Cats need a protein-centric diet, with specialist cat food providing all essential vitamins and nutrients. Human food, which often contains more fiber and carbohydrates, can be harmful to a cat’s delicate digestion. However, a bowl of rice and chicken is a notable exception to this rule.
Rice and chicken is a good meal for a cat recovering from a stomach upset. After a cat experiences diarrhea, bland food is essential. This food is inoffensive enough to encourage your cat to eat again. Rice also takes longer to digest due to the high fiber content, leaving the cat feeling full. This fiber will firm up stool, speeding up a full recovery.
Rice and chicken as a meal are best reserved for gastric episodes. This is because cats will quickly become bored with the bland taste. The fiber content can also cause complications if not fed to a cat sparingly.
Table of Contents:
- 1 Is Chicken and Rice Good for Cats?
- 1.1 How to Feed a Cat Chicken and Rice
- 1.2 My Cat Refuses To Eat Chicken and Rice
- 1.3 Can I Give My Cat Chicken and Rice Daily?
Is Chicken and Rice Good for Cats?
Usually, cats should only be fed specialist cat food. This food 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 cat food.
There are occasions, albeit rare, that traditional cat food is inappropriate. A key example of this is when a cat has diarrhea. Felines have sensitive stomachs that are easy to upset. Common explanations for sudden-onset feline diarrhea include:
- Dietary changes
- Excessive grass consumption
- Allergic reactions to food or environment
- Intestinal parasites, such as worms
In the aftermath of an upset stomach, special care will be required. Food will need to be withheld for around 12 hours. When the cat is ready to eat again, bland food will prevent a repeat episode. Meals do not get much blander than chicken and rice.
There is nothing in this meal that will upset your cat’s stomach. In fact, it will help a poorly cat to recover. This means that chicken and rice is good for cats in moderation, and in certain circumstances.
Why Is Chicken and Rice Healthy for Sick Cats?
A sick cat needs to eat to rebuild its strength. The cat may reject conventional food, though. Its stomach cannot process rich, fatty nourishment in the immediate aftermath of diarrhea.
Chicken and rice provide a cat with essential calories without provoking further illness. This simple meal is low in fat and contains just one carbohydrate and one protein source. There are no additives or preservatives. This makes it easy for cats to digest.
The chicken will provide your cat with the protein that it needs. This will keep your cat healthy, ensuring that organs work as they should. The rice, meanwhile, is packed with fiber. Cats do not usually need fiber, so this would not ordinarily act as a selling point.
After a stomach upset, things are slightly different. Fiber will fill a cat up, which will be a relief. Your cat will not want to be hungry after feeling unwell. In addition, fiber firms up your cat’s waste. Before long, diarrhea will become solid stools again.
How to Feed a Cat Chicken and Rice
Feeding a cat chicken and rice is not quite as simple as it sounds. You’ll need to invest in appropriate ingredients for your cat to gain any benefit. There are also particular cooking techniques that should be applied. The chicken, in particular, needs to be stripped of all fat.
When ready to shop, start with the chicken. You will need the highest-quality meat that you can afford. Good meat will provide more nutrition. The darker the poultry the better. Darker meat contains more taurine.
If you visit a butcher, you will have more choices. As explained by Nutrition Research, chicken organs are higher in taurine than breasts, legs, or thighs. You may prefer to make use of a chicken liver. If not, organic chicken breasts are still fine.
Instead of grilling or frying these chicken breasts, boil them. This is not a time for raw meat. Boiling will also ensure that the chicken provides pure protein with no fat. Fat will quickly upset the balance of a poorly feline’s stomach again.
You also need to use brown rice. One cup of brown rice offers around 3.6g of dietary fiber. The same quantity of basmati rice offers just 0.6g. White rice is even more nutrient-deficient. This will not help your cat recover. You will just be feeding empty calories.
Serving The Meal To Your Cat
A cat on a rice and chicken diet should be fed small quantities, more often. It will be tempting to offer a large meal. Your cat will have been fasting for around 12 hours, after all. This will do more harm than good, though.
Remember why you are offering your cat chicken and rice. This is a medicinal food. Until your cat is fully recovered, it will be comparatively weak. Eating regularly will help your cat build strength.
Cats often have a smaller appetite after a stomach upset. Do not be surprised if your cat turns down food the first time it is offered. It takes a while for a cat to become hungry. Even then, do not feed too large a bowl.
