Last night I was in a bit of a rush and really tired and completely forgot to put the raw meat back in the fridge or put the lid back on. I know cats have a higher tolerance for diseases that come from raw meat, but I don't wanna take any risks and also not really keen on binning the entire tub of Jimbo meat. So, is it safe for her to eat? Should I scoop off the top half of meat? Or bin everything?
Please note that this is only my subjective, not scientific opinion...
The meat should be fine, but you cannot keep it much longer now. It's bacteria and fungi (mould) that spoil foods, and it's the cold of the fridge that slows their growth down to keep foods fresh for longer. Since the meat wasn't refrigerated for several hours, it's comparable to meat that was refrigerated for several days (maybe 3 - 5 days, but that's my completely non-scientific opinion and highly depends on the room temperature in your kitchen).
It should still be edible, as long as there's no sign of:
- Mould; If there's any white, grey, green or black fuzz anywhere on the meat, bin the whole can. It's not the fuzz that's poisonous, but the metabolic by-products that have already spread through the whole can by the time the mould becomes visible.
- Greenish slime or milky liquid; That's a sign of excess bacteria and can lead to vomiting and diarrhea. Again, throw the whole thing away because there's no way to tell if the bottom of the can contains less bacteria.
- Bad odor; You know how the meat usually smells. If the odor changed, it's a sign of excess bacteria. Even if it was still edible, your cat probably would refuse eating it.
Cats have a much finer nose than humans and can smell rot much better. Domesticated cats evolved to eat fresh prey and refuse carrion. If your cat refuses to eat the meat, you won't have much choice but throw it away.