A common piece of veterinary advice is to feed bland food to a poorly cat. This is because such a meal will provide essential nutrients, without upsetting feline digestion. Cats can be picky about eating after feeling ill, and you’ll be keen for your pet to eat something nutritious.
As obligate carnivores, cats need meat in their diet. Chicken provides the protein they require. Rice, meanwhile, is easy for a cat to digest. It is especially good if your cat has an upset stomach.
Cooked chicken and rice is safe for cats, provided it is offered in the correct quantities. This combination does not replace quality cat food as a permanent, daily meal. It will, however, encourage your cat to eat again after a period of poor health.
Table of Contents:
- 1 Can Cats Eat Cooked Chicken and Rice?
- 2 Are Cats Allergic to Rice?
- 3 What are the Health Benefits of Rice for Cats?
Can Cats Eat Cooked Chicken and Rice?
Cats can eat chicken and rice. This does not mean that it should become their daily diet. A premium cat food will contain all the nutrients that your pet needs to stay healthy. This will eradicate the need for any supplements.
Sometimes, however, cats will experience stomach upsets. This could as a result of their diet, or any number of health problems. In such a situation, your vet will recommend that you offer your cat bland food. This will be designed to tempt your cat into eating again. Anything too rich, including treats, may deter a cat that’s feeling delicate.
Chicken and rice will help settle a cat’s stomach after vomiting or diarrhea. Once your cat appears back to normal, however, return to regular cat food. Home-cooked chicken and rice can be very costly if maintained as a regular feed. Also, your cat may find itself lacking a handful of vitamins and minerals. It’s also possible that your pet will grow bored with bland food, and stop eating. This can be dangerous for a cat.
It’s vital that you balance the ratios of these ingredients correctly. Too much rice can be harmful to cats. The chicken, meanwhile, can be served in whole strips or as a liquid broth. You will know your cat’s preferences best, so prepare a meal in line with these.
Can Cats Eat Uncooked Chicken?
As Feline Nutrition explains, cats are hardier than humans when it comes to eating raw meat. Raw chicken can be good for felines in small doses. Fed sparingly, it can be a treat for an indoor cat that doesn’t hunt live prey. You’ll have to wash the meat thoroughly. The threat of bacteria remains present, even if it’s less prevalent in cats.
If your cat has experienced a stomach upset, you should offer them cooked chicken. This will be easier to process, as cold food can play havoc with a cat’s digestion. With this in mind, it is safer to defrost a frozen chicken before serving.
Always supervise your cat if they are eating raw food. The bones in raw food are tougher, and thus safer, than those in cooked meats. All the same, they still present a choking risk.
Is There a Difference Between Chicken Breasts, Thighs, Wings or Legs?
Your local butcher or supermarket will typically offer a wide variety of cuts of chicken meat. There will likely by a varying price range between these options. Will your cat be able to tell the difference?
Chicken breast tends to contain the most protein. This will be of benefit to your cat. Thighs and wings are cheaper, but the nutrient split between protein and fat is much more equal. This means that you may need to be sparing when offering them to your cat.
The fat content of a feline diet will need to be monitored carefully. This is especially important if your cat has suffered from a stomach upset. In such an instance, choose the leanest, plainest chicken breast available. Fat can cause further digestive issues at these times.
Other Fish and Meat That Can Cats Eat With Rice
Cats are obligate carnivores. This doesn’t just mean that they enjoy meat – they need it to flourish and remain healthy.
Poultry is always best. If you prefer not to feed your cat chicken, lean turkey and duck are fine substitutes. Ground beef is also easily digestible by cats, though this must be cooked. 165OF is considered to be a safe temperature. If you’re prepared to spend a little more, you could also offer them lamb. Be mindful of the fat content in a typical cut of lamb, though.
Avoid offering your cat ham or bacon, or any smoked meat. These will contain high amounts of sodium, which could dehydrate your feline. You will also need to tread a little carefully around canned fish.
A little salmon or tuna is OK as an occasional treat. Don’t rely upon these foods too much, though. Not only are they very salty, but they contain lots of mercury. When eaten to excess, your cat could experience mercury poisoning.
Are Cats Allergic to Rice?
Felines are not allergic to rice as a species. However, this does not mean that your cat will not experience a reaction if they eat it. Every cat is different, and any cat could experience an allergy to any food.
