As a Maine Coon owner, you may catch your kitty spying on you while you cook or eat rice. But can Maine Coons eat rice?
Stay tuned to find out the answer to this critical question.
Rice is safe and non-toxic for Maine Coons to consume in small doses, but this type of grain is not necessary for the feline diet because cats are obligate carnivores. Rice may be beneficial to some cats suffering from digestive or gastrointestinal issues. The only proper way to serve any type of rice to cats is cooked and plain.
Keep reading to explore the ins and outs of Maine Coons eating rice, possible benefits, and risks or side effects that owners should consider before serving this grainy dish.
Keep scrolling to also read the results of a poll conducted by Katrina Stewardson on Maine Coon Central’s YouTube channel, where viewers were asked if it was safe to feed Maine Coon cats chocolate.
What do you think the results were?
Can Maine Coons Eat Rice?
Maine Coons are known for their distinctive build and size and are affectionately called “gentle giants,”.
Weighing up to 25 pounds, these large felines should eat diets consisting of up to 50% animal protein to support their bodily functions as obligate carnivores.
Although Maine Coons need animal protein, rice is one food group that is acceptable for them to eat and even beneficial in some cases.
Cats with diarrhea, for instance, benefit from this easily digestible grain, which may provide relief for their digestive tracts.
For the most part, though, rice does not offer much nutritional benefit to cats, and it should not make up a significant portion of their diets.
If a cat is interested in trying rice, it should only be served in moderation.
Any questions or concerns about your Maine Coon’s diet, specifically whether rice is appropriate based on their health profile, should be taken up with a trusted veterinary professional.
Is Rice Good For Cats?
Rice is nontoxic to cats and does not have too many benefits for them.
But is rice good for cats in cat food or specific scenarios? The quick answer is, yes!
Rice can be beneficial for cats with specific issues, as listed below:
Cats With Diarrhea
Rice for cats with diarrhea has a few benefits.
If a cat is suffering from an upset stomach or diarrhea, rice is a good choice of bland food that goes easy on their tummies.
Cats with diarrhea will benefit from a temporary diet of plain, cooked rice with plain, boiled chicken.
The binding capability of rice helps firm up stools without aggravating the intestinal tract.
Remember, though, cats still require animal protein in their daily diets, so rice should never be their sole food source.
The ease of digestion rice offers helps soothe a cat’s stomach until the diarrhea stops.
Note that it is not a cure for diarrhea, just a food that will not make matters worse.
Cats With Kidney Disease
Rice helps with diarrheal issues, but is rice good for cats with kidney disease?
The answer is yes; rice helps protect the kidney function in cats.
Kidney disease is very common among cats, and diet plays a key role in the condition.
While severe kidney disease cases require prescription food, moderate cases can be helped via dietary changes (source 1).
Protein contains high levels of phosphorus.
This substance is rather difficult for cats with kidney disease to digest. So, foods with lower levels of phosphorous (like rice) take it easy on the kidney.
Kidney disease also makes it difficult for cats to easily process protein, so the lack of protein in rice may ease the kidney’s workload.
Use rice as a meal mixer to reduce the overall ratio of protein and phosphorus in the food.
Cats With IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease)
Is rice good for cats with IBD? Yes, it may have some benefits.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) means that the gastrointestinal tract is chronically inflamed.
Maine Coons or other cats with IBD benefit from hypoallergenic food groups.
As an easily digestible and hypoallergenic food, rice can really help ease the symptoms of IBD.
Cats with IBD have unique dietary requirements, so before adding rice to their diets, talk to your vet.
It is possible that rice could cause more harm than good to a cat with IBD.
Normally, cats with IBD do well to eat plain animal protein options like turkey or chicken.
What Kind Of Rice Can I Feed My Cat?
While it may be tempting to serve up a bowl of “human” rice, normally containing butter or oil and seasonings, cats should only eat plain, cooked rice.
1. Cooked White Rice
White rice does not offer much in terms of nutritional value for cats, although it does have small amounts of:
It is processed rice that has the bran and hull of the rice grain removed.
Some white rice varieties are enriched with B1, B3, and iron, but not all.
Cooked plainly (with no additives), white rice is a clean carbohydrate source for cats. In small quantities, it is perfectly fine and nontoxic for cats to eat white rice.
2. Cooked Brown Rice
For slightly more nutritional value, consider opting for brown rice if you want to offer something new with your cat’s next meal.
Brown rice includes the bran of the rice, giving it that darker shade.
The fiber content in brown rice may help cats with constipation. Even so, cats naturally produce enough fiber necessary for a smoothly running digestive system.
