Chicken and rice for cats with diarrhoea are not the only way back to gastrointestinal health!
It’s not easy to care for cats suffering from a bout of vomiting or diarrhoea. They lose fluids rapidly but often refuse to eat their usual food, which weakens them even more. Many veterinarians recommend a bland meal of chicken and rice for cats struggling with digestion issues. It’s not a complete dietary solution but a temporary fix to strengthen them and stabilise their irritated tummies.
Since it’s a homemade meal, you must ensure the chicken and rice dish is prepared in a kitty-safe manner because wrong ingredients or preparation methods will only worsen your cat’s condition. In this guide, we offer practical advice on:
- A bland cat diet with relevant safety protocols
- A suitable feeding schedule—how much, how often, and for how long
We will also check out alternative food options for sick cats and share some helpful tips to care for them during the downtime.
Is bland food necessary for cats who are sick?
Cats dealing with gastrointestinal problems experience peristalsis, a series of muscle contractions in their digestive tract caused by conditions like:
Peristalsis affects the entire digestive process, making it difficult to break down harsh food like kibbles and raw meat. Cats have cramps and instinctively lose their appetite when the muscle contractions get worse. Bland cat food essentially includes plain, soothing, and digestion-friendly meals that help manage peristalsis until your kitty’s sensitive tummy recovers. It should boost their appetite and provide basic sustenance without overstressing their stomach.
Food for sick cats doesn’t always have to be a bland home-cooked meal. You can also use a light commercial wet food (usually jelly) made with highly digestible lean whole meat (like tuna, turkey, and chicken) and free from common stomach irritants like vegetables, meat derivatives, and chemical additives.
Poo looks interesting? Maybe it’s time to go bland for a little while.
Source: Min An
Does chicken-and-rice work as bland cat food? When and why?
Chicken and rice variants are typical non-prescription bland meals for felines, especially for cats dealing with mild diarrhoea caused by:
- Dental extractions
- Spaying or neutering surgery
- Food-related issues, such as:
Remember that chicken-and-rice is not an official treatment and may not help with severe diarrhoea caused by tumours, infections, pancreatitis, diabetes mellitus, hyperthyroidism, or liver and kidney diseases. You need to consult a vet to get suitable medication for these illnesses.
Nutritional values of chicken and rice
Check out the table below to understand the approximate nutritional values for chicken and cooked rice:
Chicken (100 grams)
Cooked white rice (100 grams)
Chicken also contains all essential micronutrients for an ailing kitty, including:
- Immune-system-supporting amino acids like taurine and arginine
- Fatigue-fighting minerals like selenium and zinc
- Energy-boosting B vitamins
As for rice, its complex carbohydrates and fibre content should help your kitty feel full and firm up their loose stools. Chicken and rice boiled together are a high-protein and high-calorie meal that helps sick cats get by while they recuperate.
How to make boiled chicken and rice for cats with diarrhoea
To make this light dish, you'll need the following ingredients:
- Chicken—Should be fresh, deskinned, deboned, and chopped into bite-sized chunks (opt for nutrient-dense cuts from human-grade chicken breast)
- Rice—Can be white or brown, although white is better since it’s processed and easier to digest. Also, rinse it beforehand to prevent gelatinisation while cooking (if you are out of rice, you can substitute it with plain boiled rice pasta broken into bite-size pieces)
- Water—Filtered or spring
There are two popular ways to cook boiled chicken and rice for sick cats. Let’s look into both preparation methods.
This method is super simple, and it isn’t time-consuming. Check out the steps below:
- Boil the chicken and rice separately till they are perfectly cooked
- Drain out the excess water, if any
- Store both ingredients in different vessels
- Mix suitable portions of chicken and rice in a 50:50 ratio for every serving
The boiled chicken and rice can stay refrigerated for a day or two. You should warm them up to room temperature before serving.
No fancy garnishing or pretty drizzles. Kitties find comfort in simple, reliable food on gloomy days.
