How long does dry cat food last?

The way you store your cat’s food can have a big impact on the quality and freshness. The freshness of any food tends to lose once you open the seal. Dry cat food can remain fresh inside an unsealed bag for just a few days, after which it will turn stale, which can become unsafe for your cat to consume.

You may often tend to buy bigger bags while buying your cat’s food, which is understandable since it is cheaper and saves trips to the store. The problem with this practice, however, is that when you break open the seal, the air gets into the food, and it starts losing the freshness along with its nutritional benefits.

The thing is, once oxygen touches the cat food, oxidation begins. This chemical processing will reduce the minerals and vitamins in the food by tainting the oil and fat contents. Chemical oxidation will eventually lead the food to rot, making it highly unhealthy and off-putting for your cat. Heat is another factor that can drastically affect the quality of your cat’s food.

The danger of feeding rancid food to your pet

Feeding rancid food to your cat means that it is consuming food without protein and vitamins, which are crucial for a healthy body. In severe cases, this can lead to diarrhea, heart problems, arthritis, macular degeneration, liver problem, cancer, etc. The good part, however, is that you can prevent these issues by taking initiative measures to ensure feeding fresh and healthy food to your cat.

You should always store your cat’s food in a cool and dry storage facility. Taking these measures will prevent the destruction of vitamins and minerals, while at the same time prevent the oxidation of fats. The packaging of cat’s food provides special preservation, so it will be best if you can keep it in its original packaging as this will also help in retaining the flavors.

Keeping your Cat’s Food Fresh and Healthy

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There is no way that bacteria can grow in extreme, dry conditions. Dry cat food has bacteria in it but, due to the dry nature of the food, bacteria can’t multiply in such conditions. Most pet food manufacturers also do the testing before packaging for traces of bacteria and salmonella, which are harmful for consumption.

The problem with leaving your cat’s dry food on its plate is that it will make him sick because the food will dry out and go bad. This is the reason why many manufacturers have started packaging the cat food in zip seals, which keeps the food fresh after it has been opened.

So, how do you keep your cat’s food fresh? There are many measures you can follow. One of them is to not put too much food on your cat’s bowl. You can start by monitoring how much food intake your cat can take at one time. This way, you can figure out how much food you need to feed your cat for a healthy and balanced diet.

Make sure that you do not leave food out on your cat’s bowl for more than 48 hours, even if you are feeding dry food. Food that is left out for long oxidizes as soon as the oil contents come in contact with oxygen. This is the reason why, as a pet owner, you have to be responsible for changing the food in your cat’s bowl every other day.

Some of the cat food tends to oxidize slower than others as manufacturers add anti-oxidants on them, which will ensure that the food remains fresh longer. You can opt to buy such products as they will last longer.

Storing your Cat’s food to Slower Oxidization

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Opt for food that comes with seal tips: Buying food with seal tip (zip lock) packaging will ensure that your cat’s dry food does not oxidize fast. Before sealing the bag, make sure that you squeeze all the air contents out of the package.

Airtight containers: Your cat’s dry food will stay fresh if you store it in concealed containers. Buy the kind of container which has the label ‘airtight’ mentioned in it.

While buying dry cat food, make sure that the bag has no hole or tear in it. Food bags get damaged while it is being transferred from one storage unit to another, and it is common to come across bags that are damaged. Check carefully because some pet stores will try to conceal the tear with tapes.

The issue with buying damaged packages is that you do not have any idea for how long the food content has been exposed to oxygen and light. No matter how many discounts these packages are selling for, feeding these types of food to your cat can be toxic in many ways.

Maintaining a Healthy Environment for your Cat

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Before you feed any meal to your cat, always make a habit of washing the bowls and containers. This is highly important because a lot of pet owners simply rinses their cat’s bowl with water. Always clean all your cat’s bowls and toys as there might be traces of the old dry food sticking on these items. When these items are left unwashed for long, it may cause serious health problems and stomach infections to your cat.

If you continue feeding food to your cat in dirty bowls that have stale food from an earlier meal, it could lead to serious health issues. Some of these health problems may turn long-term and cause illnesses like hair loss, kidney failure, liver problems, cancer, reproductive complications, etc.

Even though dry cat food has a longer-lasting period than wet food, it still has a certain freshness date-frame. You will not want to feed stale food to your cat, which has no nutritional value. For extending the shelf life of dry cat food, you can follow the various measures which help in sustaining minerals and vitamins. However, you must remember that there is an expiration date mentioned on the package for a reason. Therefore, to keep your feline companion healthy and active, feed food that has a rich balance of all the nutrients it requires daily.

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