Rice is definitely one of the staple foods, in the United States and in many other countries. If you have a cat in the house who enjoys people food, it’s only natural that at some point you find yourself debating over whether cats can eat rice.
Although some people believe that rice isn’t good for cats because it can swell in their stomach and cause issues, that’s a myth. In fact, some vets will recommend your cats can eat rice to help soothe minor gastrointestinal problems. Read on to find out the real facts about whether cats can eat rice and in what form.
Can Cats Eat Rice Raw?
Uncooked or “raw” rice isn’t good for humans and it isn’t good for cats either. Uncooked rice is extremely difficult for cats to digest, just like it is for people. If your cat accidentally eats uncooked rice, there’s no need to worry. But don’t intentionally feed your cat raw rice or uncooked rice.
Can Cats Eat Cooked Rice?
When it comes to rice, your cats can eat rice if it’s been cooked thoroughly and cooled enough to not burn their sensitive mouth and tongue. There’s no harm in giving your cats leftover cooked rice occasionally or even mixing it in with their food if you are running short for the month.
One thing to remember if you’re going to let your cat eat cooked rice is to ensure that it does not have seasonings, spices, or additives toxic for your cat. Garlic and onion are two ingredients commonly used in rice dishes that can be very harmful for your cat. Feed your cat only plain cooked rice.
Can Cats Eat Brown Rice?
Cats can eat brown rice in the same way that they can eat cooked white rice. The same cautions apply however. Make sure it’s thoroughly cooked and cooled down enough to not burn your cat’s tongue or mouth. Also ensure that there are no additives in the brown rice, such as onion or garlic, that would be toxic for your cat.
How Much Rice Can Cats Eat?
If you decide to let cats eat rice, keep in mind that while rice is not toxic for your cats, there are few benefits to it for your cat. Rice is also high in nitrates which are not great for your cat over time either. Cats are carnivorous and as such their diet needs to be made up of mostly meat and protein in order for them to stay healthy. Rice is often used as filler in commercial cat foods. While it’s not harmful per say, cat food that uses rice as filler isn’t high quality and isn’t what your cat needs for a balanced diet.
For this reason, cats can eat rice but only in moderation as an occasional treat or to help soothe stomach upset. If you suspect that your cat has eaten rice containing a toxic ingredient or if your cat seems to exhibit strange behavior, check with your vet.