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Can Cats Eat Cold Food?

With cats firmly holding on to their spot as the second most popular pet behind dogs in North America and Europe, it’s not surprising that we constantly see large numbers of questions from people relating to keeping cats and offering the best possible care.

It’s good to see so many responsible cat owners reaching out for help on various topics that they need help with and we have noticed more and more people asking if cats can eat cold food or not recently.

As we constantly see a large number of people reaching out about if cats can eat cold food or not as well as there being a large amount of confusion on the topic, we have decided to publish this dedicated article to try and help our readers who have pet cats.

Our hope is that we will be able to go over the more commonly asked questions that we notice people asking and help our readers avoid some of the more common mistakes that people make time and time again with cold cat food.

To be clear, for the majority of this article we are going to be focusing on cold cat food that has been in a refrigerator, not room temperature wet cat food that has been stored in a draw or cupboard.

We often see people getting these two confused and they are totally different conditions for the food but we will go into more detail as we work our way through the article.

On top of that, we will also be answering a number of other questions we see asked about cold cat food in with our table of contents below offering quick and easy navigation.

Can Cats Eat Cold Food?

Although some cats will happily eat cold food right from the refrigerator if they are hungry enough, some cats will outright refuse it until it has warmed up to room temperature.

A small number of cats can also end up vomiting if they eat cold cat food but this does tend to be rare and is often down to the cat eating too much cold cat food too quickly.

Most cat owners will open a can of wet cat food, put a serving into their cat’s bowl and then store the rest of the food in the can until their cat’s next meal. Many people will put the opened can of cat food into their refrigerator until they need it causing the cat food to go cold when in most cases, this is not needed.

You can usually put the cat food in a decent Tupperware container and store it in a cupboard or draw until you need it next.

This will keep the food at room temperature until you need it next without it going cold. This will then prevent any problems with your cat eating cold cat food while still keeping the food as fresh as possible.

Some people do find it easier to use something like the Cat Mate C500 as it allows you to load the days worth of cat food into it and then it will automatically rotate to give your cat access to more portions of fresh food throughout the day. If you will be out of the house at work most of the day then this is probably the best option to take for most people.

Is It Ok To Feed Cats Cold Wet Food?

It is technically ok to offer your cat cold wet food but the majority of cats will probably leave the cold food until it has warmed up to room temperature.

Some cats can vomit any cold food that they eat back up quickly too due their core temperature falling quickly and their natural reaction being to vomit.

Vomiting from cold cat food usually requires your cat to consume a large amount of cold cat food in a short period of time too as this is the easiest way for its core temperature to drop.

One way around this is to only give your cat a small amount of its meal while the rest of the food is left to warm up to room temperature before giving it to your cat.

This whole process can be avoided though if you simply use the method that we covered earlier in the article of keeping the wet cat food in a decent Tupperware container and storing it at room temperature instead of putting it in the refrigerator.

If you do have to keep the cat food in the refrigerator for what ever reason, you can try taking it out an hour before feeding it to your cat to give it a chance to warm up.

Can Cold Food Make Cats Sick?

Although it is very rare that cold cat food will make your cat sick just because it is cold, vomiting after eating cold cat food can be common in some cats.

This is usually due to the cold cat food causing the cat’s core temperature to drop quickly and its natural reaction being to vomit but is usually nothing to worry about.

If you are worries about your cat vomiting after eating cold cat food then you can book a video call with a professional vet to have them quickly check your cat over via a video call.

These video calls tend to be cheaper than a trip to your local vets and allow you to book it in to fit your schedule to help you put your mind at ease as to why your cat may be vomiting after eating cold food.

If you notice that your pet cat also vomits after eating food at room temperature then it may be vomiting due to an allergy rather than due to the temperature of the food.

Believe it or not, three of the main things cats have allergies to are chicken, beef, and fish with many cat food products including one of them and making some cats vomit due to allergins in their food.

Should I Put Cat Food In The Fridge?

Although most people still put their cat food in the fridge once they have opened the can, this is usually not required if the cat food will be put into your cat’s bowl that same day.

Most modern wet cat food formulas will be able to stay wet for the majority of the day provided you put it into some Tupperware with decent seals until you need it.

This can remove the potential problems with cold cat food as keeping the wet cat food in Tupperware in a draw or cupboard keeps it at room temperature for you.

There are a number of other seal fresh style products on the market these days too but they tend to be much more expensive than some simple Tupperware.

If you do want to keep your cat food in the fridge before giving it to your pet cat to eat then we would highly recommend that you try to let it warm up to room temperature before offering it to your cat though.

You are able to do this by taking the cat food out of the fridge an hour before giving it to your cat but we usually recommend that our readers avoid using a microwave to warm their cat’s food up.

Should I Warm Up Wet Cat Food?

Although a large number of people do use a microwave to warm their pets food up before offering the food to their pets, a microwave can drastically change the fat molecules in the food.

This can make it harder for your pet to get its calories from the food and due to cats being obligate carnivores, they require fat as their primary energy source.

There are also a number of other less common issues that can occur due to feeding your cat food that you have put in the microwave before feeding it to your cat.

Thankfully though, these are rare and tend not to be common enough for most people to worry about but the problems with digesting the fat content can be common and result in your cat becoming lethargic.

Considering that there are so many alternative options that you are able to use to lt your cat’s cold food warm up to room temperature instead of using a microwave, we simply feel it is not worth the risk of using a microwave.

Some people do use a small amount of boiling water to try and warm their cat’s food up quickly but this can also result in your pet cat burning its tongue if you offer the food to your cat too soon.


That brings our article going over if cats can eat cold food or not to a close. We hope that we have been able to point out the various potential problems with trying to feed your cat cold food in our article as well as covered a few ways to help you avoid having to feed your cat cold food. Although some cats will be able to eat cold food without issue, some will have issues with a small number actually vomiting so it is usually best to warm the cat food to room temperature prior to giving it to your cats.