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Can Cats Eat Rice? Is it Healthy for Cats?

David Fields
Last Updated on
by David Fields

Cats can eat rice, but it’s not the ideal choice for their diet.

Cats are carnivores, so they should get most of their calories from meat and fish. They don’t need carbs as humans do. Too many carbs can cause them to become overweight or obese faster than other pets. With that said, there are some benefits to feeding your pet small amounts of rice:

  • It acts as a filler and helps prevent your feline friend from craving more food than you want them to eat at once
  • It does contain some fiber which is always good for digestion (or maybe not if your cat has irritable bowel syndrome).
  • Rice is a good source of protein for cats, and it also packs plenty of healthy vitamins and minerals
Cat eating rice
Cat eating rice

Can Cats Eat Rice and Stay Healthy?

Cats can eat white rice, brown rice, wild rice, long-grain rice, and short-grain rice. The main thing to remember is the kind of processing that went into making these different rice varieties.

Parboiling is a preferred method where you soak harvested grains before steaming them. This process results in a softer texture with fewer vitamins but has been shown to increase the availability of nutrients like protein and fat.

Consider buying parboiled brown or white rice to ensure your feline friend gets enough nutrients.

How Much Rice Can Cats Eat?

If your cat eats a lot of rice over time, it could lead to obesity and other health problems such as diabetes and heart disease.

If you want to feed your cat some rice once in a while, use white rice instead of brown rice. The bran layer has more fiber, which can cause digestive issues in cats if eaten regularly.

Can a Cat Eat Brown Rice?

You can feed your cat brown rice. It’s a good source of fiber and protein and can serve as an alternative to white rice in your pet’s diet. Make sure the rice is soft enough for them to chew easily.

The main nutritional concern with brown rice is that it contains phytic acid. The latter reduces the availability of several vitamins and minerals for absorption by your cat’s digestive system.

To reduce the amount of phytic acid in your pet’s diet, soak the rice for at least 12 hours before cooking them.

Can Cats Eat White Rice?

Though many cats are fond of the taste of white rice and will eat it, this should be in very minute amounts. The best way to ensure that your cat stays healthy is by feeding her a balanced diet that consists mainly of meat proteins.

You are not providing your furry friend with all she needs by serving up some delicious leftovers now and again. Cats need lots of proteins.

If you must serve your cat leftover rice, try adding some scrambled eggs or chicken breast meat into those meals. 

Potential Benefits of Rice to a Cat

While it’s true that cats can eat rice, it’s only good food for them if they eat it in moderation. The potential benefits of rice to a cat include:

Digestion

Rice is known for being a grain with a lot of fiber, which means it has the potential to help your cat digest their food easier and keep its digestive system running smoothly.

Energy

Rice is also rich in carbohydrates and protein, making it an excellent energy source for your precious kitty cat. As long as you feed them healthy portions, it shouldn’t cause any problems!

Growth

Cats need protein to stay healthy. Rice is high in protein. One cup of cooked white rice contains 4.3 grams of protein and 0.4 grams of fat. These numbers are slightly higher than your cat’s daily requirement for both nutrients.

Can Cats Eat Rice and Chicken Every Day?

Yes, in small amounts. A well-balanced diet is crucial for your cat’s health. A chicken and rice diet might not provide the nutrient variety needed to keep your kitty healthy. There are several potential problems associated with this type of diet.

The most obvious problem is that chicken and rice is not a nutritionally-balanced meal. Cats need certain nutrients that they will not get from eating chicken and rice alone.

For instance, cats need taurine, an amino acid that helps with heart health. The best food sources for taurine include fish and dairy. Cats also need vitamin D, which aids in calcium absorption for strong bones and teeth. Vitamin D is found naturally in animal products such as fish and eggs.

A lack of food variety can cause digestive problems for cats if they eat the same thing daily. It can lead to constipation or diarrhea (or even both).

Similar question: Can cats eat rice milk?

Potential Risks of Rice to a Cat

A sick cat
A sick cat

The dangers of a daily rice diet for cats include:

Stomach Upsets

If your cat consumes uncooked rice, he may experience stomach upset. And if he eats enough over time, this can cause serious health problems like anemia or kidney failure.

Taurine Deficiency

Repeated consumption of rice could lead your cat down a path toward taurine deficiency. Taurine helps with vision development and other bodily functions such as digestion control systems.

Kidney Disease

Rice is very high in phosphorus, which can be a problem for cats with kidney disease. Phosphorus is a helpful mineral, but too much of it can cause problems such as bladder stones.

Flatulence

The carbohydrates found in rice and other grains can cause digestive problems for your cats, such as flatulence and diarrhea. These symptoms are often mistaken for signs of allergies, but the underlying problem is the carbohydrate content of the food itself.

Pancreatitis

The high amount of carbohydrates in rice can irritate the pet’s pancreas. This risk is especially high if the cat’s pancreas is already inflamed from another condition like pancreatic cancer or hyperthyroidism.

How to Safely Feed Rice to a Cat

Before you start feeding your cat rice, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Don’t feed your cat rice if they have a medical condition: Cats with diabetes, obesity, and kidney disease shouldn’t eat rice since it can aggravate their condition.

Don’t feed your cat rice if they are overweight: If you suspect that your cat is overweight or obese, talk to a vet before adding any new foods to their diet. Rice is high in carbohydrates and can exacerbate the obesity problem.

Don’t feed your cat rice if they have kidney disease: Intake of too much protein can cause an increase in blood pressure which can lead to further complications for cats with ailments such as diabetes and kidney failure.

Mix it with meat or other high-protein cat foods: The goal is to feed your cat a balanced diet. This method will give your cat all the nutrients it needs without causing any digestive issues. Cats love meat and will welcome the mixture.

Always Feed Your Cat a Balanced Diet

Avoid giving your cat any raw rice as it may contain parasites or bacteria that could make him sick or cause an allergic reaction. If you have questions, please consult your veterinarian before making any decisions!

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About David Fields
David Fields
David Fields is a long-time animal lover and has been blessed to share his life with many companions. A short list includes ragdoll cats, siberian husky and greyhound dogs, an African Grey parrot, many fish of all sorts, and a pandemonium of parakeet. He writes most of the articles on iPetCompanion and is regularly featured on other popular websites on the Internet.
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