✔ This article was reviewed for accuracy by a licensed veterinarian.
Cats love to eat almost anything they can get their paws on. At least mine do. When cooking, my cats are always over my shoulder trying to get a sample of the latest menu.
In my college days of weight training and strict dieting, rice cakes became a frequent snack choice. I bought some recently, caramel ones of course, and my cats were very intrigued by them. At least until they got distracted almost immediately. So, it begs the question: Can cats eat rice cakes?
Yes, cats can eat rice cakes in limited quantities. However, it’s preferred that they are unflavored and lightly salted rice cakes as the ingredients in flavored versions are not necessary nor beneficial to a cat’s diet.
Our team has performed extensive research on the feline diet in recent months. We’ve been coordinating with our staff vet, reading peer-reviewed research, and speaking with specialists in the field. This due diligence has enabled us to share answers to your pressing questions about cat dietary restrictions!
We cover the following items in this post:
- Can cats eat rice cakes?
- How about flavored rice cakes?
- What if my cat is pregnant?
- How about kittens?
- The risks of feeding rice cakes to cats
- Alternative treats you can feed your cat
So, Can Cats Eat Rice Cakes?
Yes, they can. But they should have small amounts intermittently.
Rice cakes don’t serve as a great source of nutrition for cats. Outside of the calories they can provide, they don’t have a high volume of vitamins and nutrients in them, nor do they satisfy a cat’s carnivorous needs.
Cats are obligate carnivores. This means they require meat to survive.
Rice cakes also often contain salt and sugar. Neither of which, when served in high volumes, are good for your cat’s digestive system. You should limit the amount of salt and sugar that you give to your cat.
Can Cats Eat Flavored Rice Cakes?
Flavored rice cakes should be treated the same as plain rice cakes. If you decide to share some with your cat, ensure it’s small amounts intermittently.
We’ve gone into detail on some of the most popular rice cake flavors below as well. It’s worth noting that for just about every flavor: The combination of ingredients isn’t bad for your cat in very limited quantities. However, together, if shared often, this combination of ingredients is not suitable for a cat’s digestive system.
Can Cats Eat Caramel Rice Cakes?
Although it isn’t considered toxic, you shouldn’t share caramel with your cats. As such, we recommend avoiding sharing caramel rice cakes altogether.
A Quaker Caramel Rice Cake contains Whole Grain Brown Rice, Degerminated Milled Corn, Sugar, Fructose, Maltodextrin, Caramel Color, Natural Flavor, Salt, and Soy Lecithin.
Can Cats Eat Chocolate Rice Cakes?
No, they can’t.
Chocolate is poisonous to cats and should be avoided at all times. We’ve put together an extensive list of foods poisonous to cats that you can use as a guide moving forward!
Can Cats Eat Apple Rice Cakes?
Yes, they can. But they should have small amounts intermittently.
A Quaker Apple Rice Cake contains Whole grain brown rice, sugar, fructose, maltodextrin, natural flavor, cinnamon, and soy lecithin.
Can Cats Eat Cinnamon Rice Cakes?
Yes, they can. But the same thing here – infrequently and in small amounts.
Cinnamon is not considered toxic to cats unless they are served high amounts of it. As such, unless your cat loves these — we recommend avoiding sharing them.
A Lundberg Cinnamon Rice Cake contains Organic Brown Rice, Organic Cane Sugar, Organic Spices, Sea Salt, Cinnamon Oil, and Organic Natural Flavor.
Can Cats Eat Salt And Vinegar Rice Cakes?
They shouldn’t. High amounts of salt can be poisonous to cats. Vinegar, although not toxic to cats, provides no real nutritional value to cats either.
We recommend avoiding sharing this one!
Can Cats Eat Marmite Rice Cakes?
Yes, they can. But they should have small amounts intermittently. Marmite is pretty famously salty, which isn’t ideal for cats.
Marmite rice cake ingredients include Rice, Marmite® Yeast Extract, Salt, Vegetable Extract [Carrot], Niacin, Thiamine, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, and Vitamin B12.
Can Pregnant Cats Eat Rice Cakes?
They can, but we don’t recommend it.
A pregnant cat, just like a pregnant person, requires additional calories to support itself, the baby, and the additional energy requirements needed to carry both around. So, a little bit here and there won’t hurt, but we don’t recommend making a habit out of it.
Most professionals actually recommend kitten food for pregnant cats or a good kitten/growth-based formula. Kitten food is generally higher in calories as it was created to help kittens grow into strong, healthy adult cats. Plus, any leftover kitten food can be fed to the kitten(s) once born!
Can Kittens Eat Rice Cakes?
Similar to adult cats — they can, but they’re not necessary nor preferred.
Kittens should be fed a ton of wet and or dry food made specifically for them and don’t need to be fed anything else. Plus, if you instill good habits in your kitten, mainly not eating human food, they likely won’t become spoiled like mine are!
What’s In Rice Cakes?
That depends on the rice cake at hand. A salt-free, traditional Quaker rice cake has one ingredient: whole grain brown rice. The flavored rice cakes can have a ton of additional ingredients (e.g., Degerminated Milled Corn, Sugar, Salt, Fructose, Maltodextrin, and Soy Lecithin).
We’ve covered the ingredients in some of the more popular flavored rice cakes above.
It’s also worth noting how rice cakes are made. It’s created when pressure and heat are applied to grains of rice causing them to expand. As they expand, they interweave as well. We explain this so you know that a bland rice cake isn’t a threat to your cat based on the process used to make it. Rice is safe for cats to eat, so a bland rice cake isn’t an issue either.
Risks of Feeding Rice Cakes to Cats
The risks are pretty low. That is, as long as rice cakes haven’t been a staple of your cat’s diet.
As such, we’ll focus on the risks of overfeeding your cat rice cakes:
- Lack of required nutrition. If your cat eats rice cakes often and eats a large portion of it, they may not have the appetite to eat their cat food. This can lead to a lack of protein intake, as well as other key macronutrients and vitamins found in cat food.
- Sodium overload. Some sodium is good for a cat’s diet. But too much can be detrimental to their health. Flavored rice cakes consistently have higher sodium levels than a cat needs.
- Creation of a bad habit. Cats like texture in their food. Some like it more than others, and there is a chance your cat may enjoy the texture of rice cakes. This may lead to them wanting them more often, and creating poor dietary habits.
- Cat obesity. Most of us, if we’re being honest, don’t measure all of the food we give our cats. We feed them their usual meals, maybe throw them some treats, and even share some human food. The thing is, these small animals can put on weight faster than you think — especially indoor cats. Overweight and obese cats, while they make for good memes, are more prone to negative health conditions long-term.
Can rice cakes make my cat sick? Cats can be hard to read, especially if they’re not feeling well. But this video does a great job overviewing some things to look out for if you believe your cat is sick.
Alternatives to Rice Cakes For Cats
There are a ton of cat-friendly, healthy snacks we recommend. Our post on human foods safe for cats is a great starting point!
Final Thoughts: Can Cats Eat Rice Cakes?
Before making any changes to your cat’s diet, please speak with your vet!
Your cat can eat small amounts of rice cakes, but shouldn’t have this snack often. If you do give your cats some pieces of rice cake, it’s best to give them a bland version that is low in sodium and artificial flavors.
It’s worth remembering that cats can and do fend for themselves in the wild. They don’t always have the best cat food available and tend to do alright. So, don’t fret if you shared a bit too much of something your cat shouldn’t eat often. If you feel it was too much — monitor your cat, and do your best to avoid doing so in the future.
We recommend reading our article on how much to feed a cat. You may learn some helpful tips to keep your cat’s weight and overall health in check!