Jasmine rice is a long-grain species of rice that is also known as aromatic rice that is grown mainly in Thailand. It’s most well known for its scent, which is quickly lost after harvesting, though a slightly sweet flavor remains.
Compared to the usual white or brown rice, it can be a little more difficult to find and it takes slightly more care in cooking.
Humans really like jasmine rice, but may wonder if, unlike other rice, it’s not so safe to feed cats (usually the name makes people think of the actual flower and some flowers are toxic to cats, including the false jasmine, though the actual jasmine flower is usually safe).
So, can cats eat jasmine rice?
Short answer: Yes. Jasmine rice, like all rice, is nontoxic to cats and some vets will even recommend it for cats who are feeling sick and having trouble eating. But as always, there are things to keep in mind when letting your cat eat any kind of rice, Jasmine included.
Do Cats Like Jasmine Rice?
This is going to depend on the cat. I don’t think my cats have shown any particular interest in any rice, so it’s unlikely they will care about jasmine rice. But who knows? I might have rice connoisseurs and not know it since I don’t make rice very often, let alone Jasmine rice.
Most cats probably won’t necessarily go after rice since it’s not a natural part of their diet, but they may be curious about it and may enjoy nibbling it. They also might like it mixed into canned food to add some texture. It’ll really depend on the cat.
Do Cats Hate Jasmine Rice?
It’s unlikely that a cat will hate Jasmine rice as much as be completely disinterested in it. As obligate carnivores, cats have evolved to eat meat, so some of them may simply walk away from your offering of rice. If this is your cat, I wouldn’t worry too much about it – they aren’t missing anything by avoiding rice.
Can Jasmine Rice Kill My Cat?
No, it’s extremely, extremely unlikely that jasmine rice will kill your cat. There’s nothing in jasmine rice that causes harm to cats and unless they eat it all day, every day, or have diabetes (and eat it all the time), you don’t have anything to worry about.
If you really want to be sure, make sure that you serve your cat well-cooked jasmine rice with absolutely no seasonings or sauces. They shouldn’t have things like fried rice because of the extra salt, garlic, and onion (all of which can make your cat very sick or is even toxic).
Rice should also be properly cooked – raw rice contains lectin which can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Uncooked rice is also hard for a cat to digest, making them bloated and gassy. Mind, cats might be more inclined to play with uncooked rice than eat it, but if you notice your cat looking sick and it lasts longer than a day or so, talk to your vet.
The only exception to this is if your cat has diabetes. A diabetic cat should have almost no carbs in its diet as it’s the carbs that can cause its blood sugar to spike which is very dangerous, especially when combined with its insulin.
Diabetic cats should be on a proper diet of high-quality cat food, often food that is specially formulated for diabetes, and should not have rice unless given the ok by the vet.
Otherwise, you don’t have anything to worry about letting your cat have a small amount of jasmine rice once in a while.
How Much Jasmine Rice Can I Feed My Cat?
Cats don’t need to eat rice to be healthy, but they can derive some benefit from it.
A healthy adult cat though should not have more than 25% of their meal made up of rice, so figure a few teaspoons mixed in with their regular food or served with plain cooked chicken or plain cooked fish. It shouldn’t really be something they just have for the fun of it though – it should either be a treat (in which case it should be very occasional) or served to help deal with issues like diarrhea.
Kittens should never have rice as it won’t do anything for them and may make them too full to have their regular food, meaning they are missing out on important nutrients.
Diabetic or overweight cats should also not have rice as the carbs can make the problem worse.
Are There Nutritional Benefits in Jasmine Rice for a Cat?
Although rice is a grain, and cats don’t really need to eat much grain to stay healthy, there are some good things about rice for cats, which includes jasmine rice.
- Jasmine rice contains carbohydrates. Cats don’t need a lot of carbs, but they do need some to meet their energy needs.
- Jasmine rice has fiber which is good for cat’s digestion
- Jasmine rice is easy for cats to digest, as long as they don’t eat too much of it
One of the big perks of any rice is that last point, which is why many cats end up eating it on the vet’s orders. A couple of meals of plain rice and plain chicken can sometimes help cats get over stomach upset, diarrhea, and discomfort while giving them the nutrition they would otherwise be missing by avoiding their usual food.
Rice and chicken give cats a quick jolt of carbs and protein while being gentle enough that it’s unlikely to come back up. (This includes Jasmine rice which is just as gentle as white rice).
However, cats shouldn’t live on rice because it has way too many carbs for cats and not enough of anything else they need to stay healthy (like protein or taurine).
In particular, the lack of taurine can lead to problems in the eyes, heart, and teeth, and eating too much rice will cause malnourishment. It really is meant to just be an occasional treat or something to entice a cat to eat when they aren’t feeling well.
Cats can absolutely eat jasmine rice, in small amounts, once in a while. It can give cats a bit of energy, help them get over stomach problems, and aid in digestion. But it should never replace their usual quality cat food and is best served with plain cooked chicken or plainly cooked fish.
Rice should also be properly cooked so that it doesn’t cause a cat to feel ill (or present a choking hazard!) But with all that considered, yes, cats can eat jasmine rice.
Does your cat like to eat jasmine rice (or any rice in particular)?
Pam is a self-confessed cat lover and has experience of working with cats and owning cats for as long as she can remember. This website is where she gets to share her knowledge and interact with other cat lovers.