Cats can be finicky eaters sometimes. When it comes to wet cat food, some cats will eat the food straight from the fridge, while others prefer their food warmed up before eating. Warming up a cat’s wet food will enhance the smell and palatability of the food, so your cat will probably enjoy it more warmed up.
Let’s learn more about preparing wet food for our feline friends.
Is it normal to heat up your pet’s food?
The final decision to heat your cat’s food is yours. It can be a bit of a hassle without much benefit. That’s why only 24% of cat owners bother to heat their feline companions’ food, serving them room temperature food most of the time.
However, heating your cat’s food is an excellent approach if you typically store your cat’s food in the refrigerator or if you’re trying to encourage them to eat more. Otherwise, it’s up to you and your cat’s preferences.
The most important thing to take into consideration is ensuring your cat has optimal health. Cats have a normal body temperature of around 101 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s important to make sure your cat’s food doesn’t get too hot nor cold, so it doesn’t burn them or lower their body temperature too much.
If you have any concern that the food may be too hot, check it against the back of your hand. If it’s too hot for your skin, then it’s even hotter for your feline companion’s mouth. You can also use a thermometer to double-check the food’s temperature.
Although warm food can be delicious to humans, when feeding your cats, make sure not to ‘anthropomorphize’ your cat too much or give them human characteristics. Most cats don’t actually care whether their food is warm or cold.
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Benefits of eating up wet cat food
If your cat doesn’t seem interested in his cold wet food, or you just want to introduce some variety into his diet, you could try warming up some food for him. It has several benefits, including:
- Cats can typically taste their food through its scent, meaning they begin to pick up their food’s flavors before eating the actual food. Food that is warmed up to between 93 and 103 degrees Fahrenheit can increase this enticing aroma and make their meals even tastier and pleasant.
- Since a cat is a natural predator, they should be able to catch and kill their prey, which usually remains warm as they eat their catch. This means that cats are naturally inclined to heat warm food.
One thing to note is that placing your cat’s food inside the refrigerator prevents you from serving it at room temperature. Most cat food brands advise that cat food should be eaten at least at room temperature. So, if you do keep it in the fridge for some reason, you will need to warm your cat’s food up before serving, bringing it to palatable temperatures.
As long as it is unopened, most canned cat foods don’t actually need to be kept in the fridge. If you open the can and only serve half of it to start, the remaining half should be refrigerated.
Giving your cat raw meat
Cats have a natural appetite for protein. Considering their ancestry as wild cats, you may be wondering if they need raw or cooked food. It isn’t always clear how packaged or commercial cat food is made, so if you’re thinking of preparing your cat’s food yourself, you’ll need to know how to prepare their meals.
Keep in mind to never base your pet’s diet on a human diet because it won’t provide enough protein for your cat and will cause health issues for them. Additionally, be careful when creating a raw food diet for your feline companion.
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) doesn’t recommend giving any raw food to your pets, especially if they have a weakened immune system. That’s because of the bacteria and other pathogens that come from raw meat can pose a considerable risk for your cat.
A cat can typically process raw meat, meaning you can add it to their diet. However, there are several risks involved for both you and your cat, though research about the issue is still scarce. If you’re going to offer raw meat for your cat, wash your hands before and after preparing the food.
Here are other measures you should keep in mind:
- Separate the meat and anything it touches from other foods.
- Wash any item the raw meat touches quickly and thoroughly using warm water and dish soap.
- Choose and purchase the best quality meat from reputable stores.
- Ask your cat’s veterinarian if raw meat is suitable for your cat.
- Keep an eye out for any changes in your cat’s health or symptoms.
Cooking meat for your cat
Domestic cats are perfectly healthy eating nutritious, high-quality, store-bought foods, but perhaps you want to give your feline friend an extra treat once in a while, like some plain chicken breast.
When cooking for your cat, make sure the meat is thoroughly cooked and has an internal temperature of at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit. This will remove any harmful particles. It’s also best to keep the food safe by not adding any seasonings, as they can be toxic to your pets.
More questions about wet cat food
Should wet cat food be refrigerated?
If you’ve opened a can of wet cat food and you didn’t use the whole can, you must store it in the fridge at a temperature between 40°F to 45°F. It can last for 5 to 7 days. Any food left at an ambient temperature of 50°F or more can be dangerous to your cat’s health. After 5 to 7 days, throw out any leftovers.
Can I microwave wet cat food?
Since some cats may dislike the feeling of cold food, you can warm it to make it more appetizing for them.
You can microwave wet cat food by placing it on a microwave-safe plate and warming it briefly before giving it to your feline companion. Make sure you don’t overheat it, or it can burn your cat. If wet food scraps are left behind, toss them out after four hours.
How do you know if wet cat food is bad?
You can’t judge a cat food’s quality by its smell alone since most pet foods, especially wet ones, can smell relatively pungent to the human nose. However, if you’ve been using a particular brand or type of cat food regularly, you’ll quickly notice if it smells “off” or different. Additionally, you can check the cat food’s expiration date.
Why would a cat stop eating wet food?
If your cats have stopped eating their wet food, it might be because they’ve grown tired of the flavor or it’s too cold. Cold, wet food can lose its delicious aroma when kept in the fridge, and cats won’t usually eat what they can’t smell. If this is the case, try warming up your cat’s food before serving.
The bottom line
Many cats will refuse the cold, wet cat food that their owners are serving. This is because the cold wet cat food doesn’t smell that strong compared to warm wet foods. Slowly and gently warming your cat’s food will release and increase the food’s aroma, which makes the cat food more appealing to your cats. Just ensure you don’t serve the food too hot for your feline friend.