Does Canned Cat Food Go Bad In Heat?

Caned cat food is exposed to high heat during its manufacturing process.

Since they’re made of solid material, they can continue to remain cool as long as they’re stored. However, if the food becomes exposed to sunlight or heat, it may become health hazards.

Here are some tips on how to store canned cat foods that will prevent them become more harmful to your cats, and the humans who eat them.

Let’s start now!

Does Canned Cat Food Go Bad In Heat?

Heat is, indeed, the worst enemy of canned cat foods.

Food kept in cans spoils fast if the can is left exposed to heat or not refrigerated after opening.

All of your food should be stored properly to prevent bacteria from growing and multiplying and make you and your family sick.

How to Tell If Canned Food Has Gone Bad?


A leaky container has a bad seal and the food inside has probably spoiled.

Do not consume food from leaking containers.

A soiled label might indicate that the food was stored in a warm place or its seal is broken.


Cans that have swelled, either in their plastic or metal lids or in their cans is a sign of spoilage.

When infected with hazardous bacteria, canned foods can produce a toxin called botulinum. Botulinum is a neurotoxin that can cause severe food poisoning in humans and in cats who eat contaminated canned foods.


Any rusted can should no longer be consumed as is a health hazard.

It’s safe to consume if it’s rusted only in the plastic lid but not in the can itself.

If the rust is adhered to the can itself, it’s safe to remove it and cover it with aluminum foil.


It should not be eaten if dented as it indicates that the food inside has spoiled and becomes unhygienic.

A dent on the can may however indicate plastic contamination.

Cans with minor dents should however be consumed as they are safe to eat.

The Milky Material

If the liquid covering the vegetables or meat in the can is white or translucent instead of the usual red color, it means the food has spoiled and may create a possible health hazard to your cat.

How Do Hot and Cold Temperatures Affect Canned Foods?

Temperature variations may significantly reduce the quality of canned pet foods.

Because of the hot and cold conditions the cans have to withstand from being stored before they are shipped from the plant to the shops, there may be traces of bacteria remaining in them.

Too Much Light

Food canned in transparent jars that has exposure to light can spoil and become harmful to your pet.


A frozen can can only indicates spoilage of its contents.

To defrost a frozen can, place it in a cup of water inside your refrigerator.

A can that has been thawed at room temperature may be refrozen.


High temperatures are hazardous because canned foods may become sterilized and lose their nutritional value if exposed to high temperatures for long periods.

For this reason, canned foods marketed in hot climates are usually limited to canned chicken or beef only.

How to Keep Canned Food Fresh for a Long Time

Because you have greater control over the temperature of your home than you can over the outdoors, you may want to store cans in your refrigerator or in a cool, dark place to extend their life.

Extreme temperatures are more likely to be controlled indoors than outdoors and therefore are better for your canned pet foods.

Under Your Mattress

If you don’t have any spare room in your house or live in the city where space is a premium and you don’t have a walk in refrigerator in your apartment, you may want to place canned food under your mattress.

The cold temperature will slow down bacterial growth and also make them last longer. Usually, it will take 3 to 4 hours before some canned foods reach this temperature, but some cans will take longer.

A Pantry in the Kitchen or an Additional Closet

Food storage is best done in an area where it is cool and dark – especially if you live in hot climates – and where you can occasionally rotate its contents.

A ClosetMaid shelf system will provide you a lot on room to store your canned and dry pet supplies, and is easily accessible when you want to pick it up.

Is It Possible to Refrigerate Leftover Food Inside an Opened Can?

Yes, if covered, leftovers can be refrigerated in a can for up to three days.

However, to preserve the quality and nutritional value of the food, it should be refrigerated as quickly as possible after opening.

What To Do with Leftover Canned Cat Food?

If you can’t finish all the cans of cat or dog food, you should first place them in an air-tight container or tupperware to keep them from spoiling.

Do not refrigerate food that is near its expiration date.

Discard any food that has accumulated mold or smells bad.

It’s better to discard them and consume fresh canned or dry food instead.

Also See: Can Canned Cat Food Be Left In A Hot Car?


All in all, the best way to store canned cat foods is in a cool and dry place.

Canned cat food should never be exposed to extreme heat or sunlight for long periods of time because the cans will become hot to the touch and the food inside will become dangerous to eat. Other storage places include refrigerators and cabinets.

However, canned cat food should not be stored in warm places or places with temperature fluctuations to prevent the lids from rusting and the food from becoming stale.