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Old 03-11-2009, 04:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How long can canned food stay in fridge?

Hi all, the last few weeks I've recently become aware of giving my cat really bad quality dry foods. Made the switch to higher quality dry (Evo) and have been feeding mostly canned Wellness, Evo and Natural Balance lately. Of course those are a little pricier (which is ok) but I figure if I buy the larger 13 oz cans the overall price per oz. drops.

So, I'm just wondering if I open a 13 oz can of Evo is it pretty safe after, say, 4 days in the fridge with the plastic lid on it or would that be too long? I was even thinking I could put it in a cleaned out glass jelly jar if that would store better.
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Old 03-11-2009, 05:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: How long can canned food stay in fridge?

I do think it stores better in glass, and that's what I do. I suppose a week or even longer is fine. It depends. If it's going right from the can into the fridge, there really isn't much opportunity to pick up bacteria that could grow in there. If on the other hand, you're talking about saving leftovers that's been put out and then picked up I'd say the time is shorter. In the latter case, what I do is accumulate the leftovers until I have a jar full then I recook it for awhile and refrigerate it or freeze it.
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Old 03-11-2009, 05:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: How long can canned food stay in fridge?

Back when it took me 4 days to do through a big can, I used to portion it out into little plastic containers -- one meal per container -- and put everything but the next day's worth in the freezer. I fed the cats once a day and every time I used one container, I just took the next one out of the freezer so it would have time to thaw. You can thaw in the microwave if you forget, too.

I did keep cans for 4 days and it didn't seem to harm the cats, but they definitely ate the food stored in the freezer more enthusiastically than they ate the food stored in the can for 4 days. So even though it didn't make them sick I assume the taste of the un-frozen food wasn't as good near the end.

I now feed them canned twice a day, and it only takes 2 days to use a big can. I just store in the fridge now, but I do still break the can into 4 meals and store the extra in plastic containers, a meal per can. I think it may store better in the containers (I assume there's a reason we don't store our leftovers in cans with snap-on lids) and it makes it easy to microwave each meal for a few seconds to get the chill off. Also, portioning it out all at once means that the 4 meals are more-or-less equal in size: no making the first 3 meals bigger and the last meal smaller because I ran out!

A suggestion from the pet sitter that works well: Open the can and slide the whole thing out onto a plate into a neat cat-food cylinder. (If necessary, run a butter knife around the food inside the can to loosen it, first.) Use a butter knife to cut the cylinder into 4 sections. (If you need 8 servings, just cut each resulting cat-food puck in half.) Then just stick a section in each container. I generally serve the last section on the plate I cut it on. It's a much easier way to portion out the food equally than scooping it out of the can with a spoon, which is what I used to do. It also makes it easier to make sure each cat gets an equal portion.

The slide-out-and-cut trick works with Wellness, at any rate, as there's no pop-top.. My ladies are not as keen on Evo. I don't think Natural Balance comes in big cans, which is a shame since the ladies approve. I'm stuck feeding the small (5.5 or 6oz, not sure which) size.
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Old 03-11-2009, 06:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: How long can canned food stay in fridge?

I believe a link has been made between feline hyperthyroidism and canned cat food when the food is stored in the can after it's been opened. It's safer in terms of your cat's health to remove canned food from the can before storing leftovers either in your fridge or freezer. As far as how long the food will last in the refrigerator is concerned, I use the nose test. If the food still smells fresh, I'll feed it. If it has that "gone bad" smell, I toss it.

Laurie
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Old 03-11-2009, 08:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: How long can canned food stay in fridge?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bethany
A suggestion from the pet sitter that works well: Open the can and slide the whole thing out onto a plate into a neat cat-food cylinder. (If necessary, run a butter knife around the food inside the can to loosen it, first.) Use a butter knife to cut the cylinder into 4 sections. .
It's a great suggestion, but my picky little devils would never eat it that way. Theirs needs to be warmed and mushed up.
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Old 03-11-2009, 08:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: How long can canned food stay in fridge?

Quote:
Originally Posted by laurief
I believe a link has been made between feline hyperthyroidism and canned cat food when the food is stored in the can after it's been opened.
That's really interesting info, Laurie, thanks for posting it. All this time I thought I was putting it into glass simply to preserve that "fresh from the can" taste that my cats demand.
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Old 03-12-2009, 12:45 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: How long can canned food stay in fridge?

Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bethany
A suggestion from the pet sitter that works well: Open the can and slide the whole thing out onto a plate into a neat cat-food cylinder. (If necessary, run a butter knife around the food inside the can to loosen it, first.) Use a butter knife to cut the cylinder into 4 sections. .
It's a great suggestion, but my picky little devils would never eat it that way. Theirs needs to be warmed and mushed up.
Still makes it easier to separate into portions, though!

Mine like it warmed but I don't mush it for them.

When I serve it from the small (5.5 oz) cans, I do keep it in the can, since it only takes me a day to use them. Since I can't microwave the can, I often take the chill off the food by adding a little boiling water (leftover from making tea) to the can and mushing it up into cat food soup. Since for some reason the brands I get in the 5.5 oz cans seem to be denser anyway, this works well.
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Old 03-12-2009, 05:26 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: How long can canned food stay in fridge?

Good ideas, thanks! I like the dividing it into sections idea, maybe 3 or 4 meals out of a large can and keep the last 1 or 2 "patties" in the freezer.

On a side note, Kiki is 10 years young, indoor only, pretty active with play, a few pounds overweight and had a UTI in 2005 (not since). Are there any problems with the Evo dry and canned with those stats? Still trying different brands, Kiki isn't very picky and actually... I like the idea of a raw diet too.
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Old 03-12-2009, 09:35 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: How long can canned food stay in fridge?

Evo dry is extremely high calorie, so you're going to need to strictly portion the amount you feed Kiki so that she doesn't become morbidly obese. I feed my cats Evo dry for breakfast and raw meat/bones/organs for dinner. They each get only 1/8 c (2 tbs) of Evo a day.

DO NOT make the mistake of following the feeding guidelines on the bag of Evo or you may turn Kiki into a diabetic bowling ball.

Laurie
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Old 03-12-2009, 04:21 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: How long can canned food stay in fridge?

Ok, got it. I've been giving her one 3 oz can per day of NB, Wellness or Evo and right before I go to bed I sneak a half a handful of dry Evo into her bowl. That's so when she wakes up at 4am or whatever she doesn't wake me up for a meal! Seems to be working so far!

The time she'll get only dry is if I haven't picked up any canned yet, she'll get 1/4 cup of dry x2 a day until I get to the pet store. She sure loves the dry though!
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