Owning a cat can come with a wave of different exciting challenges and tasks, especially when it comes to all of the different things that our kitties eat on a regular basis. We all know that you should never give things like chocolate or raisins to pet cats because of their toxicity, but can cats eat rice?
Rice is one of the most popular cereal grains in the world and the overall consumption of rice does not look like it will be slowing down anytime soon. Luckily, it doesn't look like cats will be too willing or eager to share our stockpiles.
Can Cats Eat Rice?
In reality, the answer to this seemingly simple question is a complex one. Some people would happily tell you that cats can eat rice safely, while others would tell you that cats should never eat rice.
We are here to tell you that the answer to this question is both yes and no. There are a number of different factors that you need to consider before you begin to work out whether or not your cat can eat rice, these include:
1. Cats are Carnivores
One factor that you should definitely think about considering before you start serving your pet cat dishes of rice is the fact that all cats are carnivores. This means that their diet should consist solely of meat. They physically need to consume a lot of meat/protein in order to sustain themselves.
Some pet food companies do include rice in their list of ingredients, but you need to understand that rice is just a "filler" food when it is included. It does not and cannot offer your kitty any real nutritional value, nor does it benefit your cat in any way.
2. Stomach Problems
A lot of veteran cat owners will be able to tell tales about all of their cats and all of the stomach problems that they got to witness throughout their lifetimes. Cats are prone to some digestive system disorders and a lot of them affect cats who are otherwise perfectly healthy.
If your cat does have diarrhoea, then you should think about giving your cat a small amount of rice. One of the worst things about diarrhoea in cats is the fact that it makes them become dehydrated incredibly quickly. By mixing a small amount of cooked rice with their standard food, you should be able to improve their digestion and stop them from passing liquid stools.
If you are going to be using this method, then you need to make sure that the portion of rice that you use is much smaller than the portion of cat food or chicken that you mix it with. You should also make sure that you never give your pet cats any rice that has been flavoured with onion or garlic. Both of these contain a compound that can cause oxidative damage to red blood cells.
3. Nutritional Value
When it comes to owning a pet, you need to make sure that you are giving them everything that they need. This includes making sure that they are getting all of the nutrition that they need to get out of their diet. The organ system inside of cats is not designed or suited to handle things like rice so you should avoid them where possible.
For humans, the nutritional value of rice is plentiful, but that nutritional value actually offers quite the opposite to cats. Their primary source of nutrition comes from the meat that they consume and the protein that it contains; cats thrive on high-quality proteins.
If you were to feed your cat a diet of rice, then your cat would quickly become malnourished. This would happen because your cat would simply be eating a filler food. Over time, this could also begin to affect the lifespan of your cat and the overall health of your cat. It could also cause an array of nasty problems, including underdevelopment in newborn kittens.
If you do want to make cat food at home, then you could attempt to make a proper homemade cat food. The trick to this is to make sure that you do your research first because there are a lot of different foods that cats cannot and should not eat.
There are plenty of healthy foods cats can eat, like eggs. Eggs are a wonderful source of protein and are a wonderful addition to a cat's diet as long as they are cooked properly and stored properly. Your cat can also eat chicken and similar foods, but a cat should never eat tuna. This is because tuna can potentially cause mercury poisoning.
As you can see, it is safe to say that cats can eat rice, but they should probably avoid eating rice whenever possible. Rice can be used to help an upset stomach, but an upset stomach could also be a symptom of an underlying problem that only a veterinarian would be able to diagnose properly.
If you do want to feed your cat rice, then you need to make sure that you only ever use cooked rice. Uncooked rice is often covered in a type of pesticide that is called lectin, it is known to cause diarrhoea and vomiting. If your cat does consume a large amount of uncooked rice, then you should seek veterinary advice.
Remember: Cats function best when they are fed a cat-tailored diet that is properly stored in food containers, not a human-tailored diet.