Most of you already know that we do not recommend feeding kibble to your cats unless absolutely necessary. Everyone has different circumstances – and sometimes dry food is the only option.
If you are feeding your cat kibble, it’s important to know safe storage guidelines to help keep you and your cat safe. But let’s start with a hard truth about kibble first.
Unfortunately, dry food is the #1 type of pet food recalled in the past 10 years. Recalls on kibble include deadly contaminants – like e.coli, salmonella, aflatoxins, and pentobarbital (the drug used in the euthanasia process). It’s worth noting that certain brands of dry food have been repeat offenders. Many times, recalls were issued only after enough pet owners investigated the cause of their pet’s death themselves. Not because of regulatory oversight or internal quality control.
The lesson here?
It’s our job to keep on top of knowing if the kibble we feed is safe. Search the brand you feed regularly to find out if there have been any recent recalls. And be prepared to switch foods if needed.
How you store kibble also greatly impacts its safety. Dry food that is stored in plastic or kept in a warm or humid environment – like a pantry – is at risk for bacterial and fungal growth, rancidity, and even storage mites – so it’s recommended to store kibble in an air-tight (preferably glass) container in the freezer. Regardless of expiration date, dry food should be used within 30 days of opening. Once the kibble is exposed to oxygen, the dietary fats will begin to go rancid. This is also why new food should never be added to old food.
Dry food may be an affordable food option. Maybe it’s more convenient. As with anything we allow in our cat’s bodies, it’s our job to know the source, its safety, and avoid the health issues it can cause.