As Wag Walking explains, rice allergies in cats do occur. The symptoms will usually involve:
- Vomiting, diarrhea or uncharacteristically loose stools.
- Itchy skin or ears.
- Hives and hotspots.
- Bald patches on the skin.
If you spot these reactions after eating rice, remove it from your cat’s bowl at once. You should also call a vet for advice over the phone as to how to proceed. They may recommend a home remedy, or suggest that you bring your cat to see them.
If your pet is allergic, also carefully check the ingredients of any commercial cat food. Many manufacturers use rice as a filler in their products. It will not take a lot of rice to cause an allergic reaction, so you should always be vigilant.
Can Cats Eat Uncooked Rice?
You should always boil your rice before offering it to a cat. An old urban myth claims that uncooked rice makes a cat’s stomach explode. Thankfully, this is untrue.
Uncooked rice is, however, much harder for your cat’s stomach to digest. This means that your pet will likely be left feeling bloated and uncomfortable.
As rice contains few genuine nutrients, your cat achieves nothing by eating it in uncooked form. It will not settle any stomach complaints, and leave your pet in pain.
Should I Feed My Cat White Rice or Brown Rice?
Brown or wholegrain rice is higher in fiber, so it’s usually a better option. This is particularly prevalent if your cat is an indoor pet. Cats that hunt will often find fiber from their prey.
They may also eat grass, which will provide plenty of fiber. A small quantity of brown rice is sometimes the next best thing.
What are the Health Benefits of Rice for Cats?
So, if they are not allergic, is rice good for cats? This answer to this is both yes and no. If your cat is healthy and spritely, they will not gain many benefits from rice. After experiencing a stomach upset, however, rice can be invaluable in restoring feline digestive equilibrium.
Despite this, there are a handful of reasons why rice can benefit a cat. Some of these include:
- The presence of carbohydrates. Small amounts of carbohydrates can give cats energy. Felines can easily gain weight through excess carbs though, so protein should always be the priority.
- Cats cannot always digest grains easily, but cooked rice is the exception. This will sit happily in your cat’s stomach. There can be too much of a good thing, though. Excessive rice can leave a cat bloated and constipated.
- Rice contains fiber. Just like humans, cats rely on this to keep their bowels regular.
All of these benefits are genuine, though they come with the same caveat. Rice is not natural cat food, beyond acting as a filler and base ingredient. Eating rice will not make a healthy cat even healthier. It does not improve the performance of any internal organs. It’s also very calorific, meaning it could lead to weight gain if not used sparingly.
None of this is designed to deter you from using rice in your cat’s food. Many manufacturers to do as filler, and vets recommend it as a bland food. Just don’t fill your cat’s bowl to the brim. A little goes a long way where cats and rice are concerned.
Is Rice Good for Diarrhea in Cats?
Rice will often be suggested for a cat with a stomach upset. All food should be withheld for 12-24 hours after a bout of diarrhea. However, when your vet recommends bland food, cooked chicken and rice is ideal. Offer small quantitates of this dish every few hours, rather than one large bowl.
The thinking behind chicken and rice for cats in recovery is simple. The chicken will provide essential protein. The rice, meanwhile, is easy to digest and will not aggravate your cat’s stomach further. The blandness of this ingredient is an excellent alternative to rich, fatty cat foods.
Also, rice will sit within your cat’s stomach a little longer. As it is digested, your pet’s stools will become firmer. You can slowly but surely start feeding your cat their regular food once their stomach appears happier. It’s worth adding small amounts of rice to your cat’s diet 24 hours after an episode.
How Much Rice is Safe for Cats?
If you are introducing rice as a separate ingredient to your cat’s meal, do so sparingly. Rice should never make up more than 25% of your pet’s food bowl. This will be enough to help ease your cat’s digestion. Any more is empty calories.
Too much rice can also have the opposite impact of its intention. If your cat is not used to eating grains, a substantial portion could upset their stomach. If you are using rice as anything more than filler, introduce it slowly. If you are using it as a bland meal following a stomach upset, go steady. Ensure your cat’s bowl contains more protein than carbohydrates.
There is nothing wrong with occasionally offering your cat some cooked chicken and rice. It is outright encouraged if they have been unwell. It will help settle your pet’s stomach, and make a nice change from commercial cat food.
Just think carefully before serving it up as a regular meal plan. Human food may leave your cat lacking nutrients, and other human foods are toxic to cats. Speak to your vet before making a drastic dietary change to your cat’s diet.