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How to Feed Your Cat Wet Food While Away: 5 Easy Ways

Kristin Hitchcock

By Kristin Hitchcock

cat eating on automatic food dispenser

Wet food is a great option for many felines. It helps them stay hydrated, which is a problem for some cats. Plus, it often contains better nutrition than most other foods on the market. However, feeding wet food to your cat while you’re away from home is often complicated. You can’t leave wet food out like dry food, and many automatic feeders don’t work with wet food.

Luckily, there are a few different options available for keeping your cat on their usual wet food diet while you’re away.

The 5 Ways to Feed Your Cat Wet Food While Away

1. Use Both Wet and Dry Food

Wet food can only be left out for a short period of time, while dry food lasts much longer. Therefore, you can utilize both to keep your cat fed. For instance, leave out wet food to cover the first few hours. After that, have dry food in a dispenser that releases after the wet food is gone. If your cat can eat both, this method ensures that they can eat as much wet food as possible while also being fed the entire day.

Of course, if your cat doesn’t eat dry food at all, this can be a bit of a problem. For example, for felines with dental issues, you’ll likely need to rely on another method.

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2. Use an Automatic Cat Feeder

SureFeed Microchip Small Feeder bundle

For pre-portioned meals, you can utilize an automatic cat feeder. These are designed to release food at a certain time, enabling you to feed your cat remotely. However, most of these do not work with wet food, only dry kibble. However, there are a few options that do work with wet food.

One is the SureFeed Microchip Small Feeder, which is designed to hold one meal. Of course, this feeder isn’t appropriate if you’re going out of town for more than a day. Therefore, we highly recommend the Cat Mate C500 Digital 5 Meal Automatic Dog & Cat Feeder. This feeder is inexpensive and can store up to five meals in different compartments. It also has room for an ice pack to keep the food fresh. Therefore, it may let you leave a few days’ worth of food for your feline. In fact, the company advertises that this feeder can keep food fresh for up to 4 days. Cat Mate C500n Digital 5 Meal Automatic Dog & Cat Feeder

3. Hire a Pet Sitter

Sometimes, the easiest thing to do is simply hire a pet sitter. While this does mean more money out of your pocket, it also ensures that your pet is fed properly. With a pet sitter, you won’t have to worry about an automatic feeder messing up or anything of that sort. It also ensures that the food is as fresh as possible when you feed it to your pet. Otherwise, there is always the chance that the wet food will go bad.

Generally speaking, it costs about $30 a day for a pet sitter. Of course, they can do more than feed your pets. If your pets need special care, you may want to consider hiring someone to look after them, anyway. Alternatively, you can always hire a friend or family member to feed your pets. Younger teens are responsible enough for this job and will enjoy earning the extra money.

Either way, a pet sitter is often the most reassuring way to feed wet food to your cat while you are gone, though it is also one of the most expensive options.

4. Freeze the Food

storing food in the freezer
Image Credit: Ahanov Michael, Shutterstock

To make the food last longer, you may want to consider freezing it and using an automatic feeder. By freezing it and using an automatic feeder, you can keep the food fresh and only present it to your pet at the right time. One of the aforementioned wet food feeders has a place for ice to keep the food cool, further elongating the time that it takes for the food to dry out.

That said, there is a bit of experimentation necessary for this method to work. To ensure that the second meal is thawed by the time that the automatic feeder opens, you may have to run a few tests. Timing the dethaw with your cat’s mealtimes will take a bit of prep, but this is often the easiest way to ensure that the food will last as long as possible.

5. Use a Boarding Kennel

If you’re going to be gone for a long time, the best option may be to utilize a boarding kennel. These kennels are best for trips that last a week or more. Most automatic feeders aren’t designed to work for more than 4 days, and it can be challenging to keep wet food fresh that long. Boarding kennels are available for both cats and dogs. Obviously, they can feed your pet wet food as necessary.

However, this option isn’t great for pets with anxiety or similar problems. The new environment can stress them out. This option is also quite expensive, which you’ll need to keep in mind when budgeting for your trip.

A Word About Water

It is always possible to switch your cat to dry food while you are away. After all, it keeps longer, and is much easier to feed to your cat while you are gone. However, if you switch your cat to dry food, it is possible that they may not consume enough water. After all, they’ll be used to getting most of their water intake from their food. When this changes abruptly, they may not adapt by drinking more water. Therefore, you’ll want to switch your cat to dry food before you leave.

Keep an eye on them to ensure that they are drinking enough water. You can also encourage water drinking by getting a pet fountain. Most cats prefer running water. Also, place multiple water bowls around the house. Cats often drink more when they don’t have to seek out water.

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Feeding your cat wet food while you’re gone is often a bit complicated. After all, wet food goes bad after only a couple of hours. However, there are a few things that you can do to stretch the time that it lasts. For instance, an automatic pet food dispenser with ice is often a great option because it will help the wet food last longer. You can also freeze the wet food and use one of these dispensers, making it last even longer.

However, if you’re going to be gone for a while, you may want to consider utilizing a pet sitter or boarding facility. It just isn’t possible to keep wet food fresh for more than a few days. If you’re going to be gone a week or more, you’ll either need to hire someone to feed your cat or switch them to dry food before you leave.

Featured Image Credit: gofra, Shutterstock

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