Source: Airam Dato-on
This technique is slightly more demanding than the previous one, but it makes the dish more palatable for fussy eaters. Follow these steps to prepare an upgraded version of bland chicken and rice:
- Add the chicken chunks to a large pan with water (about 300 millilitres of water for every 100 grams of chicken)
- Heat the mixture
- Add an equal quantity of rice after five minutes and cover the pan
- Cook till both ingredients are tender (undercooked chicken and rice can worsen diarrhoea)
- Let the dish cool down before serving
This technique ensures the rice absorbs the subtle flavours of the chicken, making the meal more appetising to our tiny carnivores.
Cooked pumpkins or carrots and mashed potatoes can also harden loose stools in cats suffering from diarrhoea. You can add them to the chicken and rice meal if your kitty fancies diverse flavours. Never add root and stem vegetables like onions and chives to the dish, as they are toxic to felines.
Serving instructions for your sick cat’s bland diet
If your cat is sick because they ate something bad, withhold food for 8–10 hours because they should be able to get rid of the problematic ingredient in that time. If you feed them too soon, they may experience another episode of vomiting or diarrhoea.
Once their tummy has calmed down, put them on a temporary bland diet. Refer to the table below for a suggested feeding regime:
Your kitty is still sensitive, so they may be lethargic and avoid eating too much at a time. You can:
Your cat should be feeling better now, so you can serve bigger portions:
You can gradually transition your cat to their regular meals:
Feed them their regular diet if they have recovered completely
Reach out to your vet if your kitty isn't recovering as expected or rapidly losing weight. A prescription of antidiarrhoeal medicines and antibiotics may be necessary in such cases, especially for kittens and seniors.
Why is my sulky hooman having sleepless nights? It’s normal for kitties to have dulled spirits when they’re sick. I’ll get better with good food, promise!
Can I feed my cat chicken and rice when they’re not sick?
Cats won’t fancy a bland chicken and rice meal when they’re not sick. The “boring” taste won’t appeal to them, and they will probably reject it. Nutritionwise, only the boiled chicken would be nourishing. Since rice is only good to harden the stool, it serves no purpose for healthy adult cats.
A daily meal of chicken and rice could also cause nutritional imbalances like:
- Protein deficiency—Cats need about five grams of proteins per day for every kilo of their body weight. Eating only a small portion of chicken every day could cause a deficiency of the nutrient, leading to excessive shedding, more hairballs, and poor dental health
- Carb and fibre overdose—Healthy cats don’t need dietary carbs or fibre. Giving them rice regularly might create an overload of these micronutrients. Too many carbs can make your cat fat, while a high-fibre diet might cause an under-absorption of nutrients and trigger digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome
Not sure about cooking a bland meal? Try low-fat wet food instead
If you cannot prepare a bland meal, get low-fat wet food for your kitty. The whole point of a bland diet is to give easy-to-digest meals to cats. You can choose wet food that:
- Contains lean whole meat—Wet food with proteins from lean meat is easier to digest than any product with meat derivatives or plant proteins
- Has low fat content—A low-fat diet is not only essential for diarrhoeal cats but also helps healthy felines stay lean in the long run. Avoid products with high fat content food like beef, pork, lamb, eggs, and dairy
- Is free of fillers—Many wet food products are packed with rough fillers like sweetcorn and wheat, which raise the volume of food with low meat content. These ingredients have low bioavailability for cats and will only overstress their digestive system
If your cat rejects their current wet food, switch to a high-quality whole meat product. Check the labels before buying cat food because only products based on real meat are fit for regular consumption. Sick felines usually respond better to jelly wet food, as it has a milder taste than gravy.
Nutritionists don’t recommend giving dry food or a mixture of wet and dry meals to cats struggling with digestion because biscuits are heavily processed and loaded with tummy-irritating chemical preservatives and taste enhancers.
Diarrhoea or vomiting—nothing fazes kitties on a nutritious whole meat diet.
Image (c) Untamed
Untamed is the ultimate high-protein, low-fat food for your feline!
