Can Cats Eat White Or Brown Rice? Is It Good And Safe, Or Bad For Them?

One of the most popular cereal grains produced for worldwide consumption is rice. It comes in a plethora of varieties and can be used for the preparation of countless dishes.

People from all over the world eat rice in its numerous forms. This type of grain crop is rich in calories and carbohydrates, and it also offers tiny amounts of vitamin B, manganese and iron. Highly valued for its easy storage, affordable price and compatibility with a lot of other food items, rice in all of its forms is present in dietary, vegetarian and meat-based recipes.

So, if it’s so favored by humans, can cats eat rice too?

The good news is that rice isn’t among the toxic foods and plants, which can harm your precious feline furball.

If it happens to accidentally gulp down some rice, no harm will happen.

However, rice is nonetheless a grain crop. And many high quality cat food manufacturers actually praise their products on being grain-free.

So, is rice bad for cats even if it’s non-toxic?

Yes and no.

It all depends on the cat’s age, its body, its health condition and how much (and often) it’s eating rice – white or brown. Keep in mind that each kitty is unique on its own and that this crop actually isn’t produced for feline consumption.

When Is White Or Brown Rice Good And Safe For Cats?

Cats have sensitive stomachs by default. They can suffer from a variety of digestive system disorders even if they’re overall healthy, including from diarrhea. The latter one can lead to a number of secondary problems caused by dehydration.

Grain-free cat foods can’t do much for a kitty’s liquid stools. Rice, on the other hand, works wonders.

A small amount of cooked rice mixed with your pet’s typical food can improve digestion in terms of making the kitty’s stools harder and stopping the diarrhea, thus preventing dehydration. Soft and moist cooked rice is easy for digestion.

Moreover, it’s non-toxic and won’t have side effects if it’s in moderate quantities. Many cat foods actually contain grains like rice, wheat and corn. In other words, giving your cat some cooked rice isn’t something groundbreaking.

When Is Rice Bad For Cats To Eat?

As it is with everything else in life, giving rice to your furball has its advantages as well as downsides. Felines are carnivores and their primary source of nutrition comes from meat. Rice can’t give your fluffy pal much protein – and cats thrive mainly on proteins.

In fact, rice doesn’t have much nutritional value for cats.

Like all “human” foods that don’t do a lot of good for cats, our recommendation is not to bother feeding your kitty with it. Just make sure you’ve got a high quality cat food diet, and there’s no reason to be supplementing unless you know exactly what you’re doing by making homemade foods for kitty.

Too much rice on too frequent basis can lead to malnourishment. Needless to say, this can severely affect your kitty’s longevity and overall health. On top of that it can leave a cat bloated and gaseous.

Your pet’s organism isn’t designed to digest grain crops. Think of rice and other grains as fillers. They don’t offer any nutrients and too much of them results in digestive problems. What’s more, if your feline friend isn’t used to rice, it can vomit it. And lastly, if it’s given to newborns or small kittens, a rice-based diet can cause underdevelopment.

In other words, giving rice to your cat poses too many threats to its health compared to the one advantage of battling diarrhea.

Should You Give Your Cat Or Kitten Rice?

Now that you know the benefits and downsides to rice as feline food, it’s time to ask the fundamental question – can cats eat rice and should you give it to your own cat?

Yes, cats can eat rice. If a furball is feeling particularly curious or starving, it may even attempt to munch on raw rice. But uncooked grain crops must be off limits for cats of all breeds and ages! Cooked rice must be mixed in small amounts with a food your cat is already used to and only if it’s suffering from a severe case of diarrhea.

The lack of nutritional value and the dangers of bloating or malnourishment make rice a rather off-limits food for healthy felines.

If you want to boost your pet’s organism, opt for vitamins and supplements – not for fillers like this grain crop. There are various other ways to cope with diarrhea apart from using cooked rice. They are safer, more appropriate for the feline dietary requirements and better suited for the feline organism.

Lastly, if your cat is experiencing any digestive system disorders, don’t count on rice to fix the problem. Instead, call your vet and seek his/ her professional’s opinion on how to help your precious furball. There’s a chance for your kitty to have an undiagnosed health issue. Feeding it with non-nutritional fillers produced for human consumption won’t help the cat’s health condition. Worst case scenario – they might even worsen it.

Emily Parker

Emily Parker is the Content Manager at Catological. She's passionate about helping cat parents love their cats better by providing the best information and recommendations about everything you'll need to know about your cat, from kitten to senior years. She believes natural, biologically-appropriate products are best...why wouldn't you provide the best for a member of your family?!

2 thoughts on “Can Cats Eat White Or Brown Rice? Is It Good And Safe, Or Bad For Them?”

  1. I have a colony of cats n i cant afford to buy store bought cat food anymore. How n what can i feed my cats that will be good fot them.

    • Hi Betty,

      Yes, the cost of cat food can quickly add up, especially when feeding multiple cats. While I’m always hesitant to recommend raw food diets, you might want to consider making your own cat food. It may not seem cheaper, but if you are a good shopper, it often is. There are many Internet articles on this, Most include recipes. You can also check out our post at which explains this in more detail and has a standard chicken recipe that you could try. Just realize that, with raw food diets, there are always greater chances for food poisoning. But if you have good ingredients, and handle them properly, your cats should be fine.


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