Rice is a staple food in many cultures, which means your cat will most likely find an opportunity to try it. Whether or not your cat is interested in trying rice will depend on her unique personality, but is it safe to feed rice to cats?

The quick answer: Yes, cooked rice is safe for cats to eat.

Rice can be a great source of carbohydrates to round out a meal for humans, but it doesn’t work the same way for cats.

Dangers of feeding rice to cats

While rice is not toxic to cats, you should not intentionally feed it to your cat because it is a filler that is not essential to their diet. Cats have no nutritional need for rice, and eating rice can fill them up too much to eat the healthy diet they need.

Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they must eat a diet that consists mostly of meat, and their digestive systems aren’t as equipped to digest grains like rice. Although rice is a great way to bulk up a meal for humans, cats don’t require carbs in the same way. Rice is an ingredient in some commercial cat foods, but only in small, carefully calculated amounts.

If a cat consumes too much rice or other carbohydrates on a regular basis, this can lead to obesity. Loading up on carbohydrates can also mean your cat is eating less of her nutritionally balanced cat food, which can lead to nutritional deficiencies.

Letting your kitty sample a couple of grains of rice here and there shouldn’t hurt anything. Make sure the rice is fully cooked, because raw rice grains are hard to digest and may contain a natural pesticide called lectin that can upset your stomach. Do not share rice that has been seasoned with spices or sauces.