If you want your cat to stay healthy, put them on a high-protein, low-fat diet as a preventive measure. It’s the ultimate solution to tame wayward digestion, boost your kitty’s immune function, and help them stay fit and active.
At Untamed, we prepare food tailored to your cat's natural dietary needs. Our gravy and jelly meals are made with human-grade whole meat and natural ingredients. Untamed meals will agree with your kitty’s tummy because they are free from hard-to-digest fillers, such as:
- Meat derivatives
We’ve witnessed how a proper diet can help any cat get healthy. To ensure our food strengthens and uplifts your feline, we pay special attention to:
- Proteins—We offer twice more protein than the industry average. Since our sources are whole meat and organs, their high bioavailability naturally improves your cat’s muscle tone and bone health
- Nutrition—Our recipes are vet-formulated and offer the necessary nutrients in an ideal ratio for cats. Untamed food contains taurine and vitamin E that reduce oxidative stress and boost your feline’s long-term health
- Taste—We steam our food to preserve the nutritional value, flavour, and aroma intact. Whether you have a growing kitten or a fussy senior, our food tempts them all!
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Our single-protein meals can comfort your sick kitty
Our food is cooked in light broth and gravies, and it’s free from all known allergens, iffy preservatives, and chemical taste enhancers. Untamed single-protein meals (Chocka Chicken and Tuck-in Tuna) cater to the needs of kitties prone to diarrhoea resulting from food sensitivities and allergies.
Besides chicken and tuna, we also offer other yummy high-protein meals with ham, duck, salmon, shrimp, mackerel, and sardine.
We believe in ethical food production, so we get our meat from cruelty-free and sustainable suppliers, while our seafood is responsibly caught and dolphin safe. Untamed packaging is 100% recyclable.
Bland doesn’t have to be boring. Our chicken and tuna meals pack lip-smacking flavours for sensitive kitties!
Image (c) Untamed
The benefits of going Untamed—here’s what our clients say!
Kitties on Untamed experience various health benefits. Here’s what happy cat parents say after trying our healthy cat food subscription:
The Untamed effect
Six months and up
If your indoor kitty struggles to manage their weight, Untamed can help. Our food comes in convenient tins, so you control how much or how often your cat eats. The optimal high-protein diet prevents overeating in felines. Untamed is also ideal for:
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Bland diet for cats with diarrhoea—what to avoid
If your cat has diarrhoea or suffers from frequent gastrointestinal episodes, avoid giving them the following:
- Raw food—Sick cats should avoid B.A.R.F. diets because the pathogens in uncooked food can make matters worse
- Dairy—Most milk and dairy products cause gastrointestinal issues and can worsen diarrhoea in sick cats. You can offer a small serving of lactose-free milk and non-fat plain yoghurt occasionally but only to healthy kitties
- Fruits—Fruits are not biologically suitable for felines, especially sick ones, so lay off the occasional apples, bananas, and strawberries if your kitty is unwell
- Human food—Human food is loaded with salts and oils and can be dangerous for ailing kitties. Here are some common snacks to avoid:
What’s the buzz about baby food for cats with diarrhoea?
Baby food products are protein- and calorie-dense, often made with pureed meat. If your cat rejects chicken-and-rice or other bland dishes, you can use meat-based baby food as a temporary replacement meal. Such products usually have a soft consistency, so they are easy to lick and swallow for seniors and kittens with weak teeth.
You must be cautious while feeding baby food to your feline because it’s a human product that may contain ingredients unsuitable for cats. Some will work for your sick kitty, while others can aggravate their condition.
Baby food for baby kitties? I’m not sure what to think about that, hooman.
Are you struggling to make a bland diet for kittens? Try this!
- A light broth made from bones (make sure to strain out all bones from the dish)
- A duck, turkey, or chicken soup
These moisture-rich meals will prevent dehydration in your kitty. Feed small serving sizes every two or three hours and contact a vet if their condition doesn’t improve within 12 hours.