Can Cats Eat Rice? – Explained

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Pet owners often wonder which human foods they can give their cats, and rice is one of those questionable foods.

Rice is a food that belongs to the cereal family and has been an important part of the human diet for years. But is rice safe to feed to our feline friends?

The short answer is yes. The truth is that rice is not harmful or toxic to cats, so you can basically give them rice without fear, and they tend to love it too!

Cats have the enzymes that are necessary to be able to metabolize carbohydrates in rice without problems. However, it is prudent to control the consumption of rice continuously or as a main dish.

Why should rice consumption be controlled in cats?

Felines are strictly carnivorous animals, which is why the intake of fats and proteins is of great importance since these make up their food base.

Rice is a food that is mainly made of carbohydrates. It is rich in starch, and therefore it cannot provide the nutritional requirements that are important for cats.

It is for this reason that cats should not be fed rice as their main dish regularly. It’s a similar story with bread, since gluten causes allergic reactions and intolerance in cats.

This information is very important because it is possible that some nutritional deficiencies could arise if we don’t feed out cats properly.

When should cats eat rice?

Feeding cats rice is recommended in certain special cases, especially when they are suffering from a gastrointestinal illness such as diarrhea. This is because rice can be of great help in regulating the intestine.

In such cases, it is recommended that cats be fed rice for three or four days as part of a soft diet.

Once the cat has recovered, you need to gradually return it to its normal diet, since experts recommend that continuous rice consumption should not exceed four days. Anything longer could cause the cat health problems such as gas or constipation, among others.

Cats can also eat rice when their commercial food has run out and you don’t have time to buy more or you want to change their diet as a treat.

Is it good for small cats to eat rice?

A furry kitten

It is important to clarify that kittens should not eat rice under any circumstances — not even when they suffer from diarrhea. This is because rice could cause constipation or even affect their development.

In the event that your kitten is suffering from a health issue, it is recommended to go to the vet.

Benefits Of Rice For Cats

Cats do not normally digest carbohydrate starches as easily as those found in pasta. However, in the case of rice, most cats can digest it without difficulty. Rice:

  • helps prevent dehydration
  • helps contribute calories
  • is a good source of vitamin B
  • helps firm up the stool
  • favors the stability of the digestive system

Negative Effects Of Rice For Cats

As mentioned before, rice is not toxic to cats; their digestive system can process it without problems.

But a diet based only on rice can have consequences in the long run. It can:

  • lead to malnutrition
  • cause developmental problems in kittens
  • affect the life span of the cat
  • cause abdominal bloating
  • produce gas
  • cause vomiting

It is important to note that if your cat suffers from diabetes, you should not give it rice under any circumstances.


Yes, cats can eat rice, but we must feed them controlled or limited amounts of it. If we think about it, cats would never eat rice in their natural habitat.

The ideal way to serve it to cats is to mix it with homemade or commercial food, thus ensuring that all their nutritional needs are being met.

The key point is that, just like with humans, rice should be served as a side dish and not as the main course.

Thanks for reading. Are you considering feeding your cat rice? Feel free to share your situation in the comments below.

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