How Long Does Canned Cat Food Last?

New cat owners are often surprised to discover that their favourite canned cat food doesn’t last forever.

In fact, canned cat food often has a shelf life of around one year or even less. However, just because the can goes bad doesn’t mean the food inside will go bad either!

The quality of food inside your can depends a great deal on when you open it and how you store it once you open it.

Does Canned Cat Food Expire?

Yes, canned cat food has a set expiration date.

A cat’s supper is not safe for leftovers beyond one day.

Consequently, cat food is susceptible to the same rules that apply when dealing with stored foods for humans; if in doubt, throw it out.

Deterioration is the main hazard of canned cat food getting out of date.

Bacteria, on the other hand, grow and multiply at room temperatures.

Bacterial infections, such as salmonella and listeria, do not always lead to serious conditions in cats.

In less than 15 minutes, kittens, who should be given smaller, more frequent meals, will eat their meal in under 15 minutes.

A spoonful or two every three to six hours is the norm for all but the most finicky cats.

Germs may be spread by contaminated fingers and utensils or washed dishes but the chance of these happening is relatively low.

Keep the food storage container sealed so air does not get into it.

Storage temperature is also a critical factor to keep canned cat food from rotting from the inside.

As soon as you open a can of cat food, keep it in the refrigerator or freezer to prevent spoiling until the cat eats it.

The following dish may be warmed since most cats loathe cold food.

Food that has not been used in a length of time should be discarded and replaced with new batch.

How Long Does Wet Cat Food Last Unopened?

Cans of cat food that are more than a year old may look the same, but they may not contain the same nutrients as before.

On the cans, the ‘best by’ date and ‘use by’ date are printed.

However, it has a one-year shelf life from the date of manufacture for dry cat food.

How Long Does Canned Cat Food Last Opened?

Canned cat food is only safe for human consumption for 24 hours after the can has been opened.

During warm days, you should remove any uneaten food after 20 minutes or even sooner; if your pet does not finish the whole portion.

High moisture, air exposure, and warm temperatures cause the vitamins and minerals in canned cat food to be easily destroyed after opening.

Any food left in your pet’s dish after 2 hours should be thrown out.

Each time you feed your dog or cat, always empty the dish and wash it thoroughly with hot, soapy water.

Cover and refrigerate a partly opened can of food no longer than three days.

It’s important to bear in mind that the nutritional value of canned food diminishes with time, as well, so feed canned food that is within the expiration date listed on the can.

Using a marker, write the date the can was first opened on the can as well.

This will allow you to keep better track of your pet’s food and ensure freshness and safety.

Also Read: Can Cats Eat Dandelions?

Can You Use Expired Canned Cat Food?

No, you should not give your cat food after the expiry date on the package.

The health and nutrition of your cat may be compromised if their system is still trying to get rid of older food particles that have already been digested and absorbed into their system.

Cats are at a high risk if suffering from dehydration from diarrhea or vomiting and the termination might be fatal.

These health issues range from basic to significant, beginning with stomach issues.

Dietary waste is excreted by cats after vomiting, so it is important that the cats’ digestive systems are clean and prepared for the new food you are giving them to eat after the old food has been removed from the digestive tracts of your cats.

It is possible for cats to suffer from long-term side effects from eating expired food, which can make their lives miserable and shorten the quality of their lives.


If there are no evident signs of rotting on the packaging, cats may consume outdated canned cat food.

This, however, will not meet your pet’s daily nutritional requirements.

Also, don’t give your cat anything sticky or sweet as it might lead to vomiting and diarrhea.

Before tossing away a can that shows any of the abovementioned signs, consult a veterinarian.

If there are no evident signs of rotting on the packaging, cats may consume outdated canned cat food. This, however, will not meet your pet’s daily nutritional requirements.

Furthermore, do not feed your cat any products that exhibit signs of germs or insect activity.

Leave a Comment