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Can Cats Eat Rice Pudding? Vet Approved Nutrition Facts & FAQ

Jordyn Alger

By Jordyn Alger

a bowl of rice pudding

Vet approved

Dr. Amanda Charles Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Amanda Charles

Veterinarian, BVSc GPCert (Derm) MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Some cats stand in front of their owners and stare intently when they have food in their hands. It’s fun to treat your cat, but if you were planning to do so by feeding them rice pudding, it’s best to put down the spoon. Rice pudding is not appropriate for cats, just like most human desserts. To better understand why rice pudding is not a safe treat for your cat, we will examine the common ingredients and discuss their effects on felines.

Common Rice Pudding Ingredients

Rice pudding is a creamy, sweet dessert that only contains a few ingredients. While each recipe differs, there are some common ingredients that many versions of rice pudding share.

Rice pudding ingredients include the following:
  • Milk
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Long grain white rice
  • Vanilla extract
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Raisins


milk outdoor
Image Credit: Couleur, Pixabay

Aren’t cats and milk a perfect pair? Well, that’s not the case. Although cats have been stereotyped as loving milk, most are actually lactose intolerant. The older your cat gets, the less lactase their body produces, which you may already know is the enzyme that breaks down lactose.

Some cats may still produce enough to ensure that a few licks of milk do not harm them, but most cats are unable to digest milk properly. Consuming too much dairy may cause your cat to suffer from digestive issues.


Image Credit: Sharon Mccutcheon, Unsplash

Sugar isn’t healthy for cats, just like it isn’t healthy for humans. However, the effects of sugary foods can be even worse in cats since their bodies are not built to process carbohydrates. Eating too many carbs may cause your cat to develop obesity or diabetes.

If your recipe contains an artificial sweetener, keeping it away from your cat is even more important. Artificial sweeteners, like xylitol, may be toxic to cats and should be avoided.

Long Grain White Rice

white rice in a bowl
Image Credit: mikuratv, Pixabay

Rice is not harmful to cats as long as it is only fed in small amounts. However, rice does not provide many health benefits for your cat, either.

Vanilla Extract

bottled vanilla extract
Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

Vanilla extract contains alcohol, and alcohol is toxic to cats. If your cat consumes too much vanilla extract, they may experience gastrointestinal distress and respiratory issues. While the amount of vanilla extract in rice pudding is not likely to harm your cat, it certainly doesn’t do them any favors.

Ground Cinnamon

ground cinnamon
Image Credit: 5389939, Pixabay

Cinnamon is dangerous for cats. If your cat eats too much cinnamon, it can lead to low blood sugar, digestive issues, liver disease, and changes in their heart rate.


a plate full of raisins
Image Credit: forwimuwi73, Pixabay

While grape toxicity is less common in cats than in dogs, it is still possible. Experts are not certain what the toxic substance inside the grape is, as both seeded and seedless grapes can cause issues, but it is believed that a compound inside the grape’s flesh is the issue.

Regardless, raisins and grapes can be hazardous to your cat’s health. If raisins are included in your rice pudding, it is vital that you keep your dessert away from your pet.

Feeding Human Treats to Cats Is Not Good for Their Health

Even if your rice pudding does not contain potentially hazardous ingredients like cinnamon or raisins, you are still not advised to feed it to your cat. Human treats and cuisine are unsuitable for felines and can cause health issues.

Obesity is one of the primary issues that your cat may suffer from if you feed them too many human sweets. Obesity is more than a buildup of excess body fat; it is also a serious health concern. It can shorten your cat’s lifespan and increase their likelihood of developing other diseases.

Obese cats are at a higher risk of suffering from the following:
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Heart disease
  • Hypertension
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Urinary bladder stones
  • Skin and coat issues
  • Infectious diseases
  • Cancer
  • Hepatic lipidosis

If you are concerned about your cat’s weight, consult your veterinarian. From there, your vet will be able to recommend any necessary treatments, diets, or other plans.

woman took her maine coon cat to the veterinary clinic
Image Credit: Gorodenkoff, Shutterstock

Frequently Asked Questions

It can be tricky to determine which foods are safe for your cat and which are not. That is why we have answered some frequently asked questions regarding cats and human food.

What Human Foods Can Cats Eat?

Not all human foods are bad for cats. Your pet can happily munch on plain-cooked meat, fish, and eggs. An occasional whole grain, cucumber, or broccoli can also be a nice treat.

What Are Other Human Foods That Are Dangerous for Cats?

Regarding desserts, you should never feed your cat anything with chocolate. While dark chocolate and unsweetened baking chocolate are the most dangerous, any form of chocolate can cause adverse reactions.

Besides desserts, you should watch out for onions, leeks, and chives. They are highly toxic to cats and should never be given to them.

What Should You Do if Your Cat Eats Something Toxic?

If you believe your cat has consumed something toxic, reach out to an emergency veterinary service immediately. Even if you do not notice any signs of distress, it’s best to respond promptly. Some signs can be subtle and difficult to see. If possible, take the package associated with what was ingested so your vet can examine the ingredients.

Final Thoughts

Rice pudding is not a healthy treat for your cat due to the ingredients included in the recipe. While sweets are not an appropriate snack for your cat, there are plenty of tasty feline treats you can offer your pet instead. Remember that all treats (even healthy ones) should be given in strict moderation to ensure your pet lives a happy, healthy life.

Featured Image Credit: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock

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