Like white rice, the brown variety must be cooked plainly. Do not add oils or butter before offering some to a cat.
Brown rice should not make up most of the cat’s diet, but it is safe occasionally.
3. Cooked Jasmine Rice
Jasmine rice, like other forms of rice, is non-toxic to cats.
It is a type of long-grained white rice that is processed, which removes some of the nutritional benefits.
You can feed it to your Maine Coon if it is fully cooked and served without any other ingredients, spices, or oils.
4. Cooked Black Rice
Black rice is also known as Forbidden Rice, and it is another rice variety that is safe for Maine Coons and other cats to eat in small doses.
This type of rice has a reddish-violet plant pigmentation that gives it a darker shade and may contribute to its nutritional value.
The nutty taste of black rice may be more appealing to some cats.
5. Sticky Rice
You will find sticky rice in Asian foods like sushi.
Sticky rice is almost the same as white rice, and it is cat safe.
It has less of a particular type of starch in other rice, causing the individual grains to stick together.
Provided you do not feed your cat sticky rice accompanied by spices, sauces, or other ingredients, it is safe.
Can Cats Eat Uncooked Rice?
Maine Coons should not eat uncooked rice. Cats will have trouble chewing and digesting uncooked rice, so they should not eat it.
Felines’ digestive tracts are designed to digest meat, not hard grains.
Some kinds of rice (especially imported ones) must be cooked to remove harmful bacteria, further making the case for only offering cooked rice to cats.
Uncooked rice might also cause constipation or an upset stomach.
Can Cats Eat Cooked Rice?
Cooked rice is the only way you should serve rice to cats.
Prepare rice for cats by cooking it thoroughly, according to the directions.
Is Rice Dangerous For Cats?
Rice is not dangerous for cats provided it is prepared and served in a safe, responsible manner.
There are a few risk factors to consider. These include:
1. Choking Hazard
If cats eat uncooked rice, it may pose a choking hazard.
It is critical for cat owners to only serve cats cooked rice and supervise their cats throughout the eating process.
2. Weight Gain
Consuming too much rice may lead to weight gain and other issues related to weight gain, like diabetes.
Mitigate this risk by only feeding cats moderate amounts of rice.
Rice should not make up a majority of your cats diet.
3. Upset Stomach
If cats eat too much rice, it may cause digestive issues like an upset stomach, diarrhea, vomiting, or other distressing symptoms.
4. Nutritional Deficiencies
If cats consume rice every day, it may take away from the amount of animal protein they eat in their regular wet food, dry food, or whole-cooked meat diet.
In that case, rice poses a threat to their nutritional profile.
Replacing meat with rice means that the cat has less of the essential nutrients necessary daily, which harms its overall health and nourishment.
How To Feed Rice To Cats
Prepare rice for cats by cooking it completely. Do not add any other ingredients to the rice.
Flavors or ingredients like salt, garlic, and onion will harm cats in large enough quantities.
You may mix rice in with cat food or with plain cooked meat. However, do not serve plain rice as a meal replacement for your cat’s typical wet or dry food diet.
Introduce rice to Maine Coons or other cats by offering them a very small quantity on top of their normal meal or a treat.
If your cat is not interested, do not force them to eat it.
Can Cats Eat Rice Every Day?
It is not ideal or necessary for cats to eat rice every day.
Rice is best served as an occasional treat. There is no need for rice to make up more than 10% of a cat’s diet.
If rice substitutes other necessary food groups, like meat, it will cause nutritional deficiencies.
On the other hand, if rice is simply added to a cat’s diet on top of its normal meal plan, it will cause weight gain over time.
Maine Coon owners who are using rice as a digestive aid for a cat with diarrhea must know that it is not sustainable over time.
If you are using rice for its benefits in terms of kidney disease or IBD, consult your vet for the best long-term diet plan.
Can Cats Eat Rice And Milk?
Cats can eat rice, but it is best for them to skip milk consumption as adults.
Cow’s milk may upset a cat’s stomach and lead to gastrointestinal issues.
Kittens can digest their mother’s milk, but their ability to break down the lactose in milk wanes with age.
Most adult cats are at least somewhat lactose intolerant.
Lactose intolerance in cats means that when they drink milk, the undigestible lactose ferments inside their digestive tracts.
This is why milk may cause:
Overall, cow’s milk should not be given to cats (source 1).
Can Cats Eat Rice And Chicken?
Yes, rice and chicken are an appropriate occasional meal for a cat.
As obligate carnivores, cats require animal proteins and nutrients like taurine in their diets, which is provided by chicken.
