How Many Cans in a Pound? The Surprising Answer for Aluminum Cat Food Cans


Knowing approximately how many aluminum cat food cans are in a pound can be useful for several reasons. When doing comparison shopping, cans per pound gives you a standard unit of measure to understand the relative value between different sized cans or brands. It allows you to calculate how many cans you need to feed your cat(s) based on their calorie needs. For shelters and rescue organizations that buy food in bulk, cans per pound helps determine how much food to purchase for their cat population.

Average Weight of Aluminum Cat Food Cans

Aluminum cat food cans typically weigh between 14-17 grams. According to a discussion on Reddit, a user who weighed full fancy feast cans found they were around 16-17 grams each [1]. Another source indicates 50 gallons of crushed aluminum cans weighs 30-40 lbs, or about 14-16 grams per can on average [2]. So the typical range seems to be 14-17 grams per standard 3 oz aluminum cat food can.

Factors Affecting Weight

One of the main factors affecting a cat’s weight is the type of cat food they are fed – wet vs dry. Multiple studies have examined the relationship between cat food and weight, finding that dry food is often associated with weight gain and obesity in cats compared to wet food.

According to research published in Factors associated with overweight cats successfully losing weight, cats fed a wet food diet were more likely to lose weight compared to cats fed dry food. The high carbohydrate content of many dry foods can contribute to obesity.

As Companion Veterinary Clinic discusses in their article How to Feed Your Cat So It Stops Begging and Starts Losing Weight, free choice dry food often leads to overeating and weight gain in cats. The lower moisture content of dry food means cats don’t feel as full compared to wet food.

According to Wet Cat Food vs. Dry, the association between dry food and obesity is due to dry food’s higher calorie density as well as cats not feeling as satiated after eating it. For overweight cats, wet food is generally recommended over dry.

Standard Can Sizes

Some of the most common cat food can sizes include:

  • 5.5 oz cans – These smaller cans often contain wet cat food or cat treats. According to this source, 5.5 oz cans can typically hold around 1 cup of food:
  • 6 oz cans – Slightly larger than 5.5 oz, these cans are another common size for wet cat food. They hold approximately 1 1/4 cups.
  • 13 oz cans – These larger cans are commonly used for cat food as well. They can hold around 2 1/2 to 3 cups of food.

So in summary, 5.5 oz, 6 oz, and 13 oz are some of the standard aluminum can sizes used for cat food products.

Cans Per Pound Examples

The number of cans per pound depends on the size and weight of each can. Here are some examples:

For standard 12 oz aluminum cans:
– There are approximately 32 cans per pound (Source)

For 16 oz cans:
– There are around 30 cans per pound (Source)

For large #10 cans (112 oz):
– There are about 6-7 cans per pound since each can weighs around 1 lb 6 oz (Source)

So in summary, the number of cans per pound increases significantly as the can size decreases from large industrial sizes to typical 12-16 oz consumer sizes.

Estimating Cans Per Pound

There is a general rule of thumb for estimating the number of standard aluminum cat food cans in a pound. According to the Container Recycling Institute, the average number of standard aluminum cans per pound is approximately 34.6 [1]. This average takes into account minor variations in can sizes and weights across brands and types of cat food cans.

So as a basic estimation, one can expect around 35 standard 3 ounce aluminum cat food cans to equal one pound in weight. This provides a helpful benchmark for calculating the number of cans based on a known weight in pounds. However, the exact number may vary slightly in either direction depending on the specifics of the cans.

Variables to Consider

When estimating how many cat food cans are in a pound, several variables need to be taken into account:

The thickness and density of the aluminum can will affect its weight. Thicker cans will generally weigh more than thinner cans. The inside diameter of the can also factors in.

The density and moisture content of the cat food itself impacts weight. Wet cat foods with higher moisture contents will be heavier than dry kibble varieties for the same can size.

Standard can sizes range from 3 ounces up to 13 ounces, with 5.5 ounce and 6 ounce cans being typical for cat food. The larger the can size, the fewer cans will be in a pound.

Premium or specialty diet cat foods tend to come in smaller can sizes, ranging from 3-5 ounces usually. This would equate to more cans per pound compared to larger mass market cans.

The brand, manufacturer, and any decorative labels or sleeves on the cans may also add marginal weight and affect cans per pound.

Taking these factors into account allows a rough estimate of how many cans on average are in a pound, but the exact number can vary.

Purpose of Knowing Cans Per Pound

Knowing approximately how many cans are in a pound of cat food is useful for several reasons when it comes to shopping for and storing cat food:

Shopping – When stocking up on canned cat food, it’s helpful to know around how many cans you will get per pound. This allows you to estimate the quantity you may need to purchase for your cat based on their daily feeding amounts.

Storage – Understanding cans per pound enables you to determine about how much storage space you will need to store a certain amount of canned cat food. This can help guide purchasing decisions if storage space is limited.

Portioning – For cats fed measured amounts of canned food, knowing cans per pound provides a guideline for roughly how many days a pound of food may last. This assists with meal planning and tracking how long a supply of food may last.

Weight management – An estimate of cans per pound is useful for tracking portions if feeding a prescription canned food for a cat who needs to lose or gain weight. It provides a way to consistently feed the right calorie amounts.

In general, having a sense of cans per pound allows for better planning, purchasing, storage, and feeding when it comes to canned cat food. This knowledge helps cat owners manage their cat’s diet and nutrition more effectively.


Figuring out how many aluminum cat food cans are in a pound can be useful for pet owners and shelter workers when buying food in bulk. Here are some tips to easily estimate cans per pound yourself:

  • Weigh a sample can or two on a kitchen scale to get the average can weight.
  • Check the can weights against standard sizes like 5.5 oz or 6 oz to estimate their weight.
  • Calculate cans per pound by dividing 16 oz per pound by the average can weight.
  • Round to the nearest whole number for a rough estimate.
  • Weigh multiple random cans for a more accurate average.
  • Account for variables like can size, food density, and manufacturing differences.
  • Start with a small sample size and weigh more cans for precision.
  • Focus on averages instead of weighing every single can.

Doing some simple weighing and math can determine aluminum cans per pound. Focus on averages and weigh enough random cans to get a precise estimate.


Knowing approximately how many aluminum cat food cans are in a pound can be useful information for pet owners for several reasons. By understanding standard can sizes and weights, you can estimate how many cans make up a certain weight. This allows you to compare relative values when purchasing cat food, determine shipping costs for canned food, and plan proper storage. While there are many variables involved, most 5.5 ounce aluminum cans weigh around half an ounce. Using this estimate, one pound contains around 16 to 18 regular cat food cans. However, it is best to consider the specific can size, food density, and other factors when determining cans per pound. Being able to calculate and compare this value for different brands and recipes helps ensure you get the best deal on canned cat food and caters to your cat’s nutritional needs.

In summary, a general rule of thumb is 16 to 18 standard 5.5 ounce aluminum cat food cans per pound. But many elements can affect the precise ratio. By understanding how can size, food type, and other factors influence total weight, you can better estimate the number of cans in a pound of cat food. This allows smarter purchasing, portion planning, and storage optimization. While the cans per pound is an estimate, knowing the approximate value provides important information to cat owners seeking to buy, transport, and store canned cat food in a cost-effective manner.

Scroll to Top