Rice is an integral part of human food and one of the most popular cereal grains. White rice is served in various ways, from serving with curry to filling it in a burrito; this cereal grain never disappoints. Since its frequent use in homes, there are increased chances that cat you want to feed rice to your cat.
But wait!! Can cats eat rice? Is rice bad for cats? Does it serve any nutritional benefits to kitties? When you think of sharing your white rice meal with your cat, endless questions pop up.
If you want to know the answer to your queries, keep reading until the end. This blog will clear all your confusion related to brown and white rice.
Can Cats Eat Rice? The Answer
Is rice healthy for cats? Let us tell you; that cats can have rice in moderation. It is non-toxic. Rice grains are added to various commercial pet foods being one of the most popular cereal grains. But this does not mean cats require rice in their cat food every day.
If you feed rice to your cat, it won’t harm the kitty, but it does not serve any significant nutritional value benefit either. Therefore, if you are feeding your kitty a balanced diet, adding rice won’t make a big difference.
Is White Rice Good For Cats?
Can cats eat white rice? Is your kitty interested in eating white rice? But you don’t know whether white rice is good or not. According to pet experts, white rice is among the cereal grains cats can chew easily.
White rice is processed brown rice hence non-toxic. When we remove the bran, germ, and hull from brown rice, the rice we get is the white one.
Cat’s digestive system can easily process white rice as this is bran and has a lower content of dietary fibers. But remember to avoid feeding too much rice to your kitty.
Is Brown Rice Good For Cats?
Brown rice is a favorite food of health-conscious humans as it provides great nutritional value. This rice is rich in proper nutrients such as magnesium, iron, potassium, selenium, folate, fiber, and vitamin B. But can cats eat brown rice? Is brown rice good in cat foods?
Brown rice is unprocessed white rice, making it difficult for the cat’s digestive system to process. Kitties’ guts won’t absorb any beneficial nutrients from brown rice except fibers.
But if you feed cooked rice to cats, they can eat it without difficulty. Also, ensure that rice is cooked properly and served in little amounts as part of the cat’s diet.
In What Cases is Rice Bad For Cats?
Rice is suitable for cats if you serve little rice which is properly cooked. But there are a few cases when rice is bad for cats. As pet parents, you should know about these conditions.
- When Cat is Sensitive to New Foods
Many cats find it difficult to adjust their gut to new food promptly, resulting in digestive system issues. This is because cats are obligate carnivores. So cats’ stomachs are used to digest animal protein, while rice can disrupt the digestive tract resulting in digestive issues.
- When Fed in Excessive Quantity
As cats are obligate carnivores, their diet consists mainly of meat. But if you start feeding rice often, it will result in a deficiency of Taurine in the cat’s body. Taurine is a crucial amino acid for cats, mostly in animal proteins like meat.
According to research, if feline consumption of rice bran is more than 25%, it results in a taurine deficiency. Besides, rice is rich in fibers, and excess fibers can cause constipation or diarrhea in cats.
- When You Feed Uncooked Rice to Cat
Cats cannot eat uncooked rice. Eating rice in uncooled form makes digestion super difficult, resulting in gas, abdominal pain, stomach issues, and bloating.
Another problem is the presence of a natural pesticide called lectin, known for causing diarrhea and vomiting in kitties.
If you notice bloating in the cat’s stomach within 24hr of consuming uncooked rice, hurry to the veterinarian for quick medical intervention.
- When You Give Rice With Additives
Rice is not essential to a cat’s meal, so it is not necessary for cats. But if you want your kitty to have a taste of your favorite meal, make sure it is devoid of any additives like salt and spices. Other additives include onion and garlic. Rice itself won’t harm your cat, but these additives can surely kill your cat.
This is because onion and garlic contain a toxic compound that results in the oxidative destruction of the red blood cells. Moreover, garlic is also known for causing gastroenteritis in cats with an upset stomach as the main symptom.
- Obesity and Malnourishment
Feed rice to your cat as an occasional treat; otherwise, it will lead to obesity or may result in feline diabetes.
Rice is better suited as a rare treat because it does not provide significant nutritional benefits. Hence cats are at risk of malnourishment. This is because cats feel full after eating rice, so they won’t be interested in eating meat anymore.
How To Feed Rice To Cats?
What is the right way to feed rice to your feline friend? As rice does not offer significant health benefits, please give it to your furry friend as a rare treat or when treating diarrhea.
Cats whose diet consisted of 25% rice of the entire cat food remain in good health. If you want to add human foods such as rice to a cat’s meal, ensure that 50% of the cat food consists of animal protein. Just add a little cooked rice to cat food without any seasoning.
Make sure to check the ingredients on commercial pet foods before buying. Many cat foods in the market have meat as their first ingredient, but the number of grains exceeds the meat making the food unhealthy.
What Kind of Rice Can Cats Eat?
Can cats eat rice as a special treat? What type of rice is suitable for cats? Well, there is a variety of rice in the market.
Among other grains, cats can eat most of them if you serve properly cooked rice without any additives though there are a few exceptions. Following is information on various kinds of rice and whether cats can eat them or not.
- White Rice
Cats can eat white rice as it is the easiest to digest. It is a processed form of brown rice with lesser fiber content.
- Brown Rice
Cats can also eat brown rice but only when it is served as cooked rice. It does not cause harm to the kitty though rice bran makes digestion difficult.
- Fried Rice
Fried rice offers no nutritional benefit to cats. In contrast, it is super toxic for cats to eat as fried rice consists of onions, resulting in cat red blood cell destruction. So better avoid feeding fried rice to cats.
What Are Rice Alternatives For Cats?
If you are fond of sharing your food with the kitty, ensure it is safe and without any seasoning. Do your research before sharing any human food with cats. Here are a few healthy alternatives to the rice you can feed your cat.
- Lean Meats
- Veggies and Fruits
If your cat overeats rice, feed it with healthy vegetables such as broccoli, pumpkin, squash, and carrots. Make sure the amount is moderate. You can also feed healthy fruits like watermelon to your cats.
Can cats eat rice or not? Kitties can eat white and brown rice when cooked properly though it does not provide any significant health benefit.
White rice is comparatively easier to digest as it is a processed form of brown rice. Other animals, like dogs, can also eat cooked rice. Do not feed rice as a significant part of the cat’s diet; instead, offer it as a treat sometimes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Cats Eat Rice Cakes?
Do you have a stock of rice cakes at your home? Do you want a kitty to taste your favorite snack? But wait, there is no need to bother. Cats won’t prefer eating rice cakes; hence it is better to give them a treat they usually love eating.
Can Rice Treat Cat Diarrhea?
Most cats get rid of diarrhea when they eat rice. So is rice a good option for the treatment of diarrhea? Well, yes!!
You can feed your kitty but ensure it is cooked properly and without any seasoning. As rice is rich in fibers, it plays its role in stool hardening, thus improving digestion.
Can Cat Eat Rice Pudding?
Rice pudding might be your favorite dessert, but it is nothing more than unhealthy food for cats. So the answer is cats cannot eat rice pudding.
This dessert is high in fats and calories, increasing cats’ risk of obesity and diabetes. Besides, some ingredients in rice pudding are toxic for cats. These are sugar, cocoa powder, and vanilla.
Can Cats Eat Rice Crackers?
Rice crackers are not essentially toxic to cats, but they are not beneficial either. They won’t harm your kitty if eaten little, but the high salt and fats in the rice crackers make it a less desirable treat for cats.