Mixing a little rice with chicken is fine to feed a cat.
Chicken is the perfect source of nutrients that felines, including Maine Coons, need to survive. Such nutrients include:
- Arachidonic Acid
- Vitamin A
When serving chicken, ensure that it is cooked through and unseasoned.
If you decide to serve rice with chicken to your cat, remove the bones from the chicken to avoid a choking hazard.
Supervise your cat during and after the meal if this is a new meal for them to ensure their safety.
Can Cats Eat Brown Rice?
Yes. Brown rice is safe for cats to consume if it is served cooked and plain.
Brown rice is bland, easy to digest, and a safe pick for cats with sensitive stomachs.
Can Cats Eat White Rice?
Like brown rice, white rice is safe for cats to eat when served cooked and plain.
Can Cats Eat Rice And Beans?
Rice and beans are not toxic to cats, but this food combination should only ever be offered to cats in small quantities.
Beans do not provide any essential nutrients to cats.
Although beans have plant-based protein that humans can consume, there is no animal protein, which is the type that cats need.
Beans must also be cooked and not raw to avoid digestion issues or a choking hazard.
Beans could cause digestive issues in cats.
Such problems may include:
Limit the risk of these effects by only providing a small dose of plain, cooked beans to your cat as an occasional treat.
Can Cats Eat Rice Krispies?
Rice Krispies are not inherently toxic to cats, but you should not feed them to cats because they contain sugar and other additives that are not healthy for felines.
Between the artificial flavors or ingredients, sugar, and lack of nutritional benefit, it is best to avoid sharing your Rice Krispies with cats.
Note that “sugar-free” varieties of rice treats may contain xylitol, which is toxic and potentially lethal to cats.
Can Cats Eat Rice Pudding?
Cats should not eat rice pudding to stay healthy.
The milk and sugar and rice pudding are not helpful to cats and may even be harmful, especially in large quantities.
White rice is the only ingredient in rice pudding that is safe for cats (in moderate quantities).
Rice pudding may also be sweetened with ingredients like vanilla or cinnamon.
Some vanilla extracts contain ethyl, which is a harmful ingredient to cats.
High amounts of cinnamon could also become toxic.
Can Cats Eat Rice Noodles?
Plain, cooked rice noodles are nontoxic for cats to eat in small quantities.
Rice noodles are primarily made up of carbohydrates, so eating too many rice noodles consistently may lead to weight gain.
Much like rice, rice noodles do not add essential nutrients to the feline diet, so it is not necessary for them to eat this type of noodle.
Note that rice noodles tend to come with sauces or seasonings, which do not belong in a cat’s diet.
Do Cats Need Grains In Their Diet?
You have learned that the answer to – do cats need rice in their diet? is no, but what about other grain products? The answer is also no!
Grains like wheat, oats, and corn are not necessary for the feline diet.
Wild cats only consume grain if it is in the stomach of the prey they catch and eat.
Maine Coons, like other cats, can digest grains, but their bodies do not require nutrients from grains.
The fiber content in grains may help cats’ digestive systems, but that does not make the grain food group a requirement.
Excessive fiber from grain products may lead to an upset stomach.
Some cats may be allergic to grains like:
- Allergy symptoms may include:
- Skin Irritation
- Loose Stools
- Appetite Changes
- Excessive Grooming
All things considered; can Maine Coons eat rice?
As you have learned in this article, cats are safe to eat plain, cooked rice in small quantities.
Rice may benefit cats with diarrhea, kidney disease, or IBD, but it is not required for their diets.
If you are looking to spice up your cat’s next meal with rice, only add a little bit alongside their normal high-protein diet, and do not make it a daily routine.
Is Rice Water Good For Cats?
Rice water may benefit cats with digestive issues or malnourishment by relieving stomach issues or providing hydration and energy via carbohydrates.
Can Cats Have Rice Water?
It is safe and non-toxic for cats to drink rice water, and it is generally viewed as a remedy to help cats with diarrhea stay hydrated.
Research Study: Can Maine Coon Cats Eat Chocolate?
YouTube Research: Is Chocolate Harmful For Maine Coon Cats?
In a unique research study conducted by Katrina Stewardson on the Maine Coon Central YouTube channel, in October 2023, viewers were asked if they thought chocolate was harmful to Maine Coon cats.
Of the 189 viewers that entered the poll, 95% of Maine Coon cat lovers were aware that chocolate is harmful to a Maine Coon.
However, 5% of the respondents did not realize the danger chocolate posed to this large cat breed, which was very worrying.