September 24, 2021
Cat Food Storage and Safety
With pet owners themselves taking on healthier diets, there has been increased motivation to feed our pets better foods as well. They get the same benefits from a healthier diet that we do.
You can have the best cat food in the world, but if you are not storing it properly, it will diminish in flavor and quality. Moreover, contaminated kibble or wet cat food can cause serious health problems for your pet.
If you have not given much thought or put effort into healthy cat food storage practices, you may want to start. The good news is that, by employing some simple practices, you can avoid contamination and ensure that your cat food stays fresher longer.
Adopting the recommendations below will help ensure that your elderly cat, newborn kitten, or any feline in between, are getting the nutrition they need. So you can know that they are living the healthiest, happiest lives possible.
Cat Food Storage Basics
Since cats are obligate or “true” carnivores, they cannot live on a vegetarian diet. They are dependent on specific forms of nutrients found only in animal tissue. These include certain essential fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins.
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Due to their natural inclinations, cats prefer foods that reflect what they otherwise would be consuming in the wild. This is part of the reason cats can be finicky eaters. Texture, odor, temperature, and flavor all affect their willingness to accept a particular food.
To retain the elements that make quality cat food attractive to your pet, there are a few things you can do.
If possible, place the food higher off the ground, to reduce enticements for insects or vermin.
Wash and dry all your pet bowls between feedings, as well as scoops or other utensils you use for serving.
While you’re at it, wash water bowls every day. These simple steps will help cut down on the formation of bacteria.
While you can leave dry food in your pet’s bowl a little longer, don't leave wet food out for more than a few hours. If your pet is not eating all the food in one meal, the best practice is to reduce the amount you are giving them at each feeding. Besides keeping the food fresh, this will help cut down on waste.
If your pet is not eating all the food in one meal, the best practice is to reduce the amount you are giving them at each feeding. Besides keeping the food fresh, this will help cut down on waste.
Keep the Original Packaging Information
It’s a good practice to store your pet food in its original container. There are several reasons for this.
Besides remembering the brand name and type of food, it allows you to access the expiration date, universal product code, and lot number. These can be helpful if, for whatever reason, you need to return the product.
Should you need to report the food for serious concerns, the expiration date and lot number will come in handy. You can use them to know when and where the food was made. It also can help the manufacturer identify and address problems with other food from the same batch.
If you decide you want to store your pet food in a plastic container, put the whole bag in there. This also will limit the prospect of the container impacting the odor or taste of the food. You can still keep the product information or tape it to the side of the container (if you cannot fit the whole bag in there).
Use a Plastic or Metal Container
Once you open a bag of cat food you expose it to the elements, and it begins to diminish in quality. The biggest culprits of spoiled food are moisture, high temperatures, and the air itself.
This is one of the reasons to consider using a separate container for cat food storage. Here are some tips on selecting one and best practices for storage.
Plastic and metal containers are suitable, but the most important thing is to make sure they are air-tight. It can be more difficult to find metal containers with locking mechanisms or tight seals, but they do exist.
The main advantage of using a separate container is that it helps keep the food fresh longer.
Containers keep insects and rodents away. Whether you are storing the food in your home, garage, or shed, you want to limit the potential of attracting ants, roaches, mice, or other pests.
If the food is in a place that is accessible to your cat, a container also can help keep them out as well. It keeps your pet from getting into the food and eating too much. This is especially important if your cat is on a special diet.
Thoroughly wash and dry the storage container between each new bag of kibble. Even if you are storing it in its original bag inside, the container walls could still accumulate fat and spawn bacteria. A quick rinse and dry will help you avoid these threats.
Resealable containers are a great way to keep the original packaging without the need for a separate container. While most brands come in standard packaging, some companies have recognized the convenience and effectiveness of airtight resealable cat food packaging.
What About Refrigeration?
While refrigeration isn't necessary, it can help keep food fresh and last longer. Here are a few tips.
It is not necessary to refrigerate kibble or unopened wet cat food, but you should refrigerate any opened wet food. This will help preserve it. Place it inside a plastic storage bag to keep it fresh and from drying out
It is okay to freeze wet cat food, but remove it from its original container first. You can freeze kibble as well, then thaw it out as you need it. Store frozen cat food as you would your own food. Use thick freezer bags and do not keep them for overly long periods.
Learn More About Cat Food Storage
Now that you know some best practices of cat food storage, you can ensure that yours stays fresher longer. It will give you the peace of mind that your pet is eating safe, quality food so that they can live the healthiest, happiest life possible.
Go! Solutions is premium-quality, nutrient-rich food for your pets. We believe your furry family members deserve food made with the same love and care as we put into meals we serve our other loved ones.