How long do cat treats remain good, and is it safe to give my cat treats that have passed their expiration date?

cat treats go bad

Image Credit:Jessica Emovon

Giving your cat old or expired treats is never a smart idea because you never know how their body will react to the food. 

In fact, cat treats do expire. 

If there isn’t a clear expiration date on the label, it’s best to avoid giving your cat any treats. 

If the package of cat treats you buy doesn’t have an expiration date, you should assume they will go bad in a few months (at most six months). 

How long do cat treats last? 

What Happens If a Cat Eats Treats or Food Meant for Old Cats? 

the length of time since the product’s expiration date, your cat’s general health and whether or not the snacks were at the time pathogen-contaminated. 

Some cat treats may also contain extra fat, which is a trick used by many producers to make them more tasty and enticing to this species. 

As you may expect, the oils in cat snacks start to deteriorate after some time, especially if you don’t store them in an airtight bag or container. 

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Image Credit:Marol Escajeda

When it comes to digestion, these oils may cause problems for your cat.

Following consumption of outdated cat food or treats, the following signs are typically observed in cats: 




Skin conditions or allergies 

Does My Cat Safely Consume Expiring Treats? 

Cats are susceptible to various substances, including food and drugs, and their small bodies make them less able to handle diseases like food poisoning. Their small size and diminutive size contribute to their inability to handle diseases like food poisoning. The severity of gastrointestinal symptoms depends on the pathogen itself. 

Expiration-dated treats may cause bacterial growth and potential cat symptoms. If your cat consumes a lot of these treats, they may display alarming signs. Assess the expiration date and take them to the vet if two years have passed. The treats may cause mild intestinal discomfort after one or two days, but if vomiting occurs, seek medical attention immediately. They require veterinarian care whether the problems are frequent or not. 

To a Vet 

We advise you to contact a vet as soon as possible if you believe your pet may have consumed treats that have gone bad. 

If you are having second thoughts in this regard, at the very least call your veterinarian and ask them what you should do. 

When is it OK for my cat to eat a cat treat after the expiration date? 

It’s never a good idea to believe that your pet can consume expired food or cat treats. 

However, mistakes might happen occasionally, so it’s possible that you have given your pet outdated treats without even realizing it.

The majority of dry cat food has a shelf life of at least two years. But that also relies on whether you’ve cracked open the package. 

Once a bag of cat food has been opened, it should be consumed within six months. 

The majority of well-known cat food producers, like Royal Canin and Hill’s Science Diet, advise following that advice. 

So, rather than feeding them to your cat, you should throw them out if it has been more than six months after you tore the bag open. 

Generally speaking, a week beyond their expiration date, cat snacks are still safe to feed to animals. 

Treats shouldn’t be given to your cat too frequently; don’t overdo it. 

If you have any leftover, expired treats, you can either give them to stray cats (if there are any in your neighbourhood) or hedgehogs, which are major fans of cat food. 

Does Heat Speed Up the Expiration of Treats and Cat Food? 

It depends on the circumstances under which you stored the cat treats.

The moisture and fat content would also have an impact on how long they would last on the shelf. 

If the cat treats are too moist or too dry, they won’t last long and may not even be tasty enough to pique your cat’s attention. 

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Image Credit:Dani Irwan

Cat snacks with high-fat content are generally safer due to their extreme heat and dryness. Most pathogens need water or moisture to survive and reproduce, so storing them in areas with direct sunlight can cause digestive upsets. Temptations cat treats expire within one year, but can last for six months or a half or two. Whiskas cat food also expires, but the manufacturer clearly specifies the expiration date on the food label in the form of month/year. Wet food, processed in high heat, has a similar shelf life but is more likely to go bad faster due to its moisture content. This is why many cats are less interested in opening pouches the day before. If not stored in the refrigerator, canned food can be bad in just a couple of hours depending on the climate. To ensure your cat gets fresh, healthy treats without expiration, consider making your own treats.