Rice is one of the most popular widespread cereals consumed by people at all levels. It usually complements other foods. Sometimes as the main ingredient in some recipes. This cereal is known worldwide and is a component of any balanced diet. But can cats eat it? If you are the owner of a beautiful cat, you probably have the same question. Don’t worry; we will give you the answer.
The answer is Yes but with some observations. Cats can eat rice once or twice a month. Rice is not a toxic food for them; however, there may be cases where experts don’t recommend its consumption.
Rice is rich in carbohydrates and calories. It also contains Vitamin B, Manganese, and Iron. But we know that these minerals and nutrients are beneficial to the human body.
It does not mean that we should assume that they would have the same effect on kittens’ bodies. For this reason, you would be better off consulting with your veterinarian before including it in your pet’s regular diet.
We cannot forget that cats are purely predatory animals, and rice is not part of their natural diet.
Does Rice Have Nutritional Benefits For Cats?
Unfortunately, the answer to this question is a big no. Cats are carnivorous animals. Rice will not give them any extra nutritional benefits. They already get lots of nutrients from eating the foods that are part of their natural diet.
Well-cooked rice might have some benefits for digestion. It is why some cat food manufacturers include it as an ingredient in the products they make for them.
But at the end of the day, it is nothing more than a filler that is not indispensable for their proper nutrition. Plus, you should add it in minimal amounts as doing so in excess could cause health problems.
The key to giving a cat food out of their regular diet is to check how their health is at that time. Then make the consultation with the veterinarian. Before fulfilling these two steps, giving rice to the cat takes unnecessary risks to the animal’s health.
Another important example that can give you a clue as to whether it would be good to give your cat rice is to check your pet’s weight. If your cat is over its ideal weight, it is not good to give rice.
Remember that this cereal has a high content of calories and carbohydrates. So its consumption in excess could bring serious health problems for your pet.
When a cat is overweight, the best thing is to give it a high protein diet. Remove all carbohydrates, and put them to exercise.
When Is Rice Good For Cats?
When your cat shows the symptoms of an upset stomach, it may be time to give your cat some rice cooked properly.
You can consult your veterinarian. The professional will probably tell you to mix the cooked rice with the cat’s regular food. This mix is known to stop the upset stomach or diarrhea.
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The advantage of this type of cereal is that it will help his stools become solid and help keep him hydrated.
Here the important thing is to control that the portion of rice to be mixed with the kitten’s food does not exceed 25% of the total serving.
When Is Rice Bad For Cats?
As already mentioned, cats do not need rice to have a healthy life and a balanced and complete diet. However, eating it in tiny portions will not have any negative consequences on their health.
But when these instructions are not respected, that is when serious problems can appear. For example, if your cat eats rice daily and in large quantities, it will undoubtedly feel full. As a result, your cat will not eat the food it should eat to be healthy and well-fed.
It would be best to avoid other situations to protect your kitten from the rice we will describe as follows.
If it is difficult to digest for a human, believe me, it will be much more so for a cat, so rice in this state should be forbidden. The consequences of eating raw rice can be bloating, gas, and stomach upset.
In addition to being raw, it may contain a natural pesticide called lectin that will cause vomiting and diarrhea.
Give Rice As A New Food
Some kittens are susceptible when it comes to trying new food. As in the previous case, if they are not used to rice, when they try it for the first time, they may vomit and have problems digesting it.
Rice With Seasonings, Sauces, Or Additives
Usually, people season rice with various spices, salt, and garlic. Then, depending on the recipe, people mix many other ingredients.
These ingredients could be potentially toxic for cats. If they were to eat it accidentally or if it was given to them by their owner.
Rice In Kittens Or Small Kittens
Rice should not be given to a tiny kitten because it would be utterly detrimental to its development.
Cat Food With Rice
Although some of these canned products use rice as a filler, in most cases, small quantities would not pose a health risk to your pet.
You should ask for your veterinarian’s recommendation about the consumption of this type of product.
What Type Of Rice Would Be Best For My Kitten: White, Brown, Or Rice Bran?
Both white and brown rice are acceptable to give to your cat as a treat, in small quantities and very occasionally.
The important thing is that you thoroughly cook the rice so that the grain is soft and not seasoned with absolutely nothing.
Remember that human seasonings are potentially harmful to cats, so you should avoid them altogether.
The case of rice bran is another story entirely. People recommend never giving this type of rice to cats.
Although this variety of rice is very beneficial for humans, cats do not need this fiber. It can cause serious stomach problems.
In addition, studies have come out suggesting that rice bran can interfere with the normal metabolic process of taurine. Therefore, it makes this rice a hazardous food for cats.
Many times cat owners also wonder if they can share leftover rice with their cats. Unfortunately, the response to this inquiry is a resounding no.
It does not matter if it is restaurant rice or rice prepared at home. Because as already mentioned, all spices, sauces, legumes, herbs, and oils are toxic to your pet.
Cat Treats Made With Rice
If you think about it carefully, a novel, limited and controlled way to give rice to your kitty is through small treats or snacks made of rice.
Rice is thoroughly cooked and prepared in the form of treats. Besides being a relatively inexpensive food so that it could become a nice prize for your pet.
But just because it is a snack does not mean that you can exceed the amount or frequency of consumption because it would negatively affect your pet.
One way of preparation that will indeed work very well, and your pet will love it. Make some snacks of chicken or meat pieces mixed with rice.
You must make sure that you thoroughly cook the chicken or meat and the rice and this way you will be avoiding later problems.
Suppose it is the first time that your kitten is going to try rice. People recommend that the amount of rice be less than 25% of the total mixture of the snack.
So that in case it does not like this new flavor, it will not cause any stomach discomfort.
A Final Thought On Rice And Cats
Over the years, many of the cat foods produced by large companies began to contain rice, which means that cats are probably already accustomed to consuming this cereal.
But, the cat’s body cannot digest grains, so its intake does not have any function or provide any health benefit to the animal. It is only a stuffed food. That is, it is something that is eaten and can produce a feeling of fullness.
If a cat eats more rice than it should, it will indeed have health problems that could lead it to suffer from diabetes.
Only in particular cases is rice recommended for cats, and that is to help them regulate and stabilize their digestive system.
But the veterinarian is the expert who should handle these cases. Therefore, it is always wise to consult your veterinarian before introducing new foods to your pet’s diet. And that’s our final word on the rice and cats subject.
Remember that our pets cannot speak or say in words what they feel, what they like or dislike, or what hurts them.
Through close observation, affection, and being very attentive to their signals, we can act when these adorable friends need our help.
Shawn Manaher is a serial entrepreneur but when he isn’t working, he loves dogs. He’s owned different pets over the years, and always gives a part of his heart to each pet.