How Long Can Wet Cat Food Stay Out For?


How long should I leave wet food out?

By wet, we are referring to canned cat food or raw cat food. How long it can be left in the cat’s bowl depends on the temperature. Wet food will last longer in cooler temperatures. As a rule of thumb, I will leave wet cat food out for a maximum of 30 minutes. Remove and discard any remaining food and wash the bowl with warm, soapy water.

In ideal conditions, bacterial growth in food can double every 20 minutes, which can make your cat very sick. If you find that you are routinely throwing out uneaten food, it may be a good idea to revise the amount of food you are feeding your cats.

How to store wet food

Transfer remaining food into a glass or ceramic bowl, cover with cling wrap and store in the refrigerator.  Store wet food in the fridge for up to three days.

Many cats don’t like to eat cold food straight from the refrigerator, warm for 30 seconds in the microwave to take the chill out of it.


  • Julia Wilson, 'Cat World' Founder

    Julia Wilson is the founder of Cat-World, and has researched and written over 1,000 articles about cats. She is a cat expert with over 20 years of experience writing about a wide range of cat topics, with a special interest in cat health, welfare and preventative care. Julia lives in Sydney with her family, four cats and two dogs. Full author bio