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Can a stray cat eat this?
May 11, 2014 7:51 PM   Subscribe

I periodically come across stray cats in my city, and I like to feed them. I've gotten into the habit of carrying around a can of cat food in my car for this purpose. My partner told me that he thinks the food inside the can might go bad from sitting in the car while the temperature/seasons change. Is this true? How can I figure out how long I can carry around the cat food without it going bad? (I could switch to carrying dry food, but that's less aromatic and thus less attractive to strays.)
posted by southern_sky to Pets & Animals (10 answers total)
 
If these cans are unopened and aren't bulging, I would say go ahead with it if they smell fine when opened. Maybe do a purge of unused cans once a year.
posted by thebrokedown at 7:59 PM on May 11


(Smells "fine" for cat food, that is....)
posted by thebrokedown at 8:01 PM on May 11


The cans are unopened and appear normal.
posted by southern_sky at 8:04 PM on May 11


I used to keep a couple packets of tuna - the foil envelopes - in my car for the ferals near where I used to work. They kept pretty well; I'm pretty sure the entire idea of those pouches is to sell to preppers.
posted by notsnot at 8:05 PM on May 11


http://www.extension.umn.edu/food/food-safety/preserving/storage/storing-canned-food/

If you scroll down you'll see they mention temps over 100F are harmful to canned food. If say your are ok in winter, depending where you live, but it's a bad idea in summer. High temps would also make dry food bad pretty fast too.
posted by wwax at 9:35 PM on May 11 [1 favorite]


Properly canned food maintained at a low temperature can last decades.

I'd probably feed them dry though.
posted by vapidave at 9:40 PM on May 11 [1 favorite]


Can you carry it around in your backpack or purse instead?

Another thought would be to leave dry in the car, but carry aromatic treats ... back in the day Pounce was a favorite. Find a stray cat, put out some dry with a couple of aromatic treats in it.
posted by tilde at 10:03 PM on May 11


Stray cats will eat anything so I don't think dry food is really problematic on the cat level.

You could also maybe just get a bunch of a canned cat food and only take a couple cans with you at a time. I guess it depends on how many cats you're feeding.

Please don't feed the same cats canned tuna regularly. As a treat canned tuna is kind of okay but not as a main food source.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 10:24 PM on May 11


My cat actually loved dry food more than the wet variety, and I do think cats can smell both anyway, so dry food should be fine. If they're hungry enough, they'll eat pretty much anything.
posted by LoonyLovegood at 6:10 AM on May 12


the fat in dry cat food will probably get rancid faster than your canned cat food would have a problem. If you have room in your car trunk for a small cooler, store your cans in that, it will reduce the heat transfer to the cans.
posted by IpsoFacto at 3:27 PM on May 12


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