You would think that something as simple as cat food storage would be a no brainer, but that’s not really the case. Cat food needs attention to detail just like any other area of cat ownership or you might find yourself wasting money or—worse yet—with a sick cat on your hands. So to save you from having to deal with that, HACKS FOR CATS came up with a few tips on best practices when storing cat food.

Put Food Bags In A Container
It may seem like the best way to store your cat food is to transfer the contents of the packaging to a plastic tupperware container, but that’s a common rookie mistake…and actually pretty dangerous. Oils and fats from the kibble tend to stick to the sides and sink to the bottom of the container. The fresh batch of cat food can potentially be contaminated when mixed with old rancid preservatives. After a while, bacteria , mold and mites will begin to accumulate, causing all kinds of health risk to your cat. Also, the plastic container contains hazardous chemicals that can seep into the food, which is also harmful. Keep your food in a bag, then put that bag into a container. The bags were designed to keep the food fresh, safe from air and humidity. So take advantage of that feature of the packaging. Besides, you’ll want to hold onto the bag just in case any recall or return issues need to be addressed. Use plastic tupperware for small bags, trash cans for large bags—either metal or plastic is fine. Make sure to keep the lid on the containers so as not to expose the cat food to any unwanted out side elements—namely mice/insects.

Separate The Old From The New
Make sure not to mix your old cat food with your new. There’s a possibility that you could contaminate the new batch of cat food. Just keep everything separate.

Keep Your Cat Food Away From Sunlight
Sunlight will raise the temperature inside the bag, degrading  the food inside and increasing the growth of bacteria—especially salmonella.

Keep Your Storage Container Airtight
When you seal your cat food, making it airtight, you reduce its exposure to humidity. Air and humidity are the main reasons why cat food degrades and forms bacteria/mold. Try storing it in a cool/dry location like a pantry.

Canned Food For canned food the area you store it in should have a temperature of 50-100°F. Never freeze it, because if you do it will affect the taste.

Uneaten Food If your cat leaves uneaten dry food in his bowl, it’s okay to leave it there. Just make sure that it is in a cool, dry place and out of the way of sunlight. Also, be sure not to leave the unfinished cat food around rodents or insects. That being said, the bowl should be cleaned and replenished with fresh food on a daily basis.

Unfinished Can Food All moist food served from a can should be washed from the bowl if it is not eaten within 3-4 hours—50°F. Any food still left in the can, can be stored in the refrigerator for 5-7 days—40-45°F. After that time period, the cat food should be thrown away.

These tips are just a few things that can be done, I’m sure there are more out there; But these should be enough to get you started. Thanks for reading.