When you’re munching on your favorite snacks, it’s common to see your cats start showing interest. But if they’re really starting to show interest in rice cakes, should you give them some? The truth is that there’s no nutritional value to giving your cat rice cakes, and often it can present all sorts of digestive problems.
But if you are looking for a healthy treat to give your cat, we’ve highlighted a few great options for you below, and we’ve gone over everything you need to know about cats and rice cakes as well.
Reasons You Shouldn’t Feed Your Cat Rice Cakes
While you generally don’t have to worry too much if your cat eats a little rice cake, there are a few reasons you should find a better treat for them. We’ve highlighted four of the most notable reasons you should keep rice cakes away from your cat here:
No Nutritional Value
This isn’t something that will likely harm your cat, but it does highlight why there’s no good reason to give them some. Even if you find a rice cake that is sodium-free and doesn’t have any additional flavors, they still won’t get nutritional value from eating one.
Rice cakes are full of carbohydrates, and while a cat needs some carbohydrates, rice cakes contain far more than a cat needs. While cats can digest some rice, if your cat eats too much it may cause digestive upset with problems like vomiting and diarrhea.
If you are going to feed your cat rice cakes, ensure it’s a variety without sodium. Most rice cakes contain sodium, but you can find sodium-free varieties. However, you might find that your cat doesn’t like the sodium-free kinds, but the kinds with sodium contain far too much for your cat to eat safely.
Most rice cakes have additional ingredients like caramel, chocolate, or sugar. What do all these added ingredients have in common? Your cat shouldn’t eat them. If you’re thinking about feeding your cat a rice cake, you need to ensure it doesn’t have any additional ingredients that could harm them.
Do Cats Like Rice Cakes?
Usually, a cat will not have any interest in rice cakes unless it has extra flavorings or seasonings, most likely that they shouldn’t eat. Your cat might show some curiosity over a sodium-free rice cake, but typically, this is because they see their owners eating them.
However, it is important to note that each cat is unique and that while most cats won’t show much interest in a rice cake, that doesn’t mean every cat won’t! Sometimes our feline friends surprise us and show interest in something most of them don’t care about.
Should You Take Your Cat to the Vet if They Eat Rice Cakes?
While you shouldn’t feed your cat rice cakes, you generally don’t need to take them to the vet if they eat some. That’s because while rice cakes aren’t a great treat for your cat, most of the negative side effects only arise if you consistently feed them to your cat or they eat a large amount.
However, the exception to this is if there’s some sort of seasoning or flavoring on the rice cake that could be toxic for your cat. When in doubt, play it safe and contact your vet for advice.
Can Cats Eat Rice?
Since rice cakes are generally a bad idea for your cat, you might think rice is a no-go too. However, this generally isn’t the case. In fact, rice is included in some commercial cat foods and can contribute to the overall nutritional balance of the diet.
Don’t give them a ton, but a cooked little rice here and there is fine for your cat as long as you don’t add any additional seasonings or flavorings.
Healthier Treat Options for Your Cat
Just because you shouldn’t feed your cat rice cakes doesn’t mean there aren’t other “people” foods you can treat your cat with on occasion. We’ve highlighted a few safe options you can feed them, but keep in mind they shouldn’t make up more than 10% of your cat’s diet.
Fish and cats just seem to go together, so it makes sense that salmon would find its way onto our list of great treats. Only feed your cat cooked salmon and ensure you don’t add any additional seasonings or flavorings while cooking it.
Eggs are another great treat for your cat. Don’t add extra salt, butter, or other seasonings while cooking them, but from there, you can cook them any way you’d like. We recommend scrambled, but only because this is less messy for your cat.
Chicken is one of the most common protein ingredients you can find in cat food, so it’s not surprising that you can cook it fresh and feed it to them. Don’t add any additional flavorings when cooking it, and remove all bones.
Cats can enjoy small amounts of some fruits including melons. Cantaloupe has lots of water so it can be a refreshing treat for your feline friend. Make sure to remove seeds and skin before offering it and remember all fruits are high in natural sugar so should only ever be offered occasionally.
If you have any questions about your cat’s diet, speak to your vet for advice. This is particularly important if they have underlying health concerns or are on a special diet, before offering them new foods.
While you probably shouldn’t feed your cat rice cakes, that doesn’t mean you can’t give them a treat from time to time. Find something they like that’s good for them, and when they start hanging around begging for scraps, give them one of the healthy treats instead!
And if your cat does get into something they shouldn’t and they’re starting to show adverse signs, play it safe and take them to the vet.