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Dry food in a bowl (how long)

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Ping is eating his wet just fine but is slowly down on his dry food. How long can it sit in the bowl before it needs to be tossed and refreshed.
post #2 of 25
I only put out enough that it gets eaten in a day.
post #3 of 25
no more than 48 hours for those naturally preserved
post #4 of 25
I put dry food out in the morning for the adult cats, three bowls filled to the top and they eat it all by the next morning. And the kittens have two trays that get filled up twice a day.
post #5 of 25
i leave mine in for a day and if its not eaten i throw it away and refill bowl with fresh food
post #6 of 25
Regular dry food does have preservatives and can be left out indefinitely. Most cats are likely to eat it within a few days. After a few weeks, it would probably start to taste stale, but that would be more an issue of palatability than danger.
post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by emmylou View Post
Regular dry food does have preservatives and can be left out indefinitely. Most cats are likely to eat it within a few days. After a few weeks, it would probably start to taste stale, but that would be more an issue of palatability than danger.
WHAT food are you feeding??? Evan Iams is naturally preserved( of so its claimed)... all of Purina is so evan grocery store stuff isnt all Chemically preserved...Do you not know about the experation dates put on MOST dry food ????
post #8 of 25
I feed a variety of brands. The expiration dates on the bag tend to be a year away. Why, what is the expiration date on your dry food?

In any case, the expiration date on the bag wouldn't be a day or a week later, or they wouldn't be allowed to sell it. That doesn't make sense. Dry food is manufactured with the understanding that it will be left out. In the unlikely event that a cat left the food uneaten for a week or two, it wouldn't be an issue. I wouldn't throw out perfectly good dry food after a day.
post #9 of 25
i put out fresh dry every morning... i feed the leftover dry to the ferals, who like it just fine but at least that way, it doesn't go to waste... unless it rains, like it's been doing FOREVER! i'm ready for this endless rain to STOP! i can't mow the lawn because it's so wet, & it's growing like crazy with all of the rain! & the flies are HORRIBLE!
post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by emmylou View Post
I feed a variety of brands. The expiration dates on the bag tend to be a year away. Why, what is the expiration date on your dry food?
The expiration date applies to the unopened bag. Once it's opened and exposed to the air, it's going to eventually go stale. Especially when not stored in an airtight container (which it isn't when it's in kitty's bowl). I would also be paranoid about bugs, etc crawling all over it. We actually got ants in one apartment from food that was left out in treatballs for a several days. Those big feeders where you just dump several pounds of food in the top really gross me out. Who knows how stale that food gets.
post #11 of 25
Yes, if you have ants, it'd be a problem. Though if they're getting into the cat food, it doesn't matter whether that cat food is new or old.

It will eventually go stale, but it won't harm the cat.
post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by emmylou View Post
Yes, if you have ants, it'd be a problem. Though if they're getting into the cat food, it doesn't matter whether that cat food is new or old.

It will eventually go stale, but it won't harm the cat.
Please google OXIDATION .... as it relates to cells
post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 
Ok so I cut the food down to a 1/4 cup for now and tossing after about 24hrs if there is any left.
post #14 of 25
Thread Starter 
Just a small update here. The amount of dry he its has picked up today. Maybe he was in a funk for a few days but now it seems to have picked up. He ate his normal amount of wet this morning (1.5oz) and 2 hours later he ate just short of 1/4 cup of dry. So maybe he was just in a funk.
post #15 of 25
I only put 1/4 cup out in the morning and 1/4 cup before bedtime so it is eaten - no problem with stale food.

Quote:
Originally Posted by emmylou View Post
I feed a variety of brands. The expiration dates on the bag tend to be a year away. Why, what is the expiration date on your dry food?

In any case, the expiration date on the bag wouldn't be a day or a week later, or they wouldn't be allowed to sell it. That doesn't make sense. Dry food is manufactured with the understanding that it will be left out. In the unlikely event that a cat left the food uneaten for a week or two, it wouldn't be an issue. I wouldn't throw out perfectly good dry food after a day.
I agree that the expiration dates pertain to unopened food. Just like the jars of salad dressings, etc. that are fine in the cupboard until opened then need refrigeration. After a day sitting out, that dry food isn't "perectly good" anymore.

Quote:
Originally Posted by emmylou View Post
Yes, if you have ants, it'd be a problem. Though if they're getting into the cat food, it doesn't matter whether that cat food is new or old.

It will eventually go stale, but it won't harm the cat.
Ants are a whole other issue and you are right about that - they'll get into the food whether it's stale or not.

As for stale not harming the cat, I can only assume you have no problem eating stale food yourself that's been left out on the counter for days or weeks. Me, I'm not into stale food so I don't eat it and wouldn't expect my pets to eat it either. Just because they are "animals" doesn't make them less worthy of decent food.
post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by emmylou View Post
Yes, if you have ants, it'd be a problem. Though if they're getting into the cat food, it doesn't matter whether that cat food is new or old.
We didn't have ants until the food was sitting out for days on end.

