Cats should be fed a protein-rich diet, with specialist cat foods providing all of the essential vitamins and nutrients needed to thrive. Human food, which usually contains more fiber and carbs than cats’ bodies need, can be harmful to the delicate feline digestive system. However, a bowl of rice and chicken is an exception to the rule for cats with gastric problems.
Rice and chicken are ideal for cats recovering from an upset stomach and diarrhea. The chicken should be boiled, de-boned, and chopped into bite-sized chunks. It should be left unseasoned (no salt, pepper, or spices.) The fiber in the rice will help to firm up the stool, calming down the digestive system. Rice and chicken take longer to digest due to the high fiber and protein content, leaving your cat feeling full.
Rice and chicken is a meal that should be reserved for gastric episodes only. Most cats will become bored of the bland taste. The fiber content can also cause complications if not consumed infrequently and in moderation.
Is Chicken and Rice Good for Cats?
Normally, cats should only be fed specialist feline foods. They should be carefully selected to meet the dietary needs of your cat. Breed, age, and any health conditions must be taken into account when choosing a brand.
However, there are occasions that tinned cat food is inappropriate. An example of this is when a cat has diarrhea. Felines have sensitive stomachs that are easily upset. Sudden-onset feline diarrhea can be caused by:
- Dietary changes
- Excessive grass consumption
- Allergic reactions to food or environment
- Intestinal parasites, such as worms
- Stressful situations
In the aftermath of an upset stomach, more care will be required. Food will need to be withheld for about 12 hours. When the cat is ready to eat again, bland food, such as chicken and rice, can prevent a repeat episode.
There is nothing in this meal that will further irritate your cat’s stomach. In fact, it can help a cat with a bad stomach to recover sooner. So, chicken and rice are suitable for cats in moderation and certain circumstances.
Why Is Chicken and Rice Healthy for Sick Cats?
A sick cat needs to eat to rebuild its strength, but the cat may reject wet cat food or dry cat food (kibble.) The cat’s stomach cannot process rich, fatty nourishment in the immediate aftermath of stomach pain and diarrhea.
Chicken and rice provide cats with essential calories without leading to further illness. This basic meal is low in fat, and there are no additives or preservatives. This makes it much easier for cats to digest.
The chicken will provide your cat with the protein that it needs. This will ensure that your cat has the amino acids needed for energy, as well as keeping its immune system strong. The rice is packed with fiber. Cats do not usually need fiber, so this would not ordinarily be seen as a positive.
However, after a stomach upset, things are different. Fiber will fill a cat up, which will be a source of much relief. Your cat will not want to be hungry again after feeling unwell—also, fiber firms up your cat’s waste. Before too long, your cat’s diarrhea will be replaced by solid stools again.
How To Feed A Cat Chicken and Rice
Feeding a cat chicken and rice is not as simple as it sounds. You’ll need to buy the right ingredients for your cat to benefit from this meal. You’ll need the highest-quality meat as it will be more nutritious—the darker the poultry, the better. Darker meat contains more taurine.
Nutrition Research explains that chicken organs are higher in taurine than breasts, legs, or thighs. You may prefer to use chicken liver. If not, organic chicken breasts will suffice. Raw meat should be avoided.
Instead of grilling or frying the chicken, you should boil it. Boiling the chicken, and removing the skin, will ensure that it provides pure protein with little (trace) fat. Fat will likely just upset your cat’s stomach further.
You’ll need to use brown rice. One cup of brown rice offers around 3.6g of dietary fiber, while the same quantity of basmati rice offers just 0.6g. White rice is nutrient-deficient, effectively just providing empty calories.
Serving The Meal To Your Cat
A cat on a rice and chicken diet should be fed small, regular amounts. Your cat will have been fasting for around 12 hours. Eating small portions regularly will help to rebuild the cat’s strength.
Cats will initially have a reduced appetite after a stomach upset. Do not be surprised if your cat turns down food the first time it is offered this meal. It can take a while for the cat to feel hungry again.
If the cat is hungry, it will eat quickly, which can lead to further diarrhea. The cat’s body is not used to large servings of fiber in one sitting. Your cat may initially want more food, but you must moderate its intake.
Cat Won’t Eat Chicken and Rice
If your cat outright refuses to eat chicken and rice, you may need to get more creative. Cats often lose their appetite when feeling sick.
Do not add seasoning or spices to the chicken and rice. This may make it more palatable, but these ingredients will make your cat’s stomach feel much worse. Chicken and rice are supposed to be a bland meal.
Cat Dislikes Chicken
It is a rare cat that does not enjoy the taste of chicken. However, you may need to consider serving a different meat.
If this is the case, organic turkey is recommended. You could also try duck, as long as it’s very lean. If your cat is completely averse to poultry, you could try ground beef. This must be low in fat and boiled.
It may be tempting to try fish, as many cats love the taste. Unfortunately, fish can be a little fatty for a cat recovering from a stomach upset. Unfortunately, they’ll make the meal too rich. The same applies to lamb.
Avoid pork-based meats, such as ham, gammon, and bacon. These meats are high in sodium, leading to dehydration. Diarrhea will already have caused your cat to lose fluids, so your cat can ill afford to lose any more.
Cat Dislikes Rice
Unfortunately, rice does not appeal to all cats. The taste, size, and texture of rice can be disagreeable.
Ensure that the rice is cooked appropriately. If brown rice is undercooked, it will be tough and chewy. If brown rice is cooked for too long, it can become a textureless mass.
If brown rice is unappealing to your cat, you can substitute it for wholemeal pasta. Boil the pasta and chop it into small pieces. Penne, linguini, and spaghetti are all fine.
If your cat remains unkeen, consider feeding it meat-based baby food. These meals usually contain rice and can settle a cat’s stomach. Cooked chicken and rice should be provided to your cat first, though.
Cat Refuses Solid Food
If the problem is connected to solid food consumption, you can make your cat a chicken and rice broth. This way, you are still providing the key ingredients. A cat that feels ill may be more inclined to eat a liquid meal.
It’s time-consuming to make chicken broth for your cat. You need to create the base first. This can be done by making use of a roast chicken carcass. Cover these bones with water and boil. Once the water has boiled, turn down the temperature and the pan to simmer for at least 2 hours. The bones will eventually melt into a broth.
Once you have your broth base, add your ingredients. Boil your chicken as standard and weigh out the rice. Apply these to the broth and pour the whole mix into a blender. Puree your cat’s meal to its preferred consistency.
Can I Give My Cat Chicken and Rice Daily?
All references to feeding a cat chicken and rice pertain to stomach upsets. This is the only time that a cat should eat this meal. Chicken and rice can never replace the balanced nutrition provided by specialist cat food.
It is unlikely that cats will accept this meal regularly anyway. As chicken and rice are bland, it is also comparatively tasteless. That’s fine for a poorly cat. It just needs to rebalance its digestion following an illness. Healthy cats prefer a variety range of flavors.
Chicken should not be consumed to excess. According to the Canadian Journal of Veterinary Medicine, poultry is high in calcium and phosphorus.
The fiber found in rice is not an essential part of a cat’s diet, and carbohydrates are superfluous. Once your cat’s bowel movements return to normal, fiber is no longer needed.
Carbohydrates are just filler. When offering rice to a sick cat, they are providing essential energy. In a healthy cat, they will lead to weight gain.
Cats can eat chicken and rice on occasion and should do so following a gastric episode. Feed your cat chicken and rice for 1-2 days until your cat recovers from its stomach upset. Then, return to regular food.