How Long Does Wet Cat Food Last Once Opened? Best Analysis

How long does wet cat food last once opened? It’s a question that has come up for many pet owners who can’t always keep the food fresh.

It may be tempting to think that wet cat food will last indefinitely once opened, but this is not the case. Left open and unrefrigerated, the food will spoil and attract bugs or unwanted animals like mice or rats. It’s important to know how long it will take for your wet cat food to go bad so you can make sure you store it appropriately in between feedings.

Most commercial wet cat food products will have an expiration date on the packaging. These dates are usually one to two years from when they were manufactured. If you don’t see a date on the packaging, it’s unlikely that one is there.

Nestle Purina Friskies states that their wet cat food, including their Fancy Feast and 9-Lives brands, will last up to three days (72 hours) once opened if covered and stored in the refrigerator.

How long does wet cat food last once opened?

Once opened, wet cat food lasts 5 to 7 days. Then it should be discarded.

“Mazuri states that their wet cat food, including their Whiskas and Fancy Feast brands, last up to four days once opened if stored in the refrigerator.”

“Taste of the Wild states that wet cat food simply won’t last more than two days once opened if kept at room temperature and not refrigerated.”

How Long Does Wet Cat Food Last Once Opened
How Long Does Wet Cat Food Last Once Opened

“Birds Eye states that fresh wet cat food with an expiration date can last up to seven days after opening if kept refrigerated and used as soon as possible.”

“Nestle Purina Friskies states that once opened, fresh wet cat food will last 5 to 7 days and that it should be discarded after this period.”

“Mazuri states they have a 24-hour shelf life for their moist cat food. They suggest storing it in the refrigerator if unopened.”

Can I leave wet cat food out overnight?

No, it is not recommended. Once opened, a package of wet cat food should be refrigerated and used as soon as possible or discarded. If you want to store the food for later use, it should be kept in the fridge at all times and consumed within one week of opening.

Leaving wet cat food out overnight will promote the growth of harmful bacteria.  This can cause your cat to become ill and even die.

What is the shelf life of dry cat food?

The shelf life of dry cat food is usually long, especially if it has a lengthy expiration date. This is because dry cat food requires no moisture to be consumed and doesn’t attract bugs like wet cat food. If the package is properly stored, dry cat food can remain fresh for many years.

Does wet cat food need to be refrigerated after opening?

Yes, wet cat food should be refrigerated immediately after opening. Once opened, it should be stored in the fridge and used as soon as possible as it will spoil quickly if left out of the refrigerator.

Refrigerating wet cat food will prevent it from spoiling. Wet food should be used within 4 to 5 days to ensure freshness and the best nutritional quality.

How long are unopened cans of wet cat food good for?

Unopened cans of wet cat food can be stored at room temperature and used when you need them. Generally, they will last up to two years if the package is not opened. Wet food that has been opened should always be refrigerated as soon as possible to prevent it from rotting.

It can be frozen if you want to preserve unopened cans of wet cat food longer. A study at Kansas State University reported that unopened cans of wet cat food stored in a freezer (-18 degrees Celsius) were good for up to two years. Also, the quality of the food was not compromised after thawing and eating.

Does wet cat food go bad if left out?

Yes, wet cat food goes bad if left at room temperature for more than 2 hours. If left out on the counter without refrigeration, it will begin to spoil and rot within 2 days. In 2 days, many of the nutrients and vitamins it contains will be lost.

Once opened, moist cat food loses a significant amount of moisture in only 4 hours. It should be kept in the refrigerator and used as soon as possible to prevent spoiling and preserve freshness.

How do you store wet cat food after opening?

If you don’t plan to feed it within a day or two of opening, the cat food can be left in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for a much longer period.

How to Store Wet Cat Food

It’s also a good idea to transfer your cat’s food leftovers to an airtight container and keep them inside the fridge. You can put it in a zip-top bag or cover it securely in plastic food wrap so that no air can get in. Be sure to use it within 4 to 5 days for its best quality. Discard leftovers if not used within 4 to 5 days.

What happens if my cat eats spoiled wet food?

If your cat eats spoiled wet food, it can make him very ill. He may even need to be hospitalized to treat his symptoms. The sooner you realize he has eaten the spoiling food, the earlier treatment and care can begin.

If you think your cat has eaten spoiled or bad food, it’s important to contact your veterinarian right away. The vet will be able to diagnose and treat him as needed.

How Long Will Canned Cat Food Last Once Opened?

Once opened, wet cat food can last up to 5 to 7 days in the refrigerator. It can spoil after only 2 days if it is not properly refrigerated. This means that your cat’s food must be eaten quickly or transferred to an airtight container for refrigeration if you don’t plan to feed it within a few days.

If the package does not have an expiration date, you should use it within 1 week of opening. But that doesn’t mean you should let it sit at room temperature for a week.

Final Thoughts

The best way to ensure your cat’s wet food doesn’t spoil is to feed him small amounts of food at regular intervals. This will allow the food to stay fresh longer, as it won’t be exposed to the air all at once.

Don’t forget to follow these guidelines:

1. Don’t feed your cat old wet food that has been sitting out for a long time.

2. Keep opened packages of wet food refrigerated and use them within 3 days, or they can become rancid and unfit for consumption.

3. Be sure to use unopened cans of cat food within a year of purchase for optimum freshness.

4. Don’t leave food at room temperature for long, especially if you don’t know how long it’s been sitting out.

5. Throw away any spoiled wet cat food immediately and clean the area with soapy water to prevent your cat from getting sick and getting near the spoiled meal and getting sick.

6. Don’t open new cans or packages of wet food until you’re ready to serve it


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.

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