Can cats eat rice and if so, is it safe?

Can cats eat rice or is it okay for cats to eat rice – a common question among cat owners. If you are a cat parent, and willing to know the answer, you came to the right place. I ‘ll discuss this issue in the post.

As we know there are six constituents of food. Mixing all those components together in a particular ratio, we call it balanced diet.

Similarly, same formula is appropriate for animals. Animals also need to provide balance diet.

Now, come to point, out of six food components, rice belongs to carbohydrate group that provide energy in the body after metabolism. So, it’s a major role that rice can play within both animal and human body.

Can you imagine your life to go without rice? Very tough question. The answer is absolutely no if you are residing specially in indian subcontinent.

For human being like us, what we see within rice is that it’s a food having numerous advantages mainly for energy supply in our body.

Besides this, rice is rich in vitamins and other nutrients. Vitamin B in particular is found in rice.

Furthermore, it is the quickly usable carbohydrates.

So far so good, but what about cats and rice?

In this post, you will get some more information on – “can cats eat rice?”. Along with this, let us see what expert veterinarians tell whether it is safe for your cats or not.

Can cats eat rice?

First of all, let us classify cats – what types of animal it is. There are three types of animals are found in the globe. They are herbivores, carnivores and omnivores. Carnivores type of animal that prefer meat, fish or their products. We know meat and fish are protein types of food out of their six variety types.

In terms of herbivores, they prefer legumes or grass found in the landscape, such as ruminants animals. Omnivores are habituated to prefer both like us.

Now the point is cats, in which animal groups it is classified. Yes, cats are carnivores that prefer protein types of food originated from meat, fish and their products.

It means the grain or carbohydrate types of food is not the main source of energy for cats. Cats, dogs, tiger or lions from this animal group like mainly meat and meat products. Their cat’s digestive tract is primarily designed for meat. Proteins and fats provide the energy the cat needs.

But if you look at the natural food, then plants originated foods are also part of the diet that you can provide your cats.

For example, when the cat eats a mouse, it also consumes the stomach contents of the mouse, and these will of course also contain grains and vegetables.

So to a small extent, there are also vegetable products on the cat’s menu. Many types of cat foods contain grains, and rice is also an option of choice.

Some cat foods are there which is “mixed with rice”. So rice seems to be suitable as cat food. In fact, there is a lot of good stuff in rice – at least from a human perspective.

For more details, rice contains starch and provides energy in the form of complex carbohydrates. In any case, you should cook or cook the rice before you mix it with the feed. In this way, the starch it contains is broken down so that it can be used by the cat.

Older cats are happy to add a little rice, as phosphorus and the protein content in meat can put a strain on the cat’s kidney function. Here it can make sense to mix some rice into the cat’s food, as starchy meals relieve the liver and kidneys. In any case, you should also listen to the veterinarian about nutrition, because he will know what is best for the cat.

Is it okay for cats to eat rice?

No, rice is not toxic to cats. In fact, rice is mostly made up of carbohydrates, which cats should only consume in small amounts. Rice is okay as a filler in cat food. As a main food, however, it is completely unsuitable. While rice is not toxic to cats, it is not beneficial to their health.

Now let’s have a look at the nutrient content of rice.

The amount of carbohydrates in rice is much higher. It also poses a small quantity of essential micronutrients such as vitamin B, iron and magnesium. However, many cat owners are not sure if they can feed their cats with rice because of originating from grain – after all. And grain has a rather bad reputation, especially with cat owners.

Nevertheless, various cat food preparations also use rice as a dietary supplement in small quantities. One thing is certain, rice is not toxic to cats, but it is not particularly healthy either.

However, here I am giving you the nutritional values ​​of rice per 100 grams:

  • 130 calories
  • 3 grams of 1 milligram of sodium
  • 35 milligrams of potassium
  • 28 grams of carbohydrates
  • 7 grams of protein

The high proportion of carbohydrates has a filling effect on the stomach. Too much of it, however, have a negative impact on the cat’s well-being.

Because, excess carbohydrates can cause obesity in the long term and can lead to diabetes, and it also makes rice difficult to digest.

But if you provide rice an optimum level, this can help prevent your cats from diarrhea. The mechanism is, rice binds fluids in the gastrointestinal tract and can therefore help fight diarrhea in cats.

As a home remedy for cat diarrhea, rice is quite suitable.

What are the advantages of rice for cats?

Experts suggest that small amounts of rice can be useful for cats when cooked. The grain provides the animal with quickly available energy in the form of complex carbohydrates. Cats who are very active and move around a lot can therefore do quite well with an occasional serving of rice in their food.

But that’s not all: Cooked rice is not only an ideal source of energy, but also good as a light food for diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. The fact is: grain binds water in the digestive process. This makes rice particularly suitable if the cat suffers from diarrhea, for example.

When it comes to rice in cat food, however, it is crucial that the grain is served unsalted and cooked beforehand. The small grain is namely rich in starch and therefore actually rather difficult to digest for cats. But if it is cooked, the starch is broken down and usable for the animal. At least that is what the proponents of grain admixtures mean.

What are the arguments against rice for cat food?

Cats are naturally carnivores, which is why meat should make up the majority of their diet. As a predator, your digestive system is optimally adjusted to process protein and fat-rich food. Cats get the energy they need mainly from proteins and fats.

On the other hand, rice, which is characterized by a high proportion of carbohydrates, should be consumed with caution, according to opponents of grain admixtures. Because it is not designed for the digestion of the animal.

Can Small Cats Eat Rice?

Be careful about small cats. You should give rice to them because switching from liquid to solid food is already a major challenge for their digestive system.

Cats, and this, of course also applies to small cats, are naturally carnivores. Therefore, the majority of the diet should consist of meat. The digestive system of kittens has to adjust to solid food after they are weaned from their mother’s milk. Feeding young animals with rice makes small cats more difficult to cope with the change in food.

Important: The cat’s organism is basically designed to digest food that is rich in protein and high in fat. The calories cats need to be fit and healthy come primarily from protein and fat – not from carbohydrates.

Tips to provide rice to your cats

  • You can give rice in moderation if the cat has diarrhea
  • When giving rice to a cat, make sure it is unsalted
  • Only give rice in moderation and mix it with other foods
  • Rice should be cooked beforehand as raw rice contains a lot of starch that cats cannot digest

Conclusion -Is it okay for cats to eat rice?

Yes, it is okay for cats to eat rice. Rice is not harmful to cats and has many positive aspects. In any case, rice should be boiled or cooked before adding it to cat food.

So, what would you do to answer this question -rice in cat food: yes or no?

To sum up, in real-life situations it can make sense to use small amounts of rice as a relatively easily digestible type of grain for the purpose of adding feed. If the animal suffers from diarrhea, cooked, unsalted rice can definitely help.

Basically, a cat should be fed according to its digestive system. And that includes primarily proteins and fats.



A veterinarian completed Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree from Bangladesh Agricultural University. I worked for more than 12 years as a veterinary surgeon for Bangladesh Govt. During this time, I got the opportunity to work with pets. I bear a keen interest in pets by sharing my knowledge and experiences. Till now I am working in Dept. Livestock Services, Bangladesh.

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