How Do You Know if Canned Cat Food Is Bad?

Canned cat food is a convenient and nutritious option for pet owners looking to provide their cats with balanced meals. However, it’s important to remember that, like all foods, canned cat food can spoil and become dangerous for cats to consume. Knowing how to recognize the signs of bad canned cat food can help pet owners ensure their feline friends are always safe and healthy.

Examining the Can

The most obvious indication of spoiled canned cat food is the physical condition of the can itself. Look for any dents or punctures in the can that might indicate damage or tampering. If the seal on top of the can is broken or appears tampered with, then it’s best to discard that particular can as it may be unsafe for your cat.

Checking for Color Changes

Another way to tell if canned cat food has gone bad is by examining its color. Fresh cans should be uniform in color without any discoloration or darkening that could indicate oxidation from contact with air.

Additionally, you should check for any visible mold growth on surfaces inside or outside of the can. If either of these situations occur, then it’s best to discard that specific can.

Smell Test

Finally, you should smell both the contents and exterior of a canned cat food product before giving it to your pet. Unusual odors like a sour smell coming from inside the can may signify spoilage due to bacteria growth while an off-putting odor coming from outside may mean there was a breach in the factory seal allowing air in.


It’s important for pet owners to take precautions when feeding their cats canned cat food by regularly examining cans for punctures, discoloration, odors and other signs of spoilage before serving them up. By performing these simple inspections, pet owners can ensure their cats are consuming safe and healthy meals every time they eat.