Is Your Cats Food Expired? Why it is so important to check the best by date.

It is so easy for us humans to assume that canned goods have infinite expiry’s, and yes it’s true that they are dated much farther into the future than fresh food but it’s important to understand how important it is to stick the those dates on the back of your cats dinner.  Many pet owners wonder what actually happens when these expiry dates are reached. Does it go rancid? Does it lose its nutrients? Does it actually go bad?  Today I will go into detail and try to answer some of the most common questions.

Shelf life varies greatly from company to company; dry pet foods can last anywhere from 4 months to 3 years where as canned products can last from 1 to 5 years. It’s also important to note that the ‘best by’ date on these products does not denote when the product was made, only the date that particular company has decided that specific food does not provide your cat with the proper nutrition anymore.

How you store your cat food also plays a huge role in how long it will last. Here are some tips on correct storage procedures:

  1. Once canned food is opened it should be covered immediately and stored in the fridge for a maximum of 3 days.
  2. Both dry and wet food should always be stored in a cool and dry storage space.
  3. You can buy specially made ‘can covers’ from some pet shops, vets and supermarkets these provide extra help to keep the oxygen out.
  4. Avoid damp and humid spaces like bathrooms and garages since moisture can trigger the growth of mould.
  5. Dry food should be kept in its original packaging and sealed tightly, for extra longevity keep the bag in an airtight container.

Remember that what you feed your cat is always critical to their health and wellbeing. If you are concerned about the state of your pet’s food it is always best to throw it away and purchase fresh food as then you won’t have to worry about your pet’s health and safety.


Cats and Hairballs

Everything you need to know about hairballs

Cats and hairballs, whenever I see a cat coughing up a hairball, it reminds me of the animated Puss in Boots movie, where our hero seems to have quite a problem with hairballs, and often has to stop the action in order to deal with his hairball problem.

Is your cat coughing up hair balls? The occasional hairball is no cause for alarm, but if it’s a regular occurrence for your cat there could be more to it.  Keep reading for more information on hairballs

Ever wondered why your cat coughs up hairballs? Well it all starts with your cats grooming routine; cats being quite interested in how they appear to the rest of creation, one may even say rather vain,  are always making sure their coat is in tip top shape. As cats groom themselves they pull out the dead hairs and most of it passes through the digestive tract with no problems, however sometimes some of the hair will stay in the stomach and form a hairball.

This is not a pleasant occurrence for your cat, as they vomit it up, and it can be quite a painful experience; thus it is important to seek medical attention if this is a regular occurrence in your home.  If you notice any of the following hairball symptoms be sure to contact your vet as these could be an indication of a potentially life threatening blockage:

  • Lack of appetite
  • Ongoing vomiting, retching or gagging without producing a hairball
  • Lethargy
  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation

There are some helpful preventative tips that you can put in place to try avoid these situations as best as possible including:

  1. Feeding your cat food with added fibre

Feeding your cat a diet rich in fibre will help bind the hair and stimulate the intestine to aid in hairball reduction.

  1. Groom your cat regularly

Grooming your cat on a regular basis will help to remove the excess fur which will equal less fur ending up in their stomach when they do their own grooming. A simple comb or brush each day should suffice and can also provide a fun way to spend some time with your cat!

  1. Use a special hairball product or laxative

 A vet can recommend a suitable laxative or hairball product which can help the hairball to pass through the digestive track.

  1. Small servings of coconut oil, has also been reported to assist with digestive tract issues, including those related to hairballs