What Should I do with Expired Cat Food

Cute cat eating on floor at home

Cats require good, substantial food, just like us humans. But, as cat food expires, you may be wondering what to do with it. We’ve collected the best data from outstanding websites; keep reading to find out more!

Expired cat food should be thrown in the garbage as soon as it is past its expiration date. If the cat food is in a can, then the can should be recycled. Expired cat food is technically safe to feed to cats, but it isn’t recommended because its nutritional value will decrease as the years go on.

Curious to know why expired cat food shouldn’t usually be given to cats? Then you should keep reading! We have everything you need to know for your cat food needs!

Why Shouldn’t You Feed Cats Expired Cat Food?

Expired cat food is technically okay to feed to pet cats, but is not recommended. There are a couple reasons why that is. Read below to see those reasons.

Loses Nutritional Value

As cad food becomes expired, over time it will also lose nutritional value. Because of this, you may not want to feed the expired cat food to your cats. If it is pretty close to your best buy date, it will probably be fine. But if it is quite expired, it’s probably best to keep it away from your cats.

It Becomes Spoiled

When cat food expires, it can become spoiled. This is a big reason not to feed your cats cat food that is past its expiration date. If you think your cat food is spoiled, err on the side of caution and throw it away.


When cat food has been sitting on the shelf in the pantry for a very long time, it’s possible that the cat food could get contaminated by other things, and therefore be unsafe for cats to eat. The food could be contaminated with mold, other food, bugs, or other similar things. These would make it dangerous for cats to eat.

Throwing Away/Recycling Expired Cat Food

Because you should just throw away cat food once it’s expired, you should probably know how to do that! Lucky for you, it’s pretty easy! If your cat food is in a can, you should take the foot out with a spoon and dish it in the garbage. You can then recycle the can. If your cat food is in another recyclable container, do the same thing, and recycle the container it came in. If the cat food came in a container that isn’t recyclable, you can just toss the container and all of its contents in the trash.


What If I Fed My Cat Expired Food?

bag and can of food for cat isolated icon vector illustration design

If you fed your cat expired cat food, there is no need to freak out! Your cat should be okay as long as they aren’t showing symptoms of being sick. Watch them throughout the day for symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, change in mood, and weight gain or loss.

If you notice any of these symptoms, take your cat to the vet as soon as possible!

Signs of Expired Cat Food

If the best buy date is not clear, but you think your cat food may have expired, there are certain signs you can look for that can help you know if it’s expired or not. If the cat food has a bad smell, it is most likely bad. If it has mold, it’s definitely not safe for cats to eat. Lastly, if it has bugs or worms in it, make sure you toss it quickly, and do not feed it to your cat!

How to Keep Your Cat Food From Going Bad

There are certain things you can do to keep your cat food good for longer periods of time. Even if the cat food is expired, this will keep it at its best quality for as long as possible. Below are the things you can do to!

  • Keep your cat food in the container it came from, and make sure it can be sealed tight. If it cannot be, go ahead and move it to an airtight container.
  • Make sure to keep your cat food in a dry, cool location. Be aware of what you put it next to, you want to make sure it doesn’t become contaminated by other things.
  • You can definitely keep cat food in the fridge or freezer, and it shouldn’t lose its quality and nutrition
  • You should also keep opened cat food in the fridge in order to help it stay better for longer. You should put some type of covering over the cat food, and remember not to keep it in there for too long. You don’t want it going bad!

Cat Food’s Shelf Life

Cat food has a surprisingly long shelf life, which is great for your little felines! Read below to find out how long wet cat vs dry cat food stays good for.

Wet Cat Food

Wet cat food typically stays good for up to three years unopened. But once the cat food is opened, it should be put in the fridge, which shortens its time span to about a week. Or until it begins showing signs of spoilage.

Dry Cat Food

Dry cat food has a shorter lifespan than wet cat food. Dry cat food usually only lasts up to a year unopened. Opened dry cat food usually lasts about 21 days, then after that needs to be thrown out. Make sure you are paying attention to the expiration dates on your cats food.


Why Does The Right Food Matter?

Delicious and healthy meal for pet. Bowl of wet food surrounded with its ingredients: fish, vegetables, meat and cereal.

We all love our cats and want our little, furry friends to be happy and healthy. To do this, we have to feed our cats food that is not expired and nutritional. Feeding cats expired food just will not be good for our pets. It increases the chances of them getting sick and having to go to the vet. If you see that your cats food is expired, throw it out, and go buy your little friend some more food that is fresh. Fresh, non-expired food makes all the difference!

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