- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


Canned Cat Food Going Bad?

September 18th, 2005, 08:25 PM
Hi - I feed my cat Wellness canned food and he loves it. Recently he spent 24 hours in the emergency room because he was lethargic, not eating, just not the same sweet boy. Turns out they think it was gastro-enteritus. They couldn't tell me how he got it. But I told them that he started acting odd after I opened a new case of Wellness cans and fed him. It looked a little different than normal, like not as moist as usual. But the expiration date said '08 so I figured it was okay.

We keep the cans in a cool pantry and then store about 6 at a time in the fridge before feeding him.

My question is... could the 'bad' canned food have made him sick? Also, how can you tell when canned food goes bad? Not a lot of preservatives in Wellness, it's a quality brand. But I don't want to keep guessing when I open a new case - is this okay for him to eat?

I just need to know how to tell when canned cat food goes bad.

Lucky Rescue
September 18th, 2005, 09:22 PM
Wellness is excellent food, but as you say has no preservatives and an opened can would quickly go bad.

It shouldn't be bad in unopened cans, but if you suspect it is, I would send one of the cans back to the company and have them look at it. I'm sure they would be interested.

Are you sure your cat ate nothing but his food?

September 18th, 2005, 09:25 PM
In terms of when the can is unopened, the only likely way for the food to be "bad" is botulism. in which case the can will be bloated and swollen. Otherwise, it should be safe until opened.

September 18th, 2005, 09:25 PM
Hi Deb, thanks for the reply.

He does eat human food a little, but not a lot. And my husband and I are both vegetarians so I know it couldn't have been spoiled meat or something like that. I opened 5 cans in the same case and all looked a little different.

I did call Wellness and they said take it back to where I bought it, full refund, etc. Which I did.

I don't want to Just give him dry food - but I bet dry has less chance of spoiling compared to wet.

Too bad the vet couldn't say where he might have gotten the bug. I doubt it was from our food because I'm Extremely sensitive and I know I would have gotten sick first.

Also, he's an indoor cat with no other pets around.

September 18th, 2005, 09:28 PM
Thanks PuppyLuv
No, the can itself looked fine, nothing out of the ordinary. Just inside, both of us thought it looked less "moist" than normal. Maybe a slight discoloration too.

I'm just afraid if that's what caused it I'll get another batch that's bad and not know it till he's at the doctor again.

The Clavamox, an antibiodic helped, as well as the IV they had him on. So he's doing a lot better, I'm just can-shy!

September 18th, 2005, 09:29 PM
Dry food will actually go bad faster than canned food, because each bag of dry food is huge and must last much longer than each can, once open. This makes the dry food succeptible to rancidity from the oils.

Lucky Rescue
September 18th, 2005, 09:31 PM
I agree you shouldn't give your cat only dry food. This will increase his chances of crystals and stones forming in the bladder, which can be serious to the point of surgery.

It's hard to say what causes gastro sometimes in cats. Maybe it was just a fluke, but shouldn't stop you from feeding canned!:)

September 18th, 2005, 09:32 PM
Would putting the dry food in a tight sealed container instead of the bag help?

We do give him dry if we go out of town - which isn't very often. But the canned food gets so nasty and crusty when the pet sitter only can come once a day.

September 18th, 2005, 09:34 PM
He definitely still gets cans. 99% of the day - I'll give him a little Wellness dry food as a treat - just a few crunchies a day.

September 18th, 2005, 09:49 PM
oh don't get me wrong, I feed my dog Wellness dry food. I have nothing against it at all, in fact i love it! Just if one of the two are going to go bad, it's the dry, not the wet.
Good luck with your kitty though :love:

September 18th, 2005, 09:50 PM
Would putting the dry food in a tight sealed container instead of the bag help?

We do give him dry if we go out of town - which isn't very often. But the canned food gets so nasty and crusty when the pet sitter only can come once a day.

Yes it would, for example I buy the 30 kg bags of Wellness dry and store it in an air-tight rubbermaid. It keeps the food fresh, and prevents spoilage. Not to mention that it's a little more convenient for storing. :)

September 18th, 2005, 09:58 PM
Thanks Deb and Puppyluv
I appreciate your input so much!

I've gotta run but wanted to say Thank You!

Best of luck with your 'babies' too!

September 18th, 2005, 10:02 PM
They say dry gets stale and icky after 3 weeks of it being open. I don't know if that's accurate because it's certainly in a lot of people's best interests to get you to buy bags before the old ones are finished... :)

Please don't let this episode deter you from Wellness. It's really a great food.

All I can say is that the gastro can be caused by a number of things. Anything that might disrupt your cat's immune system (like stress, cold, etc) could cause your kitty to be more vulnerable to bacteria...

September 18th, 2005, 10:30 PM
Thanks Prin

The doc suggested that too. He's still getting his Wellness though - I think it's a really great food

Thanks again

September 18th, 2005, 10:32 PM
Glad we could help SM :)

September 18th, 2005, 11:47 PM
Ditto. That's what we're here for! :) :crazy: