Can Cat Food Expire? – Instructions For Proper Storage





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Robert Taylor

All cat fares have an expiration date, whether granules, pates, or treats. Oxidation, when exposed to air or light, will cause them to go rancid quickly. So can cat food expire? How to keep them delicious?

Let’s find the answer through the following article.

Can Cat Food Expire?

Usually, cat food is granular, packaged, or canned wet and freeze-dried one. Quite a lot of pet owners, when shopping, often buy in bulk or large bags to feed their pets gradually.

Preservative-free eats are a good choice for accessing natural nutrients, but they have the disadvantage of spoiling faster than other products. The higher the fat content of the fare, the quicker it becomes rancid.

In addition, errors in the preservation process can make foods not only not retain their original flavor and aroma but also make them more susceptible to rancidity, mold, and pathogenic bacteria. Common mistakes pet owners make are:

  • Dispose of the packaging 
  • Leaving it out in the air for a long time.
  • Leaving it exposed to direct sunlight leads to creating an environment for Salmonella bacteria to arise
  • Use it that is close to the date or past its expiration date.

Related Post: What To Avoid When Buying Cat Food? Pet Owners Should Know

How Long Is The Food Good For?

You can maintain its quality for a long or short time depending on the type, brand, and how you store it. Those with many preservatives are often less nutritious but more convenient because you can keep them for a long time.

Wet Type

Intact bags/boxes can maintain their quality for a long time, up to three years. This is an ideal number if you accidentally buy a lot and have not used them.

However, once opened, they can only last 5-7 days when refrigerated; and only 4 hours at room temperature. The freezer storage method can extend the shelf life by another 7 days.

Dried Type

Unopened bags can last for 6-12 months. After removing the seal, it is best to feed the cats for 14-21 days. They may look fine for up to three months but have lost a lot of nutrients.

Get more information about “how long is dry cat food good for” here.

How To Know If The Food Has Expired?

Expired foods affect the quality of cats' meals
Expired foods affect the quality of cats’ meals

Due to many factors, it can expire even before the expiry date on the package. Here’s how to check:

Food Test

In summer, fare spoilage is faster than in winter. Check out their mold growth, texture, and scent variation.

Check Expiration Date

Check the best-before date on the package to ensure the product is fresh and nutritious. You can contact the manufacturer for more details.

Check The Pet’s Reaction

The reaction of cats can tell you about their quality. Thanks to their excellent sense of smell and taste, they won’t have an appetite or even look at their bowl when something is wrong.

Related Post: Why Do Cats Like Treats More Than Cat Food? All To Know

How Dangerous Is Expired Cat Food?

Expired fares can lead to a variety of health risks of varying severity. The first problem your pet will encounter is a digestive problem. This often happens with spoiled ingredients in eats.

Pets face symptoms such as indigestion, vomiting, and diarrhea for several days. It would help if you stopped using expired meats as soon as you notice these signs.

Malnutrition is also an issue that you need to be concerned about. Expired and spoiled meat will lose much of its nutritional value, preventing cats from getting enough of their daily needs.

Unfortunately, owners may not realize this until they show signs of moodiness, fatigue, and weight loss. Over time, this condition will lead to more serious problems with organs and bones.

In fare, E. Coli bacteria, Salmonella, neurotoxins, etc., will spread through the bloodstream and can lead to life-threatening problems.

How To Store Cat Food?

It’s important to protect the meat from harmful agents. Please note the following principles:

  • Keep eats in a cool, dry place like the pantry or kitchen cabinets. Please do not leave them in humid or very hot areas, as this is an ideal environment for mold and bacteria to grow.
Avoid direct contact with harmful agents
Avoid direct contact with harmful agents

  • Keeping products in their original packaging is quite easy, but opened ones are more complicated. Dry granular eats are easy to rot and mold, so you need to carefully roll the mouth of the bag or use a fixed clamp to limit air entering.
  • Put large packs in a glass or plastic container with a tight-fitting lid. Let’s rely on how much cat food per day to choose the right pack size, and do not feed the pet with the opened bag after 6 weeks.
  • For wet food, place unused portions in a container, close the lid tightly, and refrigerate. To keep them longer than 7 days, you can divide them into small pieces and put them in the freezer.


Above is the information about the question: Can cat food expire? Since they are easily damaged when exposed to the air, you must choose quality products and learn how to store them properly to ensure long-term quality.

Thanks for reading, and see you in the next posts.

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Robert Taylor

I love cats, I have more than 10 years of experience in raising cats. I want to share with everyone useful knowledge about cats.

Robert Taylor

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