As a global community, we consume a massive 504 million tons of rice every year. It’s no surprise really for such a nutritious, versatile food that’s also super affordable.
As a cat owner, there’s no doubt you want to share your favourite delicious rice inspired meals and treats with your favourite floofer. Rice is full of carbohydrates, fibre, selenium, magnesium, manganese and B vitamins which is surely good for your cat, right? Well… it’s not as clear cut as you might think.
If you’re wondering – can cats eat rice? You’ll find all the answers below:
Can Cats Eat Rice?
Cats can eat small amounts of plain, cooked rice because it isn’t toxic to them. Having a very small amount of it combined with commercial cat food is safe, but it should never be the centre of their diet. More importantly, if they have a really good commercial cat food that fulfills their nutritional needs, they won’t get any extra necessary nutrition from rice.
Is Rice Good For Cats?
Cats are obligate carnivores, which means that their body is literally designed to eat a diet made up of mostly meat. They simply don’t have the right body to be able to digest any plants well at all and they need certain vitamins and minerals that they can only get directly from animal protein.
So, unlike humans, your kitty friend is really not well made to digest grains like rice very well at all.
For this reason, not only should you minimise the amount of rice that you might let your cat have, but you should keep an eye on the food you give them. Many commercial foods use rice as a filler to bulk the food out, which isn’t very good for kitty at all. A little rice in the ingredients is OK, but it shouldn’t be the first ingredient. You can find some handy tips on choosing great cat food for your pet in this article or if you’re short on time, this video.
Can Diabetic Cats Eat Rice?
It is so important to avoid giving rice to cats who are diabetic as they have a specially managed diet that should not involve carbs like rice, which are sugar heavy. It is also important to avoid giving cats too many carbohydrates like rice at all because it can lead to them becoming obese. Obese cats are more likely to get diabetes and other health issues. As much as you want to shower your sweet feline friend in all your favourite human foods like rice, you shouldn’t, because it will only harm them in the end.
Which Different Types Of Rice Can Cats Eat?
White rice is generally less nutritionally dense than brown rice so if you are adding any rice to your cat’s diet, cooked brown rice is the best choice.
If you are wondering, can cats eat jasmine rice? They can. Any grain of rice is OK, but again it should be cooked and in limited quantities. It should also be plain without any dressings or sauces.
Can cats eat rice and chicken? Yes if the rice and chicken are plain, cooked and free from anything else. This is why takeaway rice dishes should be avoided. So if you are wondering, can cats eat fried rice? Probably not because it will likely have seasonings and extras that are not good for the cat. The high levels of fat in fried rice are also very bad for both humans and animals, so it’s a really bad idea to offer your cat any of a dish like that.
Lastly, you may also want to know, can cats eat Rice Krispies? The rice is puffed, but it is still plain, right? In the case of plain puffed rice cereal it won’t harm the cat, but it won’t be particularly beneficial to the cat either. If it has sugar added, this is an especially good reason to avoid giving it to your cat, and this includes Rice Krispy bars. Any Rice Krispy product containing chocolate should never be given to cats as chocolate is toxic to them, like grapes.
Lastly, it is also important to be mindful that if the puffed rice is in cow’s milk, you should avoid letting your cat have any at all. Cow’s milk contains lactose, which most cats are intolerant to. This is the reason that cheese is also a treat for cats that should be avoided. It’s not that they don’t love it (and boy do they love it!) it’s just not very good for them.
How To Feed Rice To Cats
If your cat is going to steal a bit of rice, or you are adding some to their food, it needs to be plain white rice or brown rice that is properly cooked. Uncooked rice is really bad for your cat as it is very indigestible and can contain lectin, a natural pesticide, which can cause tummy upset if consumed in high amounts. If your cat accidentally eats any raw rice and is vomiting, bloated or passing very loose stools it is worth consulting your vet for further advice.
Sometimes, vets may recommend that you feed your cat plain brown rice with plain egg or plain chicken (all steamed or boiled). This can be because of digestion problems or because a cat has come out of surgery and their tummy is sensitive. In this instance, do speak to your vet about quantities and to discuss how long your cat should be eating non-commercial cat food for.
Long Term – Skip The Rice
Although a cat stealing a bit of plain cooked rice, or eating some plain cooked rice after surgery is not going to harm them, rice should not be a part of their main diet moving forward. Rice offers minimal nutritional benefits to cats, so long-term, avoiding rice and giving your cat a diet meant for feline consumption will be best for their physical wellbeing.