?
Incorporating wet food into your cat’s diet at least a few times per week is a great way to make sure they’re getting variety and more water whilst also getting the nutrients they need. There are plenty of benefits to serving your cat wet food – here’s why it’s important.
High Protein Content
Getting enough protein is something that’s important for any cat. Wet food provides more protein than dry food, so you’ll be making sure that your cat gets enough of this important nutrient in their diet.
When your cat gets enough protein, it helps them build stronger muscles and generally helps to balance out their diet.
High Moisture Content
Another reason why you should provide wet cat food to your furry friend is to keep them hydrated. Cats can increase their hydration through regular servings of wet food (although you should always provide a bowl of water for them as well). The wild cat diet is much closer in moisture content to wet food than it is to dry food.
Dehydration can cause ongoing health problems for your cat, so it’s important to take steps to prevent it with a good daily health routine.
Moves Quickly Through the Gut
Another benefit of using canned cat food is that it moves through the gut more quickly than dry food, meaning it’s less likely to cause vomiting in a susceptible cat.
Easier to Chew
In addition to being easier for your cat to digest, canned cat food can also be much easier for your cat to chew on. This is a particularly important consideration if your cat has ever had dental issues that make it difficult for them to break down food.
How to Prevent Canned Cat Food From Spoiling
Since canned cat food can be very sensitive, it’s important to be vigilant and prevent it from spoiling after you’ve opened it. Here are a few easy things you can do to keep your cat food safe to eat after it’s been opened.
Always check the expiration date.
Before you open a can of cat food, always double check to see when the expiration date is. You should never serve your cat any food that has expired. When in doubt, throw away the can and open a new one with a later expiration date.
Serve the food in small portions.
The longer the food is on your cat’s dish, the more likely it is to go bad. To reduce your chances of wasting uneaten food, serve your cat a small portion of wet food and put the rest of the can away for later.
Put the food in the refrigerator once it has been opened.
If your cat doesn’t eat the whole can of cat food after it has been opened, make sure you store the leftovers in the refrigerator. The colder temperatures will prevent the food from spoiling. To keep the food fresh, put a lid directly over the can to seal it. You can purchase reusable silicone and plastic lids to fit over pet food cans.
Use Ziploc bags to keep it fresh.
Another good way to keep cat food fresh in the refrigerator is to use sealed ziploc bags. As long as the seal is airtight, it will prevent the food from going bad while it is in the refrigerator. This is a convenient way to store your wet cat food if your pet does not eat an entire serving.
Canned cat food is a good way to add some variety and freshness into your cat’s diet. However, it’s important to make sure you keep the food fresh so that it’s completely safe for your cat to eat.