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Old 12-15-2010, 07:23 AM
Status: "Still Loving My Tar Heels!" (set 8 days ago)
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
33,224 posts, read 28,286,043 times
Reputation: 40267


I recently changed from dry kibble to wet because Oscar was vomitting almost everyday. With Wellness wet he has not done so in several weeks. YEAH.

But I miss the convenience of dry food and filling up the dish once every 2 days or so. I feed the boys on the bathroom counter(bad dog) and I would be running back and forth to the fridge all the way across the house 5 or 6 times a day. Even with 2 seventeen lb cats, they don't eat but less than a full teaspoon several times a day.

So I have been putting a plastic lid on the can (small) and just feed them when they run into the bathroom with me. At this time of year (it was 17 degrees here in N.C. this a.m.) will the food go bad if I don't keep it in the fridge? Also they don't like the food cold.
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Old 12-15-2010, 07:37 AM
Location: In a cat house! ;)
1,425 posts, read 3,172,956 times
Reputation: 1465
I feed an all wet diet as well. 3 small meals a day. The Wellness rep told me the food can stay out for 20 minutes (I think he was being VERY conservative.) and can be refrigerated up to 3 days.
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Old 12-15-2010, 07:38 AM
Location: Wichita, KS
1,463 posts, read 2,662,826 times
Reputation: 912
Generally any food from a can - human or pet - is subject to bacteria and mold after a certian period of time once that seal from a can is open I only give the shelf life at room temp a few hours just to be on the safe side. Even at the vet if Jensen doesn't eat all his food after an hour they put a baggie over it and pop it in the fridge.
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Old 12-15-2010, 09:08 AM
Location: Tampa, FL
2,638 posts, read 8,310,995 times
Reputation: 3437
Lisa Pierson DVM states that its ok to leave it out as long as 12 hours. I have done this with no ill effects. Remember that a cat's digestive tract is much shorter than ours and has a faster transit time. Cats are much less susceptible to food-borne illness than humans are.
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Old 12-15-2010, 09:18 AM
Location: Raleigh, NC
2,617 posts, read 3,669,999 times
Reputation: 2313
OK, I'm being funny here. Any cat owner knows that you must set your alarm clock 2 hours before feeding time. That way you can take the food out of the frig and it will have time to warm up before giving it to kitty.

I've noticed that many times my cats might just gulp down the food regardless of temperature. I like to leave it out for about 15 min or so. Long ago I tried to microwave it. I must have put it on a plate or something. That was not a good idea.
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Old 12-15-2010, 09:25 AM
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12 hrs sounds reasonable as the maximum.

I leave the food out for usually no more than 6 hrs and often, if my cat is rejecting the wet food, I wrap it up and pop it in the fridge after leaving it out for about 2 or 3 hrs.
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Old 12-15-2010, 09:28 AM
Location: Philaburbia
28,189 posts, read 43,301,617 times
Reputation: 44637
We give the cats fresh wet food twice a day, so it stays out for about 12 hours. In the summer, it gets funky sooner than it does in the winter.

As for the cats not liking cold food, stir in a little bit of hot water to bring the food to room temps. I've also heard of some folks who warm the food slightly in the microwave.
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