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Home > Cats > Can Cats Eat Rice? Vet Reviewed Tips & FAQ

Can Cats Eat Rice? Vet Reviewed Tips & FAQ

Can Cats Eat Rice

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Amanda Charles

Veterinarian, BVSc GPCert (Derm) MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Cats are carnivores and so they require a well-balanced, meat-based diet containing high amounts of protein, some fat and small amounts of carbohydrates. High quality, complete commercial cat foods will contain all the necessary nutrients they need to be fit and healthy.

Some human foods are safe for cats in addition to a well balanced diet, although their stomach is quite sensitive to seasoned foods and food with oil or grease. One such food that can, on certain occasions, be safe for your cats is rice. Rice is an excellent part of the human diet, and is sometimes recommended for cats with gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea. It is essential to note that not all forms of rice are safe for cats, and rice should only be given occasionally.

Read the article below to learn which forms of rice are safe and which are harmful to your cat.


What Should Cats Eat?

Understanding the importance of a proper diet for your cat is crucial if you want to keep your cat healthy and strong. The balanced diet you choose needs to have enough nutrients to provide them with enough energy throughout the day and help them grow and develop properly. Since cats are carnivores, they rely on nutrients that can only be found in animal products,and so providing them with animal protein is crucial. The particular food your cat needs will depend on many things, such as its age, size, and weight.

Image by: Chendongshan, Shutterstock

Should You Feed Your Cat Rice?

Plain, cooked rice is considered safe for cats in small amounts, although you need to be careful about other forms of rice. Rice cakes, rice pudding, or cereals like rice Krispies can contain seasoning, oils, sugars, dairy, and additives, which can be harmful to your cat. Rice may also be unsuitable for cats with sensitive digestive systems and those with diabetes or other medical conditions.

Do Cats Like Eating Rice?

Pets like cats and dogs often enjoy eating human food. Rice is one of the foods cats can find pretty tasty. As with most human foods, if you give your cat rice, it is essential to leave out oils and seasoning. Most cats enjoy eating rice, and your vet may even instruct you and encourage a diet containing rice if your cat has an upset stomach.

Bengal breed kitten eating rice
Image Credit: Vanilin Ka, Shutterstock

Benefits of Rice for Cats

Sometimes rice is recommended as part of a bland diet to help your cat recover from diarrhea. This is usually recommended because rice is highly digestible. However, it should only be fed in small amounts as it won’t provide your cat with complete and balanced nutrition. If your cat is having digestive issues it’s best to contact your veterinarian who may recommend transitioning to a well-balanced, highly digestible cat food that is good for sensitive tummies.


Downsides of Rice for Cats

Other than your cat occasionally enjoying the taste of rice, it doesn’t have many nutritional benefits. Rice is rich in carbohydrates, which can lead to weight gain and even obesity if fed too much or too frequently. Uncooked rice can harm your cat because it is hard to digest and can even cause vomiting, bloating, or diarrhea.

Bowl with cooked rice on the table
Image by: WS-Studio, Shutterstock

How Much Rice Is Safe for a Cat to Eat?

Rice may be an ingredient in complete commercial cat foods. However, feeding too much rice in addition to their complete food can fill them up and cause cats to miss vital nutrients from their recommended food. Before feeding your cat rice, you need to take into account its weight and size. You can consult your veterinarian about the ideal portion and whether it is necessary to make any changes to your cat’s regular diet.

The 6 Types of Rice & Their Safety for Your Cat

  • Raw Rice: Raw or uncooked rice is dangerous for your cat because it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, gas, bloating, and pain in the stomach.
  • Cooked Rice: Cooked rice is perfectly safe for our feline friends as long as it’s unseasoned and without any oils. Make sure the rice is cooked correctly and offer it in small amounts.
  • Fried Rice: It is not a wise idea to feed fried rice to your cat. Fried rice usually contains a lot of seasoning and is made with oil, so it will most likely cause diarrhea in your cat.
  • Rice Water: Rice water is considered safe for cats in small amounts and can help with their hydration.
  • Brown Rice: Brown rice is ok to be fed cooked and in small quantities.
  • White Rice: White rice is okay for cats as long as it’s fed in small amounts. It has too many carbs, which can cause your cat to gain weight, so this shouldn’t be a regular part of your cat’s diet.
The cat is eating rice on a white container
Image by: miophotolap, Shutterstock

Tips for a Healthy Diet

  • It is best to feed your cat commercially prepared cat food because it contains the correct calories and nutrients for a balanced diet.
  • Avoid feeding your cat unsafe human foods including onions, garlic, chocolate, milk and coffee.
  • Provide your cat with a peaceful place to eat. They prefer to eat in a separate location to their water bowl and also away from their litter tray.
  • Make sure to consult your vet about the ideal amount of food, considering your cat’s weight and size.
  • Obesity is a cause of diabetes, and contributes to arthritis and heart problems in cats, so avoid overfeeding your cat. Make sure they have plenty of daily physical activity.
  • Never let treats exceed 10 to 15% of your cat’s daily calorie intake.

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divider-catFinal Thoughts

If you discover that your cat enjoys eating rice occasionally and now, you’re wondering whether it is safe for it, hopefully, this article has answered all your questions. Rice is safe for your cats if cooked properly, unseasoned, and offered in small quantities. It is crucial to be moderate in feeding your cat rice, as too much can cause gastrointestinal issues, weight gain and mean they don’t get the required nutrients that they need from their recommended balanced food.

Featured Image Credit: Amarita, Shutterstock

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