How Long Is Canned Cat Food Good For?

Canned food offers a simple solution to feeding your cat, but did you know how long is canned cat food good for? You want to ensure you check the can’s expiration date before eating it.

The best way to do this is by reading what it says on the bottom of the can.

Cans from high-quality companies should last for at least 18 months, while cans from low-quality companies may not even last a year!

How long is canned cat food good for?

When it comes to feeding our furry friends, I always want to make sure I’m giving them the best.

That includes knowing how long is canned cat food good for, because let’s face it, freshness matters a lot when it comes to our pets’ health and enjoyment of their meals.

It is unclear how long a package would be considered safe since no labeling regulations are set in stone for this type of food.

Here’s what I’ve found out:

Unopened canned cat food can last quite a long time. Generally, it’s good for at least 1 to 2 years past its “best by” date if I store it properly.

That means keeping it in a cool, dry place with a stable temperature.

However, you should check the expiration date regularly and make sure that you throw it out if it expires.

How Long Is Canned Cat Food Good For
How Long Is Canned Cat Food Good For

I always check the can for any dents, rust, or swelling before I use it. These can be signs of spoilage, and it’s better to be safe than sorry.

So, that’s the gist of it. Keeping an eye on those “best by” dates and storing cat food properly makes a big difference.

And when in doubt, I opt to play it safe for my cat’s health and happiness.

Do not consume expired canned cat food; even if the expiration date has passed, canned cat food that has been kept for an extended period could cause your pet to fall ill if consumed.

How Long Is Canned Food Good For After Expiration Date?

Can you eat “expired” canned food? Good news: Shelf-stable canned goods are safe more or less indefinitely, lasting up to five years or more, according to the USDA.

Eating food past its expiration date is typically safe, with a few exceptions.

There is still some debate about how long canned cat food is good after expiration.

A study reviewed by the FDA in 2012 concluded that cats would be fine with canned food past its original expiration date, provided you monitor it regularly.

The study concluded that canned cat food after its expiration date could last at least 18 months and, on average, would last around 6 years before it went bad.

Typically, canned foods are safe to eat well beyond their expiration date. High-acid foods like tomatoes and fruits are good for about 12 to 18 months past their date.

Low-acid foods, such as meat and vegetables, can last 2 to 5 years from the date on the can.

In summary, canned food can last quite a bit beyond its expiration date, but it’s important to handle it wisely.

Proper storage and a good inspection before use are key to making the most of those extra months or even years.

How Do You Know If Canned Cat Food Is Bad?

You can tell if canned cat food has gone bad by looking at the expiration date.

If you have a doubt, you can also use your sense of smell. If the food smells rancid or sour, it will likely expire and should be discarded immediately.

If in doubt, throw it out! Even if you see no signs of spoilage or the expiration date has passed, it is highly recommended that you not feed your pet this food.

What Happens When A Cat Eats Expired Food?

If the food is still good, it will not benefit your pet.

If the expiration date has passed and you feed your cat, it may immediately throw up. If this does not happen and the food stays down, your cat may fall ill from food-borne bacteria or parasites after some time.

Your pet may also develop a condition in which its stomach lining has been damaged, and it cannot properly digest food anymore.

How Long Does Canned Cat Food Last Unopened?

Unopened cans of cat food in a cool, dry place can last up to one year.

Canned cat food should not be stacked on top of each other and should not be stored when exposed to physical damage.

Unopened cans of cat food can go bad after five years, but most experts advise that you throw out any canned cat food that has been hanging around for more than five years.

How Long Is Unopened Canned Cat Food Good For?

Canned cat food that is unopened and in a cool, dry place can stay good for up to one year past its expiration date.

However, once you open it, you should use that can within a month or freeze it for about three months.

How Do You Store Canned Cat Food After Opening?

After opening the can, you should use it within a month and either throw it out or freeze it.

Never place unopened cans in the fridge, as the ice will slow down the spoilage process.

You will also want to seal that opened can in an airtight container to ensure that the food retains its freshness and nutritional value for as long as possible.

Top 5 Ways To Preserve For Canned Cats Food

Canned cat food has been a convenient and cost-effective way of providing your pet with nutrition.

However, it is important to check the expiration date label on the can before you open it. Do not eat if you are unsure if you can use the food after its expiration date!

Here, I look at some simple tips and tricks to keep canned cat food fresh longer.

1. Store in a cool, dry place.

Canned cat food is a heat-sensitive product. Store it in a cool and dry place where the temperature stays close to 70 degrees.

Avoid storing canned cat food in the fridge or freezer since this can cause the can to rust and expand, potentially damaging the seal.

2. Handle cans carefully during transport and storage.

Ensure you don’t damage the bottom of cans while transporting them so that they won’t leak when you store them later on.

Also, try to avoid stacking cans or storing them in a way that makes them vulnerable to physical damage.

3. Check for spoilage.

You must be able to tell if canned cat food has gone bad so that you don’t feed your pet spoiled food.

Spoiled food will have a sour odor and will be sticky or slimy. If you notice any of these signs, throw them out immediately.

4. Throw away frozen cans.

If the can has been stored in the freezer and thawed, throw it away, as it will not last as long as a canned product is still frozen.

5. Keep warm foods cool and cold foods cold to prolong shelf life.

Always make sure that you store warmed-up canned cat food in the fridge before serving it to your pets to ensure that the food remains fresh until the next mealtime.

What’s The Shelf Life Of Canned Cat Food?

The shelf life of canned cat food really caught my curiosity, so I dug into the details.

Unopened, canned cat food typically has a shelf life of one to two years from the date it was made.

But I always check the “best by” date on the can to be sure. After opening, I’ve learned it’s best to use the cat food within three to five days, keeping it refrigerated to maintain freshness.

I hope this helps clear things up!

How Long Does An Unopened Bag Of Cat Food Last?

Bagged dry cat foods are good for about one year after their original expiration date.

Most experts advise that you check the bag for spoilage or signs of mold and throw it out if you notice any.

You should also check the expiration date on the bag before using it to avoid consuming expired food. You can find this information on a sticker in the bag or its nutritional content label.

How Long Can You Safely Leave Canned Cat Food Out?

The Food and Drug Administration suggests that you only leave canned cat food out of the fridge for up to two hours. However, it would help if you never left it outside in hot weather or near a heat source.

The FDA also advises that you keep canned cat food in the freezer for up to three days after its expiration date.

The Bottom Line

Canned cat foods are also created using only good-quality fresh and healthy ingredients for your pets. However, you need to take care of your canned cat food to ensure that it lasts as long as possible.

Canned cat food can be stored at room temperature for around 5 years or longer. If you want to ensure that the food is still good and safe, check the production date on the can and make sure there is no “sell by” date.

I hope this article has helped you learn how to preserve canned cat food.

Please share this article with all the parents of furry feline friends.


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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