There’s no doubt that wet food is the most convenient food type to give to felines. It has a high nutritional value, it’s easy to measure, and there’s little chance that your cat will get sick of the taste.
However, it can be tricky to keep wet food fresh. If you don’t use a whole can of wet food and leave it as is in a pantry, there’s a risk of it spoiling or being infested with insects.
Hence, the most sensible choice is to refrigerate it, but can cats eat cold wet food? Let’s find out in this article.
Is It Safe To Feed My Cat With Cold Wet Food?
Can cats eat cold wet food? Is it safe to feed them cold food in general, or is a food’s temperature something that we can overlook?
First off, keep in mind that there is no one answer to the said questions. For instance, yes, cats can eat cold wet food. However, this still isn’t the case for every feline. There are still some risks associated with eating cold wet food. Thus, the level of safety will still vary depending on the cat.
For reference, it’s usually safe to feed cold wet food to adult cats that are generally healthy and aren’t picky eaters. For kittens and those with sensitive digestive systems, on the other hand, it won’t be a good choice.
Note that the temperature of the food that we’ll feed our cats is an important factor to consider. This shouldn’t be overlooked, no matter how insignificant it may seem at first. Moreover, cold wet food isn’t really an ideal food state to serve to cats. It may be safe in some cases, but you may still have issues with getting your cat to eat it.
Can Cold Food Make Cats Sick?
It won’t always be the case, but there is definitely a chance for cold food to make cats sick. The temperature itself can cause harm to a feline’s digestive system. In some cases, bacteria and other toxic organisms can form on the wet food, negatively affecting the cat that will eat it.
For an overview, here are some of the most common sicknesses that cats can pick up from eating cold food:
More often than not, cold food, whatever food type it is, can upset a cat’s stomach. This will result in a number of digestive issues, such as diarrhea, stomachache, and constipation.
It usually happens when it’s the cat’s first time eating cold food after being used to having either warm or room temperature meals. The feline’s stomach can get shocked or overly sensitive to the sudden change in feeding routines.
Keep in mind that if you continue to feed cold food to your cats even after they display the said issues, they may develop more serious health conditions, such as urinary tract infection (UTI), pancreatic cancer, liver disease, and more.
Read also: Best Cat Treats For Sensitive Stomachs
No matter how clean you think your cold wet food is, there’s always a risk that it has already been a den of unseen bacteria even after just one night in the fridge.
This is common for refrigerators that haven’t been cleaned in ages. In some cases, on the other hand, the bacteria-related issue is caused by what happens with the wet food’s formula itself when chilled. Either way, nothing good will come out of it. You will only end up exposing your cats to the risk of bacterial infection.
There’s no limit to what part of your feline’s body will be affected by a bacteria, but the most common results include feline colds, salmonella, coughs, and likes.
Loss Of Appetite
It’s common for cats to lose their appetite if they happen to eat something they don’t like. This goes the same for cold food, no matter what kind it is. It’s usually a short-term reaction, though, and they only do it to show you that they disliked the meal. Hence, if this happens, take it as a sign that your cat and cold wet food aren’t compatible.
Note that loss of appetite can happen even when your cat doesn’t get to eat the cold wet food you prepared. Sometimes, the smell itself can turn them off. Their instincts are mainly the ones that can cause this since there are some cats that believe that cold food isn’t fresh or safe enough for them to eat.
Read also: Do Cats Get Tired Of The Same Food?
Should Cat Food Be Refrigerated?
Wet cat food, specifically the cans that have been opened, should be refrigerated. This is necessary since it’s essential to keep the leftover fresh and prevent it from issues like spoiling, insects, bacterial formation, and likes.
Moreover, the coldness from the fridge will also help the food in maintaining its nutritional value and quality, both of which can deteriorate if left outside at warm or room temperature.
If we’re talking about sealed wet food, however, then you can store them as-is. Since the contents inside haven’t been exposed to air and other external factors, there’s no need to neither protect it from contaminants nor keep it “fresh.”
Should You Warm Up The Cat Food From Refrigerator?
If you have the time, then you should definitely warm up the cat food that you recently took out from the refrigerator. The sole reason behind this is that most cats prefer warm meals over cold ones, and, thus, you have a better chance of catering to your feline’s appetite by warming up the wet food.
If, for any reason, you can’t warm up the food, one better alternative than just feeding the cold food as-is is to let the wet food cool down for at least five to ten minutes until it’s at room temperature level.
How To Warm Up Refrigerated Cat Food
There are many ways how you can warm up freshly refrigerated cat food.
The first method involves simply transferring the leftover wet food into a clean ziplock bag and running it under either lukewarm or room temp water. After about five minutes or so, you can expect the food to be warm enough for your cat’s consumption.
Another easy way of reheating cat food is putting the leftovers in a microwavable container and then setting it up inside a microwave under low heat. A 5-minute timer will already be enough for this.
You can also utilize your stove if you don’t have a microwave. Pour water into a pan, transfer the wet food to a ziplock bag, and heat the ziplock along with the water. Make sure that it’s set to the lowest heat level, and wait for about three to five minutes.
How To Feed Your Cat With Cold Food Safely
Although feeding cold food to your cat isn’t really recommended, this doesn’t mean that you can’t try to do it safely. Here are some precautions and tips that you need to remember:
First, remember to test the waters regarding your cat’s preference. Try to feed only a small amount of cold wet food to see if they like it or not. After that, do some heavy observing in order to find out if they will go through some kind of health issues, minor or major, a few minutes after eating.
You should also be aware of key info, such as when cold food isn’t recommended. This is common for pregnant cats, those that have underlying health conditions, and felines that have generally sensitive stomachs.
Wrapping it up: can cats eat cold wet food?
There is actually no definite answer to the question. It’s a case-to-case scenario, so you will have to take certain factors, such as your cat’s preference and current health state.
Generally, however, your cat won’t go through health issues just because of eating cold food. The only exception will be if they have sensitive stomachs. If not, then your problem will mainly revolve around whether your cat will like cold food or not.
Still, for the best and safest option, we recommend feeding wet food that is at regular room temperature.