Can Cats Eat Rice?

He might be eyeing your plate, but is it actually good for him? 🍚

Cat and rice

Sharing your sushi roll or leftover Chipotle with your cat may have crossed your mind once or twice, but the question is: Can cats eat rice?

In short, cats can eat rice in small amounts. 

Is rice good for cats?

Rice isn’t toxic for cats, but it won’t give your cat a ton of nutritional benefits either. Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they thrive off of protein-rich diets and don’t need grains in their diet to survive. 

“Rice is not a natural part of a cat’s diet,” Dr. Jennifer Coates, a veterinarian in Fort Collins, Colorado, told The Dodo. “Very small amounts incorporated into a nutritionally complete and balanced diet won’t do any harm, but there’s no benefit to feeding cats additional rice.”

If your cat likes the taste of rice, you can safely treat him to small amounts of cooked, plain rice on occasion.  

Sometimes, vets will recommend that cats with diarrhea eat an easily digestible, bland diet, which can include boiled rice and chicken. But, keep in mind, this is only for a short time while the cat is sick. A healthy cat should be fed complete and balanced cat food, with treats making up only 10 percent of their diet. 

Can cats eat brown rice?

Brown rice does have more nutritional value for a cat compared to white rice. White and brown rice are basically the same, except white rice has the hull, bran and germ removed. Brown rice, considered to be a whole grain food, has a higher fiber content as well as more antioxidants. 

Both white and brown rice are perfectly fine to feed to your cat as long as the rice is cooked, plain and fed in small quantities. 

Is rice bad for cats?

In general, rice isn’t nutritious enough for it to be served to a cat as a meal replacement. 

Rice is also a carbohydrate, and too many carbs can lead to health issues like diabetes and obesity in cats.

Don’t serve uncooked rice to your cat. Not only is it difficult to digest, but uncooked rice may also contain a natural pesticide that can make your cat sick.

Also, be sure that the rice you feed to your cat does not contain any seasonings or sauces. These additives can be potentially harmful. 

You should always check with your veterinarian before introducing new food to your pet’s diet, as each pet can react to a new food differently.  

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