It was before I knew better. Now I know leaving those treat balls out will attract ants. Yuck.
post #17 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
As for stale not harming the cat, I can only assume you have no problem eating stale food yourself that's been left out on the counter for days or weeks. Me, I'm not into stale food so I don't eat it and wouldn't expect my pets to eat it either. Just because they are "animals" doesn't make them less worthy of decent food.
I agree I won't eat stale neither will I feed that to my 2 legged kids so why would I feed stale food to me fur baby.
post #18 of 25
Checked the expiration date on my current bag of Nutro Max Cat, which I've had a few months: it's July 2008.

I eat stale bread... it's fairly common to use it to make croutons or breadcrumbs. There's nothing wrong with it.

There's a major difference in the way different foods react to air. Salad dressings with oils in them, meats, etc., go bad quickly. Dry foods, cereals, trail mix, etc., do not. It's not one size fits all. If dry cat food were like salad dressing, they'd print "refrigerate after opening" on the package.

Once you open a bag of dry food, it's exposed to air -- there's only a small difference between leaving it in the bag and putting it in a bowl.

Also, unless we're talking about an extreme climate, dry food doesn't go stale after a day or even several days.
post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by emmylou View Post
I'll eat stale bread... it's fairly common to use it to make croutons or breadcrumbs. There's nothing wrong with it.

There's a major difference in the way different foods react to air. Salad dressings with oils in them, meats, etc., go bad quickly. Dry foods, cereals, trail mix, etc., do not. It's not one size fits all. Once you open a bag of dry food, it's exposed to air -- there's not a whole lot of protection being provided by the open bag, so there's only a little difference between food in the bowl and food in an opened bag. You don't throw out the bag of food after one day.

Also, unless we're talking about an extreme climate, dry food doesn't go stale after a day or even several days.
Day-old (or couple of days-old) bread used for croutons, bread pudding, breadcrumbs, etc. is fine. But I find that bread that stays out more than 2 days starts to get mouldy so I put stale bread that I will be using for other things in the freezer until I'm ready to use them. I also don't want to eat crackers after they've sat on the counter and gone stale/soft which I would imagine is happening to the dry food we put down for our kitties as well.

I feel differently on the open bag thing. ANYTHING I open that's in a bag is re-sealed after I've used it - either by the self-sealing closure or I put it in a sealed bag/container myself. I can't imagine just leaving the bag open to the air. I use fold-back clips for potato chip bags, cereal, etc.

Nobody would throw out a bag of food after one day - that would be inane. But one would hope that it would have been closed tightly between uses to preserve freshness.

If I didn't eat all my breakfast, I would hope that the remainder wouldn't be placed in front of me for my dinner and that I would be expected to eat it before I got anything fresher.
post #20 of 25
Thread Starter 
This thread made me remember something. His Timberwolf food is in a foil type pack that can be resealed if you have a vacuum sealer. And I do. So I took three cups of his food out and put that in a separate container(enough for a few days or a week depending on his moods) and vacuum seal the rest in the original bag. Which should prolong its life because I just sucked all the air out of the bag.
post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ping View Post
This thread made me remember something. His Timberwolf food is in a foil type pack that can be resealed if you have a vacuum sealer. And I do. So I took three cups of his food out and put that in a separate container(enough for a few days or a week depending on his moods) and vacuum seal the rest in the original bag. Which should prolong its life because I just sucked all the air out of the bag.
That's brilliant! We just got a vacuum sealer, and it never occurred to me to use it on cat food bags. Thanks for that tip!

I put out 1/4 cup of dry food in the morning, and whatever hasn't been eaten by the evening, when I give canned, gets tossed, and the bowl goes in the dishwasher.
post #22 of 25
Thread Starter 
I believe it has to be the thin foil type to work. Or you could use your own bags and just break it down to smaller bags instead of one big bag.
post #23 of 25
I put enough out that they will eat what they have and the bowls are empty and ready for rinsing by the time I get home
post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by emmylou View Post
I feed a variety of brands. The expiration dates on the bag tend to be a year away. Why, what is the expiration date on your dry food?

In any case, the expiration date on the bag wouldn't be a day or a week later, or they wouldn't be allowed to sell it. That doesn't make sense. Dry food is manufactured with the understanding that it will be left out. In the unlikely event that a cat left the food uneaten for a week or two, it wouldn't be an issue. I wouldn't throw out perfectly good dry food after a day.
Well if a cat is leaving food uneaten for a week or two, it's probably because he won't eat it because it stale.

The expiration date is for an UNopened bag.
post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by littleraven7726 View Post
I only put out enough that it gets eaten in a day.
Same here. I measure it out since I am trying to help my cats slim down a tad.

I throw out what is left when I go to bed.
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