Many cats are quite food motivated and this extends to Persian cats. In fact, your ‘fluffy furniture’ may come to life when they sense food in the offering!
And while cats will eat their own food, their human’s food is often more enticing to them.
Cat owners tend to know full well that cats shouldn’t be eating human food, but there are some exceptions – obvious ones like plain chicken and fully deboned plain fish – and some not-so-obvious ones that are useful in certain circumstances.
Where does rice, a common side dish for many people and often for dogs, fall on this.
Can Persian cats eat rice?
Short answer: Rice is not toxic to cats and in fact, it can be beneficial in certain circumstances.
But it’s not something they should be eating all the time as it’s mostly carbohydrates which cats don’t need a lot of and get from their regular food anyway.
What Kind of Rice Can Persian Cats Eat?
When we think of rice, we tend to think of white rice, but you can also find brown rice (which is just white rice with the hull and bran still attached), jasmine rice, basmati rice, long-grain rice, and more!
So which ones are safe for Persian cats to eat?
Rice in all its subtypes is safe for cats to eat, but there are some things to keep in mind:
- When we are talking about rice, we mean plain, fully cooked rice, not rice from things like pre-made side dishes that have way too much sodium in them.
- Rice should never be a meal replacement for cats as it is lacking in many of the nutrients a cat needs to stay healthy
- It is best served mixed with their usual food to ensure that they don’t stuff themselves with rice
- Rice can also be served a bit wet – this helps your cat get more hydrated.
Brown rice is probably the best thing for cats to eat because it still has all its fiber and nutrients intact whereas other rice may be lacking in these things.
When Can I Feed My Persian Cat Rice?
Rice should only be fed as an occasional treat, though it also has its uses in helping your cat’s health.
Many cat owners have found that giving their cat a small amount of rice when they have diarrhea helps to clear it up and keep nutrition in their cat’s body while they recover.
Plain chicken and rice, for example, is a common thing to feed a cat who isn’t feeling very well as it is nutritional and bland.
It’s important not to overfeed a cat on rice. They cannot break down carbohydrates and so any excess will increase their body fat, insulin, and blood sugar levels.
Eating too many carbs too often can lead to a cat becoming overweight and at higher risk of arthritis, diabetes, and other health problems.
They also just don’t get much out of carbs other than some energy and rice usually pushes them over their daily needs.
But rice has a few nutrients that make it worth giving to your cat in small amounts once in while. These include:
Brown rice is again the best for this as it doesn’t have its hull and bran stripped out, so your cat is getting the most out of it.
What Are the Side Effects of Rice for Persian Cats?
Although rice isn’t toxic for cats, it’s not really very healthy either. Eating too much rice can make a cat feel gassy, and bloated, and if they eat it instead of their normal food, they can become malnourished and yet still overweight.
Rice is effectively junk food for cats, though a helpful junk food if they are suffering from diarrhea and you need a way to alleviate symptoms until they visit the vet.
White rice has almost no nutritional value in it for cats, brown rice has more.
But if your Persian got into some cooked white rice, you probably don’t have anything to worry about – aside from maybe being a bit gassy, your cat should be fine.
Can Persian Kittens Eat Rice?
No, Persian kittens (or any kittens for that matter) shouldn’t eat rice. Kittens have very specific dietary requirements that must be met if they are to grow up properly.
Kittens should live on their mother’s milk (or kitten milk) for the first eight to twelve weeks of their life, transitioning to kitten food over a period of a week or two, and then eating kitten food until they reach maturity and can transition to adult cat food.
Rice can be very hard on a kitten’s stomach and doesn’t give them the nutrients they need. Eating too much rice can even lead to stunted growth.
Rice is not the best thing in the world for a Persian cat to have, but if your cat has some occasionally, it’s hardly the end of the world.
And brown rice can help alleviate diarrhea symptoms until a vet can see it, so it can be beneficial in that sense!
But rice should only be served as an occasional treat or as something to help a cat manage an upset digestive system, not something they have all the time. And brown rice is far better than white.
Does your cat like to eat rice? My cats totally ignore it, at least so far, but my tuxedo is curious, and food motivated, so I expect to find rice on his nose someday!
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.