Can I Leave Wet Cat Food Out Overnight? Know Everything Here

Taking care of the cat can be a lot of responsibility if you are new. It is widespread to make a mistake in the early days.

We know that you come across many doubts in your mind in which you need immediate assistance. This article discusses one of the doubts that many cat owners ask us.

You have two options for cat food. If you are using dry cat food for your cat, you can leave them for a long time, and your cat will not face any problems.

However, wet cat food is slightly different as it has a significant amount of water in it. So, you might ask what the maximum period for which you can keep it outside is. In this article, we will explore this in-depth. 

Can I Leave Wet Cat Food Out Overnight?

No, you cannot leave wet cat food out overnight as it can spoil fast, and your cat might become ill after eating the food.

You can face different problems if you decide to leave wet cat food outside overnight and the cat ends up eating it.

The cat food can get spoiled due to microorganisms in the air, or it can dry up.

So, experts do not recommend keeping wet cat food out in the open for an extended period. However, we will explore this topic more in the subsequent sections. 

Things You Should Take Care While Leaving Wet Cat Food Overnight:

As we have mentioned previously in the article, you should not leave wet cat food overnight.

However, if you observe that your cat is becoming hungry soon after you go to bed, you have to take care of the following things:

  1. Do not leave more than the necessary amount. If you have owned the cat for a long time, you should be well-versed in the amount of food that the cat eats in one meal. If you leave food overnight, do not keep more than that amount. If the cat does not eat the cat food within a short period, that can get spoiled, and the cat can eat spoiled food. It brings a lot of health problems to the cat. 
  2. When you have given the necessary amount to the cat for its late-night cravings, you should keep the rest of the cat food inside a disposable ziplock and store it inside the refrigerator. Most manufacturers advise the owners to keep the remaining food in a refrigerator as it restricts the food from getting spoiled. Ziploc ensures that the moisture stays intact in the refrigerator, and you can heat it efficiently. 
  3.  This tip goes without saying. You should always check for the wet cat food expiry date before feeding it to the cat.

What Happens If You Leave Wet Cat Food Out?

There can be two problems if you keep wet cat food out for an extended period. There are millions of bacterias and viruses in the air all the time.

When you leave your wet cat food for a more extended period, these parasites can cultivate themselves in the available food and spoil them very fast.

A few wet cat food brands claim that the food can stay edible for up to four hours. But most of the brands may differ from these claims.

Experts say that you should not leave wet cat food out in the open for more than one hour, let alone overnight. Spoilt food is one part of the problem in this case.

The other problem you have to worry about is that the wet cat food loses water quickly. Hence, if you keep it out for a long time, it will be dry and inedible.

If you use a wet cat food diet, the cat collects its water requirements from the wet cat food. When the wet food dries up, the cat can even suffer from dehydration. It is why you should always feed fresh wet cat food to the cat.

How Long Can Wet Cat Food Sit Out Before It Goes Bad?

The correct answer to this question would be: it depends on the manufacturer.

While some brands claim that you can keep the wet cat food out in the open for as long as four hours, others claim that it becomes spoiled in one hour of staying in the air.

The condition of the room also determines this length. If you keep the wet cat food inside a cold room, it will be alright for a lengthier time.

However, if it is in a hot and humid room, you should not let the cat eat the food if it was in an exposed state for more than an hour.

We can recommend that you not go beyond the one hour mark as it becomes non-deterministic whether it is fresh or spoiled after that. 


It is widespread for new cat owners to commit mistakes at the beginning. The cat would not suffer from any disease if you did that by mistake.

But repeating this practice can be quite problematic for the health of the cat.

If your cat has eaten spoiled food by mistake, you can take the cat to a veterinarian to be safe. Responding to the cat’s every need is your utmost responsibility.