Can Cats Eat Cold Food?

Are you a cat owner? Can you relate to your cat’s fastidiousness when it comes to dinner time?

Cats can be finicky when it comes to food, especially their food’s temperature.

Some cats won’t touch the remnants of the last meal from the fridge, while most cats supplement their wet food with a form of dry cat food anyways.

So, can cats eat cold wet food?

The answer is yes. Cats are capable of consuming all types of food – wet and dry – whether it’s hot or cold.

That said, there is a difference between consuming cold wet food and eating inedible cold food.

Eating inedible cold food is the equivalent of feeding your cat dead mice or birds that have fallen on the kitchen floor or have been forgotten in the fridge for a week.

If you regularly feed your cat wet or dry food from cans, you should keep it refrigerated until you plan to eat it, but you shouldn’t store it there all the time.

The manufacturers recommend that you keep the cans of cat food cool in the pantry or at the back of the fridge if you have limited space or don’t have one at all (If you want to keep canned cat food in a cool place, it should be at room temperature only).

Can Cats Eat Cold Food?

If you’re feeding your cat cold food, you may be wondering whether it’s safe to do so and whether it’s beneficial or not.

To feed or not to feed – that is the question! As long as the food is kept in a stable temperature, there’s no reason not to give it to them.

The rule of thumb is that cats prefer their food to be room temperature or cooler so try to avoid warming it up too much or leaving them to eat it at room temperature for too long.

Try to stick with feeding them the same food from the same brand that they eat every day, though, especially in the first couple of weeks they experience it for the first time.

Open a can, then put it in the fridge, and then finish it off a few days or weeks later.

It’s possible that your dry food is kept in a garage or barn and the temperature can get a bit chilly there in the winter.

Whatever the reason, you have now opened the door to the question of whether or not it is safe for cats to eat cold food?

Generally speaking, it is a bad idea to feed your cats cold food, even if it is refrigerated or stored in a place that stays cool.

Give them a piece of chicken or fish from time to time is fine, but there may be some serious consequences when feeding them cold food all the time.

Cats need to eat with the body temperature, not with the room temperature (which is about 70 degrees Fahrenheit). If they’re eating food that is pretty cool, they may have a hard time digesting it.

They will vomit the food back up or it can cause them to stop eating altogether. You can maintain the temperature of their meal too, depending on how you store it.

Can Cold Food Make Cats Sick?

Cold food may make your cat sick if it includes components that trigger her allergies to flare up.

Meal poisoning may occur if hazardous microorganisms are present in the food, especially if any of the ingredients in the food are spoiled or accompanied by other harmful bacteria.

The digestive tracts of most cats are not well equipped to adapt to sudden changes.

Cats need fats in their diets for energy and growth. They also need enough proteins and carbohydrates in their diets for energy and repair of body tissues.

While it may not seem as nutritious as some other things, cold canned food is actually a healthy choice for your cat and her digestive system.

It gives her proteins, carbs, fats, vitamins, and minerals she needs to live her life normally despite the changes.

Unlike humans, their digestive processes are not that delicate and will usually adjust to new ingredients pretty quickly.

It is possible that some cats will require an alternative diet or that an alternative feeding schedule may be required for them to cope with consuming cold food regularly.

Your cat may develop diarrhea, vomiting, and other stomach symptoms if she is allergic to a particular chemical in the food’s composition.

If your cat experiences excessive diarrhea after eating cold food, contact a veterinarian now. They will likely recommend some medication to help treat the symptoms.

Why Does Your Cat Like Cold Food?

This is due to the fact that many microwaves heat water by radiation and do not heat the food itself by conduction or convection like the stove does.

My cat generally eats her dry food at room temperature, but sometimes she eats it straight from the fridge.

The nutritional content of food heated for seven or more seconds may be less than the food’s value in uncooked form.

The addition of water reduces nutrient content.

Do Cats Prefer Warm Food?

Most of the time, you should serve your cat’s meals at room temperature.

You may find a picky cat will at first refuse to eat a meal that is too warm or too cold. However, that feline will soon learn to accept it and will actually prefer it after repeated servings.

Occasionally a cat may have problems with chronic pancreatitis or inflammatory bowel disease that make it difficult for its body to handle hot food very well.

They want their meals to taste and smell the way they’re supposed to taste.

However, a cold meal can also pose a health risk for your cat. When meat of any kind is left out for more than 4 hours, bacteria begin to thrive and multiply.

