Do Cat Treats Expire? Is It Safe To Feed Old Treats To My Cat?

Feeding old or expired treats to your cat is never a good idea as you do not know how their body is going to react to the product. 

Yes, cat treats expire.

If you do not see an expiration date clearly specified on the label, it’s safest to avoid giving the snacks to your cat. 

If you buy cat treats and there isn’t any date on the packaging, you should assume that they will expire within several months (maximum 6 months). 

do cat treats expire

What Happens If A Cat Eats Expired Cat Food/Treats?

This actually depends on how much time has passed since the expiration date, your cat’s general health, and whether or not the snacks were in the meantime contaminated with a pathogen. 

Some cat treats can also have a higher fat content and this is a technique that many manufacturers use to make them more palatable and appealing to this species. 

As you can imagine, the oils in cat snacks begin to deteriorate after a while, especially if you do not keep them in an airtight container or package. 

These oils can give your cat a hard time when it comes to digesting them. 

Most cats experience the following symptoms after having eaten expired cat food or treats:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Anorexia
  • Dermatitis or allergies 

Is It Safe For My Cat To Eat Expired Treats?

The answer to this question is a hard no

Although you might not feel that your own food is safe to eat even if a day or two has passed since its expiration date, you should not have the same way of thinking as your cat. 

This species is sensitive to a variety of factors, whether medications or food.

Their little bodies do not react as well to such aggressors as dogs’ bodies might, by comparison. 

And this is also due to the fact that they are so small. 

Their bodies are just incapable of handling a pathogen that could lead to food poisoning, for example, in the same way a human’s body would. 

While the bacterium itself definitely influences the severity of the gastrointestinal symptoms that a cat can show, the bacterial growth that might have occurred on the expired treats also have a say in this. 

If they are contaminated and your cat eats a lot of them, the likelihood of them showing concerning symptoms is high. 

What To Do If My Cat Has Eaten Expired Treats?

The first question you should ask yourself is how long has passed since those treats’ expiration date. 

If two years have passed since the expiration date, take them to the veterinary clinic immediately, without waiting to see how their body reacts. 

If one or two days have passed, the treats are not likely to cause any problem besides some mild digestive distress. 

However, if your cat experiences any form of vomiting or diarrhoea, whether recurring or not, they are in need of veterinary assistance. 

Ask a Vet

If your has eaten expired treats and you are concerned then we recommend you speak with a vet ASAP.

JustAnswer allows you to talk in real-time to veterinary experts for a small fee.

At least call your vet and ask them what you should do if you are having second thoughts in this sense. 

How Long Past The Expiration Date Is It Safe For My Cat To Eat A Cat Treat?

It’s never a good idea to consider expired food or expired cat treats safe for your pet at any time. 

But accidents can happen every now and then, so you might not even realise that the snacks you’ve given your pet have expired. 

Most dry cat food has an expiration date of at least two years. However, that also depends on whether you’ve opened the package or not. 

The moment you’ve opened a bag of cat food, you should make sure that you use it within six months. 

That is the recommendation of most world-known cat food manufacturers, whether Royal Canin or Hill’s Science Diet. 

So, if more than six months have passed since you tore the bag open, you should throw them out rather than feeding them to your cat. 

In general, cat snacks are still safe to give to pets about a week after their expiration date. 

Don’t overdo it though, treats shouldn’t be fed to your cat too often.

If you have leftover expired treats they make a good snack for hedgehogs (since they’re huge cat food aficionados) or you can give them to stray cats (if there are any in your area).  

Does Heat Make Treats & Cat Food Go Bad Sooner?

It depends on the conditions you’ve kept the cat treats in.

Another factor that would affect their shelf life would be the moisture and fat content. 

If the cat treats are more or less moist, they will simply dry up and might not even be palatable enough for your cat to be interested in. 

cat eating a snack

However, if they also have a relatively high-fat content, you can’t tell how the product is going to react to the heat. 

Extreme heat and dryness usually make cat snacks relatively safer. 

If you didn’t know, most pathogens need some amount of water or moisture to be able to survive and reproduce. 

If the cat treats become extremely dry, they are also less likely to cause digestive upsets. But since you can’t know how for sure, avoid storing your cat’s snacks in areas where the sun might shine directly on the bag, for instance. 

Do Temptations Cat Treats Expire?


The manufacturing date should be clearly stated on the label of the Temptations bag you get your cat to enjoy on occasion. 

In general, Temptations treats expire in one year following the manufacturing date, but this is not a general rule. 

They can be made in various countries where other health policies are in place, so they could either last for six months or one year and a half or even two. 

What we would like to note is that these snacks will expire in a period of one month or less after you have opened up the package. 

Does Whiskas Cat Food Expire?

Like any other type of food you might feed your cat, Whiskas cat food also expires. 

Fortunately, the manufacturer clearly specifies the expiration date on the food label where it is typically shown in the form of month/year.

For example, on kibble, you might see the date 10/2023 (the first being the month and the second the year), which will give you the peace of mind you need to continue feeding it to your cat. 

While you might think that wet food tends to expire faster, that’s not exactly true. 

Canned cat food has a similar shelf life because it’s usually processed in high heat, so the chances of it being contaminated with bacteria or any other pathogens are virtually null.

Then, the cans or pouches go through a process where they are sealed so that the medium inside is kept completely free of any germs that might be in the outside world (including on their surface as they are being transported from the manufacturer to the seller). 

Once you open the can or the pouch, things start to change. 

The moisture content of this type of food makes it more likely to go bad a lot faster compared to dry cat food. 

In fact, this is the main reason why so many cats are no longer interested in eating a pouch that was opened the day before. 

Not only do the pieces and the jelly and sauce become dryer, but they also have a funny smell that can put cats off a bit. 

And if you make the mistake of not storing the wet food in the refrigerator, it could be bad in a couple of hours depending on your climate. 

In the summer, it takes just two or three hours for a whole slew of bacteria to grow on canned food. 

A good way of ensuring that your cat is getting good healthy treats that definitely haven’t expired is to make your own cat treats, that way you will know that they are fresh and you know exactly what is in them.

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