Some pet owners choose the best dry cat food for their felines because it’s much more affordable and safer to use than wet formulas for cats. Others buy it simply because their cats are picky eaters who prefer kibbles. Kibble can be stored for long periods of time even in the outdoor cat feeders.
Dry cat food has a number of pros and cons but whatever the reason, we all want dry food to benefit our cats’ health and well-being.
For that, we should know how to store dry cat food right so that it would stay fresh for longer.
In this article, you’ll learn eight actionable tips to follow for the proper dry cat food storage.
1) Check expiry
It sounds like the most obvious tip ever, but you’d be surprised to know how many cat owners ignore or forget about it. The bare fact that food is dry doesn’t mean it can stay fresh forever. So, please always check expiration dates on cat food packages.
Also, keep in mind that these dates (from 6 months to 3 years on average) only apply to sealed bags. Once you’ve opened a bag, make sure to use it within six weeks. After that, the nutritional value, scent, and flavor of the food decreases; yes, it still might be safe to eat, but it won’t be as palatable and nutrient-rich as it should be.
2) Use specialized storage containers
When buying huge bags of dry food for a cat, it’s tempting to put a part of it into smaller containers for more comfortable feeding. But it’s worth noting that manufacturers sell cat food in special packaging designed to retain freshness. So, the best option would be to leave it in a bag and attach a clip to seal out air.
And yet, if you prefer dry cat food storage in containers, please choose specialized ones. Avoid plastic and consider perfectly sized storage containers so that your feline’s food could stay fresh for longer.
3) Set up the reminders in your calendar
This tip will help you deal with the concern of how to keep dry cat food fresh. As already mentioned, it stays palatable and nutrient-rich for around 4-6 weeks after being opened. So, why not set reminders in your calendar every time you put kibbles into containers?
Leave a message to yourself that a cat’s food will expire in 4 weeks, and you need to replace it with a fresher one. Therefore, your feline will eat clean, and you won’t worry about her digestion and overall health.
4) Give the preference to metal and glass containers
For those wondering how to store cat food in containers, here’s the #1 rule:
Use glass or metal bins. Unlike plastic, they keep food from oxygen and humidity so that it would stay fresh longer.Claudine Sievert, DVM
More than that, plastic may contain phthalates, BPA, and other toxins. And given that it can’t be thoroughly cleaned (you wash a surface, not bacteria within tiny scratches), those toxins can leach into food, influencing its constitution and quality.
Things are different with metal and glass containers. They are germ-resistant, long-lasting, sanitary, and dishwasher safe.
5) Keep the container in a dry and cold place
It’s a kinda “safety matryoshka” technique: You put cat food into a specialized container, close it firmly to avoid oxygen and bacteria infusion, then put the box into a dry place to prevent humidity infusion, and finally ensure that place is cool enough to avoid mold and rancid fats.
A pantry could be the ideal place for dry cat food storage. Also, make sure the temperature is less than 70 F and the humidity is less than 15% there. High temperatures cause condensation, which spoils dry food fast. That is why we have to discard cat food bags that came into contact with water.
6) Do not put too much food into the container
It’s tempting to buy several bags of dry cat food at a time, as it’s time-saving and cost-effective. Plus, you may want to diversify your feline’s diet that way, feeding her with different flavors. But please don’t open all the packages and put all the kibbles into containers at once.
That’s how to store dry cat food right:
- Open only one package at a time,
- make sure the amount in the container is enough to feed for a few weeks, and
- keep other bags sealed meanwhile.
And remember to wash cat food containers with hot water regularly. Before refilling, make sure they are super dry.
7) Check the packaging
Another critical rule of dry cat food storage is about packaging. When buying, check it carefully and make sure there are no dents or scratches on it.
A damaged package says about wrong storage and transportation, influencing the overall quality of the dry cat food. There’s a chance of air, dirt, and humidity insertion in the package, which spoils nutritional ingredients. Also, bags with dents may signal about damaged kibbles inside.
Even if the expiration date is still OK, the cat food in packages with dents, scratches, or any other damage won’t stay fresh as long as it is supposed to be.
8) Do not buy too much food
Dry cat food is affordable and lasting, which makes it tempting for pet owners to buy a year’s supply of kibbles and save time/money. But it’s not a good idea, especially for those missing the opportunity to keep it in dry cold places but willing to keep cat food fresh.
Please purchase the cat food in small portions (for just a month or a maximum of two) and do your best to choose the recently-produced kibbles. It will guarantee that your cat eats fresh food, and you’ll know that there’s a little chance it will spoil in a month.
Long story short, here goes the list of tips on how to store dry cat food right:
- Always check the expiration date.
- Use specialized storage containers, preferably metal or glass ones.
- Set up reminders on when to replace cat food in a bowl with a fresher one.
- Keep boxes in a cool and dry place.
- Don’t put too much dry food into containers, and open one bag at a time.
- Before buying, check packages for the absence of dents and scratches.
- Do not purchase too many bags of dry cat food at once.
Please, read the related guides as well:
- Wet cat food vs dry cat food: pros and cons
- Can you mix dry and wet cat food?
- How to properly soften dry cat food to make it more palatable?
- What are the best dry cat foods for weight loss?
Did I miss anything? Or, maybe you have some alternative tips on how to store cat food at home? Please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts in the comments below.