Can Canned Cat Food Go Bad in Heat? The Answer You May Surprise

Can Canned Cat Food Go Bad in Heat: We all love our pets and make sure that they get the best nutrition through proper food. So if you are somebody who has a cat then you might be feeding it canned foods that would make you wonder whether you should feed your cat the canned cat food left in a hot car for long.

Well, Exposing canned cat foods to high temperatures for an extended time has a toll on their flavor, fragrance, and overall quality.

In this article, we are going to discuss all of that and also understand what is the best temperature to store your cat’s canned foods along with whether can cat food sit in a hot car, can dry cat food go bad in heat, does medical cat food go bad, etc.

Can Canned Cat Food Go Bad in Heat

Will Canned Cat Food Go Bad in Heat?

Yes, canned cat foods can go bad in excessive heat. Even if you think that canned foods are indestructible regardless of any conditions, heat is potentially responsible for spoiling the entire quality of the food on its own.

Canned cat foods must never be exposed to temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit and always must be kept within 84 degrees Fahrenheit or below. Once opened, the canned cat food can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 7 days but if it is left out in the heat at the same time it becomes rancid readily.

Unfortunately, if by any chance a cat consumes this excessive heat-exposed canned food then a botulinum attack occurs due to the growth of the bacterium clostridium botulinum which is fatal.

You can also store canned cat foods in a temperature-controlled environment where the room has a low ceiling temperature for up to 72 hours to also make sure that the food is not contaminated with bacteria or fungi.

Can Canned Cat Food be Left in a Hot Car? | Can You Leave Canned Cat Food in a Hot Car?

Absolutely yes to canned cat food being left in a hot car. Canned cat food must not be left in hot vehicles for longer periods because cars retain more heat due to their metal body. Heat overexposure will adversely affect the nutrients of the food, may cause the container to explode out of heat pressure, and also lead to germs and bacterial growth.

On comparatively cooler days the food might sometimes be okay but if the temperature in your car has risen beyond 90 degrees Fahrenheit or you have extended the time beyond that then you must be especially careful to not serve it to your cat anymore.

Cat foods’ aging is directly influenced by heat, dry cat food can survive the temperature but wet cat foods will simply start to rot. Consuming good dry food will also guarantee that the cat’s chow matures properly with time and remains appetizing.

How Long are Canned Cat Foods Safe in the Heat?

The maximum time canned cat foods can stay safe in excess heat is one hour. Canned cat foods have their limits on which their tolerance towards certain ranges of temperatures varies. Canned cat foods might burn after a certain point of time if stored at reasonably high temperatures like others would do thus spoiling it.

Glass jars may show drastic color changes and nutrient loss if exposed to direct sunlight. Temperature fluctuations have the potential to significantly damage the shelf life and quality of canned cat foods. Canned cat foods must never be directly kept too close to the oven.

They can be microwaved at reasonable temperatures or heated through the double boiler method at the time of service. After reaching its maximum temperature tolerance limit even though the food is edible its flavor and nutritional value will be gone.

Also, one great thing about cats is examining food before eating. So if you are confused about whether the canned cat food has gone bad or not, take a tiny amount of the food and just serve it in front of your cat. If your cat refuses to consume it, discard the food immediately.

Can Canned Cat Food Go Bad

Does Wet Cat Food Go Bad In Heat?

Yes, wet cat foods can sometimes deteriorate. If you do not open canned cat food then you must store it in a refrigerator and use it within the next five to seven days unopened cat food can last for about 4 months to 3 years but must be kept in the refrigerator just after it is opened.

Wet foods are more prone to decompose and cause bacterial growth it due to their texture. Even if your cat prefers to eat wet food, try to steer clear of that as it increases the risk of contracting bacteria which in turn causes harmful diseases.

Always make sure you clean your dishes properly to stop the growth of bacteria on the leftover food particles that will mix and rot the food that you store in them. You can keep your cat’s canned food for about 5 to 7 days between 40 to 45 degrees Celsius and dispose of it after that.

Cats never finish a whole can of food in one sitting so you can also use a zippered disposable bag to store the leftover food and refrigerate it for 4 days maximum. To know more about Can Wet Cat Food Go Bad visit our article and get a complete idea of wet cat food storage practices, shelf life, etc.

Best Canned Cat Food Storage Temperature

The best temperature considered to keep canned cat foods good is 90 degrees Fahrenheit, that is 32.22 degrees Celsius for open cans maximum for an hour. Even if the container is filled or not the danger of its deterioration will increase drastically once it is exposed to temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

If canned cat foods are exposed to extremely high temperatures for a long period then their acid and moisture content will react with each other negatively which in turn will degrade the nutritional value of that particular dish.

How Do You Know If Canned Cat Food is Bad?

You can understand that your canned cat food has started going bad just by looking at the can. If the can has started bulging out and the food has started smelling weird then be sure that your food has gone bad.

Bulging is also a clear sign that the container is no longer properly sealed which in turn will allow bacteria and fungus to infiltrate the food.

You may also see large dents or tampered upper surfaces as a sign of food degradation. A broken or disturbed can is similar to open cat food that can be kept at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes straight before chowing.

If you have forgotten that your can has been left in your car for a couple of days then the warmest temperature must be considered as a reference to understand that the food is already expired.

Canned cat food generally doesn’t smell very nice but this unpleasant odor can also come from spoilage that does not make it safe for consumption as food-prone bacteria always do not produce prominent odor change.

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FAQs on Does Canned Cat Food Go Bad in Heat | Can Cat Food Expire?

1. Can canned cat food be in heat?

Canned cat foods must not be exposed to heat for prolonged periods because overheating destroys the natural flavor, fragrance, or quality of the food and also rots it due to fungal growth.

2. Is it bad to leave canned food in a hot car?

Cars generally retain more heat due to their heavy metal bodies. Hence if a food can is kept there for long and the temperature rises above 90 degrees F then the food will automatically turn bad.

3. Does cat food go bad in the sun?

Yes, overexposure to direct sunlight not only makes glass cans lose their color but also makes the food enzymes react with each other to rot the food.

4. How can you tell if canned cat food is bad?

Take a look at the can itself, if the can shows bulges and dents it means the food inside is not properly sealed anymore. The food has already been exposed to bacteria and will generate a foul smell.

5. How long can wet cat food sit out?

There is an argument about how long can you leave wet cat food out. The general answer is that 1 to 2 hours at room temperature can stay out not more than that.

6. How long is wet cat food good for after opened?

When it comes to room temperature conditions, the opened wet food should stay for 4 hours. And the refrigerated food can be good for 5 days.

7. Does wet cat food go bad if left out?

Yes, wet cat food purely goes bad if left out for more than 3-4 hours. So, don’t be left out at room temperature. For knowing does wet cat food need to be refrigerated? check out this article fully.


So as you guys have already read, it is not a very good idea to leave your cat canned food in hot places for an extended period. Even if you happen to do so accidentally then discard them and don’t feed them to your cat taking into consideration its health.

On a cold or not-so-warm day, the canned food may stay ok but on hot summer days, it’s a big no-no. Hope you liked this article, make sure you follow all the instructions above and take good care of yourself and your cat.

Also, go through our articles on Can Dry Dog Food Go Bad if you have dogs at your home and want to learn about their food. For more suggestions on does dry cat food goes bad, do comment us below.

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