Your cat’s digestive tract isn’t designed to break down bacteria, so it can lead to intestinal upset and other problems. If your cat doesn’t like cold food, you can cook the meat before feeding it to him.

You undoubtedly already know this if you’ve ever served a cold meat to the family cat only to have her spit it out in disgust.

Most cats and humans enjoy their food at a similar temperature.

Smell and Taste

Cats have been demonstrated to be able distinguish between “warm” and “cold”, and will often actively seek the warm food over the cold one.

Felines prefer warm food over cold because of the taste difference, and their sense of smell is far superior to humans. Warm food is tastier.

Cats prefer warm over cold food because of the taste difference and their sense of smell is far superior to humans.

Because it lacks the same intensity of taste or smell as warm food, cats generally avoid cold food in favor of warmer fare.

Cats can detect and taste the difference between cold and warm food, according to studies. Cold food has a weaker aroma and flavor, making it undesirable to them.

Since a cat’s sense of taste and smell is superior, the cat may refuse to eat its food if it is not served warm.

This cat’s owner had increased the temperature of her kitten’s milk to 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) in order to encourage drinking.


They’ve clung on to that instinct, and adapted it to playing with toys that make no sound so that they can stalk their prey unnoticed.

The majority of cat behavior is derived from the instinctive hunting behaviors of cats. Dogs have been known to eat their feces and even vomit it up after a meal.

Cats hunt prey that is roughly their size and are faster then their prey in most cases.

It is true that your domesticated cat will hunt insects instead of mice, but in the wild, they’d probably hunt small rodents too.

In the same way that they would enthusiastically tear apart a fresh kill, cats are built for highly active predatory hunting behavior in the wild and they are unable to resist the urge to seek out and stalk prey.

How To Warm Up Refrigerated Cat Food

Leave it On the Kitchen Counter

Refrigerated cat food may be heated either by placing in an oven or by microwave heating for 5 to 6 minutes at half-power.

This heating method is fast, easy, and convenient; however, the nutritional value of the foods may diminish slightly upon heating.

The advantage of this approach is that you won’t have to open up a can to expose your cat to excess heat or coldness.

This may seem like a minor issue, but certain canned foods will explode when exposed to either heat or coldness especially for an extended period of time.

Heat it Using Hot Water

Bring a small pot of water to a gently simmer and pour the hot water over the cat’s food bowl or directly into the can of cat food to warm it.

Make sure the water level isn’t too high, since if you put too much water inside, it might spill over and this could make a mess out of your refrigerator and some of your other food items.

Place the cat food can immediately back in the container after removing it from the water so it stays warm.

Food will gradually warm up more if you rest it in the hot water for a little while longer before feeding it to your pet.

Serve it to your hungry cat after it has reached the desired temperature.

Microwave Cat Food

Make a microwaveable dish for the dry kibble and repeat the warming steps above; however, the dry kibble does not need to be stirred as it is already in crumbles.

Reduce the power of the microwave to the lowest setting. Microwave the cat food for 30 seconds, stirring halfway through.

In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the dry cat food for two minutes on high.

Remove from the microwave and stir well. Allow to stand for two minutes more, then stir again.

Repeat until the food is heated through and thoroughly mixed.

Using a wooden spoon to stir helps break up clumps that may form in the wet cat food but do not heat the food for longer than 60 seconds at a time, as longer heating times may pasteurize the meal.

Use a clean finger to test the temperature before serving to your cat.

Also Read: Why Do Cats Never Finish Their Food?

How To Feed Your Cat Cold Food Safely?

If your cat already consumes the mentioned types of cat foods, then it is safe to give her cold food from time to time.

However, before determining whether or not to feed cold food to your pet, it is important to give her some healthy treats for cats.

Older cats have a greater chance of getting sick when they are fed cold food. This is because their immune system will be under great stress due to the sudden change in temperature.

It is best to feed elderly cats warm meals instead of cold ones. However, if you insist on feeding your senior cat cold foods, you should make sure that she is carrying the extra weight well and is at a high quality.

It’s better not to give your cat cold food at all if she is already senior since her digestive system is already worn out and might already be suffering from nutritional deficiencies.

Cats may be able to eat spoiled foods too but it is recommended to not give it to them since they may get food poisoning if they eat the spoiled food. You should always keep in mind that cats may get bored if they have the same types of foods every day.

To select the best type of cat food for your cat, you should take into consideration any hairballs problems she may have.

It’s best for pregnant and nursing cats to only get warm food from their mother by nursing or eating canned foods.