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How to Store Dry Cat Food Long-Term: 7 Smart Tips

If you see your cat’s favorite brand of dry food on a too-good-to-be-true offer, then it can be tempting to stock up on a few more bags than normal. As long as you have somewhere to store the extra food, this is a great idea! We all know our cats can be fussy, and there’s nothing worse than coming home to find out that you’ve run out of their preferred brand.

Knowing how to correctly store dry cat food for a long time means you can keep a few extra bags in reserve, without having to worry about them going bad. If you’re already stocking up on store-cupboard essentials for your family, then don’t forget the pets! By knowing how to store their food correctly, you can include them in your prepping too.

Follow our seven smart tips for how to keep dry cat food fresh long term!

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1. Keep unopened bags somewhere cool and dry

Row of animal feed package
Image Credit: OhLanlaa, Shutterstock

Exposure to light, air, and humidity will all increase the chances of your cat’s dry food going bad. Finding somewhere with a relatively constant temperature and low humidity will keep your cat’s dry food as fresh as possible, for as long as possible.

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2. Check the packaging

If you’re buying your cat food in a store, give the packaging a quick check over before you buy it. Make sure there are no scratches, rips, or tears in the bags. If you see any bags with rips taped over, avoid those too. If you get an online order, you should still check each bag and let the customer service team know if you receive one that you’d prefer not to use.

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3. Don’t keep dry cat food in the garage

cat food in plastic container
Image Credit: SURKED, Shutterstock

The garage can sometimes seem like an ideal place to store extra cat food, but this should be avoided. Cat food should be kept in temperatures lower than 100°F to make sure that high temperatures don’t destroy the nutrients or make the food go rancid. It’s difficult to maintain a constant temperature or humidity in a garage, so there’s a higher chance of the food spoiling.

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4. Store bags off the floor

Don’t just pop unopened bags of dry cat food on the floor. It’s best to store them raised to reduce the potential for bugs, insects, or even rodents to make their way inside the bag. You can use bricks and planks to make a makeshift raised shelf or store bags on medium-height shelves.

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5. Metal or glass containers are better choices than plastic

Realistic metallic container
Image Credit: Vectorchok, Shutterstock

Plastic containers might seem like an obvious choice for storing dry cat food, but actually, metal or glass containers are both better options. Plastic can give off an odor that can affect the taste of the food. If your cat is fussy, they may notice this. Plastic can also get scratched, leaving areas where bacteria can collect.

Metal bins are available in many different sizes and are a good choice for storing opened or sealed bags of food. If possible, keep the cat food within the original packaging and then place it in the metal bin. Glass containers are also a good option for keeping smaller quantities of your cat food in the kitchen, for example.

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6. Make a note of the expiration date

If you’ve bought bags of your cat’s favorite brand of food in bulk, then make a note of the expiration date of each bag. The placement of this depends on the brand; sometimes, it will be on the bottom of the bag and other times, near the opening. If you want to, you can always write the date on the front of each bag with a Sharpie, making it easier to keep track of which bag you need to use first.

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7. Freeze it!

top view of an open chest freezer
Image Credit: Denis Galushka, Shutterstock

Yes, it’s true! If you’ve got extra space in a chest freezer, then you can store dry cat food in here for up to six months. It’s a good idea to wrap the original packaging in another layer of plastic or paper. Make sure you allow the feed to come back up to room temperature before feeding to your cat.

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Featured Image: tong patong, Shutterstock