Can Canned Cat Food Go Bad in Heat? – All You Need to Know

Canned food is delicate, and if you do not keep it in suitable storage, it will deteriorate in quality even before its intended shelf life is up. So what are the best storage conditions? Can cat food go bad in heat? 

Read on to find out more.

Table of Contents

What Makes Canned Cat Food Go Bad?

An adorable cat

(An adorable cat)

We always get advice to buy canned food for our cats. And true to the word, unopened wet canned food can last for three months to three years. If it doesn’t go bad, expect flavors to change over time. 

Here are the reasons why.

  • Growth of mold due to high humidity
  • Bacteria growth due to exposure to air
  • Rancidity due to high temperatures or hot weather

Can Canned Food Go Bad in Heat?

Cute red tabby cat drinking from a metal bowl

(Cute red tabby cat drinking from a metal bowl)

According to experts, you need to store the cans at room temperature to keep cat food in good condition. 

But some propose that canned food can remain in a good state regardless of the storage heat conditions. Let’s delve in deeper. 

In Hot Weather?

Yes, canned food will lose its flavor and eventually go bad in the heat and hot weather. According to the FDA, the ideal storage temperature should be no more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Food can degrade more quickly under hot temperatures. 

Generally, chemical reactions double in intensity for every 10 degrees Celsius rise in temperature. This breakdown can result in nutritional loss and alter the food’s look and flavor. Additionally, a lot of canned food varieties contain bacteria known as thermophiles that love hot conditions.

In A Hot Car?

Keeping canned food out of a hot car is advisable. Because your car’s interior temperature may soar to a blistering 130 degrees Fahrenheit when the outside temperature is around 80 degrees, ideally, we should keep it in a cool, dry place to maintain its nutritional value.  

How To Tell If Canned Food Is Bad?

Cat eating dry cat food

(Cat eating dry cat food)

Look For Bulging

A bulging can indicates that the contents are spoiled, and you should discard them. But, it isn’t always that a bulge indicates spoiled contents. Other causes include buckling, overfilling, denting, and improper canning process.  

Open A Can And Smell It

Canned food isn’t suitable for human consumption, and the smell may be unpleasant. But if you can tolerate it, smelling the can for unusual odors can help determine if the food is spoilt. Remember, not all spoilt foods have an unpleasant smell. Therefore, be careful when feeding them to your cat.

Offer A Small Amount

(Cat eating wet canned food)

Cat food is costly; only some people want to dispose of their canned food. Therefore, an easy method to test if the food is bad is to offer a small amount to your cat. If the food is bad, your cat will most likely reject it. However, be careful not to poison your pet.

How to Store Canned Food?

Cat food in an open can

(Cat food in an open can)

There’s a high chance that your cat won’t consume all the food in the can in one go. Consequently, you must know the ideal storage conditions to keep the food from going bad. 

Can Canned Cat Food Go Bad in Heat: Storage Temperature

The best storage temperature is below 85 degrees Fahrenheit (anywhere between 50 to 70 F is the best). Any exposure to temperatures greater than 100 F accelerates the rate at which the canned food gets bad.

Can Canned Cat Food Go Bad in Heat: Storage Location

As much as canned food has a long shelf life, keeping it in an ideal environment is essential. Keep all the food in a cool, dark place and at room temperature. Ideal locations include the pantry floor, cupboard, or fridge for open cans.

How Long Do Canned Goods Last in Heat?

Cat looking at a can

(Cat looking at a can) 

If you’ve exposed your cat’s canned food to heat for an extended period,  so it can only last for close to an hour in the heat. Luckily, cats can still eat hot canned food, but the aftertaste may be unpleasant.


Canned pet food will remain good for years if you keep it in good storage. Finally, we hope that we’ve cleared all doubts you had about canned food.