Rice is one of the staple foods for a vast majority of the world’s population. We use it in a variety of ways to create an even wider variety of dishes. Although very popular, rice has very little nutritional value.
It contains carbohydrates and trace amounts of manganese, vitamin B and iron. Despite having low nutritional value, rice is still a favorite food of most people. But can the same be said for felines, i.e., can cats eat rice?
Dietary Requirement Of Cats
Cats are carnivores by nature which means that they need a decent amount of protein in their diet, preferably from meat. Protein is essential for cats for them to sustain themselves.
For an animal with has such a high dependency on protein, what good would rice be? Rice is essentially a grain, and most cat food companies pride themselves in producing grain free food. So the question is, is rice good or bad for cats.
The Rice Debate
Every pet owner wants to give their pet the very best so that they are healthy and live longer. This means making sure they eat the right food and get the right kind of nutrition. There is a lot of debate between cat owners about whether or not rice is right for their cats.
Some believe that due to its low nutritional value, there is no room for rice in a cats’ diet. Others suggest that adequately cooked rice is suitable for cats and can aid digestion.
When Is Rice Good For Cats?
Rice, whether brown or white, is said to be good for cats but make sure that it’s properly cooked. Not as an everyday dietary staple though, but only as a means to help the kitty’s digestion. Cats naturally have a very sensitive stomach which means they can easily get stomach disorders such as diarrhea. There are many cat foods on the market which are grain-free. But the truth is that grains, especially rice, can do wonders for cat’s stools.
Mixing a small amount of cooked rice with your cat’s regular food can improve its digestion. If your cat has diarrhea, the rice mixed with its food can help cure the loose stools. Rice isn’t toxic in any way, therefore, giving it to your cat in small amounts will do good rather than harm.
As already mentioned, rice is good for aiding a cat’s digestion. So even if you do not feed your cat any rice, giving it to your cats once in a while can actually be good; especially if your cat has diarrhea. Whenever you do so, make sure that the portion of rice is much smaller than the piece of meat of regular cat food.
When Is Rice Bad For Cats?
Evidently, rice has its advantages when it comes to giving it to cats. But as with everything else in life, too much of it can be harmful to your cat. As mentioned before, cats need a decent amount of protein in their diet to sustain themselves, and rice won’t give them the required nutrition. Too much of it can affect the overall health of your cat and can cause malnourishment. In more severe situations, it can affect your cat’s lifespan. Too much rice consumption in felines is also seen to causes bloating and gases.
Uncooked rice is awful for cats because it can cause diarrhea. A natural pesticide called lectin is naturally present in rice which can cause vomiting. If you accidentally did feed uncooked rice to your cat, wait 24 hours to see if the symptoms go away. If they don’t, contact your vet as soon as possible.
Excessive amounts of rice are awful for young kittens, and research shows that it hampers their development as well.
If you do want to feed your cat rice, make sure that it does not contain any spices, onion, garlic or sauces. Garlic and onions are very common additives in rice. It includes a compound that can adversely affect cats by oxidative damage which harms the red blood cells. Always give your cat plain rice. The additives we humans like to add in our food is toxic and extremely harmful for cats.
Can You Feed Your Cat Any Rice?
Rice, despite is low nutritional content, is good for cats sometimes. It aids and improves their digestion. And if a cat as a stomach problem such as diarrhea, rice helps combat it. That being said, always make sure that you serve only cooked rice to your furball.
Uncooked rice is out of the question. We have mentioned in this article that cooked rice is useful for treating your cats’ diarrhea but don’t count on it. Rice is not a quick fix for treating diarrhea. If your cat has diarrhea, contact your vet at the earliest to discuss treatment plans.
Healthy Alternatives To Rice
If you want to improve your cat’s overall health and incorporate more things into its diet, there are many alternatives to rice. Before making any drastic changes to your cats’ diet, always consult with a vet. But some foods are a no-brainer.
Lean meats are said to be good for cats. Experts also recommend liver, plain cooked chicken, lamb and deli meats. Other than that, grilled fish such as salmon and tuna are good. Eggs, in a controlled quantity once or twice a week, are suitable for cats health. Although cats never prefer it, fruits and vegetables like blueberries, pumpkin, carrots, bananas, and broccoli might do good to their digestion. Also, you can always go for vitamins and dietary supplements to boost your cats’ growth and improve its overall health.
Too much consumption of anything is terrible both for humans as well as pets. Through the above discussion, we have established that cats can eat rice. It is good for them in the sense that it helps improve their digestion as well as help with problems such as diarrhea. Rice is good for cats as long as it is given to them in small quantities.
We should always be given plain rice without any seasoning and/or sauces. And remember, you should always give cooked rice to your cat. Uncooked rice can cause serious health problems. Remember always to ask your vet any questions you have related to your cat’s health whether it involves food or just general health.
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