As kids, we learn that helping each other out is the best policy. It’s only natural that you’d want to share your dinner with your cat.
Is it safe for cats to eat rice like it is for humans? Some human foods are harmful to pets even though they appear harmless. Keep reading to learn if your feline with an adventurous appetite can safely consume rice.
Cat cats eat rice?
Cats can, within reason, eat rice. They can safely consume it in small amounts as it is non-toxic, but it is not a necessary part of their diet.
Your cat will not benefit nutritionally from eating rice in addition to a complete and balanced cat food. And eating too much of this filler could prevent them from getting the proper nutrition.
Is rice good for cats?
Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they can only properly digest meat and are poorly adapted to process plant matter.
Cats, in contrast to us humans, have no nutritional requirement for carbohydrates. Commercial cat foods may occasionally use filler grains like rice, but only in small, thoughtful amounts.
What do you think of the various rice varieties? Brown rice is more nutritious than white rice because it contains more fiber. If your cat has digestive issues like diarrhea or constipation, your vet may recommend this.
If your cat is experiencing digestive issues, you should consult your veterinarian before trying any home remedies, including feeding it brown rice.
White rice is fine for cats to eat as well; it lacks the nutritional value of brown rice, but if given in very small amounts in addition to other foods, it won’t matter much.
Cats can become overweight if they consume an excessive amount of carbohydrates.
Diabetes, which can be treated with insulin injections, is just one of many health issues that can affect an overweight cat.
Avoid giving your cat a diet high in carbohydrates, as this could actually be harmful to them.
Health Benefits of Rice
White rice can be unfairly maligned at times. However, research has shown that whether you eat white or brown rice can have a significant impact on your health, and the benefits you reap will depend on the nutrients you prioritize.
In most cases, white rice and brown rice are the same rice. The hull, bran, and germ are removed from white rice, but they remain in brown rice.
Whole grain foods like rice are those that have not been refined or processed. Antioxidants and fiber found in whole grains contribute to a balanced and healthy diet.
Refined white rice made from brown rice loses much of its nutritional value in the processing.
But in many places, the United States included, white rice is enriched with nutrients like iron and folic acid, sometimes at higher concentrations than in brown rice.
Is There Rice in Cat Food?
Carbohydrates are present in all dry foods, and rice is often used as a filler in kibble recipes. Cats, as carnivores, rely heavily on protein for their nutrition, says the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. However, they can reap the nutritional benefits of rice, which include vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Worried about what might be in your cat’s food? It is recommended that you look for an AAFCO nutritional guarantee statement on the label of any cat food you purchase.
Guidelines are established for the minimum amounts of nutrients that should be included in cat food to ensure the health of the animal.
How Much Rice Can Cats Safely Eat?
Cats shouldn’t eat rice very often because it’s high carb content can lead to digestive issues.
There is no set amount for table scraps, but a nibble here and there won’t hurt.
According to Wortinger, GI distress in cats occurs when their daily food intake of carbohydrates exceeds 35%.
What Kinds of Rice Can Cats Eat?
Rice comes in literally thousands of varieties. Plainly cooked (without salt, oil, butter, or seasoning) food of any kind is fine for cats to eat. If you’re curious about the different kinds of rice out there, here are a few examples:
Brown rice is digestible by cats, but the bran coating makes it a little more challenging than white rice.
White rice is the most digestible form of rice for cats because the bran and germ have been removed.
Keep a supply of rice cakes in your fridge? Wortinger advises cat owners not to bother bringing them out for their feline friends. It’s not likely that a cat will think rice cakes are tasty. Instead, you should offer your cat a treat that has been formulated for felines.
Don’t give your cat fried rice. Onions are used in the recipe, and they are toxic to the red blood cells of cats and dogs.
Does Rice Help Cats With Diarrhea?
Rice isn’t the best option for helping cats with diarrhea, despite the fact that you may be accustomed to reaching for bland foods when you have digestive woes.
Cats are obligate carnivores, so Wortinger says it’s unlikely a sick cat would voluntarily eat boiled rice. The fat content will rise if you add butter or gravy to the rice to improve the cat’s appetite.
Fat is the nutrient that takes the longest to leave the stomach, and it is also the most difficult to digest compared to proteins and carbohydrates. ”
She does suggest a therapeutic intestinal diet that can be purchased from stores. These cat foods, both commercially available and prescribed, are designed to meet the nutritional requirements of cats with diarrhea.
Additionally, the fiber content of these foods is said to restore digestive health in felines, as reported by VCA Animal Hospital.
The bottom line is that plain, boiled, or steamed rice is safe for your cat to eat on occasion. But if you’re getting ready to start the rice cooker because your little tiger isn’t feeling well, please wait.
Your cat may become ill if you feed it too much rice. In addition, your cat’s vomiting and diarrhea may be a sign that it ingested a poisonous substance or that it has intestinal worms.
If your cat is sick, call the clinic to find out if an appointment is necessary and to get specific instructions on what to feed your feline friend at home.
How to feed rice to your cat
Since cats derive no nutritional benefit from eating rice, it is best to refrain from feeding it to them in favor of a high-quality feline diet and treats.
Feeding your cat rice can be dangerous, so only give them a very small amount. Make sure it’s fully cooked without any added flavors.
Never feed your cat raw rice because it is difficult for them to digest and because it may contain lectin, a natural pesticide that can cause stomach upset and vomiting in large doses.
After 24 hours, if your cat is still bloated and acting in pain from eating uncooked rice, you should take them to the vet.
Alternative Healthy Snacks
Vegetables are a great alternative to rice if you want to try out some new treats. Vegetables in the form of food or treats can be tried at any time by pet owners. Dr. Richter warns that “not everyone will eat them.” When consumed as part of a well-rounded meal, vegetables provide beneficial nutrients.
The American SPCA says these vegetables are safe for cats to eat:
- Celery (the crunchier, the better)
- Sweet green peppers
- Vitamins A, C, and K are abundant in spinach.
- Peas (a nutrient-rich ingredient common in many commercially prepared cat and dog foods)
- Squash (Pumpkin is commonly used to add fiber to a cat’s diet).
While a cat’s diet may benefit from the inclusion of vegetables, fruit is not recommended. Vegetables are preferable due to their lower carbohydrate and sugar content. Never, though, should vegetables make up the bulk of your cat’s diet. Otherwise, they risk not getting enough of certain nutrients.
According to Dr. Richter, “the vast majority of what cats eat should be a balanced diet.” In general, treats are unhealthy and shouldn’t account for more than a small percentage of their daily caloric intake.