5 Cat Food Storage Mistakes You DON’T Want to Make

By PetMD Editorial on May 22, 2014

How to Safely Store Dry Cat Food

“How you handle [cat] food once you have it at home can make a big difference in how long it remains fresh and maintains its ideal nutritional profile,” says Dr. Jennifer Coates. The following are five mistakes you don’t want to make in order to best keep your cat safe.

1. DON’T Throw Away the Original Packaging

High-quality cat food bags have been designed to keep out the elements and maintain its freshness for as long as possible. Keeping the cat food bag also has the added benefit of retaining the cat food’s barcode, expiration date, and batch code – all of which are important information to have, especially in the event of a cat food recall.

2. DON’T Expose Cat Food to Air

Sealing the cat food bag after every feeding helps prevent unnecessary exposure to air and humidity — both of which speed up the rate at which pet foods degrade and increase the risk of bacterial contamination like Salmonella.

3. DON’T Store Cat Food in Sunlight

Exposing the cat food bag to sunlight can elevate temperatures and humidity inside. This will also speed up food degradation and increase the risk of Salmonella contamination as well as other bacteria.

4. DON’T Keep Cat Food Past Expiration Date

Cat food expiration dates (sometimes known as “best by” or “use by” dates) are established to ensure the safety of your cat. Don’t take the risk by feeding your pet expired cat food.

5. DON’T Mix Old with New Cat food

You may be tempted to transfer that last bit of cat food from the old bag to a new bag. Don’t! You may be unknowingly tainting your brand new bag of dry cat food.