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05.03.2022

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.

 

A calico cat in a rusty, mossy vessel outdoors, turning backwards and staring down with a shocked look

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:

Chicken and rice don’t irritate your cat’s tummy. When cooked properly and served in the right portions, the meal will support the healing process and help stop diarrhoea.

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:

Nutritional factor

Chicken (100 grams)

Cooked white rice (100 grams)

Energy

165 calories

130 calories

Proteins

27 grams

2.36 grams

Carbohydrates

Nil

28.7 grams

Fats

3.6 grams

0.19 grams

Fibre

Nil

0.4 grams

Sugar

Nil

0.05 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.

Method one

This method is super simple, and it isn’t time-consuming. Check out the steps below:

  1. Boil the chicken and rice separately till they are perfectly cooked
  2. Drain out the excess water, if any
  3. Store both ingredients in different vessels
  4. 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.

A mid-body shot of a man with tattooed arms clad in a brown apron, adding some garnishing to a pan of cooked rice

No fancy garnishing or pretty drizzles. Kitties find comfort in simple, reliable food on gloomy days. 

Source: Airam Dato-on

Method two

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:

  1. Add the chicken chunks to a large pan with water (about 300 millilitres of water for every 100 grams of chicken)
  2. Heat the mixture
  3. Add an equal quantity of rice after five minutes and cover the pan
  4. Cook till both ingredients are tender (undercooked chicken and rice can worsen diarrhoea)
  5. 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:

Timeline

Instructions 

Day 1–3

Your kitty is still sensitive, so they may be lethargic and avoid eating too much at a time. You can:

  • Feed an energy-dense bland meal every 4–6 hours
  • Reduce the serving size to one-fourth of their regular meals
  • Throw away any rejected meals or leftovers

Day 4–5

Your cat should be feeling better now, so you can serve bigger portions:

  • Feed a bland meal every 6–8 hours
  • Increase the serving size to one-half or three-fourths of their regular meal, depending on their appetite

Day 6–7

You can gradually transition your cat to their regular meals:

  • Start with mixing three-fourths of bland food with one-fourth of high-quality commercial food (preferably a grain-free wet food)
  • Gradually decrease the portion of bland food with every meal

Day 8

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.

A Siamese cat appearing dejected while lying on their belly on a brown rug

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!

Source: Pixabay

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.

A mackerel tabby on a white and blue knitted rug, eating Untamed wet food from a lavender bowl

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:

  • Grain
  • Sugar
  • Meat derivatives
  • Vegetables

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:

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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!

Take our TRY NOW quiz and get an Untamed taster pack at a steal price!

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.

A close-up shot of a teal can of Untamed Tuck-in Tuna in gravy

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:

Timeline

The Untamed effect

One week

  • Improved digestion
  • A less messy litter box
  • Ideal hydration

Two months

  • Strong and sleek coat (less shedding)
  • Fewer hairballs
  • Even energy levels

Four months

  • Defined muscle tone
  • Strong bones and joints
  • Optimised eating and pooing habits

Six months and up

  • Easy weight control
  • Better immune response against common seasonal illnesses
  • Stabilised gastrointestinal health

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:

Untamed’s sugar-free dishes are perfect for obese and diabetic cats. High moisture content in our food helps in preventing FLUTDs like bladder stones and cystitis.

Untamed works for all breeds. Whether you have a giant Maine Coon or a Ragdoll, a nimble Siamese, or a lazy British Shorthair—we are everyone’s favourite!

Here’s how to get your taster pack

Getting your Untamed taster pack is super easy. All you have to do is:

  1. Complete our TRY NOW quiz
  2. Select a meal plan
  3. Place the order

We'll have the cat food delivered to your doorstep within a day. If your kitty likes our meals, we can bring you monthly Untamed supplies with no shipping charge.

We’re all about your comfort and convenience—you can modify, cancel, or postpone a delivery anytime!

A beige British Shorthair standing next to an assorted display of Untamed products in a stylised background

Raise elegant, proud, and strong kitties with Untamed—we’ll be by their side for life!

Image (c) Untamed

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:

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.

A Ragdoll tabby kitten lying on a white bed tummy down in a room with brown drapes

Baby food for baby kitties? I’m not sure what to think about that, hooman.

Source: beau_and_niko_ragdolls

Are you struggling to make a bland diet for kittens? Try this!

Young kittens have highly sensitive tummies, so bland meals with rice may not work for them. If your kitten has low body mass and is suffering from a gastric episode, give them the following:

  • 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.