There is an old urban legend that says if you feed your cat uncooked rice that it will make them explode but that is just a legend. Cooked rice in reasonable portions will help give your cat the energy they need to jump on your furniture and help with their digestion.
Do not feed uncooked rice
It is unappealing, hard, and cannot be digested easily. It can make your cat have stomach pain and bloating. Lect in is a pesticide that is naturally found on uncooked rice and if they eat it in large doses it can cause symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea. If your cat eats a little uncooked rice by accident, it is not going to hurt them, but it is unlikely that they will like the taste.
Benefits of cooked rice
- This grain is easy for your cat to digest. If they have an upset stomach, feeding them a little cooked rice will give them some calories.
- It puts fiber in their diet so it will help your cat stay regular
- The carbohydrates will give him energy so he stays active all day and meows and purrs
- It contains a small amount of iron, vitamin B, and manganese
- If your cat is suffering from diarrhea, adding some rice to their food will make their stools a bit harder and helps to stop diarrhea, and avoids them from becoming dehydrated.
Why rice is not good for your cat
- In cat food, rice is sometimes used as filler and if you give them too much rice they will get too full before they get enough protein for their organs to properly function. Being a carnivore they need meat and protein.
- If most of their diet is rice your cat can become malnourished because they do not have the protein they need
- Rice is high in nitrates and over time too much is not good for them
- It does not contain a lot of protein
- Do not give rice to a kitten as it can cause developmental problems
- Too much rice can cause a taurine deficiency. If this happens it could cause Central Retinal Degeneration (CRD). Taurine is a very important nutrient that is needed for the retina of their eyes to function properly. This deficiency could lead to a visual impairment that is due to the degeneration of the retinal cells. The deficiency can also cause Dilated Cardiomyopathy or an enlarged heart. This disease is characterized by the heart muscles becoming weak, thus making it hard for the heart to pump blood. It can eventually lead to heart failure.
- If your cat does not have taurine, it can cause tooth decay.
- Taurine is also important to the health of a pregnant cat. When your cat is pregnant make sure that you give them a diet that is rich in protein because taurine is found in a protein-rich diet. It is necessary for the cat to have a healthy development of her kittens and have a normal pregnancy.
The organism of a cat is not prepared to digest crops, like rice, so too much can cause digestive problems and if they are not used to it, they may throw it up.
Ways to feed your cat rice
- If your cat has an upset stomach you can boil some rice in chicken broth, add some tiny pieces of cooked chicken and when cool give a little to your cat.
- Make sure that it cooked thoroughly and cooled down so it does not burn them.
How much to feed your cat
When you are shopping for cat food always read the label to see how many grains are listed in the food. Meat may be listed as the first ingredient but if the next few ingredients are grains, like barley, rice, or wheat, combining these ingredients makes that food fifty percent grain. You want the cat food to be at least seventy-five percent meat to make sure that your cat is getting the protein they need.
When feeding your cat rice, you can mix some in with their wet food or give it to them plain rice, about a teaspoon should be enough. Make sure that it is plain rice with no seasonings, additives that are toxic to cats, or spices on them.
Plain, cooked, unflavored white or brown rice is okay to feed to your cat. Just remember that it should not be the main staple in their diet. They are carnivores and depend on having a well-balanced diet that includes a lot of protein. In the wild, cats hunt for their prey and would not touch the rice. They know what they need to stay healthy and it is not rice or other grains. If you give your cat rice make sure that it is not fried rice as it is greasy and probably contains spices and seasonings that are not good for their stomach.
When feeding your cat rice, mix it with a variety of meat and some broth or gravy for a nutritious meal. While cooked rice has its benefits there are also things that are not good about feeding your cat rice. The main one is that it could cause a taurine deficiency. A taurine deficiency can cause a lot of problems for your cats. It is okay to give your cat cooked rice in moderate amounts and mixed with their wet food but their diet needs to be at least seventy-five percent meat to give them their daily allowance of meat. Cats need a well-balanced diet to grow and be healthy.
If you have any questions about feeding your cat rice talk to your veterinarian. Just make sure that the rice, brown or white, is cooked and plain with no sugar or spices. It is good to give them if they have an upset stomach or diarrhea but they still need to make sure that you are giving them plenty of protein so they do not become malnourished.