Does Wet Cat Food Go Bad? Best Analysis

Does wet cat food go bad? Cat food does not go bad. However, if the food is exposed to water and is not dried out by the time it is eaten, there can be a negative reaction due to bacteria which leads to an upset stomach.

Cat food is not a stored item. It is meant for consumption and should be prepared fresh. Cat food goes bad, but it will depend on how long it is left out in the open or kitchen cabinet before you buy some.

If your cat eats the wet food right away, it should be no issue going bad that quickly, so long as you have an extra supply on hand. 

The main reason to get fresh food for your cat is to be able to see that it is fresh. Fresh food is palatable; cats will quickly eat it and stop going for the old. If you buy your cat’s food in a plastic bag, and the bag was not sealed properly before you took it out of the refrigerator, bacterial growth could make your cat sick.  Some bacteria can cause illness if the cat eats pre-packaged kibble in a plastic bag.

When does wet cat food go bad?

Wet cat food should be refrigerated immediately after opening and used within 5 to 7 days. Then it’s likely to get worse. It only stays good at room temperature for four hours. If your cat does not eat it within 4 hours, discard the food.

If your cat has been sick, it is advised not to feed them wet food until a veterinarian clears it as safe.

Does Wet Cat Food Go Bad
Does Wet Cat Food Go Bad

If you cannot feed your cat wet food that is fresh, then canned pumpkin can help with diarrhea and upset stomachs.

Does wet cat food go bad once opened?

Yes, wet cat food does go bad once opened. Open refrigerated wet cat food is good for up to 5 days. Open refrigerated wet cat food should not be left out for more than four hours. An opened container of wet cat food should be kept closed.

Does wet cat food go bad in heat?

Cat food should not be left out in excess heat for long periods as overexposure to heat can affect the nutrition of the food.

Many wonders if they can keep wet cat food outside in the heat and keep it longer than 5 days before opening. Some cat stuffers actually tell you to keep a box of wet cat food in the sun, with a cooler nearby. This is not recommended as sunlight can worsen it in several ways.

Aerosol spray can be used to keep wet cat food fresh. Carbon dioxide gas is also known to help keep wet cat food fresh for longer.

Does wet cat food go bad after opening?

Wet cat food does not go bad after opening if it is kept refrigerated. Wet cat food should be kept covered and kept in the refrigerator at all times. The expiration date is on the package. You can also look at the bottom of your wet cat food package where it says when it was made and when it should be used.

If you have more than one container of wet cat food, make sure to use the oldest first so that you don’t have a lot of old, spoiled cat food in your refrigerator.

After opening and refrigerating the wet cat food, it should be used within 5 to 7 days. If your cat does not eat wet food within this time frame, discard the food.

Does wet cat food go bad sitting out?

There is debate over how long wet cat food can sit outside, but the consensus is that it should only be left indoors for 2-4 hours at room temperature. Next, wet cat food will dry out and thicken and become less appealing to your cat and a breeding ground for bacteria. So then it should be discarded.

Does wet cat food go bad in the fridge?

No, wet cat food does not go bad in the fridge. Wet cat food should be placed into the refrigerator as soon as it is opened. This will keep the food cool and fresh for longer.

Does wet cat food go bad in my pantry?

No, wet cat food should not be kept in your pantry. It should be kept refrigerated. The expiration date on the package is marked or can be looked up online if you do not see it printed on the bottom of the package.

How long does canned cat food stay open?

Unopened canned wet cat food can last from 4 months to 3 years but should be sealed and refrigerated immediately after opening and used within five to seven days. The age of canned wet cat food can help determine whether it is safe to eat.

How long does opened wet cat food last?

The proper way to store opened wet cat food would be in the refrigerator. If the store Shelf Life (the amount of time it will be good once opened) is more than five days, you should use it within five days. The number of years wet cat food has been open is only a factor in personal safety, as in not eating.

How do you know if wet cat food has gone bad?

The wet cat food should have an expiration date on the package. This is usually printed on the bottom of the package. When you open wet cat food, it should be refrigerated and used within 5 to 7 days. Be aware that it might be exposed to bacterial growth if it sits outside the refrigerator for more than four hours.

How should I store wet cat food that has been opened?

Wet cat food should be stored in the refrigerator. The cold temperature keeps the nutrients in your cat’s favorite foods fresh, and you can use them within five to seven days of opening.

How to Store Wet Cat Food

If you do not have a refrigerator, canned wet cat food can be kept on the counter. It is recommended that most canned wet cat food stay cool and covered when it is away from the refrigerator.

What happens if cats eat old wet food?

Old wet food can also cause dehydration, so always discard it if you don’t use it within 5-7 days of opening.

If your cat eats rotten wet food, it will become unwell rapidly, usually within one hour. Vomiting, tremors, agitation, hyperactivity, and extreme thirst will quickly occur within a short period. Your cat may experience seizures and difficulty breathing if it has a particularly severe case of diarrhea.

How do wet cat foods get bad?

Many of these products come in pouches, meaning they are highly processed. The canned cat food can sit open for months or years on the shelf before being opened, but that’s not enough time for bacteria to develop.

A lot of wet cat foods come out of factories and are shipped to supermarkets or stores. If they sit open for long periods, they can get stale.

When you open the packages, the wet food can start to ferment. The air in the package allows bacteria to grow inside the bag and then make their way into your cat’s stomach when they eat it. It will cause diarrhea or upset stomach.

Final Thoughts

Take the time to research wet cat food thoroughly. Do not be afraid to ask the attendant or owner of the store if they know if the food is fresh. You can also ask if they carry it before you buy. You can save money on wet cat food if you want to buy cheaper brands, but they are not as nutritious as well-known ones.

Most people do not realize that wet cat food has an expiration date, so do not be afraid to throw out canned wet cat food if it is past the expiration date. So be sure to take good care of your cats by ensuring their food is safe for them to eat.

If you have more questions about how cats should be fed, please get in touch with our team at for further assistance and advice.


How long is cat wet food good for?

Cat wet food can be kept for a short time if it is refrigerated in an air-tight container. It must also be consumed within the expiration date printed on the label.

Does canned wet cat food go bad?

Yes, canned wet cat food can go bad. However, it will last a lot longer than dry cat food.

How long does wet cat food stay good?

Wet cat food is generally safe for up to six months after expiration if you do not open the package.

I have old wet cat food in my refrigerator; how long can it be stored there?

It is best to discard opened wet cat food beyond the expiration date.

How to store wet cat food after opening?

Please keep it in the refrigerator and use it within 5 to 7 days of opening.

Does wet cat food go bad if left out?

When you open a wet cat food package, it will start to ferment, and bacteria can grow inside the package. If this happens, the wet cat food will go bad quickly and can cause your pet to get sick.

How long can wet cat food be refrigerated?

Canned wet cat food can be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator if it is sealed and has not been opened. It is best to keep it refrigerated.

What happens if I leave open wet cat food outside my refrigerator?

If your wet cat food falls outside your refrigerator, do not skip the expiration date. Bacterial growth can begin within hours, causing your pet to get sick.


Hi there! My name is Koushik; I am a cat lover. I specialize in writing about pet care & food. I have a wealth of knowledge on cat food niches and related subjects. I have worked in the pet industry for over 5 years and am passionate about helping cat owners provide the best care for their furry friends. With knowledge of cat food and nutrition, I aim to share their insights and help cat owners navigate the world of cat food niches. I enjoy playing with my two cats, reading, and exploring new cat food brands in my free time.