Hey Pet Parents & Pet Lovers,
Since we had no problems with kibble before, we never really supplemented feeding either of them wet food, especially because Beau didn’t particularly like it. Every can we tried he would turn his nose up to even though we tried so many different flavours and brands.
When switching over to wet, I’ll admit I didn’t know too much about it. All I knew is health wise it would be better for getting water into my little ones, and that there is plenty of sugar in it so we have to watch our little one’s teeth more closely. But one of the biggest questions I had was: how long can I leave wet food out? Good question, eh?
Wet food is definitely a less convenient method of feeding, especially for pet parents who aren’t home frequently or in my case: when you have a cat who doesn’t like to eat more than a quarter of a can at a time. It’s true! For some reason, Beau will eat a quarter cup of kibble in one sitting, but he won’t eat more than a quarter of a can (if even that) in one sitting. So there’s a lot of walking the food back to the fridge for us.
It’s commonly recommended that wet food is put into a sealed container (or you can use a can lid as we do) within 20-30 minutes of it being out.
What’s the worry of leaving wet food out?
Well simply put, bacteria. Basically, when wet food is open it begins to oxidize as it makes contact to air and promotes the growth of bacteria.
Because Beau averages about 1/4 of a can in one sitting we grabbed an awesome can lid to make sure that the food was kept safe while we store it in the fridge.
We got a silicone lid because they’re much easier to clean and dishwasher safe. We also noticed that the majority of plastic ones only cover 2 sizes of cans, however, the silicone ones usually manage three. We’ve had good experiences with both, so don’t worry too much about making “the right choice.”
On a more surface level, wet food dries out fairly quickly. I know we’ve left wet food out by mistake and even after an hour or so it begins to solidify and become… well… quite gross to clean. I’m sure your kitty isn’t going to be much of a fan as soon as it changes to that texture…
Is it okay to leave dry food out?
Well, to be completely honest… not really. I mean, this is up for debate.
It’s not that dry food will expire or make your little ones sick if left out for too long, it’s the fact that oxidization will also make the food lose nutrients.
It isn’t as big of a concern as wet food, but you’d still want to grab yourself an airtight container if your food bag doesn’t have a zip-sealed top.
I’m always worried that my little one won’t eat the food after it’s been in the fridge since it’s so cold… what do I do?
Good question! It’s your call based on how your kitty likes their food.
You can throw wet food in the microwave for 10-15 seconds to warm it up and get that food smelling nice and stinky for your little one.
However, we’re not superfans of microwaves in this household. Instead, we put a bit of hot water into Beau’s meals. This gives him extra water to drink to make sure he’s fully hydrated. We also make sure to take extra precautions to make sure the water is not too hot and won’t burn him or his cute little tongue.
So while your cat food going bad is going to depend on the temperature especially, it’s a good idea to only leave the wet food out for a maximum of 30-minutes.
It’s important to make sure that all dishes are removed efficiently as cats have been known to lick up dried cat food bowls. Over time this may cause health problems, especially if bacteria was left to build up along the food bowl.
If you’re hoping to leave some food out for your cat so they can be fed for the night I would recommend leaving out some kibble instead of wet food.
So pet parents, I’m curious… how long do you usually leave your wet food out for? Let me know in the comments below.