Nearly half of the world’s population relies on rice, one of the oldest and most significant food sources. If your cat has gotten their paws on some rice, you might be concerned or wondering if it would be beneficial to add it to their diet.
We’ll examine if cats can eat rice, how much they can eat, and whether it has any nutritional advantages.
As long as the rice is completely cooked without any added flavor or oils, cats can eat it. However, because it is strong in carbohydrates and can cause weight gain, it shouldn’t be a regular part of your cat’s diet.
Nutritional Facts About Rice
Rice is an excellent source of carbohydrates, but there are some differences in the nutritional content of brown and white rice. Typically, brown rice is considered to have higher nutritional value as it contains more fiber and protein.
Advantages Of Rice For Cats
If your cat has an upset tummy, your veterinarian might recommend feeding your cat cooked white rice with chicken or fish because these ingredients are plain and easy to digest. Rice absorbs moisture in the digestive tract and helps bulk up loose stools. Brown rice might also be useful for constipation because it is high in fiber.
Beyond this, rice doesn’t actually offer much nutritional benefit to cats. Cats are obligate carnivores, so they need to consume meat and animal products to stay healthy. Commercially prepared cat foods are carefully formulated to contain everything your cat needs, and will contain more meat than any other ingredient.
How Much Rice Can A Cat Eat?
Rice is very filling, so cats should only be fed a very small amount. Filling up on too much rice stops cats from finishing their usual portion of cat food, so they could miss out on vital nutrients they need to stay healthy.
If you want to offer your cat a small portion of cooked rice, speak to your veterinarian first to discuss the most appropriate portion size. As a guide, an adult cat could eat a couple of dessert spoons of rice mixed in with some fresh chicken, fish, or cat food. The rice should be thoroughly cooked with no seasoning or flavoring.
How Often Can A Cat Eat Rice?
Cats are obligate carnivores, so they need to consume meat and animal products to stay healthy. Commercial cat foods are balanced to contain everything they need, and any additional food is a treat. Treats should only make up 10% of your cat’s daily food intake.
Rice is best fed a couple of times a week at the most, as it offers little in terms of nutritional value and its high carbohydrate content can contribute to weight gain. If you are feeding rice with chicken or fish for an upset tummy, you should only do so for a few days and switch back to regular cat food once your cat is better.
The Disadvantages Of Eating Rice For Cats
If your cat gets their paws on some uncooked rice, this might cause some problems depending on how much they have eaten. Uncooked rice is very difficult to digest, and can cause bloating, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Cooked rice is very high in carbohydrates. Cats don’t actually need to consume many carbs and too many can lead to weight gain and obesity, which in turn increases the risk of diabetes and joint problems.
But plain rice may not be the only source of rice in your kitchen cupboards that your cat could get into. Rice pudding, rice krispies, and rice cakes all contain rice and could potentially be a risk to your cat.
Many of these foods are also very high in sugar and could cause some vomiting or diarrhea. Fried rice, or rice containing seasoning, flavoring, or additives can also cause an upset tummy, or even be toxic to your cat. If consumed too often or in large quantities these foods can also contribute to weight gain.
Do Cats Enjoy The Taste Of Rice?
Most cats do enjoy the taste of many human foods, and rice is no exception. Although it has a plain flavor and a soft texture when cooked, many cats like it. However, every cat will have their dietary preferences, and likes and dislikes, so don’t worry if your cat turns their nose up at a portion of rice!
Cats can eat rice as long as it is thoroughly cooked with no oils or seasoning. However, it should not feature regularly in your cat’s diet as it is high in carbohydrates and can contribute to weight gain.
Cats also need to eat meat to stay healthy, and rice doesn’t offer much additional nutritional value. Rice can be fed to cats with an upset tummy alongside some plain cooked chicken or fish.
But rice won’t suit every cat, and you should always speak to your veterinarian before adding rice to your cat’s diet on a regular basis.