How Long Does Canned Cat Food Last: Best Answer For This Question

The question that comes to the mind of many is how long does canned cat food last. We have discussed that in this blog post.

Canned cat food is a good choice for cats who are picky eaters. It’s also great for those elderly felines with dentures or other dental problems, as it doesn’t require chewing and contains all the vitamins and minerals they need to stay healthy.

If you have a fussy eater on your hands, give canned cat food a try!

How Long Does Canned Cat Food Last?

The expiry date of canned food is marked on the container. As long as you purchase unopened canned cat food, it will last for two years in good condition if properly stored in a cool, dry place away from sunlight.

How Long Does Canned Cat Food Last
How Long Does Canned Cat Food Last

When purchasing canned cat food, check out the expiration date to ensure it hasn’t passed. The expiration date will usually be printed somewhere on the can of food.

After opening a canned cat food, it will remain fresh for a couple of days if put in the refrigerator.

If your cat refuses to eat after being opened, discard the remaining portions and sanitize the can or container before reusing.

In general, unopened canned cat food will stay fresh and edible for up to two years.

The Storage Of Cat Food

It is important to properly store canned cat food in your home to ensure it lasts for its entire shelf life and does not spoil. Unopened canned cat food will last up to two years, but only when you store it correctly. The right storage conditions for pet foods include:

A cool, dry place away from sunlight

Unopened canned cat food should be stored in a cool, dry place away from sunlight.

The pantry is often an ideal location for pet food storage. If your house gets very warm in the summer months, store the canned cat food in the refrigerator to keep it fresh and edible.

If you purchase large quantities of canned cat food, it may be best to keep some in the pantry and some in the refrigerator. This way, you can ensure your cats always have access to fresh food while ensuring the food does not spoil.

How long does canned cat food last

Once you open a can of cat food, it should be wrapped tightly to prevent oxygen from getting inside the container. It is also important to store opened canned cat food in an airtight container because otherwise, it will dry out.

When you store the canned cat food in an airtight container, you can safely keep it outside the refrigerator for a few days (no longer than one week).

After this period, you should return it to the fridge, where it will last another couple of days unopened before becoming stale.

If your cat refuses to eat it after being opened, you can safely discard any remaining portions and clean the container before reusing.

Also Read: How Long Does Cat Food Last

How Long Does Canned Cat Food Last In The Fridge?

Storing unopened canned food in the refrigerator will keep it fresh for up to 7 days after opening, depending on how quickly you go through a can.

As we already know that cats normally eat once or twice per day. They are unlikely to make quick work of an entire can of food. If you have 2-3 cats, it is safe to assume they will only eat half of the can to last for around 3 days after opening.

If you have more than one cat, ensure you properly store unopened canned cat food in the refrigerator, so it does not spoil for up to 7 days.

Once your cats finish off a can of opened canned cat food, it will be safe to consume if it has been kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Label any opened canned cat food with the date you open it, and do not keep the leftovers for more than one week (3 days in the refrigerator after opening).

What Is The Shelf Life Of Canned Cat Food?

Canned cat food will usually have a “Best By,” “Best if Used By,” or “Best Before” date printed somewhere on the can. This date is normally 2-3 years in the future, but it is important to check for yourself.

The shelf life of Cat Food greatly depends on how long it has been kept in the pantry and how long it takes you to go through a can of food.

If waiting to buy pet food when on sale, do not purchase more than you think your pets will eat within 3 months or so because otherwise, it may expire before your cats finish it off.

Generally speaking, unopened canned cat food will last 2 years from its “Best By” date as long as it is stored correctly.

Once you open a can of cat food, the remainder will last another 3 days in the refrigerator after opening and 7 days if kept in the pantry.

How Long Does Canned Cat Food Last On The Shelf?

Canned cat food will lose its freshness and nutrient value over time, even in the best storage conditions.

After an unopened can of cat food has been in your pantry for one year (2 years in the refrigerator), it should be discarded and replaced with a fresh supply. The expiration date on the can should reflect how long it will remain fresh.

Open cans of cat food that have been kept in your pantry for over a year should be discarded.

Canned Cat Food Last On The Shelf
Canned Cat Food Last On The Shelf

If you begin to notice an unpleasant odor or see mold growing inside the can, that is a sign the food has spoiled and should not be eaten. If you feed your cats any spoiled canned cat food, they will likely become sick.

If you are unsure how old the canned cat food is, assume it has gone bad and does not let your cats eat it.  It is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to spoiled canned cat food.

How Long Does Canned Cat Food Last After Being Frozen?  

As with most perishable foods, freezing is an effective way to prolong the shelf life of canned cat food.

When properly sealed in airtight containers, you can freeze canned cat food for up to three months without any negative effects on quality or safety.

If you decide to freeze your cats’ canned food, make sure it is tightly covered and placed inside a freezer bag. Canned cat food lasts for about 3 years after the expiration date if stored in a cool environment away from direct sunlight.

If it’s not properly stored, canned food can develop harmful bacteria such as listeria and salmonella, which may cause problems such as vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea. If your kitty is suffering from any of these symptoms after eating spoiled canned food, please get in touch with your veterinarian immediately.

The Bottom Line

The best-canned cat food will last for a year. In the case of wet-style canned cat food, it is important to store it in an airtight container and refrigerate it after opening. 

If stored correctly according to the manufacturer’s instructions, any canned pet food will be safe and usable after opening for a year or more.

A good rule of thumb with all types of foods is that if they are not being consumed within 10 days, then throw them out! If you’re concerned about your pet’s health, be sure to consult with your vet before making any changes to their diet plan.


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.