can cats eat rice?

Can cats eat rice?

Rice is an important food for humans. In some parts of the world, it is a staple food and holds an integral position in many cultures. It is a fantastic filler food that can be combined with countless foods. Rice is great for humans can cats eat rice too? 

Most commercially produced cat foods include some grains such as rice. But is rice actually of any nutritional significance to cats? Can cats have rice as the main part of the diet? These and other questions are answered in the article below.

Can cats eat rice?

Cats can eat rice but in small amounts. Rice, like most whole grains, is safe for cats to eat, and isn’t toxic. Having a bit of rice in your cat’s food won’t harm her.

However, you should not give your kitty too much rice because rice is not an essential part of a cat’s diet. If your cat gets a complete and balanced diet from her meals, then there is no need for adding rice as part of her meal.

In fact, adding too much rice to her food may stop her from eating foods containing the nutrients that she actually needs. 

Is rice good for cats?

Cats are obligate carnivores. This means that most of the nutrients they need are obtained from animal proteins. It also means that their digestive system isn’t well equipped to digest grains.

Unlike humans, cats do not need carbohydrates in their diet. Commercially produced cat food may contain grains such as rice but only in small quantities. These grains are carefully considered to bulk out their food. 

If you’re wondering whether cats can eat dog food, check out this article.

Can cats eat white rice?

White rice is processed brown rice that has had the bran, germ, and hull removed from the grain. As a result, white rice has softer grain and is easier to chew.

White rice is one of the easiest grains for cats to digest. However, it is bland and has low dietary fiber. It does not have much nutritional value. 

Can cats eat brown rice?

Brown rice is considered to be healthier than white rice. It is actually unprocessed white rice. It provides a lot of vitamin B, iron, folate, potassium, magnesium, selenium, and fiber.

However, since it is unprocessed, it is actually more difficult for cats to digest. Also, none of the nutrients present in brown rice will be absorbed apart from the fiber. Since brown rice has high fiber content, vets will sometimes recommend it be included in the diet of cats with constipation or diarrhea. However, instead of using brown rice as a home remedy to help with your kitty’s bowel movement, it is best to consult your vet first on the best course of action to take.  

It is important to note that too much carbohydrate isn’t good for your cat. Too much carbohydrate in the diet is one of the main causes of obesity in cats. Obesity in cats is a gateway to other health complications in cats such as diabetes, a condition that may require you to give your cat regular insulin injections. 

Can cats eat rice?

How to feed rice to your cat

If you choose to feed your cat rice, you should only do it in small quantities, and not regularly. You should also make sure that the rice is thoroughly cooked without any seasonings, sauces, or spices. 

In addition, you should never feed your cat undercooked rice. Uncooked rice is very difficult to digest. There is also the risk of the rice containing natural pesticides, which may cause vomiting, diarrhea, among other problems if consumed in large quantities. 

When is rice bad for cats?

Even though most cats can safely consume rice in small quantities, there are a few exceptions that you should keep in mind. 

Some cats have very sensitive stomachs, especially when eating new foods. If they aren’t used to having grains included in their diet, they might suffer from digestion issues such as vomiting and diarrhea. Since they are obligate carnivores, they are adapted to primarily consuming animal proteins. As such, consuming rice can cause an upset in their gastrointestinal tracts. 

Feeding your cat too much rice is bad for her health. Cats that have too much rice in their diet have reduced levels of taurine, resulting in a taurine deficiency. Taurine is an essential amino acid for cats that can only be obtained from animal proteins. Also, since rice is rich in fiber, feeding your cat too much rice can do more harm than good. It can cause diarrhea or constipation. 

Feeding your cat rice containing spices, salt, garlic, onions, and other additives can be toxic to cats. Onions and garlic contain a poisonous compound that can lead to oxidative damage to the cat’s red blood cells. 


Since rice has no nutritional benefits to cats, it is best to avoid including it in your cat’s diet altogether. You should instead go for quality diets and treats that are of nutritional benefit and good for feline consumption.

We’ve written more about the feline diet. Check out these articles.

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Human foods safe for your cat

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