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Can Cats Drink Rice Milk? Is it Healthy For Cats?

David Fields
Last Updated on
by David Fields

Cats enjoy milk as kittens, so they should be able to have some as an adult, right? Unfortunately, this sentiment is not necessarily true for cow’s milk and plant-based alternatives.

So, can cats drink rice milk? Yes. Rice milk is safe for cats, and most can have it as an occasional treat. This beverage is fine in moderation but should not be part of your cat’s regular diet.

Rice Milk
Rice Milk

Can Cats Drink Rice Milk?

Rice milk is a popular plant-based milk substitute for those looking for a non-dairy option. For this milk alternative, rice combines with water and some sweetener before making its way onto grocery store shelves for consumption.

Can cats safely consume this liquid? Yes, in small quantities. However, rice milk should not become a staple in your cat’s diet.

While rice milk provides humans with nutritional benefits, it does not supply many of the same benefits for a cat. Rice milk may have adverse effects, especially if your pet has a sensitive stomach.

Most rice milk found at the grocery store has extra preservatives and supplemental vitamins that may negatively impact your cat’s digestive system. Some of these negative impacts include:

  • Abdominal bloating
  • Upset stomach
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Although rice milk is dairy-free, it still contains other ingredients that are great for humans, not necessarily for cats.

After weaning from their mothers, cats become carnivores. They no longer need milk for survival, and their ability to digest dairy and plant-based products decreases. If you decide to give your cat some rice milk as a treat, do so sparingly.

Can Kittens Have Rice Milk?

If you have a kitten that cannot nurse with its mother, consider supplementing with rice milk or other kinds of milk as an alternative. However, do not use rice milk as an alternative to the mother’s milk. Instead, use a specific formula blend.

Special formulas work well for kittens without nursing mothers and kittens who have begun eating solid foods but struggle to gain weight and still need extra nutrients.

Several pet brands sell kitten milk replacement formulas with ingredients that provide sufficient carbs, fat, and protein for your kitten’s health. These brands use items like whey protein to emulate a mother cat’s milk supply.

Rice milk does not contain the proper nutrients your kitten needs to grow into a strong and healthy adult cat. Opt for a kitten formula instead.

Can Cats Eat Rice?

Like rice milk, whole rice is a popular and filling choice amongst humans to incorporate into breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. But can cats safely consume rice?

Cats can eat small amounts of plain, fully-cooked rice. White and brown rice are typical ingredients in most name-brand cat foods you find at the pet store or online, so you know it is safe for most cats.

Rice is an excellent temporary substitute for cats getting over an illness who cannot yet stomach regular kibble. It is bland and full of fiber, so it helps reduce the probability of any digestive inflammation and diarrhea.

Most unfortified rice contains a lot of carbohydrates. Cats are carnivores, so a gain-based diet does not supply adequate amounts of protein and fat for a healthy life.

Remember, carbs convert to sugar. Too much rice consumption could increase your cat’s risk of ailments like diabetes.

What About Other Types of Plant-Based Milk?

Almond Milk
Almond Milk

In recent years, plant-based milk sales grow as more people commit to a dairy-free or vegan lifestyle. We now choose from multiple options in addition to past staples like soy or rice milk.

If you keep any other of these alternatives in your fridge, you might question if they are safe for your cat. Below we explore three more popular plant milks and their relative safety for your kitten.

Almond Milk

Almond milk is similar to rice milk in that it is a popular alternative for human consumption. Can cats have almond milk? Like rice milk, a small amount of almond-based beverage should not harm the average cat. However, do not supplement or replace this drink with any part of your cat’s diet.

Cats do not need nuts to meet their nutritional needs. Instead, prepackaged or homemade food will suffice.

Almond milk does not contain enough protein for your feline pet. It is also high in fat, increasing your pet’s risk of becoming overweight.

The occasional spoonful as a treat will not harm your pet but watch for overconsumption.

Oat Milk

Do not panic if your cat happens to lap up some oat milk during your morning rush. Oat milk is safe for cats in small quantities.

However, not all oat milk types contain the same ingredients. Some are safer for your cat than others. Most oat milk from the grocery store contains additives like sweeteners and preservatives. These additives do not harm humans, but they could cause an upset stomach for a cat, especially if they drink too much.

Since oat milk does not contain dairy, occasional amounts should not cause side effects like bloating or diarrhea.

Just like rice milk and almond milk, this is a non-toxic beverage for cats, but it is not necessarily an optimal choice according to their diet.

Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is an excellent milk alternative and a staple ingredient in many cuisines, but is it safe for cats?

Coconut milk is non-toxic for cats, like most plant milk. However, it has a high-fat content. This added fat may cause digestive issues like an upset stomach for your cat. Consistent extra fat in a cat’s diet also increases the risk for obesity and diabetes.

The same concerns apply to other coconut-derived products like coconut oil. This food contains a lot of fat, so allow your cat to indulge sparingly.


Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions related to cats and rice milk.

What reactions should I look out for when I give my cats rice milk?

You likely will not notice any reactions from your cat if you give them a small amount of rice milk. However, watch your cat over the next few hours to ensure it does not experience an adverse reaction.

Signs of a reaction to rice milk are as follows:

Upset stomach
Bloated stomach
Soft stool/diarrhea

Large amounts of rice milk may cause more severe reactions, but this depends on multiple factors like your cat’s breed and previous health history.

What milk alternative is best for cats?

As cats grow up, they wean from their mothers and no longer need milk. Adult cats rely on a healthy diet of solid foods to meet their nutritional needs.

After weaning, most cats’ digestive systems cannot tolerate large quantities of dairy. Therefore, cats should consume lactose-free or plant-based milk. However, adult cats do not need any milk to sustain their health.

Does rice harm cats?

Cooked rice is not harmful to cats. Many traditional cat food mixes contain white rice because it provides extra fiber and aids digestion. Rice is not a toxic grain, so implementing it into your cat’s diet in moderation is safe.

Is rice milk toxic for cats?

No, rice milk is not toxic for kittens or cats. Though, only give rice milk to your feline friend occasionally. Do not integrate it into your cat’s daily diet. If your cat consumes too much rice milk, it could cause obesity or an upset tummy.

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About David Fields
David Fields
David Fields is a long-time animal lover and has been blessed to share his life with many companions. A short list includes ragdoll cats, siberian husky and greyhound dogs, an African Grey parrot, many fish of all sorts, and a pandemonium of parakeet. He writes most of the articles on iPetCompanion and is regularly featured on other popular websites on the Internet.
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