Cat food 101: Can you freeze wet cat food?

If your cat prefers wet food, you probably understand the frustration of throwing away uneaten food and wonder if there’s a better way. Storing dry cat food is so much easier, but if that’s not an option, it’s time to explore how to store and serve wet food in a way that creates less waste.

You’ll save money on wasted food, and you may even be able to make serving wet food a little easier on yourself. Let’s take a look at a few things you can do to preserve your cherished feline friend’s wet food, including one of the most important methods — freezing.

Cat waiting for food in a bowl

Can you freeze cat food?

It turns out that your best system for wet food starts in your freezer. Wet food freezes well and remains suitable for up to six months or longer if stored in the right format. Storing cat food frozen helps eliminate the hassle of tossing old wet food and could make it easier to serve your cat overall.

Before you toss that food tin in the freezer, there are a few things you should consider. Let’s take a look at the basics of storing your cat’s food, so you get the best results and don’t regret your decision later.

Choose your containers wisely

Wet food has a high moisture content that will expand in the freezer. If you don’t put your wet food in a freezer-safe container, you could be in for trouble. The tin doesn’t allow for expansion so it could explode or leak in the freezer.

Instead, use a freezer-safe plastic or glass container and leave space for the food to expand. Your freezer will thank you, and you won’t have to deal with a huge mess when you go to get your cat’s next meal.

Freeze in portions

Another massive issue with freezing is not dividing food into the proper portions before you freeze. It can take forever to thaw an entire chunk of cat food, so save yourself the hassle and divide up your food first.

You can create patties out of each serving size and freeze them on a tray until they’re ready to go into the bag. When you’re ready, pull out one patty and defrost it for a quick meal.

You can also cut the food into mini chunks and freeze it that way. Serve a few of them to equal one serving size, and you’ve got a conveniently portioned freezer stash for your cat’s dinner.

Whatever you decide, be sure you know the correct serving sizes for your cat so that you are giving your cat enough food to maintain health and not overfeeding.

Freeze before, not after

Freezing food before you have to serve it is an excellent way to provide your cat with smaller meals or correct portions before serving. If your cat tends to leave food out, try serving a few defrosted bites at a time so you aren’t in danger of wasting your food.

You can save your cat’s food for later, but it’s more likely to have bacteria from your cat’s mouth and the bowl’s surroundings. It’s best to freeze food right out of the original, sealed container for best results.

Cat sitting in front of refrigerator
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Freeze in the right form

It’s much easier to defrost a flat patty than it is a chunk. Once you’ve measured out all your portions, flatten them into pancake shapes to help make defrosting quicker. You can freeze portions in individual baggies, or flash freeze the pancakes on a sheet and layer them on freezer paper in your container for easy removal.

How to defrost your cat’s food safely

The best option is to defrost your cat’s food in the fridge for a few days before serving. If your cat prefers warm food, or you haven’t had time to put the food out, defrost gently in the microwave on half power. Check to make sure the food is warmed all the way through but make sure it isn’t too hot.

Once you’ve served the food, allow your cat time to eat, but throw away any uneaten portions at the end of the day. It’s not worth the potential health risks to refreeze the food, and you’ll only have trouble later figuring out which food has already been used.

Keep your cat well-fed with the right system

Freezing cat food in the right portions can help you serve the right amount of food and stop food waste. If your cat doesn’t always eat an entire serving at once, you’ll have the option to break up servings safely without risking contamination.

If you plan ahead, you can build your cat food stash logically, allowing you to have frozen portions, portions defrosting in the fridge, and some ready to serve. Give yourself more flexibility with your storage and help encourage your cat to eat better at each mealtime.

Calico cat eating from white bowl
Massimiliano Clari /EyeEm/Getty Images

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