My children fed our cat a snack 1 of cooked white rice and tuna.

Is it healthy for my cat to eat rice?

1 In Australia, by snack, I do not mean a treat, it is not a full meal, but like a small meal, much like someone grabbing a honey sandwich. You wouldn't want to live on them, but it fills the spot. It also saves throwing away food, that the cat may enjoy, but only if it is not harmful for him.


2 Answers 2


My vet advises feeding rice and chicken for stomach/intestine upsets, so rice and tuna should be fine.

Just keep in mind that such food is NOT a balanced diet for cats and isn't good for long term use. An occassional treat or meal is fine. Most importantly, homemade diets generally lack enough taurine.

If taurine levels are deficient, the retinal cells of the eyes will eventually degenerate, impairing the vision. This condition is referred to as feline central retinal degeneration (CRD). Deficiency of taurine will also lead to a weakening of the muscle cells in the heart, causing a condition called dilated cardiomyopathy. Taurine is a component of bile salts, and its deficiency may cause digestive disturbances.

Source: Taurine in Cats


Sure you can feed them rice... but it isn't great for them. They are obligate carnivores meaning they must eat meat / poultry. Even if you specially processed vegetables to give them the correct caloric balance (fat / protein / carbs) they would die prematurely because they cannot fully convert things into the form they need (for instance taking the vegetable fats and converting them into the many things a body uses fat for, such as nerve insulation, cell walls,...).

Rice is not hideously poisonous to them (the high level of nitrates probably aren't great for them though) but it has a skewed caloric balance and is deficient in many areas. Rice is also a common "filler" in many cat foods especially dry foods (large amounts of vegetable matter in a cat food is a bad sign).

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