Categories: wet cat food

How I Get Rid Of Uneaten Wet Cat Food

Getting rid of uneaten cat food

From me, and I might not be entirely typical (an understatement!), one of the great problems of getting rid of uneaten cat food is that if you put it in a plastic bag and put that bag into the rubbish bin it can still smell. It is particularly bad in warm weather for obvious reasons. The smell is very pervasive and difficult to contain.

Plastic bags don’t seem to be able to contain the smell. Also plastic bags are both environmentally unfriendly in terms of manufacture and landfill. There is a pressing need nowadays to minimise the use plastic bags in whatever context and certainly in terms of being discarded.

Where I live we are meant to recycle waste food by placing it in a small container. However, it’s impractical I believe. The only waste food from my house is cat food and if it’s placed in the container it attracts flies and then there are maggots and a horrible smell. That’s why I developed an alternative method.



A further point about putting waste cat food into plastic bags that it is not as convenient as doing it the way I demonstrate in the video.

In using aluminium foil it is easier to scrape out the cat food and put it onto the foil. In landfill, aluminium foil oxidises down in about 500 years and there’s no leaching out of chemicals into the soil. It biodegrades cleanly and safely. It returns from whence it come so to speak. Plastic takes both a thousand years to biodegrade and is more environmentally polluting because chemicals leach out into the surrounding landscape.

The foil also keeps the smells well contained. It is 100% successful in this regard. I’d like to hear your views on it although as mentioned at the beginning of this article you might find what I’m doing slightly mad. And you may disagree on the environmental issues.

I find that inevitably there is some waste. Often my cat eats the entire contents of the bowl but not always. I have found this with all my cat companions despite my best efforts to avoid waste. Perhaps this is one reason why dry cat food is such a successful product commercially.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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  • I combine all of my cat food remnants daily and put out nightly for raccoons, armadillos, and opossums.

      • Urban foxes,badgers,hedgehogs to name but three that are indigenous to the UK & readily found in urban environments. they will all eat old, wet cat food. Even blackbirds will eat old, wet cat food in hard times.

        All corvidae love cat food too, not to mention pigeons & gulls.

        Your neighbours might hate & report you to the 'rotten borough' for enticing pigeons & gulls.

        Try finding a piece of public land, even wide road verges will be good locations to dispose of it and feed some wildlife.

        Flushing it down the bog is more environmentally friendly and stink/maggot/fly fantasy/nightmare avoidant than using new tin foil to send to land fill.

        • Do you really think flushing it down the bog is better? I am not sure it is. Not a bad idea but it is not one that comes to mind. Not my mind anyway :)

          • Yes, flushing it is better, if you believe that wild life won't eat it.

            It is probably much less bacterially offensive than human faeces, whatever the diet.

            Leaving wet cat food out so long that it goes off? If you have to leave it out, get feeding bowls that you can put those solid ice packs underneath. That will put off the rot for a bit longer. Solid ice packs that you can fill with tap water are available.

            Failing tnat, maybe only feed an amount that puss will eat in one go. If puss is still hungry, bowl clean etc, put out a bit more.

          • It can be tricky to gauge when a cat is ready to eat. Sometimes they give the impression they are hungry and then don't eat.

          • Never had a problem with that. All cats are different. I have never done free feeding, as have always had at least one cat amongst many who would eat ALL of the food left out.

            With current two I keep to scheduled feeding times.

        • Jane I don't believe they will eat rotten cat food if my neighbours are feeding them as do with decent food. We have foxes here and I feed them but they won't eat rotten cat food. I don't think so anyway. Also I'd have to use a bowl and that'd be visible to neighbours who'd probably ask questions. There are no badgers or hedgehogs here. It's a densely populated environment.

          • Why leave the cat food in the cat bowl until it is rotten?

            Maybe that's why you have flies and maggots?

            Feeding smaller amounts might be the answer to all of your problems.

            Your local wild life group will tell you all about the local population of wild life.

            Corvids will specifically eat rotten meat as they are a carrion species.

            Why the aversion to flushing it? It will be dealt with by the sewage treatment system as easily & as cleanly as human waste.

          • I don't leave the cat food in the bowl until it is rotten but in a plastic bag in summer, or in a council food waste bin in a supplied plastic bag, it attracts flies and therefore you get maggots and smells etc.. I think I make the point about flushing. If everyone in a large area followed that advice there'd be an issue. Also it will encourage people to flush human foods down the toilet creating more potential problems. I don't think the purpose of the toilet is an uneaten food waste disposal system or disposal system for other items other than what it is designed for.

            "It will be dealt with by the sewage treatment system as easily & as cleanly as human waste." Are your sure? And what if there is a hell of a lot of it?

          • Aaah, the old "what if everyone did it?" response!

            They don't and won't.

            Others in the thread have said they use cat food leavings to help out wildlife.

            Pretty much all problems in the UK sewage system are caused by morons flushing non dissolving wipes/nappies down the loo and their idiot relations pouring oil, melted hard fats and grease down sinks. Not by flushing small amounts of highly processed wet cat food down the loo.

            How do I know this? Via an acquaintance who clears blocked sewers for a living, for a water authority.

            How will everyone in the whole world know what you are flushing down your personal lavatory? How will your habits encourage everyone to follow suit?

            Small compostable bags are very cheap, usually made from recycled material and easier on the environment than brand new tin foil. Put the old wet cat food in there. These bags can be tied tight. Closed, clean caddies don't stink if washed out after collection. Maybe use a new bag each time you chuck out old cat food?

            If the cat food has not gone off and is not rotten, then why the issue about feeding it to wildlife?

            I know some urban areas appear to be total deserts for wildlife, but you say you have foxes & feed them. You will have other wildlife, like hedgehogs - they need all the help they can get these days.

            Everyone with an outdoor space can do a lot to help our beleaguered wildlife, even in ultra tidy, super manicured urban areas with nosy neighbours. The smallest effort to encourage wild life can make a huge and positive difference.

        • Yes, point made but I don't think rotten, smelly maggot-ridden waste cat food is of interest to them. They are fed by my neighbours with bird feeders etc.. If I fed mice with rotten cat food the neighbours would probably complain.

  • We've not had any pongs, maggots, flies or stinks since the recycling started. Neither of us could put up with any of that.

    Flush it down the bog!

  • Do your local 'rotten borough' not insist on food waste recycling weekly? What on earth do they spend your no doubt huge Council Tax payment on? Lobby them!

    I thought it was a nationwide, council thang?

    Ours do recycling collections weekly. They provide a food waste kitchen caddy, with secure lid. All food waste, cooked/raw goes in there. We line ours with compostable bags to avoid a sloppy, stinky mess. When the caddy is full, we tie a knot in the bag, then it goes outside into a fox/dog/cat/rodent proof lidded, larger caddy.

    The caddies, small & large are remarkably good at containing stink. You do need to wash them weekly, hot water and washing up liquid will do the job. If you do that, no flies either.

    Before the advent of recycling, any uneaten wet cat food was flushed down the toilet. Wet cat food is probably already more processed than er, human waste. It flushed fine. No blockages either.

    • They actually provide a small container but it attracts flies and then I get maggots and it pongs. I have to do this to make it manageable. Perhaps others don't care about ponging, maggot infested waste food buckets (which I only use for waste cat food as I have no waste human food or almost none) but I do. The technique you see deals with the issues but I can't throw it in the waste food container or don't believe I can.

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