If you struggle to keep your cat food fresh or store it in the proper conditions. You might wonder whether cat food can be frozen. Of course, we can freeze all kinds of foods, but what about food for our pets? Does this work, or does it cause problems?
You can freeze both wet and dry cat food. As long as you place it in an airtight container and make sure it is put straight into the freezer, rather than leaving it at room temperature for significant amounts of time. Don’t freeze cat food that is already old or close to its expiry date.
Can You Freeze Wet Cat Food?
Yes, you can freeze wet cat food, and it should be fine. Cat food can be frozen for up to six months or even longer without any issue. Of course, you might not want to keep it for that long. But this demonstrates that the food should be fine!
If in doubt, contact the manufacturers, but there should not really be an issue with freezing cat food, as long as you obey basic food hygiene rules by not freezing old food, etc. It might alter the texture a bit, but it shouldn’t be dangerous.
If you aren’t sure, it’s a good idea to test the theory by freezing a small amount, defrosting it, and giving some to your cat. Then if your cat is happy to eat it, you can freeze a bit more and keep testing. If your cat consistently refuses to eat frozen cat food, you might run into issues.
Don’t freeze an enormous amount of cat food at once without first checking that your cat will eat the defrosted version.
Cats can be extremely fussy creatures, and if your cat can smell something that it does not like on the food or the texture seems odd, it won’t eat it. This could waste a lot of food and money, so always check first that the defrosted product will be consumed.
Can You Freeze Dry Cat Food?
Yes, you can also freeze dry cat food if it’s done correctly.
Dry biscuits may not seem like they need freezing, and they certainly last for much longer than wet meat, but they still have a limited shelf life and should not be kept indefinitely. Instead, check the packet’s expiry date, and if the biscuits are not being used up quickly, consider freezing them.
Biscuits that have got old may develop an oily coating that deters the cat from eating them, and they might go stale. To keep them at their best, make some space in your freezer and put them in there in small portions for your cat to enjoy later.
How Should I Freeze Cat Food?
The best way to freeze cat food is to remove it from the tin or packet and put it into small containers. One portion per container is the best option because you can simply remove and defrost enough for a meal at a time.
If you have more than one cat, it’s fine to freeze their meals together, but make single portions if you have one cat. This is because you don’t want the remaining food to go off after it has been defrosted but not eaten. In addition, single portions make it easier to eliminate food wastage.
It’s essential to use a sealed container in the freezer because this prevents freezer burn, which your cat won’t appreciate. It also stops the cat food from contaminating other food that you might have in the freezer, keeping everything hygienic.
You also need to leave room for the food to expand a bit inside the container as it freezes. Not doing so could lead to the lid popping off or the container smashing because of the pressure the food inside is putting on it. A bit of space for expansion is crucial.
You should also clearly label cat food before freezing it so you can easily grab the flavor that you want, and nobody accidentally consumes cat food that they have mistaken for human food. Use a removable label so you can keep reusing containers.
If you are freezing dry cat food, simply tip it out of its bag into small containers and make sure they are sealed well (and label them) before putting them in the freezer.
Do not do this very close to the food’s expiry date, as it will be close to the end of its shelf life, and freezing may not prolong its life as much as you would expect.
It’s best to decant food as soon as it is opened if you can. This applies to both wet and dry cat food; once the packet’s seal has been removed, it should be decanted and frozen as soon as possible for the best results.
How Should I Defrost Cat Food?
Defrosting might prove a challenge. If your first instinct is to stick it in the microwave for a few minutes, pause, and don’t do so. While microwaves are great inventions, they cause a few problems when heating a cat’s dinner.
Firstly, they can reduce the number of nutrients in the food, making it less healthy for your cat to eat. If you buy high-quality food to keep your kitty happy and healthy, this is the last thing you want.
Secondly, microwaves can alter the structure of the fats in the food, making it harder for your cat to digest them. This could be detrimental to its health in the long term and should be avoided.
A few seconds in the microwave is unlikely to make much difference to the food. But if you have to defrost the food thoroughly, it will probably take a minute or two, which could be an issue. So let’s look at other solutions.
The first is to let it defrost naturally in the fridge, but this will take quite a long time and require you to be very organized.
The method will help the food last as long as possible once defrosted. But you may find you forget to get food out in advance. If you have a hungry cat meowing at you, you’re going to want a faster option.
The middle ground is to submerge the container in some warm water.
It needs to be in a watertight container for this to work. But the warmth of the water should speed up the defrosting process and will mean you can serve your kitty much more quickly.
Either of these methods is suitable, and you can then feed your cat safely warmed-up food. Make sure that it has completely defrosted before serving. As cats do not appreciate frozen or chilled meals and will probably reject it if it is cold. Mix a little warm water through the food to ensure it is not cold.
Freezing cat food is a great way to prolong life expectancy and avoid wastage. Especially if you buy food in big tins and your cat only eats small portions but wants new flavors every day.
It might seem like a bit more work, but it will probably avoid quite a lot of waste, and it will therefore save you money.
Don’t waste cat food unnecessarily; stick it in your freezer and defrost it on another day!