If the cat is hungry, it will eat quickly. This can lead to further diarrhea. The cat’s body is not used to large servings of fiber in one sitting. Keep to a schedule. Your cat may initially cry for more food but will thank you in the longer term.
My Cat Refuses To Eat Chicken and Rice
If your cat outright refuses to eat chicken and rice, you may need to get creative. Cats often lose their appetite when feeling sick. You need to tempt your cat into eating again.
Do not cave in and add seasoning or spices to the chicken and rice. This may make it more palatable for a cat but defeats the object of the meal. Chicken and rice is supposed to be a bland meal. Adding anything to the bowl will not kickstart recovery in your cat’s digestion.
You’ll need to work out where the problem with the meal lies. Is it the chicken, the rice, or both? Once you have done so, you can take appropriate steps to get the cat to eat. If the cat still refuses, something else is amiss.
My Cat Does Not Like Chicken
It is a rare cat that does not enjoy the taste of chicken. There is an exception to every rule, though. You may need to consider serving a different meat with rice after a stomach upset.
If this is the case, organic turkey is best. You could also try duck, as long as it is lean. If your cat is entirely averse to poultry, you could consider ground beef. This must be low in fat and cooked to an appropriate temperature. Boiling, rather than frying, will achieve this objective.
It may be tempting to use fish, as many cats love the taste. Unfortunately, fish can be a little fatty for a cat recovering from a stomach upset. Ordinarily, these fats are celebrated for their health properties. In this instance, they’ll make a 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 potential dehydration. Diarrhea will already have caused your cat to lose fluids. It can ill afford to lose any more.
My Cat Does Not Like Rice
Unfortunately, rice does not appeal to all cats. The taste, size, or texture of the food can be disagreeable.
Check that the rice is cooked appropriately. Brown rice can be surprisingly temperamental. If undercooked, the rice will be tough and chewy. This will be unappealing to a cat. If cooked too long, brown rice can become a textureless mass.
If brown rice is not appealing to your cat, substitute it for wholemeal pasta. Boil this pasta and chop it into small pieces. It does not matter what shape you use. Penne, linguini or spaghetti are all fine. Weigh the pasta, matching the quantity of the rice.
If this still does not take, consider using a meat-based baby food. These meals usually contain rice and can settle a cat’s stomach. Traditional chicken and rice should be attempted first, though.
My Cat Refuses To Eat Solid Food
If the problem seems to pertain to solid food, make your cat a chicken and rice broth. This way, you are still providing the key ingredients. A cat that feels delicate may be more inclined to eat a liquid meal.
It’s simple but time consuming to make a 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 is boiling, turn down the temperature and the pan to simmer for at least two hours. The bones will eventually melt into a broth.
Once you have your broth base, add your ingredients. Boil your chicken as standard and weighh out your rice. Apply these to the broth and pour the whole mix into a blender. Switch this on and 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 have discussed 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 on a regular basis anyway. As chicken and rice is bland, it is also comparatively tasteless. That’s fine for a poorly cat. It just needs to rebalance its digestion following illness. Healthy cats prefer an alternating range of flavors.
To make chicken and rice palatable in the longer term, it will require seasoning. This will potentially lead to allergic reactions. Cats can respond poorly to any food additive. It is not worth taking the risk.
In addition, there is a limit to how much chicken a cat should eat. According to the Canadian Journal of Veterinary Medicine, poultry is high in calcium and phosphorus. These minerals are important in small doses. An excess of either is detrimental to feline health. Fish should replace poultry as the primary protein source of a healthy cat.
Rice will become equally problematic over time. Fiber 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. Outdoor cats, in particular, already gain fiber from eating grass.
Carbohydrates, meanwhile, are just filler. When offering rice to a sick cat, they are a necessary evil. In a healthy cat, they will just lead to avoidable weight gain. Do not allow your cat to become obese.
Feed chicken and rice for a day or two, until your cat recovers from its stomach upset. Once you are confident this is the case, return to regular food. If you fail to do so, you risk contributing to further health complications.
Cats can eat chicken and rice on occasion and should do so following a gastric episode. It is a bland, inoffensive meal that rights what went wrong with a stomach upset. Just keep it in reserve as a temporary diet choice.