How long can canned food sit out? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-20-2013, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
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How long can canned food sit out?

My new kitty has taken to the canned food like a champ (they were feeding her Science Diet dry kitten food at the rescue org). However, it takes her about an hour to eat all of a 1-1.5 oz serving. Is this okay? I'd imagine that that amount of time is fine but I just want to be sure since my previous cat was kibble fed with only an occasional can of wet food (that she promptly devoured).

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-20-2013, 08:46 PM
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My kitten normally eats for about 5 minutes and then backs away from her food and starts preening. At that point, I put the food bowl in a ziploc bag and put it back in the fridge until the next mini meal-time. The only times I have left it out is if I am in a rush and need to leave for work or for a meeting. It is almost always gone by the time I come back. I am not sure as to the exact science of leaving wet food out...but I always think of it like a pot-luck - people leave food out for about an hour all the time at those functions and never seem to think anything of it as long as it is not incredibly hot or humid.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-20-2013, 09:43 PM
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Some people pick it up and refrigerate right away but we never have. We feed in the morning and at night, and leave it out until that next meal which is sometimes 12+ hours later, usually it's all gone by then. I've found most well fed cats won't eat rotten food... even if they did, wild cats aren't only eating freshly caught food. Their digestive tract is shorter than people so they can safely eat stuff that people shouldn't.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-20-2013, 10:10 PM
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Most healthy cats have good immune systems, and in my opinion wouldn't be harmed by food sitting out for an hour. Neither of my two have ever been negatively affected by not having their food immediately refrigerated. In nature, they'd be exposed to a lot more germs than they are inside, and generally their systems can handle it as long as you aren't taking it to extremes.

That said, it sounds like maybe the servings you're giving her are a bit overwhelming for her. If I were you, I would try feeding her the same amount of food but spreading it out over a couple of smaller meals, to see if that helps her manage it better.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-22-2013, 02:16 PM
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I used to be all freaked out about leaving wet food out too long. I got over it. If I'm around, like on weekends, I will mash left over food around to keep it from crusting over. If it does crust over they just don't eat it, and I toss it when I get home. More often than not it all gets eaten, just not right away. My cats are healthy and happy

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-22-2013, 02:23 PM
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I agree, I'm lazy about putting the wet food away until it's been out for a few hours if they don't eat it right away. I've not had them get sick because of that. I would feel like a great catmom if I only left it out for one hour!!!

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-22-2013, 02:57 PM
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Murphy is a grazer, so I always leave the wet food out for hours until the next meal comes along. I'm never exactly sure when it disappears completely, but nothing bad has ever happened because I leave it out.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-22-2013, 03:40 PM
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Abigail eats a bit here and there when she so desires.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-22-2013, 05:54 PM
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we also let it sit out for up to 12 hours...generally they don't eat it when it's dried up and crusty. but the times they have it seems like there's been no harm done..

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-22-2013, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone.
I definitely feel better about leaving it out for a bit.
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